Do Wrong Spark Plugs Damage Car Engine? What are the Symptoms?

Do wrong spark plugs damage car engine? The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem. This article will discuss what a spark plug does and how it helps your engine to run properly, and also the potential consequences of using the wrong type of spark plug.

Table of Contents

Can wrong spark plug damage engine

It is possible that incorrect spark plugs can damage the engine of the car. For example, using an inductive spark plug with a resistance-type ignition system will cause misfiring and poor performance. The result is a loss of power and the car may stall.

Spark plugs need to be matched with their proper ignition system, which means you want a plug that has the same type as your original spark plug.

Most people assume that only old or damaged plugs can cause problems. However, even new spark plugs from well-known brands can be wrong for your vehicle. For example, the spark plugs in your car may have a different plug gap than what is recommended for your engine.

This difference in size can cause the plug to arc and spark, which may lead to misfiring or poor acceleration.

What are the symptoms of a bad spark plug?

The symptoms of a bad spark plug typically are misfiring or poor performance . This is because the car will be losing power and it may stall. If you continue driving like this, your engine will most likely become damaged!

Another symptom of a bad spark plug is the engine may run roughly when you first start it. This can also lead to poor acceleration and loss of power.

Another sign that your car’s spark plugs need replacing is if they’re blackened, which might mean excessive fuel or oil leaking into them. These leaks will cause carbon deposits on the plugs. Carbon deposits will also be seen on the electrodes of a spark plug in which excessive fuel or oil has been leaking into it.

Why does it matter how old my spark plugs are?

It’s important to know how old your spark plugs are because they can lead to issues with fuel economy, performance, and power. Spark plug wires shield the spark from electrical interference . Newer-model vehicles have their spark plugs in a central position under the hood due to space efficiency. However, some cars complicate this by having various configurations of wiring made necessary by other components being housed there. As plugs age, they build up carbon buildup which will cause a loss of efficiency over time.

How often should you replace spark plugs?

Spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for gas-powered vehicles and 24 months for diesel-powered vehicles. Check your owner’s manual as this may vary depending on the model of your vehicle.

How tight should spark plugs be tightened?

You’ve got to be careful with your spark plugs! You need just enough torque so that the gasket reaches and is seated at the cylinder head. Then, go ahead and tighten it an extra ½ or ⅔ turn more using a socket wrench of some type.

Can bad spark plugs cause transmission problems?

I would have to say that the bad spark plugs could cause transmission problems. It is possible that the wrong spark plugs could cause a major malfunction to the entire car engine, which would lead to transmission problems that may require a car repair.

However, the good spark plugs will not cause any serious transmission problems at all and would be more likely to just make your engine run smoother or have an easier time getting up hills because they are designed for that specific purpose. So I would say that using the wrong type of spark plug might damage a car’s transmission.

What does a white spark plug indicate?

A white spark plug indicates that the car engine is running very rich. This can be caused by one of two things: either it’s because there is too much fuel or not enough air in your engine. If you have a vacuum leak in your engine (caused by some other problem with the car), it can cause too much air to enter and not enough fuel, which will make your plugs white.

If you have an exhaust gas recirculation system installed, this may be causing your spark plugs to turn white. The recirculation system captures a percentage of the exhaust gases from your engine, mixes them with air, and feeds it back into the cylinders to create more efficient combustion. If this is happening in your car, then you should have one or two plugs that are turning white because they aren’t getting enough oxygen for their fuel mixture.

What does a good spark plug spark look like?

In order to know what does a good spark plug spark looks like, you want to remove the spark plug and the first thing you are going to look at is the end of the spark plug at the terminal nut and make sure it’s not rusty. If it is resty, you could always sand it down, because rust could create a bad connection that could cause you a misfire.

The next thing to look at Is the ceramic insulator. You can see that the ceramic insulator runs the entire length of the spark plug and insulating the center electrode from the ground electrode so that it sparks right at the end.

If you get a crack in this ceramic material, the spark could jump between those electrodes, so it won’t ignite the fuel and you’ll get a misfire.

If the ceramic is broken or cracked, you just can not fix this, and you will have to replace the spark plugs.

The next thing that you want to inspect is the ceramic right at the tip and make sure there are no chips or cracks.

Next, we want to inspect for deposits on the electrode that would prevent the spark from sparking and it could cause a misfire. If you try to clean off some of those deposits there is a risk of damaging the platinum electrode so you’re better off replacing the plug with a new one.

You also want to inspect those electrodes and make sure they’re not wearing away. If one of the electrodes eroding away, this is typically the reason why your spark plugs have to get changed because of the erosion.

Make sure the gap between the electrode is fine, compared to an old spark plug where you could see the gap is much wider compared to a new one.

And one other thing I want to mention to you is the brown staining right around the edge of the ceramic. Do not worry about it. If you see that that has no effect on the condition of the spark plug.


Can a wrong spark plug damage the engine? The answer is It’s possible that an incorrect spark plug could cause engine damage, which would force you into paying for another expensive visit to your local mechanics.

Your car manual will tell you what type of plugs fit your particular engine. Follow this advice when buying new ones and always check if they are compatible before installing them.  

If anything seems off about a replacement plug, don’t use it.

I hope this article helped you to understand the difference between good and bad spark plugs, which will help in understanding how they can affect your car.