Will Bad Spark Plugs Cause The Car Not To Start? (Explained)

will bad spark plugs cause car not to start

Failed, dirty, or degraded spark plugs are one of the easiest ways that you can freeze yourself out of your vehicle and it could essentially prevent your vehicle from starting the way it should. As a rule of thumb, whenever, you check things like oil and other components, you should give your spark plugs a good overview.

Will Bad Spark Plugs Cause The Car Not To Start?

The spark plugs are responsible for creating a spark that ignites a combination of air and fuel. This will kick start the combustion process to allow the car to have a source of fuel. If your spark plugs are bad or dirty, they will not create the spark to start the ignition process. This means that the fuel does not ignite, which is required to burn whilst you are driving.

Bad spark plugs can cause your car to be stuck in the driveway, but fortunately, it is one of the easiest components to fix.

How Do I Know The Spark Plugs Are The Problem?

1. Engine Misfires

One of the most common issues drivers will experience is when the engine misfires. The vehicle will try to fire up, but it simply does not kick in and each time you turn the ignition, the vehicle would start before it dies down. This is one of the telltale signs that you are potentially dealing with bad spark plugs.

2. Knocking Sound

Another common symptom is often a knocking sound coming from the engine. While this could also be due to a variety of other faults in the engine, the knocking sound is characterized by the car dying. It often means that the spark plugs are only igniting some of the fuel, but does not seem to be able to ignite all of it.

3. Rough Idling

Another sign of bad spark plugs has to do with how the car idles. You will often find that the car does not have a steady idle and this will cause some issues for concern. The car might shake excessively when you have it parked and it could potentially shimmy as well. This indicates that not all the fuel is being ignited in the engine.

4. Hard Start/Dead Start

The final symptom is one, which indicates that your spark plugs have run their course. The hard start often requires you to turn the ignition multiple times before the vehicle starts. Additionally, the dead start is one of the most worrying things that you can deal with and would often cause the vehicle to have some issues.

If your vehicle dies immediately after starting the car, you could be dealing with a dead spark plug. Once your spark plugs die, you can turn the key as many times as you want. However, you will find that the engine would crank, but nothing else would happen. It is often one of the most frustrating things that you can deal with.

How To Start Your Car With Bad Spark Plugs?

If you are constantly dealing with bad spark plugs, there are a couple of things that you do, which should help to make it easier for you to start your vehicle. Keep in mind that these solutions are only temporary and it would be best for you to get your car to a mechanic, or you will need to fix the spark plugs at home.

  • Gapping Spark Plugs: Spark plugs require a sufficient gap for the electrons to pass through. One thing you could do is gap the spark plugs to see if you can change and rectify the gap which could fix some issues.
  • Clean The Plugs: Another important thing you will need to do is clean the spark plugs. If the spark plugs are full of oil and carbon buildup, they will not be able to create an effective spark.
  • Preheat The Spark Plug: One of the main reasons for cars not starting and spark plugs not firing can often be due to excessively cold temperatures. This does not mean that you have a faulty spark plug, but when you preheat the spark plug, it could help you to ignite them.
  • Spark Plug Wiring: In many cases, it might not even be the spark plugs that are at fault and you might have some other issues that are going on. If you have faulty or loose wiring, it could potentially be the reason that the spark plugs do not activate.
  • Replace the Spark Plugs: When all your attempts to circumvent and fix the spark plugs have failed, you will only have one single option left. For this option, you will need to replace the spark plugs. Spark plugs are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.

How Long Can You Drive With A Bad Spark Plug?

You should be able to do around 80,000 miles with your spark plugs when you put new plugs in the vehicle. However, this estimate is something that could change depending on various situations and circumstances.

Things like flooding and cold weather could put even more strain on your spark plugs, reducing the mileage. However, when you already know that you have bad spark plugs, determining how long you can continue driving with them would not be that easy.

If you suspect that you are dealing with bad spark plugs, the wise decision would be to replace them as soon as possible or to have them fixed efficiently. This could save you some problems as you do not want to be the one stranded with bad spark plugs, which could potentially leave you calling someone for assistance.

Does Using A Bad Spark Plug Have Any Effect On The Car?

Aside from the car simply not starting, the bad spark plug could cause engine misfires and rough idling. These two issues could potentially affect the car’s performance and damage some of the other components.

One of the first issues I see often related to bad spark plugs would be an issue with the starter motor. The vehicle would now need to rely heavily on the starter motor, which could potentially wear out the motor and cause some additional issues for you to deal with.

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