Do All Cars Have Spark Plugs? [Here Is Why]

Not all cars have spark plugs. They are found in gasoline engines, while glow plugs are mainly found in diesel engines.

While they are both the main engines’ main igniters, they have key differences in the type of fuel that they are igniting.

This article aims to explain why not all cars have spark plugs and how they differ from their counterpart, glow plugs?

Difference Of A Glow And Spark Plug

YouTube video

The video starts with the speaker stating huge differences between a spark plug and a glow plugin engine.

A spark plug is mainly used in gasoline engines. Anything that runs with a gas engine has a spark plug inside

A spark plug is activated at all times whenever you drive your car. On the other hand, the glow plug is only used for the ignition process.

The glow plug got its name by passing an electric current towards its tip so that it gets hot and lights up. 

Generally, spark plugs are mostly found in gasoline engines because they rely less on compression and combustion than diesel engines.

The insides of the engine get hotter as glow plugs get activated. 

A glow plug activates when the car is at the right temperature to work. It turns on when the ambient temperature is too cold for the car to start.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I replace my spark plugs?

Spark plugs are usually built to last many years. However, drivers tend to instruct you to change your spark plug every 30,000 miles to assure that it is always in top shape.

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Why use a glow plug for ignition?

The heating element at the tip of the glow plugs gets hotter and, in effect, helps the electric current pass through it much better.

Glow plugs have always been used to help with the cold starts of a diesel engine. 

Generally, the hot surface of the glow plugs heats everything surrounding it.

This makes the evaporation process speed up and assists in lighting up the surrounding fuel-air mixture when the car starts in an area with low temperatures.

When placing a glow plug, you should never forget that it should be where the fuel-air mixtures form for maximum efficiency.

Place it properly to sufficiently sustain the engine’s chemical reactions to help it startup better.

What happens to a spark plug when it gets old?

When a spark plug gets old, it is a given that it has been through a lot of mileage. They have spent hundreds of thousands of miles before under immense pressure and constantly changing weather. 

Usually, spark plugs are built with very durable materials, but as everything is, they wear and tear eventually, and you would have to change it.

Spark plug deposits can build-up to the point where they can not function properly.

If your car has a spark plug with a pretty sizeable deposit, it could lead to the pre-ignition of your diesel fuel. This condition is problematic as it could give you an unreliable energy source for your engine. 

As a spark plug ages, the spark plug’s gap to jump to function properly widens. It has to travel a specific distance to achieve the right amount of combustion at the right time.

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Through time this gap widens, and it gets harder for your spark plug to reach the right level so you might get inconsistent ignitions from time to time. 

If you have any of these problems regarding your spark plug, it may be wise to get it replaced immediately before an accident occurs.

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