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Spark Plug Replacement Cost (When To Replace)

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Spark plugs ignite the fuel and air mixture that move the pistons, getting your engine going.

Basically, they provide the spark needed to get and keep you on the road.

Spark plugs are clearly vital components of your engine.

With bad spark plugs, you could find yourself with a car engine that refuses to turn over.

This is why it’s important to replace spark plugs before they completely wear out.

We’ll review the cost of replacing your spark plugs and help you better understand when they need to be replaced. 

Estimated Cost to Replace Your Car’s Spark Plugs

The cost of replacing your spark plugs will depend largely on what kind of spark plugs your car uses and how many you need to replace (one per cylinder you have).

In general, you can expect to pay about $100 to $200 to replace your spark plugs. 

The spark plugs themselves tend to be relatively inexpensive.

Here’s what you might pay per spark plug, depending on the type you need.

On average, you’ll pay about $10  per spark plug.

Copper plugs will be on the lower end, while platinum and iridium plugs will be a little more expensive.

While replacing spark plugs isn’t generally very complicated, labor will take up a big chunk of the total price. This is mostly because the parts aren’t very expensive. 

How Often Should Spark Plugs Be Changed

This depends largely on your car and the type of spark plugs it uses.

Your owner’s manual is the best resource when trying to figure out when you might need to replace your spark plugs.

The old standard for replacing spark plugs was 30,000 miles.

However, with technological and manufacturing advances, spark plugs can last much longer.

Modern spark plugs tend to last around 50,000 miles, with some built to last around 100,000 miles. 

Signs that Your Spark Plugs Need to Be Replaced

With spark plugs being such vital parts to your car’s engine, it’s important to pay attention to signs that your spark plugs might be nearing the end of their lives.

Some signs that your spark plugs might need to be replaced include:

  • A sudden decrease in fuel efficiency. 
  • Engine struggling to turn over. 
  • Rough idling.
  • Sluggish acceleration.

What happens if you don’t change bad spark plugs?

As with practically any problem with your car, ignoring bad spark plugs by not changing them can lead to even more problems that will be much more costly.

First, let’s consider that bad spark plugs often result in higher fuel consumption. That means you’re paying for more gas, and let’s face it, when was the last time you were happy with gas prices? You probably want to go as far as you can on every gallon of gas.

Second, running your car on bad spark plugs could lead to damaging misfiring.

It could also wreak havoc on your car’s catalytic converter. These are damages you don’t want to have to face and pay for. 

If you see signs that your car’s spark plugs are bad, be sure to get them checked and changed if necessary.

Keep in mind that the cost for spark plug replacement is relatively low, especially compared to repairs you might have to deal with if you don’t get them replaced. 

If you keep up with your car’s regular service intervals, you’ll easily stay on top of spark plug maintenance.