How Many Spark Plugs Does a Car Have ? | Wondering When to Change Spark Plugs?

If you are a car owner who loves to know everything about his vehicle engine down to the number spark plugs the car engine needs, you might have asked this question, “how many spark plugs does a car have”? In this article, the number of spark plugs for different types of cars will be explained.

Engine Size

The first thing that you should probably know is that the number of spark plugs that a car engine has or is supposed to have is usually dependent on the engine’s size. You can’t put so many spark plugs in a car engine that needs only a few spark plugs.

For a big engine, it might need many spark plugs for it to function effectively. If one of the required spark plugs is not found in the engine, the car will not function properly because a spark plug is needed if a car engine is to work as it should. 

How Many Spark Plugs Does a Car Have

Similarly, smaller car engines will need fewer spark plugs. You can’t compare the size of an engine of a small convertible to a large truck engine. Their engine sizes differ, and so does the number of spark plugs that they need. A smaller engine requires fewer spark plugs, while a larger engine requires more plugs.

Now, you should note that it is not the car engine itself that requires a spark plug. A car engine usually has cylinders. Each of these cylinders requires one spark plug each. Let’s say you have a four-cylinder car engine; each of the cylinders will need a spark plug.

Car Brand

Another factor that also influences the number of spark plugs that an engine should have is the car’s brand that you might be driving. If you are using an inexpensive car, you might not need many spark plugs to get your vehicle running. Quality spark plugs can be expensive, and that is why car manufacturers that produce cars try to make their vehicles affordable, which means building an engine that does not have too many cylinders. Multiple engine cylinders imply that you will purchase many spark plugs for each cylinder.

Car Model

The model of your car will also determine the number of spark plugs your engine will be using. Newer car models usually use few spark plugs while old car models produced probably in the eighties or nineties usually require more spark plugs than new car models.

Multiple Spark Plugs 

Did you know that some cars that are being produced require two spark plugs per engine? That means if you have a six-part engine cylinder, each cylinder will function on two spark plugs, each implying that you will have to purchase a total of twelve spark plugs, and this goes up depending on the type of car that is being used. Many high-end cars or expensive cars usually operate on engine cylinders that require multiple spark plugs for each of the cylinders. Inexpensive vehicles don’t need many spark plugs at all.

How Many Spark Plugs Does a Car Have

Also, what this also means for car owners who drive cars with engine cylinders that use multiple spark plugs is that they will have to spend more money purchasing more spark plugs. Instead of buying just four sparkplugs for a four-part engine, they will buy eight of it.

Combustion Technology 

Combustion Technology

When it comes to the number of spark plugs that your car engine cylinder needs to use, the combustion technology used in the engine will also determine the number of spark plugs the car engine needs. Different cars are made using different types of combustion technologies; they are not the same at all.

You should note that trucks or vehicles that do not operate on fuel or gasoline but instead use diesel or operate using diesel do not have spark plugs in their engines. If they don’t have spark plugs, what do they run on then? Well, in the place of spark plugs, they make use of fuel injectors instead. 

Replacing Your Spark Plugs

Your spark plugs are what is responsible for helping to power on your car or vehicle. Without your spark plugs, your vehicle will not even come on at all. Like any car component, your spark plugs will need to be replaced when they are due. One of your spark plugs might be causing problems for your car, but when you are replacing it, you should replace all the spark plugs in that engine cylinder. 

Instead of replacing just one spark plug, you should replace all of them because the other will also fail after some time, especially if they were purchased around the same time. If you fail to replace them simultaneously, they might fail you at the most unexpected time and place.

How Do You Know When Your Spark Plugs Should Be Replaced?

One of the sure ways to know when your spark plugs have failed is when your car won’t come in entirely. Other factors might contribute to this, but a car spark plug is one of the primary reasons why your vehicle might not want to come on. 

Also, another clear indication is when your car is not moving as fast as it is supposed to. When you are driving and your vehicle starts to move slowly all of a sudden, while your fuel tank is not empty, your spark plug is usually the culprit that you should watch out for.

If you have difficulty turning on your car or when you turn it in, and it gives a wheezing sound and does almost immediately, your spark plugs might be giving you a signal that they are probably old and need to be changed as soon as possible.

When purchasing spark plugs, you should buy quality plugs that will last for the required period. Inferior quality plugs will only let you use your car for a limited period before they will need to be replaced, and you will spend money that is probably not in your budget.


How many spark plugs does a car have? If you can’t tell the size of your car engine or by the car’s model and brand, you should have a car mechanic to help you out.

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