4 Common Causes of Fouled Spark Plugs

Fouled spark plugs can cause a lot of problems in your car. Symptoms include poor mileage, poor acceleration and engine stalling or not starting at all. Read on to learn about a few possible causes of fouled spark plugs.

1. Bad Piston Rings or Cylinder Walls

This will allow excessive oil to enter the combustion chamber and short circuit the spark plug. Check your plugs for any signs of built-up oil, especially if your engine has a lot of miles under its belt.

2. Bad Fuel Injection and Air/Fuel Mixture

If the spark plugs have black, dry carbon deposits on them it is most likely a problem with the air/fuel mixture. This can be caused by a bad distributor, bad ignition wires, weak voltage or a clogged air filter. You should also check that the fuel injectors are working properly.

3. Delayed Regular Tune-ups

Just like any operating machinery, a car requires regular tune-ups in order to perform at its optimum. Long delayed tune-ups can cause sparks to be splash or ash fouled because of accumulating deposits. These deposits will change the normal working temperatures of a spark plug and cause misfires or short circuits.

4. Using the Wrong Type of Fuel

Every car manufacturer recommends a certain type of fuel to be used with their car. This is because using the wrong octane rating gasoline can cause abnormal combustion which can lead to a multiple array of problems. Extreme pressure on the engine can cause spark plug detonation by breaking their insulator which is much worse than simply having fouled spark plugs.