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Summary
  • Spark plugs create a high-temperature spark that goes past the fuel’s flashpoint to kickstart the combustion process.
  • Most spark plugs can last up to 60,000 miles without any problems.
  • Once they fail, you might notice symptoms such as rough idling, misfiring, and poor fuel economy.

Spark plugs are very important components of internal combustion engines. They are responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture in each of your engine’s cylinders. Without properly working spark plugs, your vehicle might not be able to run at all.

What are Spark Plugs and What Do They Do?

Spark plugs look like long bolts with electrical leads on one end. They’re inserted from the top of the cylinder head. The end that has threads and two leads is inserted into the combustion chamber.

For gasoline to ignite, it needs to reach a certain temperature called a flashpoint. A spark plug can ignite the fuel inside the combustion chamber because it’s designed to create a high-temperature spark that exceeds the fuel’s flashpoint. The spark is created when electricity arcs between the two leads that are not touching but are just close enough.

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spark plugs of a car
A spark plug ignites the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber with a high-temperature spark that exceeds the fuel’s flashpoint.

Spark plugs ignite the fuel at a specific time, which is dictated by the distributor. The distributor sends a high voltage current to the spark plug when the air-fuel mixture is compressed by the cylinder. When ignited, the air-fuel mixture will combust and push the cylinder down, thus creating power.

Spark plugs need to be able to ignite fuel repetitively for long periods. They need to be well-built to ensure that they can last for years with minimal or no maintenance. Luckily, spark plugs are made from extremely durable materials. They are capable of withstanding numerous combustion cycles before wearing out.

When to Replace Spark Plugs

There are some symptoms you need to look out for to figure out if you already need to replace your spark plugs. These include a rough idling engine, engine misfires, difficulty starting, poor fuel efficiency, and less power.

Most spark plugs can last for around 60,000 miles before needing replacement. However, this can vary depending on the vehicle and the type of spark plug used.

damaged spark plug
A rough idling engine, engine misfires, difficulty starting, poor fuel efficiency, and less power could mean that you might have to replace your spark plugs.

Check out these videos on how to replace your spark plugs:

What Are the Best Spark Plug Brands?

The harsh conditions present inside the cylinder head can cause poorly-made spark plugs to wear out prematurely, which is why it’s important to get only the best ones. To help you select the best replacement for your vehicle, we’ve identified six brands known for producing high-quality spark plugs.

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NGK

NGK has been designing and manufacturing aftermarket ignition systems and sensors since 1963. It is a world leader when it comes to innovating spark plug technology.

Bosch

Bosch is the company that invented the spark plug. The company has developed thousands of spark plug types since, setting a high standard worldwide.

AC Delco

AC Delco manufactures OE parts for General Motors. However, its expertise isn’t just limited to GM brands like Chevrolet and GMC. It also makes quality spark plugs for other makes and models.

bosch spark plugs
Bosch is the company that invented the spark plug. Image source: Bosch

Denso

Denso is a global manufacturer of auto parts that offers advanced powertrain components like spark plugs. It has developed spark plugs since 1957 and continues to do so to this day.

Champion

Champion is one of the oldest spark plug manufacturers still in business today. Champion spark plugs can restore engine power for new and old vehicles models alike.

Genuine XL

The brand offers high-quality, OE-grade spark plugs and kits. Its spark plugs are made for a direct fit, so expect them to work perfectly in your engine.

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denso spark plugs
Denso is a global manufacturer of auto parts and has developed spark plugs since 1957. Image source: Denso

Get Spark Plugs here at CarParts.com 

You don’t have to put up with worrying spark plug issues anymore because you can easily get OE-grade replacements here at CarParts.com. We have a wide selection of spark plugs sourced from the best brands in the automotive industry. All our spark plugs have met high quality control standards during manufacturing to ensure that they work as designed. You can purchase spark plugs individually or in sets, depending on your needs.

Forget about going to brick-and-mortar stores because you can shop online with just a few clicks. You don’t have to wait a long time for your spark plugs to arrive either, as our available parts are ready to ship from strategically located warehouses. We’ll have your spark plug delivered in as fast as two business days. Enjoy our low prices and fast shipping today when you shop for spark plugs here at CarParts.com!

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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