Routine maintenance improves the performance, fuel economy, and extends the life of your Toyota, Lexus or Scion. An oft neglected maintenance item is the spark plug.
Responsible for the ignition of the fuel and air mixture inside the combustion chamber, the spark plug is a precision instrument fired in perfect time with the engine (down the the millisecond), hundreds of millions of time over its life. Advancements in construction and materials have allowed the lifespan of the spark plug to lengthen dramatically – in most cases to 120,000 miles. This has reduced overall maintenance costs in the long run for the owner, but not eliminated the need to change them entirely.
In the long run spark plug failure will lead to poor combustion and misfiring, a condition that occurs when the air and fuel mixture fails to ignite. A conventional engine sputters and hesitates in response while I hybrid vehicle can fail entirely. To preserve critical engine components and catalytic converters the check engine/warning light will blink in response to heavy misfiring.
Pictured is a spark plug from a 2005 Prius with over 150,000 miles. While running well at the time, the corrosion and general condition of the electrode necessitated replacement. Had this plug failed, the owner would risk being stranded as the hybrid system failed to start the engine when commanded and shut down the drivetrain.
We at CARspec recommend all Toyota, Lexus and Scion owners replace their spark plugs at the appointed mileage to avoid any misfire or poor running conditions, and stock all the needed OEM spark plugs to provide this service to our guests.