How long does a spark plug last

How Long Does a Spark Plug Last?

A common misconception among drivers is that a battery issue must exist when their car struggles to start. Even while this is a possibility, it’s not the only one. Spark plugs that are damaged or old may be to blame! These tiny spark plugs, after all, have a large task to complete. It’s not as if a spark plug lasts forever. Your spark plugs have a limited lifespan just like most other components of your car, and eventually need to be replaced.

How long does a spark plug last

Air, fuel, and spark are the three components that engines require to ignite the combustion process. The latter is provided by spark plugs, which essentially fire a high-voltage spark into the cylinder as soon as fuel and air enter the combustion chamber. The air and fuel combination is ignited by this spark, creating the explosive power required to lower the cylinder and finish the combustion process.

Although many cars have a “dual spark” setup that doubles the number of spark plugs used per cylinder for improved performance and more precise ignition, the majority of cars have at least as many spark plugs as cylinders. Despite the fact that most modern spark plugs use iridium or platinum for a more dependable and precise ignition, some spark plugs still employ a copper electrode.

In this article, we’ll be discussing how long spark plugs last. In addition, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

  • How often should you replace the spark plug?
  • Is it possible to run a car with a bad spark plug?
  • How much does a spark plug replacement cost?


How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?

It’s always advisable to adhere to the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule when it comes to car maintenance. To determine when to change your spark plugs, check the advised maintenance schedule for your car. Fortunately, spark plugs don’t deteriorate rapidly.

They normally last 80,000 miles before needing to be replaced. However, if you experience any of these signs, it’s time to get an engine tune-up and have your spark plugs examined. Here are a few possibilities to think about in regard to the actual reason why your spark plugs break down:

  • Spark plugs can become clogged with thick oil and fuel deposits, which will prevent the spark from properly igniting.
  • Incorrectly gapped spark plugs can affect an engine’s performance and possibly cause banging and pinging.
  • The engine may misfire due to a completely dead spark plug, which will impair performance and may harm other engine components.
  • The spark plug may break off if the cylinder and spark plug make direct physical contact, which might seriously harm the cylinder, the cylinder walls, and the valves.

Spark plug longevity is mostly dependent on how well you maintain your engine. For instance, routine oil changes assist in preventing undesirable deposits from clogging spark plugs. For simplicity of installation, most spark plugs are also pre-gapped, although it’s always a good idea to double-check the gap before installing.

How Often Should You Replace Your Spark Plug?

When it comes to spark plug replacement, the most frequent query is “When?” The frequency of spark plug replacement is determined by a variety of factors, including the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular vehicle and the performance and state of your car at the time. How frequently should you replace your spark plugs then? That is dependent on a number of variables, such as the kind of spark plugs your car uses:

  • Unless the spark plug manufacturer advises differently, standard copper and nickel spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
  • Spark plugs made of platinum and iridium typically survive longer than those made of conventional copper and nickel. Unless otherwise stated, expect to replace them every 60,000 to 150,000 miles.

How you utilize your car may also have an impact on how frequently you need to replace your spark plugs. For instance, you might need to change your spark plugs more frequently if you regularly drive your car at high speeds. You may need to replace your spark plugs more frequently if you drive in extreme heat or cold, tow a lot, or idle constantly.

The simplest approach to determine how frequently you must change your spark plugs is to just go to the owner’s manual for your car. It will contain all the details you require to guarantee that your car receives timely maintenance.

Here’s how to check if a spark plug is good:

Is it possible to run a car with a bad spark plug?

The only answer is “Don’t put it off; driving with worn-out or damaged spark plugs might eventually lead to engine damage.” Most likely, you’re asking yourself, “Why should I even bother changing my spark plugs at all?” Spark plugs are essential to the running of your engine, as was previously discussed.

The performance of your car could be negatively impacted if you continue to use the same set of spark plugs in your engine after their suggested replacement time. With new spark plugs, your car will not only start and drive more smoothly but its emissions will also be improved. If you reside in a region where car emissions testing is in effect, you are aware of the need to maintain your vehicle’s components in good condition.

How much does a spark plug replacement cost?

The price of replacement depends on the kind of spark plugs used and the labor costs. The average price of various spark plug types is as follows:

  • Spark plugs made of copper typically cost $2 to $10.
  • Each silver spark plug costs $5.
  • Plugs are $10 and $20 for platinum and double platinum, respectively.
  • Iridium plugs cost $20 to $100 per piece.

The intricacy of each engine affects labor costs, with V6 and V8 engines costing more than four-cylinder engines. The typical cost of labor ranges from $40 to $350. When components and labor are taken into account, the least expensive spark plug replacement is between $100 and $250, and the most expensive is between $250 and $500.

To prevent many replacement cycles and to obtain optimum performance, it is best to replace all spark plugs at once. The performance of the spark plugs may also be affected by replacing related parts such as the coil pack, oxygen sensor, fuel filter, and spark plug wires. For instance, an outdated gasoline filter may contribute to an accumulation of oil and carbon around the spark plugs, which will reduce their efficacy.

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How do I know when my spark plugs need replacing?

Do You Know When to Change Your Spark Plugs? Warning Signs to Watch Out For:

  • You Have Difficulties Starting Your Car.
  • Poor Fuel Efficiency.
  • You Can Hear the Engine Idling Erratically.
  • The Speed of Your Car Won’t Increase.

What happens if you don’t change your spark plugs?

The plugs’ accumulation of deposits may potentially result in a malfunction. When this occurs, the cylinder walls may begin to erode due to the unburned fuel. This may result in the dangerous buildup of pressure and perhaps engine failure.

What is the maximum life of spark plugs?

The typical factory service interval for spark plugs is 100,000 miles, while some may be up to 120,000 miles. Long-life platinum and iridium spark plugs typically have a lifespan of 100,000 miles or more, assuming the engine isn’t utilizing oil or idling frequently.

What happens if a spark plug is dirty?

Dirty spark plugs frequently result in problems with cold starting, misfires during acceleration, rough idling, trouble maintaining power, and decreased fuel economy.

How do you maintain spark plugs?

Start by clearing away any debris from the spark plugs outside. After that, use 220-grit sandpaper to gently remove the buildup, being careful not to scratch the metal. A little file can also be used to get rid of any tenacious accumulation.

Can old spark plugs be cleaned and reused?

Technically, you can clean spark plugs, but it’s usually not worth the effort. For a variety of reasons, we wouldn’t recommend it. At the end of the day, a cleaned plug won’t perform as well as a new plug. Sharp edges are where electricity discharges the strongest.


In conclusion, spark plug lifespans vary, but frequent maintenance and replacement when necessary are essential to preserving your car’s performance and averting future engine problems. For best results, adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.


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