When To Change Spark Plugs

when to change spark plugs I got a great question the other day and watched to share it with you and my video reply that I made. This person bought a used car and asked me if there was a way they can tell if it had ever had a tune up before. Great question, so take a minute now and watch my video reply.

What I failed to mention in the video is “when to change the spark plugs in your car”. That can depend on the type of spark plugs your vehicle is using. Most newer (2002+) vehicles use platinum tipped spark plugs which can easily last 100,000 miles before needing to be changed. Now, should you wait that long?

If you are experiencing a drop in fuel mileage, rough idle or lack of engine performance then you might want to change the spark plugs earlier. The 100,000 miles is just the maximum life of a platinum tipped spark plug, does not mean you should not need to replace them earlier.

If your vehicle is using spark plug WIRES, those wires usually wear out about 60,000 – 70,000 miles and cause an engine missfire usually under heavy acceleration or pulling a trailer. I would recommend you change the wires AND the spark plugs at the same time.

Hope this was helpful to you, if so please share it with your friends using the Social Media buttons on this page. Feel free to comment or send me a question using the comment feature below. I reply to all comments!

Austin Davis

Posted in: Spark Plugs

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • Austin Davis

    Thanks for your comment Scott. Yes, you are correct, and yes you are also correct that many/most dealers know it and STILL try to push over the car owner. I guess what I was really referring to is a scenario where say the car overheated and did some internal damage, but the dealer finds that the owner has replaced a cooling system part…and the dealer will use that against him to push off any warranty claim.

    I had a customer that was told by her dealer that the Autolight spark plugs we installed voided her warranty and she was pissed at me. The dealer was lying, but for most people they are scared to go anywhere but the dealer during warranty period, which is sad.

  • Austin Davis

    Good idea, will try to do that on future videos.

  • Austin Davis

    Thank you very much for your comment Leo. Have a great day.

  • Ruud B.

    I’m fairly proficient in American English but I can’t hear a word of what you’re saying in your videos. This may be due to your Austin accent, whatever.
    It would be wonderful if you could provide your videos with a caption. I’d thank God for this even though I’m an atheist.

  • scotie

    Austin, your comments about the markings on the OE parts vs. the aftermarket parts “not having them pretty much voiding the OE warranty” is not accurate. The 1975 Magnusson-Moss Warranty act protects the car owner from the OE dealer voiding the warranty just because the car owner chooses an aftermarket part. Even within the OE warranty. The OE has to PROVE the part caused the related system to fail. In fact if the dealer insists the OE part needs to be used to keep the warranty valid they have to provide the part at NO cost to the car owner. I am in the aftermarket parts biz and I see the OE dealers try to do this all the time. when they are confronted with the facts (even though they usually already know it) they back down. Usually any aftermarket parts catalog ( esp serice parts like filters) have M-M warranty Act details in the info pages

    It may be a subject you can cover in a future video. lots of reliable info on the web about it.

    regards, Scott C.

  • Leo C.

    Excellent advice, after watching the video when to change the spark plugs in your car I was just about to ask you what if the spark plugs were newer. I have a 99 model but I changed the spark plugs to newer ones, but you answered me in the article. Very good advice Austin, I think that all your posts helps us to not get scammed by bad mechanics.