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What Happens If A Single Spark Plug Goes Down In A Multi-Cylinder Engine?

Do you know why a spark plug is used in the car? Well, despite being the car owner, there is not much knowledge about the presence and functioning of the spark plugs. Isn’t it?

This is not just the case with you but most of the people don’t know the reason and functioning of the spark plug in the car. And most certainly this is the reason why they make very common mistakes related to their car’s performance due to the degraded functioning of the spark plug.

The very common issue that most of the car drivers face is that they are not aware of what should be done when the single spark plug unexpectedly goes down in a multi-cylinder engine. If you too are facing the same issue and have the same concern then here is some fruitful information for you in the same context.

What Are Spark Plugs And What Is Its Need?

As the name suggests, spark plugs are used for generating sparks in the car’s engine at the right time. To be precise, spark plugs are used for burning fuel inside the engine’s cylinder. A high-voltage is used for this process, generally, 22,000V and the process is completed using the help of the ignition system.

The supplied high voltage is used to produce a spark and then used to help the fuel to ignite successfully in the car’s engine. In short, if you have any troubles in the spark plugs then your car may not be able to deliver the desired performance.

Car spark plug
Car spark plug.

 

The other thing that should be kept in mind is the fact that spark plugs are only used in fuel engines and not the diesel ones. Also for the effective functioning of your car, it is necessary that you replace the spark plug after the desired time.

What Will Happen If A Single Spark Plug Goes Down Unexpectedly In A Multi-Cylinder Engine?

If you fail to replace the spark plug of your car after the required time, then the spark plug can go down resulting in the degraded car’s performance. Thus, you should be aware of what can be done in such situations as the best solutions.

Here are some things that can happen to the car:

1. Contaminated Catalytic Converter

The first thing that can happen to the car is the contamination of its catalytic converter. Despite having a non-functioning spark plug, if you continue to drive, the fuel pumping through the non-firing cylinder will contaminate the catalytic converter.
The extreme condition of this scenario can also result in overheating of the converter and then eventually followed by melting. This can also block the exhaust system of the car. If the situation gets worse, your car can catch a fire and then result in a full-blown fire in the vehicle.

2. Decreased Speed Limit

One major effect that the non-functioning of one of the spark plug causes is the decrease in the car’s speed limit. As the unexpected failure of any one of the spark plug will increase the load on the remaining spark plugs. The remaining spark plugs now have to put in more efforts for pulling the car, which causes a decrease in the car’s speed. You may have to drive in slowly in this case and in extreme case, sometimes really slow.

 

 

 Spark Plugs
Reduce speed.

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3. Degraded Car’s Performance

This is quite an obvious effect that you can face when the spark plug goes down. As the car’s engine and other spark plugs have to struggle a little harder to pull the vehicle and maintain its functioning, their performance will certainly degrade.

The driving will get rough instead of being smooth. Though you can still drive back home with the failed spark plug but it is advised not to do so as it will further degrade the car’s performance.

 Spark Plugs
Car engine.

4. Noise

In some of the cars, the downfall or the non-functioning of the spark plug creates some bearable noises. The noises are caused due to the air passing by the non-functioning cylinder inside the car. The noises can also be accompanied by some vibrations, which can continue for some time.

Spark plug
Noise from engine.

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The best solution at this time is to get to the nearest repair shop and get a new spark plug right in its necessary place.

In some cases, the unburnt fuel can get mixed in the oil and can flood the engine. This will also cause the engine degraded performance along with the other related troubles. Thus, you must get the spark plug replaced as soon as you find it down in its functioning. This will not only save your car from facing some serious issues but will also reduce the maintenance of the car.

3 Comments
  1. Sebanho sulubenho says

    Thanks for ur inf.

  2. Isaac says

    How do you know that your plugs has stopped functioning?

  3. Kamal Sergill says

    Excellent article. I do have a problem with my 1991 Nissan Sunny. It stops while driving. Been doing that every now and then. The cable from the battery to the alternator was loose. I put in a new but and bolt. Hope the problem won’t repeat.

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