If you’ve owned a car for more than a few years, you’re probably familiar with the “Check Engine” light and its tendency to come on at inopportune times. Bad gas, dirty filters, and clogged catalytic converters are common causes of check engine lights. However, many drivers don’t realize that poor-quality spark plugs are also responsible for these alerts. If your vehicle uses an automatic transmission, it could be an issue when the transmission fails due to a bad spark plug. How can a faulty spark plug cause problems for your automatic transmission? The answer starts with friction: Most driving requires wheels to spin freely, which requires minimal friction between them (and as such doesn’t require much lubrication). Automatic transmissions and their limited ability to spin the drive shafts quickly place greater demands on the system by requiring even more friction between each gear. This is where sparks from dirty or faulty spark plugs can cause problems.
Can Bad Spark Plugs Cause Transmission Problems?
Yes, bad spark plugs can indeed cause transmission problems. If your spark plugs are worn-out or have become fouled with deposits, this can lead to improper combustion in the engine cylinders and result in a loss of power that is transferred to the transmission system. In other words, if your vehicle is not getting enough power from the engine, it may be harder for the transmission to shift gears smoothly and reliably.
Why You Should Change Spark Plugs Regularly?
- Changing your spark plugs regularly is important for two key reasons. First, it helps to keep the engine running at optimum efficiency. Spark plugs help ignite the fuel-air mixture inside the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine. When these are old or worn out, they can cause misfires and poor fuel economy which reduce performance and increase emissions. Secondly, regularly changing your spark plugs ensures that they are in good condition which reduces the risk of engine damage due to faulty sparks. Old or worn-out spark plugs can cause excessive heat and pressure inside the engine, leading to potential problems such as premature cylinder wear or cracking of components.
- Replacing your spark plugs is a relatively straightforward process, but it is best left to a professional mechanic. This ensures that the job is done properly and quickly, and also helps prevent any errors which could result in damage to the engine. The frequency with which you should change your spark plugs depends on your vehicle model, as well as its age and usage patterns. Generally speaking, most vehicles require new spark plugs every 30,000 miles or so.
- Regularly changing your spark plugs can help keep your vehicle running in top condition and prevent any potential engine problems. It’s a small but important part of keeping your car in good shape, and it will save you money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs due to faulty spark plugs. Be sure to check your vehicle’s manual for the correct spark plug replacement interval, and have a professional mechanic do the job for you.
- Keeping your spark plugs in good condition is essential for the health of your engine, and it should be part of a regular maintenance routine. Regularly changing your spark plugs will help ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently, saving you time, money, and hassle in the long run.
- If you want to keep your vehicle running at peak performance, then it’s important to remember that regularly changing your spark plugs is a must. This simple yet essential task will help you maintain the health of your engine and avoid costly repairs down the line. So make sure to check your owner’s manual for your car’s recommended replacement interval, and always have a professional mechanic do the job. With routine spark plug maintenance, you can keep your vehicle running in top condition for years to come.
Causes Of Automatic Transmission Problems?
1. Low Fluid Levels:
One of the most common causes of automatic transmission problems is low fluid levels. This can lead to several issues, such as slipping gears, hard shifting, and delayed engagement.
2. Leaking Fluid:
Another common cause of automatic transmission problems is leaking fluid. This can lead to a decrease in the overall performance of the transmission, as well as an increase in operating temperatures which can cause serious damage to the transmission components.
3. Clogged Filters:
Clogged filters are another common cause of automatic transmission problems. When the filters become clogged, they can prevent the proper flow of fluid through the system and this can lead to poor performance and even complete failure of the transmission system.
4. Worn-Out Parts:
Worn-out parts are also a common cause of automatic transmission problems. Worn-out parts such as clutches, bands, and seals can prevent proper operation and lead to premature failure of your vehicle’s transmission.
5. Poor Maintenance:
Finally, poor maintenance is another cause of automatic transmission problems. Without regular maintenance, your vehicle’s transmission can become clogged with dirt and debris, which can cause it to malfunction or even fail.
6. Electronic Malfunctions:
In some cases, automatic transmission problems can be caused by electronic malfunctions. This can cause the transmission to shift erratically or even fail, leading to serious damage and costly repair bills.
Overheating is another common cause of automatic transmission problems. When the transmission overheats, it can cause internal components to wear out prematurely and lead to a complete failure of the system.
8. Poorly Adjusted Linkages:
Poorly adjusted linkages can also lead to automatic transmission problems. If the linkages are not adjusted correctly, it can lead to improper shifting and cause the transmission to fail prematurely.
How To Check If The Spark Plug Is Faulty Or Just Dirty
1. Inspect The Spark Plug For Damage
Visually inspect the spark plug for cracks or chips in the porcelain covering or for signs of corrosion or rust. If there is any damage, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
2. Cleaning The Spark Plug
To clean a spark plug, first, use a wire brush to scrub away any debris and dirt. Then, use a spray cleaner to help break down any deposits. Allow the spark plug to dry completely before reinstalling it.
3. Testing The Spark Plug
To test a spark plug for functionality, you can use an ohmmeter or multimeter to measure the resistance of the plug. If the resistance is too low or high, it could be an indication that the plug needs to be replaced.
4. Checking The Spark Plug Gap
The gap between the electrodes of a spark plug is incredibly important and should be checked regularly. To check this, use a feeler gauge to measure the distance between the electrodes. If it’s not within the manufacturer’s specifications, it should be adjusted or replaced.
5. Replacing The Spark Plug
If a spark plug is damaged or not functioning correctly, it should be replaced with a new one. Before installing the new plug, make sure that it is the correct size and thread type for the application and check to ensure that the gap is set correctly.
If you are still having issues with your spark plug, it could be due to an issue in the ignition system. Check for problems such as a weak coil or faulty wiring, and make sure that the spark plug is connected properly.
7. Regular Maintenance
The best way to keep your spark plugs in good condition is by performing regular maintenance on them. Make sure to check the gap and inspect for damage or dirt buildup every few months, and replace any worn-out parts as needed. By doing this, you can help ensure that your engine runs smoothly and efficiently.
As you can see, bad spark plugs are a common reason for your check engine light. But they can also cause problems with your automatic transmission. If you notice that your transmission is not shifting as easy as it used to, or that it feels “greedy”, you should check your spark plugs to see if they are fouling. If they are, you can easily clean them and avoid an expensive transmission repair.