The relationship between spark plugs and the other components of the engine is much like human relationships: without a spark, it will not work.
Bad spark plugs can present themselves in numerous ways. Some symptoms include rough idle, misfires, and a shaky ride.
Fortunately, changing the spark plugs is not an expensive nor complicated fix.
As with all automotive parts, several factors determine the cost of a repair.
Replacing a spark plug is no exception. You can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $60 for parts while the labor cost also differs greatly, depending on where you take your car for the work.
Thankfully, in most cases, the price is at the lower end of the spectrum. We will look at all the factors so you can get a better sense of how much you will need to spend.
Let’s get started right away with the symptoms!
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Symptoms Of Bad Spark Plugs
Before you decide to replace the spark plugs of your car, you should be sure that they are the reason for the symptoms occurring.
Symptoms and signs of bad spark plugs include misfiring, rough idle, high fuel consumption, and rough acceleration where vibrations could occur.
While these symptoms often suggest bad spark plugs, there are many other possible causes.
The first thing to keep in mind is the last time you replaced the spark plugs. Spark plugs usually last more than 50,000 miles and can even double that, depending on the type.
Unless you have incorrectly installed new spark plugs recently, or you last replaced them a long time ago, the problem could lie somewhere else.
At the same time, spark plugs are relatively cheap which makes it tempting to always change the spark plugs first if the problem is unclear.
In many cases, other parts are the cause of the aforementioned problems. The most common cause is the ignition coil, not the spark plugs.
If it has been a long time since the spark plugs were replaced and the engine starts misfiring or stops running smoothly, it is very possible that it is time for new spark plugs.
Price Of Spark Plugs
If you or your mechanic have established that spark plugs are the culprit, the first question you might ask is “How much are spark plugs?”.
There are different types of spark plugs. Some will cost over $40 but luckily most cars use cheaper spark plugs that cost around $5 to $10.
You can choose a more expensive option, such as spark plugs with platinum or iridium tips.
Platinum and iridium tips will provide greater longevity compared to copper spark plugs.
It is best to use whatever is specified by the manufacturer of your car, but keep in mind that the longevity depends on the type of spark plug that is used.
The total cost can vary depending on the cause of the problem.
For example, if it turns out that a spark plug has prematurely gone bad, it should be sufficient to replace that specific spark plug.
On the other hand, if a spark plug goes bad near the end of its expected lifespan, it is better to replace all the spark plugs which will increase the total cost.
Changing the spark plugs is not very complicated and can be done by almost anyone. If you do decide to do it yourself, make sure to take all the necessary safety precautions.
If you decide to leave it to a professional, the labor cost will vary depending on several factors. In general, you should expect to pay $50 to $130.
As previously mentioned, different types of spark plugs vary in their longevity and price.
A pack of 4 copper spark plugs will cost on average $8 to $12, while a pack of 4 iridium spark plugs costs between $35 and $50. Platinum spark plugs cost somewhere in between.
Keep in mind that not all cars use four spark plugs. Some cars use three, six, eight, or even ten spark plugs, depending on how many cylinders the engine has.
Changing spark plugs is not very complicated nor is it expensive.
The symptoms of bad spark plugs include misfires, bad gas mileage, and rough idle. These symptoms are not specific to spark plugs but are very common when the spark plugs go bad.
Different types of spark plugs vary in price, but also in longevity. You should choose the type of spark plugs that your car manufacturer recommends.
Replacing spark plugs can be done as a small DIY project, which could save you $50 to $130 in labor cost.
If one of the spark plugs goes bad prematurely for whatever reason, you can choose to replace only the specific plug that has gone bad.
If the spark plug stops working when it is close to its life expectancy, it is best to replace all the spark plugs.
The total cost of a spark plug replacement will be between $60 to $180 for a four-cylinder car. In most cases, the price will be somewhere in that range.
Keep in mind that you can save money by replacing the spark plugs yourself. However, be sure to use all the necessary safety measures.