BMWs are known for quality, well-designed, German-engineered systems all wrapped up in a gorgeous, luxury exterior. However, these intelligent systems can be let down both by poor driver habits and low maintenance standard, as well as just simply time and use.
In this article, we will take a closer look at your BMW’s spark plugs, find out what they do, the signs that they may be failing, and discuss how you should repair and maintain them.
Spark plugs are found inside your engines fuel tank and are essential for the combustion process. It is the chief role of the spark plugs to ignite (by making a spark) the air/fuel mixture that enters the engine, thus providing the energy needed for propulsion.
Signs of Failure
While some of these common symptoms of spark plug issues may seem minor, it is important that they are not ignored, as minor problems can often become major problems, unexpectedly leaving your BMW requiring both expensive and extensive mechanical repairs.
- 1. Rough Idle - Few drivers actually realise that the combustion process runs in a continuous cycle with ignition of fuel happening regularly as you operate your BMW. Therefore, when the spark plugs are not working efficiently, you can find your car idling rough. Judders and jolts as well as loud noises from the engine when idling are often signs that somewhere in the chain, the combustion process has become difficult. While this rough idle can be down to other issues in the engine, you should definitely rule out your spark plugs first. This is both easy to diagnose and cost-effective.
- 2. Difficulty Starting Your Car - If your car takes a few tries to get going, it is likely your spark plugs are not producing enough of a spark to ignite the air/fuel mixture, if at all. As they are an electrical component, faulty spark plugs can also create a drain on the vehicles’ battery, meaning in short, your BMW is going nowhere fast.
- 3. Misfiring Engine - If your spark plugs aren’t working correctly, you’ll probably also notice that your engine misfires far more often than usual, due to the incorrect ignition of fuel. This type of misfire is known as an ignition misfire. If severe enough, this can cause your check engine light to illuminate, signaling the need for repairs.
- 4. Engine Surging - When your spark plugs are working inefficiently, so is your engine as a whole. The onboard computer may try to help the engine to cope with the spark plug failure by encouraging it to suck in more air to aid combustion. However, this can cause engine surges and engine hesitation, making your car a danger to not only you but the other drivers and pedestrians around you.
- 5. Fuel Consumption - Similar to the onboard computer trying to give the engine more air, it may also try to address or compensate the failure by giving the engine more fuel that necessary. This will result in high fuel consumption, often caused by incomplete combustion. This can make your BMW very expensive to run, but can be resolved by a simple spark plug change.
- 6. Poor Acceleration - Luxury cars are known for their speedy, punchy acceleration, which is part of what adds the thrill to your driving experience. However, acceleration that feels strained or slow is often a sign of spark plug issue, as the engine is not able to give the vehicle the surge of power needed for strong acceleration.
Where to Go for Help with Spark Plug Issues in BMWs
Spark plugs are a relatively cheap part. When failing, they can cause a large, expensive amount of damage to an engine. While mechanically-savvy BMW owners can probably replace their vehicle's spark plugs, for true peace of mind, it is always best to seek the services of a professional mechanic who is trained to service BMW models.
If you live in or around Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and South Bay, CA, and want to give your BMW professional, high-quality servicing, then look no further than Import Motorworx. We specializing in European cars and offer an impressive 2 year/24,000 mile warranty as well as $40 off labour on work that costs over $500, meaning you get the best of both worlds with specialized technicians at rock-bottom prices.