Cold Weather and Your Spark Plugs

Cold Weather and Your Spark Plugs - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Experts

Every type of car under the sun depends on heat and combustion to stay moving, even if the sun doesn’t seem to show up! In the cold of winter, many key components are working extra hard to do their job, and your spark plugs are no exception. Here are some things to consider.

Why They’re Affected

Each spark plug in your engine is responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture in its respective combustion chamber, forcing the cylinder to rotate its corresponding crankshaft. This is the motion that keeps your vehicle moving, but it’s also the exchange of heat that keep the combustion chamber the right temperature. Everything in this system is about balance in heat, energy, and movement. When in the grip of plummeting winter temperatures, spark plugs that are in poor condition can’t do their job properly. For successful ignition events to occur, a narrow list of parameters must be met, and damaged spark plugs just can’t compensate for the cold weather. This can leave you stranded.

Warning Signs

One of the key red flags to look out for when it comes to winter spark plug health is how smoothly you’re able to start your BMW. A rough or failed start can be indicative of many different things, such as a compromised battery, but if you haven’t replaced your plugs in preparation for winter, there’s a decent chance that this is the culprit. Poor spark plug health can take a toll on your fuel efficiency and increase your emissions, as it contributes significantly to overall poor performance, particularly during winter when your BMW’s engine is under other simultaneous forms of stress.

Preventing Problems

Drivers who don’t replace their spark plugs often enough will typically rush to replace them during winter at the last minute, as this is when they tend to fail most often. However, it’s not as though winter weather is some unstoppable force that will inevitably lead to the death of this or any other car part. Issues arise only if you’ve fallen behind on routine maintenance. Always follow the recommendations of a local BMW-certified technician when it comes to the frequency of spark plug replacement so that you can go into winter without worrying about it!

Do your spark plugs need replacing? It’s best to do it right away before these winter temperatures really take a dive and make things worse. Give Motorwerkes a call at (403) 453-0269, and it will be our pleasure to take care of this and any other maintenance essential!