Spark plugs are small and relatively inexpensive components but play a crucial role in gas-powered engines. Damaged spark plugs can reduce the performance output and energy efficiency of an engine, while unexpected spark plug failure can prevent ignition altogether. To avoid unscheduled downtime, it’s important to keep an eye open for the warning signs of spark plug failure. These are the main tell-tale signs that your spark plug’s days are limited, and that it’s time to order a replacement.

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4 Spark Plug Issue Symptoms:

1) Engine has trouble starting 

If your industrial engine is slow to start, or shutters and jitters on start-up, it may be the spark plug at fault. Replace the spark plugs sooner rather than later, because the vibrations caused by a rough start up could damage other components in your engine.

2) Engine misfires

A misfire occurs when your engine temporarily cuts out due to the ignition cylinders not generating enough spark to sustain combustion. You’ll notice this if your engine occasionally loses power or shutters without entirely closing down. Faulty or damaged spark plugs are the most common cause of engine misfires and should be addressed as soon as possible, because regular misfires can affect your fuel economy and productivity.

3) Inefficient fuel consumption

If your engine has started regularly using more fuel to produce the same output, the inefficiency could be the result of faulty spark plugs. Check your components and replace if necessary. To improve fuel economy, consider upgrading to iridium spark plugs, as these operate at a lower voltage and consume less fuel.

4) Excessive noise and vibration

Industrial stationary engines are notoriously noisy machines at the best of times, but make a note of excessive noise and vibration during your visual inspections. These are often symptoms that accompany excess waste heat, which can quickly damage your engine components. Luckily, the solution is often as simple as swapping out the spark plugs.

5) Reduced power output

A sustained reduction in performance is often linked to high fuel consumption and excessive noise and heat. While there are several potential causes for this fault, it’s worth starting by checking the spark plugs, as these can be swapped out cheaply and quickly, and in many cases full productivity can be restored.

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Spark plugs have a finite lifetime and even the best models are susceptible to failure. However, recognising the main bad spark plug symptoms will allow you to order replacement parts in good time and avoid the inconvenience of unexpected shutdowns. At RM Walsh, we stock a wide range of replacement spark plugs for all gas-powered engines and ignition systems, so please get in touch with our technical sales team today to find out more about our current availability.

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