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Red McCombs Body Shop in San Antonio, Texas
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4800 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78229
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30am to 6:00pm. Saturday & Sunday closed

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What Do Spark Plugs Do Anyway?

Dec 26, 2022

man holding a spark plug in front of a car engine

Spark plugs are something every car owner has probably heard of. You’ve probably needed to get one replaced before as well. But what do they do? Why do you need them? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about spark plugs.

What Spark Plugs Do

Spark plugs do exactly what the name suggest that they do. They give your engine the spark of energy it needs to bring your vehicle to life. Spark plugs and insulated plugs that are attached to your engine’s cylinder head. They have two purposes. The first is to ignite the combination of air and fuel in your combustion engine. The second is to route heat away from the combustion chamber.

How Spark Plugs Work

Your combustion engine generates energy from the combination of fuel and air in a five step process.

  1. First, the piston takes a trip down the cylinder, pulling in fuel and air as it goes.
  2. Then it goes back up toward the top of the cylinder head where the spark plug is located. It compresses the mixture of air and fuel along the way.
  3. When the piston reaches the top, the spark plug sparks to ignite the fuel and air mixture.
  4. The piston gets pushed back down again creating energy for your vehicle to operate.
  5. Then, once again, it shoot back up to clear out the exhaust.

This process is repeated continuously as long as your vehicle is running.

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Why You Need Your Spark Plugs

There is one spark plug for each cylinder of your engine. So, if you have a V6 engine, your vehicle will need six spark plugs to operate optimally. When you have bad spark plugs, you might notice that you have trouble starting your vehicle or the fuel efficiency of your vehicle might go down. Other signs that you need a spark plug replacement include:

  • Engine misfiring
  • Slow acceleration
  • Rough idling
  • Knocking sounds coming from your engine

When you need a spark plug replacement, call Red McCombs Superior Body Shop. Our skilled technicians can replace your spark plugs and get you back on the road in no time.