When Should You Replace Your Mini’s Spark Plug?by europewpadmin July 9, 2020
In order for your Mini to drive anywhere, it needs working spark plugs. These simple parts are hardworking and take a beating each time you drive, which is why they need to be replaced several times during your Mini’s lifespan. Let’s take a closer look at how these important components work and when you should replace them.
How Spark Plugs Function
Spark plugs are needed to provide the sparks which ignite the air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your Mini’s engine. They consist of an insulated center electrode that spans the length of your plug with ground electrodes at the base, which are kept separate over a space called the spark gap. When the plugs are provided with voltage from the ignition coil, the electrical energy is able to jump over the spark gap, creating the spark that is needed for ignition.
Spark plugs are made out of a variety of different materials from copper to iridium and even platinum. There are pros and cons of each type, and you should ask your mechanic about which typeis best suited to your vehicle.
Your Mini will have multiple sets of spark plugs, usually equal to the number of cylinders it has. However, if you’ve customized your Mini for higher performance, then your car may instead have two spark plugs per cylinder.
The lifespan of your spark plugs depends on the material of its design. Standard copper spark plugs are the least expensive but tend to last the shortest amount of time. They tend to need to be replaced after 30,000 miles. The spark plugs which are made of hardier metals can last considerably longer.
How to Tell if your Spark Plugs need Replacing
There are a variety of signs that can tell you it’s time to replace your spark plugs such as:
- Noises: Any odd noises from under the hood need to be investigated. When your spark plugs start to misfire, you’ll begin to hear noises that sound like a rattle, a knock, or even a ping.
- Mini Doesn’t Want to Start: If it is an effort to get your Mini to start, you could have a variety of different problems to deal with, but the first place you should always look is the spark plugs. When the spark plugs are old, they won’t be able to ignite the fuel 100% of the time. This leads to stalls and misfires.
- Lowered Performance: Of course, without the fuel being reliably combusted, your Mini won’t perform as designed. It may idle more roughly or be sluggish to accelerate.
- Reduced Gas Mileage: In order to be efficient, your Mini needs all its parts to be working properly. Therefore, when the spark plugs fail you can expect to waste fuel.
Failing Spark Plugs
You may be wondering why spark plugs fail in the first place, well there are two common reasons for this. First, there can be a buildup of deposits. Over time, deposits from the air and fuel will start to form on the spark plugs, leaving them contaminated and unable to perform properly. Another reason is gap expansion.As mentioned, the electricity used to create sparks is a high voltage, which means that each time a spark is made, it eats away at the surface of the plugs. Over time, this widens the gap between each set, making it harder and harder to a spark to successfully jump across.
The Benefits of Timely Spark Plug Replacement
Replacing spark plugs on time means that:
- your engine can performs optimally and at peak performance
- you’ll achieve higher gas mileage
- your Mini can start reliably
- your Mini can accelerate properly
- your Mini will produce less harmful emissions
Seek Spark Plug Replacement at European Auto Tech
As you can see, there are many benefits to replacing your spark plugs as soon as you start to suspect problems. You also won’t need to waste time with extra refueling. So, as soon as your spark plugs start to fail, drop by and speak to our team at European Auto Tech.
We’re local to the communities of Allen, Dallas, Flower Mound, Frisco, Highland Park, McKinney, Park Cities, Richardson, Southlake, and University Park, Plano, TX. We are ready and eager to help you with your Mini’s repair and maintenance needs.