How Often Should You Have the Spark Plugs in Your Volkswagen Replaced?
Today, automotive spark plugs are made with materials like platinum and even iridium, which means they can last up to 100,000 miles or more. This is a lot longer than spark plugs of the past that were made from materials like copper. Of course, it's no surprise that modern Volkswagen models come from the factory with extended life spark plugs, so you won't have to have them changed very often. This maintenance is included in Volkswagen recommended service, and it is important to have the spark plugs changed when the time does come.
What Happens if You Don't Change Your Vehicle's Spark Plugs?
Ultimately, your vehicle could run poorly or not at all. To understand the importance of spark plugs, it helps to have an idea of where they are and what they do. You see, the spark plug is placed with its electrode inside the combustion chamber of each cylinder in your engine. As the piston travels down in the cylinder, it draws in a combination of air and fuel before compressing this mixture. Once the piston reaches the top of its compression stroke, the spark plug fires a high-intensity spark between its electrodes to ignite the mixture and drive the piston back down. That's where your engine's power comes from.
As you can imagine, each spark plug is subjected to extremes of heat and pressure. What's more, the gap between the electrodes of many spark plugs must be very precise. Over time, the spark will wear away the electrodes to the point that the spark plug needs to be replaced. What's more, various gas quality, oil in the cylinder, and other conditions can reduce the effectiveness of a spark plug.
If one or more spark plugs become compromised to the point that they don't reliably produce a spark, that cylinder will no longer be providing power. At the very least, this results in a sluggish feel to your vehicle with a substantial loss in fuel economy. However, in today's advanced engines, a misfire like this can lead to a host of other issues beyond what a simple spark plug replacement will address.
To learn more about the spark plugs in your Volkswagen, come speak with the experts at Carter Volkswagen in Ballard. We're proud to be an authorized dealer serving the greater Puget Sound area.