How to Repair Your MINI’s Spark Plug in Santa Barbara
19 Oct, 19
MINIs put the fun into driving without compromising on quality or performance. They’re reliable small cars that, with the correct care, seldom let their drivers down. However, without proper maintenance practices, your MINI will start to fail. One of the most common problems drivers discover is failing or faulty spark plugs. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the common signs and symptoms of failure, how you can diagnose the issue, and where to seek repairs.
Signs and Symptoms of Failure
Spark plug issues will cause many undesirable signs and symptoms to appear when you drive. Should any of the issues below occur, you should seek repairs and diagnostic work as soon as possible.
1. Starting Issues and Misfires
Spark plugs help your engine to start by creating the spark that ignites the fuel. If your spark plugs are performing unreliably, then your MINI is likely to become much more of a struggle to start. This issue is called ignition misfire, and it occurs when the fuel in the engine isn’t able to be ignited. If the issue progresses, then your engine will misfire more frequently until eventually it won’t start at all.
2. Rough Idling
The combustion process happens in a constant cycle, meaning that if your spark plugs are on the fritz, ignition could be difficult throughout your drive. This results in rough running, which is characterized by juddering or excessive noise that is particularly noticeable when idling.
3. Sluggish Acceleration
With failing spark plugs, your MINI is also likely to become sluggish when accelerating, as the fuel isn’t able to ignite correctly to give that “oomph” of power needed for acceleration to feel swift and punchy.
4. Poor Gas Mileage
Your MINI’s fuel economy will also decrease, as the engine is not able to work at peak levels, meaning higher rates of fuel use and fuel wastage. This will reduce how far you can travel on a tank of gas.
5. Butterfly Effect
Spark plug failure rarely stays limited to the spark plugs. Because they are such interconnected parts, when they develop a fault, spark plugs can also cause connected systems to fail. One such part that commonly fails when the spark plugs do is the ignition coil.
Troubleshooting your Spark Plugs
If you’re a MINI enthusiast, or you just love to tinker with your motor, then you can diagnose the cause of your spark plug failure at home. Studying the condition of your spark plugs can provide a wealth of information about the overall health of your MINI. Therefore, learning to decipher what little imperfections or conditions of your spark plugs mean can be a great diagnostic tool. Listed below are some of the most common things you can learn through studying the state of your spark plugs:
Dirt or grime on the plugs
This means that while your spark plugs are still healthy, they are starting to show their age and will need servicing or replacement soon.
Glossy Spark Plugs
Spark plugs that have a glossy appearance usually are subject to an overheating engine.
White Spark Plugs
Spark plugs that are white have been overheated and will need to be replaced.
Oily Spark Plugs
Spark plugs contaminated with oil is a clear sign of an oil leak within your vehicle, and you’ll need to undertake further work to locate the leak before more damage is caused.
Repairing your Spark Plugs
An experienced MINI enthusiast will be able to replace spark plugs at home, as overall, it is a fairly simple task. However, it is important to remember that the spark plugs connect directly to your engine, and if faulty, they can impact greatly upon your engine’s overall health. Therefore, if you have any doubt about your ability to properly replace your spark plugs, it is best to seek professional repairs. Taking your MINI in for professional repair work is also beneficial to your car, as many shops will give your vehicle a thorough inspection as part of their care package.
Residents of Santa Barbara, CA should head to Santa Barbara Autowerks for all servicing, maintenance, and repair needs. Many of the parts we use in repairs come with a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty as guarantee, meaning that you can drive away happy and with complete peace of mind.