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Can Bad Spark Plugs Make Your Car not to Start?

Have you ever been in a situation where you try to start the engine but it goes dead after making one or two puff noises? 9 out of 10 times it happens when the ignition system malfunctions. Until the ignition system, especially spark plugs, consistently fires to pump up the fuel inside, no car has the ability to move.

Records even say a single bad spark plug can freeze the whole mechanism. But how can bad spark plugs make your car not start? Does the whole car mechanism really depend on sparkers that much?

Actually, it does! That’s why whenever a driver can’t start the engine, I would recommend checking the spark plugs first. He or she needs to know whether those plugs are in a good shape or not while going over.

How Spark Plugs Cause Your Car not to Start?

A spark plug is a key and final part of the ignition chain. Sedans to trucks can go a few hundred miles with a weaker coil or distributor. But with one or two damaged spark plugs? No!

Faulty sparkers make several odd behaviors to make driving difficult, and stop the engine in serious cases. Only some specific spark plug faults can be pointed as obstacles to engine start. Here are those in brief.

Misfiring or Low Firing Rate

The firing angle and rate depend on the firing pin above the core. Anyhow, if the pin melts down a bit and loses shape, it starts to misfire. Besides misfires, inconsistent firing can’t create a flame that helps the pistons move.

Electrode Corrosion

Electrodes being worn out is a common scenario for copper spark plug users. Other materials like iridium or nickel can also wallow after a few thousand miles of driving.

A pair of degraded electrodes can’t hold the electrons between their range. They create weak sparkles that are unable to create a flame in the combustion chamber resulting in an engine failure.


8 out of 10 times when plugs block engine starts is because of incompatibility with other ignition parts. Without creating a proper ignition chain, consistency and performance lack.

Buying sparkers without knowing their specs like core material, gap size, etc. can create this problem. Also, few models can stop being compatible with high-performance coils after aging.

Will a Car Start with Bad Spark Plugs?

Car engines rarely start with exhausted spark plugs, maybe one or two times, but don’t go well eventually.

Today or tomorrow, you have to think of solving this problem. There are only two options left for you when sparking plugs have become a headache.

  • Fixing or repairing the damaged plugs
  • Replacing with the best spark plugs for budget

Why is the Ignition System so Important?

The ignition system of an engine has 4 major components.

  • ignition coils,
  • wires,
  • distributors,
  • and finally, spark plugs.

The batteries flow current through the ignition coil to convert it to the higher voltage before transferring. The current travels through wires and distributors to the spark plugs to create sparkles for igniting the fuel inside the chamber.

The force and pressure created from the fuel ignition cause the piston of the engine to move up and down. This is a continuous process until the engine is turned off.

Somehow, if the whole process is distressed in any way either the engine stops or starts to misbehave. For this reason, the interdependency of the ignition system with all other parts of the engine is undeniable. Thus, the lack of proper ignition is a big fact behind engine malfunction.

Spark Plug Troubleshooting

What can you do when your car suddenly stops in the middle of nowhere where no mechanic can be found? And you know faulty spark plugs are the ones to blame? Well, you have to do something by yourself to make the car start. In that case, here are some tips.

  • Always try to carry torque wrenches with you so that you can open the plugs when needed. Small issues can be solved by reinstalling the spark plugs well.
  • When a spark plug is firing less, torque it more firmly so that the inside gap reduces and the air fuel mixture gets close to ignition. This trick can allow you to drive the car for a few kilometers.
  • Sometimes, polishing the firing pin and areas around with soft dry clothes can increase productivity.

Sum Up

You can never expect a car with bad spark plugs to run on the road. The combustion chamber becomes idle without any proper ignitions.

Some methods show how drivers can start a car without a sparking plug. Those are for emergency cases like when you are on a journey, and the vehicle suddenly stops. Never try to use those tricks consistently. It is better to replace fouled spark plugs with new ones as soon as you detect any unusual activities in the engine.

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