Minis are cars that are reliable, hardworking, and ideal for day-to-day life. They are fun and engaging with an exciting history full of pop culture. Minis have captivated drivers for decades and offer a compact yet functional choice of vehicle that will rarely let you down. However, without the correct maintenance standards, and with time and use, even the most reliable car can begin to fail. When it comes to the engine, one of the most likely parts to fail without the correct servicing and maintenance are the spark plugs.
In this article, we will explore the purpose of spark plugs and some of the signs and symptoms of worn out plugs that need replacing.
Spark plugs look quite similar to lightbulbs without the bulb. Spark plugs live inside your Mini’s engine inside the fuel tank. These hard working parts are essential for stroke three of the four-stroke ignition cycle, which all engines use. Stroke three is the combustion stroke. It is when the spark plugs ignite the air/fuel mixture in the engine by creating a spark. The ignition of the fuel releases the energy needed to drive the craft shaft and produces motion.
Spark plug failure symptoms may seem minor at first but should not be ignored. If they fail entirely, your engine simply won’t start and you’ll be going nowhere fast. Listed below are some of the most common symptoms of worn-out spark plugs:
As previously mentioned, the combustion process runs in a continuous cycle with the spark plugs constantly igniting fresh fuel as it enters the engine. Therefore, if the spark plugs are failing, this cycle will become a bit trickier resulting in idling that feels rough. Juddering and jolting when idle, along with loud engine sounds, are all signs that somewhere in the cycle, the combustion process is struggling. This can also be caused by a variety of other engine issues, but the most likely is usually the spark plugs. They should be ruled out first.
If your Mini becomes tricky to get started, it is likely your spark plugs are failing, as they are unable to create a large enough spark to begin the combustion cycle. It is also worth noting that as they are an electrical component, when they begin to fail, they can also be quite a drain on the battery. Your car could be going nowhere fast.
As mentioned previously, when spark plugs are on the fritz, it is likely that the rate of misfires you experience will increase, as the plugs are unable to produce the sparks needed for the correct ignition of fuel. If this happens frequently, it is likely that your car’s computer will illuminate the check engine light to signal the need for repairs.
As the engine relies on all its related parts working in perfect synchronization to work at optimum levels, without your spark plugs working correctly, your engine will start to become inefficient. The onboard computer may try to compensate for this inefficiency by encouraging the engine to suck in more air to help increase the flammability of the fuel. However, this comes at a cost. It can cause your engine to surge or hesitate, making your Mini become dangerous.
It is likely your fuel consumption will increase and your fuel efficiency will decrease, since your engine is working inefficiently when the spark plugs fail.
Slow acceleration is also a sign that your engine is not able to give the correct surge of power needed for a smooth increase. This can also be a sign of spark plug failure.
Your spark plugs should ideally be serviced yearly as part of good maintenance practices. Luckily, if you’re a Mini driver living in or around Green Bay, Manitowoc, and Sturgeon Bay, WI, Dell’s Service Center is on hand to help. Specialists in European cars, and with a 5-star rating from over 200 customers, you can rest easy knowing your Mini is in the safest hands around.