If you were going to write a recipe for a running engine, you’d need to start off with three basic ingredients: air, fuel and spark. The spark plugs in your Mini’s engine are there to provide the spark that causes the combustion that creates the engine’s power.
Over time, the spark plugs will stop working as effectively, creating less electricity with each spark, and the effects will be noticeable in your Mini’s operation. This article will cover spark plug failure, how often you should get the spark plugs replaced and where to turn for a trusted mechanic.
Spark Plug Failure
Spark plugs are connected by wires to the alternator. This wire creates the electricity that the spark plugs use to ignite. This ignition causes a combustion, which moves the piston and creates the motion needed for your car to get going. In this way, the spark plug sets in motion a chain of events that take you from point A to point B, so their operation is critical for your Mini.
If your spark plugs begin to wear down and carry less electricity, the combustion inside the cylinder will be less powerful, resulting in poor engine performance. There are multiple things that cause spark plug failure over the course of normal use, so it’s recommended to check on their condition every now and then.
Recommended Replacement of Spark Plugs
Thankfully, spark plugs aren’t too expensive, so there’s no need to avoid replacing them for too long a time. In fact, doing so would be bad for your car and your wallet in the long run. There are different recommendations on how often to replace the spark plugs in your Mini, from cautious to seemingly carefree.
Your owner’s manual will likely recommend that your Mini’s spark plugs be replaced every 30,000 miles or so. That number is a bit low, so waiting even 50,000 miles should be fine if you check on their condition regularly.
Spotting a Bad Spark Plug
While spark plugs typically last a long time, there is always a chance that one will die earlier than expected. These pieces of technology are crucial to your Mini’s operation, so getting them replaced can have a pronounced effect. First, you need to be able to identify if a spark plug is the cause of any of your car’s issues. Be on the lookout for:
Check Engine Light
If your car has a bad spark plug, the computer system will send a message to illuminate the check engine light on your dash. This may be the most obvious warning sign, but it’s necessary to include because drivers often overlook it.
Poor Gas Mileage
Your spark plug plays a role in the timing and combustion of fuel and air, so if it is no longer operating correctly, fuel will not be used as efficiently as it could. With the high prices of fuel, you will probably feel this symptom where it hurts: your wallet.
When the spark plug doesn’t ignite the mixture of fuel and air completely, the cylinder misfires. When the engine is not firing on all cylinders, it can cause excessive vibration felt throughout the vehicle, a phenomenon commonly called running rough.
Foul Smell from Exhaust
When the mixture of fuel and air is not completely combusted due to a faulty spark plug, raw fuel will enter the exhaust and result in a smell similar to rotten eggs or sulfur.
Cerrone’s European Can Solve Your Mini’s Problems
Even for something as simple as a spark plug replacement, drivers of Minis still expect the highest-quality service. Cerrone’s European in Redwood City, California will take the best care of your vehicle, paying the utmost attention to detail and ensuring you are back on the road in no time.
We’ve been in Redwood City since 1976, and we’ve built trust with our customers such that they bring their European import to us and we return it in tip-top shape. If you have any problems with your Mini or other European import, come visit Cerrone’s European at 2306 El Camino Real in Redwood City.