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Spark Plug Replacement Cost: What to Know to Save Money on Repairs

  • Car Care Tips
  • Silas Smith
  • 6 minutes

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Did you know spark plug replacement cost is one of the most frequently searched queries online? Of course, everyone wants their car running smoothly. But that is a dream which is too good to be true. If your car is refusing to start or is misfiring, it is time to take a look at the spark plug.

If you just got a car, you must go through this blog. Trust me! It will save hundreds of dollars from your yearly car repair budget. Continue reading to learn more about the fuel ignition system, types of spark plugs, symptoms of bad spark plugs, and the cost of spark plug replacement.

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What is a spark plug?

A sparking plug, commonly known as a Spark Plug, is a device that creates a spark for igniting the fuel-air mixture in an internal-combustion engine. It has two electrodes separated by an air gap, and the center electrode is covered by an insulator, usually a ceramic shell.

cost to replace spark plugs

The electrodes are immersed in the combustion chamber, and the other end is connected to a voltage source. Generally, the high voltage source will be an ignition coil or a magneto coil.

The gas mixture between electrodes is usually an insulator. Therefore, when a high voltage passes through the electrodes, the gas mixture gets energized and starts conducting the electricity between the gap.

Functions of a spark plug

Most people believe the role of a spark plug ends with ‘creating the spark,’ but there is yet another important part it plays in the proper starting of your car engine. That is why spark plug replacement is a very crucial step in your car repair process. So make sure you include a thorough check of the spark plug in your maintenance schedules.

The Spark plug also helps to remove the heat from the combustion chamber. It absorbs the heat inside the chamber and transfers it through the central electrode. The central electrode will pass this to the insulator shell, which sends it to the metal shell. Finally, the metal shell transfers the heat to the engine casing, and the coolant will take care of the rest.

Types of spark plugs

Spark plugs can be classified based on the material used and operating temperatures. A visual inspection can help you find out which spark plug is in your car. Of course, you can always look at the owner’s manual of your car to find what type of spark plug is used and what its heat range is.

  • Hot Spark Plug or Low Heat Range Spark Plug: It will have a higher temperature range, and the tips of the electrodes will remain hotter. So these are used in lower-powered engines like that of a lawn mower. The spark plug gets hot and reaches the optimal temperature really fast. The insulator nose will be long and thin.
  • Cold Spark Plug or High Heat Range Spark Plug: These have a short and thick insulator nose, allowing heat to dissipate faster. These models have a higher chance of fouling, so they are more prone to spark plug replacement.

cost of spark plug replacement

Based on the material used in the tips of the electrodes, spark plugs can be divided into:

  • Copper spark plugs: Conventional spark plugs use copper and also add Nickel to strengthen them. But it is most prone to damage and will melt due to excess engine heat.
  • Platinum spark plugs: Available as single platinum(platinum tip on center electrode only) and double platinum (platinum tip on both electrodes)
  • Iridium spark plugs: This is the strongest and best variant available in the market. It has very little chance of fouling, but it is expensive to replace this type of spark plug.

What are signs you need to change your spark plugs?

If you have a basic idea about the symptoms of bad spark plugs, you can save money on repairs that arise later. See the common signs your spark plug is failing below.

  • Engine misfiring
  • Check Engine light ON
  • Engine code P0300
  • High fuel consumption
  • Rough Idle
  • Rough acceleration

Common causes of spark plug failure

If you are wondering why your spark plug keeps failing frequently, here are some possibilities listed below. At the end of the day, your driving habits can also influence these causes.

  • Electrode wear
  • Punctures in ceramic insulation
  • Socket and plug damage
  • Debris
  • Heat damage

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

Spark plugs are subjected to wear and tear during their lifetime. Therefore, if you do not replace spark plugs even after the symptoms occur, it will adversely affect the car’s performance.

The engine will start idling rough more often, and you might hear knocking sounds occasionally. Besides, you might have to fill gas more often as the fuel economy will be poor.

How much time will it take for spark plug replacement?

replace spark plugs cost

On average, replacing the spark plugs of a four-cylinder engine will take around one hour. Either you can approach a professional who will also check the spark plug wires. But it will also add a labor cost to the spark plug costs. With enough resources and knowledge, you can do it yourself.

See More: DIY Guide to Change Spark Plugs

How much does it cost for spark plug replacement?

As you have read before, the cost of changing a spark plug will depend on the type of the plug and whether you are doing it yourself or not. See the costs of each type of spark plug below.

average cost to replace spark plugs

  • Conventional Copper Spark Plugs: Each piece costs between $2 and $10.
  • Silver plugs: Average cost is set at $5 per plug.
  • Platinum spark plugs: Single-side platinum spark plugs are $10 per piece, while double platinum will cost you $20 per plug.
  • Iridium spark plugs: The best variant costs the most. For one Iridium spark plug, expect to pay between $20 and $100.

How often do you need to replace a spark plug?

As you saw in previous sections, there are different kinds of spark plugs depending on the material in their tips. So the better they can resist damage and heat inside the combustion chamber, the fewer the need for spark plug replacement.

Copper spark plugs can last for 30,000 to 40,000 miles without many issues. On the contrary, Iridium variants can last for more than 60,000 miles. There are even extended-life spark plugs that can stay strong for ranges between 100,000 and 200,000 miles.

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