Symptoms of too hot spark plugs

Owning a car is more than just daily driving. Understanding the operations of the different car parts is also essential. Cars often develop complications, minor or major.

Some of these car problems need immediate garage visits but for others, a quick owner’s diagnosis could save you loads of cash.

A too hot spark plug is one of the least common problems associated with modern cars. Due to the seldom occurrence of this problem, some drivers find it hard to distinguish it from other car issues.

So, what are the symptoms of too hot spark plugs?

To experienced car owners and drivers, these symptoms are distinct but to new car club members, they might seem too subtle.

Poor acceleration, fall in gas mileage and a little too hard starts are some of the signs on your car that you can attribute to too hot plugs.

The spark plug or what some folks choose to call a sparking plug is the device responsible for delivering spark ignition to the combustion chamber.

The spark is developed in the ignition system as an electric current before being delivered to the combustion chamber to ignite the fuel-air mixture.

The whole system enables not only the ignition of the fuel but also the containment of the whole operation in the combustion chamber. If not controlled, too much combustion pressure would hamper operations.

The spark plug bears a series of electrodes and insulators that allows for effective ignition and spark delivery. It is a small car part but undeniably important in basic operations like starting and complex ones like fuel combustion.

To get the best out of your engine spark plugs, ensure they are clean and that the electrodes are damage free. Dirty or burnt spark plugs will have adverse effects on your engine’s performance and overall health.

One of the most common causes of bad spark plugs is running too hot. When the spark plugs are running too hot immediate action is necessary to salvage the situation failure to which the plugs could easily be rendered useless.

To prevent this, it is important to keep an eye out for the symptoms of too hot spark plugs. The list is quite long but an understanding of the few major signs should be enough.

Sings of spark plugs that are too hot

1. Higher Fuel Consumption

A sudden increase in your car’s fuel consumption rate is a clear sign of faulty spark plugs. When the spark plugs are not functioning as expected, the gas mileage falls drastically. You however need to look out for other signs before making a definite diagnosis.

2. Wreak Acceleration

Too hot spark plugs make the electrodes fouled. This in turn causes the sparking process to delay. When your car has issues with fuel ignition in the combustion chamber, the peak is affected too. The ignition will become slow and the performance will become pretty sluggish.

Other car problems might cause the sluggish behavior but when combined with other symptoms it can attribute this behavior to too hot spark plugs.

If you know your car then you can easily tell when its performance is significantly off. Observe and compare the car’s current performance with precedence.

3. Troubled Starts

If you are having issues starting your car, don’t rush to blame the battery, there are other equally culpable elements. Did you know that burnt-out spark plugs can cause hard starts? You will turn the ignition key until the frustrations get to your head.

The car runs on combusted fuel. The combustion develops from a process in which the spark plugs play a major role. If the spark plugs are not working as expected, then the fuel ignition will not happen, and you will not go anywhere.

So, as much as the battery or empty tank might be responsible for the hard starts, the spark plugs could be responsible too. Before you pass this issue as a problem remember that it could as well be a sign of other underlying car problems which the dashboard can’t detect.

4. Misfire In The Engine

The spark plugs are crucial elements in the fuel combustion process. If they are burnt out probably due to running too hot, the entire process will be affected.

The plugs are responsible for the ignition of the fuel and air mixture, if their action is absent or negated the engine will bear the brunt.

When the plugs are not working as expected the combustion process will be affected. This interaction will most likely lead to complications like misfires which should be treated more as signs rather than results.

5. Rough Idling

When idling, any rough and vibrating sounds should trigger you to worry about your plugs. It is common for drivers to ignore these sounds and most of the time pay the price.

Whenever you hear these sounds make time to have the sparking plugs inspected, you might save yourself a lot of repair costs.

What Makes Spark Plugs Too Hot?

Poor Advanced Ignition Timing

If the advanced ignition timing is not watched the results could be disastrous for your engine. The temperature increase that could result from this issue could go up to 211°F-this causes the spark plugs to get too hot. To prevent this, have the advanced ignition handled by a professional.

Too Rich Fuel Mixture

When the fuel presented to the combustion chamber is too rich, temperatures could easily rise and result in events like knocking or pre-ignition.

To salvage the situation, you can repair the air-fuel ratio analyzer. The cost of a new unit of these devices goes for between $60 and $260.

Can A Hotter Spark Plug Damage Your Engine?

When the temperature rises too high it could melt the electrode insulators. This can easily cause a pre-ignition or detonation which is pretty expensive to repair.

Can You Drive With Spark Plugs That Are Too Hot?

That depends on the extent of the damage. If the damage is severe, the car will not even start so driving will not be possible. If the car can drive, however, you are advised to keep the distance to the minimum to reduce the possibility of pre-ignition.

Do Colder Spark Plugs Make More Power?

As long as the temperature is within the required range whether hot or cold the power delivery will be superb. That’s why it’s best to always buy spark plugs that are more resistant to heat.

Bottom Line

You’ll rarely hear drivers talk about spark plugs and their problems until the entire engine has to go down because of a fault in this small device.

Its role in the fuel combustion process is crucial and its absence results in an interruption that cannot be masked.

There are a few signs you can look out for to determine the state of your spark plugs before calling the mechanic.

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