In CHICO, CA, the days when CHICO drivers changed their spark plugs every couple of years has
ended. Back in the day, spark plugs really did wear out that often. A couple of things are different
First, spark plugs are made of better materials that last longer for CHICO drivers and they're
designed better. The second reason spark plugs used to have to be changed in vehicles and other
autos was that they were fouled up with carbon deposits. The deposits built up when fuel wasn't
burned completely. With modern engine management controls that just doesn't happen as often.
Engine control computers precisely time when fuel is injected into the engine and when spark plugs
fire. Unless something's wrong, spark plugs just don't foul like they used to.
Electricity from the battery goes into a coil that allows power to build up to anywhere from 12,000 to
45,000 volts, depending on the vehicle. The engine management computer tells the coil when to
release the power to the spark plug. The electricity travels through a wire from the coil to the spark
plug. At the tip of the plug, a spark jumps between two electrodes and ignites the gas in the
Some engines have more than one coil. Coils wear out and need to be replaced occasionally.
Also, spark plug wires can wear out and need to be replaced.
Modern engines used around CHICO are delivering more power and better fuel economy all the
time. That's largely credited to fast engine control computers, advanced sensors, electronic ignition
and improvements to the lowly spark plug.
It'll be interesting to see where future developments take us. One last thought: it's to have the right
kind of spark plug for your vehicle. Because engines are designed to run with different internal
temperatures, spark plugs have different designs to work properly within those temperatures. Your
CHICO, CA, service advisor at D AND E AUTO REPAIR will be able to get the right plugs for your
vehicle. And he'll be able to advise you on when you should replace your spark plugs as well.
D AND E AUTO REPAIR
3328 D ESPLANADE
CHICO, CA 95973