What Causes a Spark Plug to Break Down?

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A spark plug is a device in your car that ignites the gas in the combustion chamber. The heat from this ignition causes an explosion, which moves the piston and turns your engine. A broken spark plug can lead to various issues with your vehicle including poor performance, increased fuel consumption, and even engine failure.

The main reason for wear and tear on spark plugs, causing them to break down, is due to their high-temperature environment. The metal alloys used are usually copper because it has better thermal conductivity than other metals, which helps dissipate heat more evenly. This allows the spark plug to operate at much higher temperatures without breaking down as quickly as other metals that would become brittle and crack with this type of use.

Main Causes a Spark Plug to Break Down

When we install the spark plug, it could break for any number of reasons. Sometimes many causes lead to a broken-down engine and sometimes just one can be enough to cause an issue with your car! So let’s find out what may have caused yours today.

Improper torque

Yet 90% of spark plug damage claims are due to improper installation. Not using a torque wrench when installing plugs can lead to over-torquing or under-torque, which will cause damage to both the engine and sometimes even worse – your car’s electrical system.

Harsh fuels

Diesel fuel is very toxic and damaging to the body. When it enters your car’s engine, there are many negative side effects that can occur such as corrosion around spark plugs due to electric currents leaking from broken wires in vehicles with older engines caused by moisture getting into electrical grounds which will cause short-circuits or even fires that lead to break spark plugs.

Not proper gapped

You should always choose your spark plugs very carefully because they are the most important part of any engine. If you don’t have them, then there’s no way for an engine to work properly and produce its full power potential. That means breaking ones will happen much more often than not if their gaps aren’t closed or heat ranges match up correctly with each other etc.- which leads a spark plug to break.

Engine overheating

If your engine overheats or has problems with timing, it may be caused by a faulty spark plug. The EGR valve and incorrect combustion chamber pressure could also be factors in these situations.

Expired service life

How long should spark plugs last? Most have a factory service interval of 100,000 miles but some may be as much as 120. Long-life platinum and iridium ones will typically go at least that far provided the engine isn’t using oil or if you spend lots of time idling then they could break down by themselves sooner than expected since this would happen with any type except those intended mainly for racing cars where durability is key (and even these don’t really live all that long).

Less care to handle

Make sure to handle the spark plug with care. If you don’t, it may fall down and break in half.

How to prevent spark plug to break

The reason for breaking the spark plug has already been mentioned. To prevent this situation from happening, please follow these steps before you start your engine or drive your car.

  • First, find the gap between the ground electrode and the center electrode. The gap should be between 0.020 and 0.040 inches wide for optimum performance to make sure there’s no contact between both electrodes.
  • To avoid this problem in the future make sure to use quality fuel and change your oil regularly at recommended Shell Rotella.
  • The best thing you can do for your vehicle is always follow manufacturer recommendations when changing fluids like oil and transmission fluid which will help keep them running smoothly longer while also preventing any corrosion.
  • Make sure that there are no cracks on its ceramic insulator or porcelain body. If any of those conditions happen during driving then it will break down and cause misfires.
  • Last but not least preventing a broken spark plug is to check your air filter regularly. A clogged air filter restricts airflow through the engine which can cause an increase in pressure that breaks the spark plugs.

How to Remove a Broken Spark Plug

If you suspect your car has a broken or missing spark plug, don’t hesitate to get it fixed immediately. How do I remove my broken spark plug? It’s actually not too difficult if you have some basic knowledge about cars. You will need:

  • A safe working environment
  • An extension bar
  • Spark Plug socket wrench
  • Gasket remover (optional)
  • New replacement spark plug (necessary)

Make sure the engine is cool before removing it. Put some penetrating oil on one of its parts and wait for about five minutes until it’s worked its way through all layers to reach metal fasteners holding everything together – then tap away.

While braced against something sturdy with both hands firmly gripping an appropriately sized easy out, turn your socket bar counterclockwise until there are no more teeth visible in front or back (3).

Now remove any remaining pieces using just as much force but turning left instead- which will pull them right off without damaging anything else around here either.

Related: What Causes Spark Plugs To Go Bad Fast? & Its Sign


What happens if your spark plugs break?

Failing spark plugs can cause the car engine to misfire and thus affect its performance. If this occurs during a race, it’s likely you’ll lose power as well. Incomplete combustion also causes damage which may result in expensive repairs for your catalytic converter or even worse.

Can you drive with a broken spark plug?

It’s always best to get your spark plugs checked out before they break, but if you notice any of these symptoms it might be time for an engine tune-up. Continually driving on worn or damaged spark plugs can eventually lead to damage that causes problems with performance and efficiency in your vehicle.

How much does it cost to take out a broken spark plug?

The cost to replace your spark plugs is very affordable. You can expect to pay between $16-$100, while the mechanic will take about an hour for you if need be.

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