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How Long do Spark Plug Wires Last?

March 17, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Spark plug wires, also known as ignition wires, are essential components of a vehicle as they help transfer current from the coil to the spark plug.

Any defect in the spark plug wires could cause the engine to misfire, making driving inconvenient due to stalling, misfiring, and rough idling encounters.

For this reason, most car owners have the question, “How long do Spark Plug Wires last?” on their minds, with no straightforward answer.

However, the correct answer is that a spark plug wire doesn’t have a specified lifespan since I have seen car owners who used one spark plug wire for up to 1 – 15 years without any crack.


While some say the general spark plug wire lifespan is 60,000, 70,000, to 257,000 miles, it isn’t certified yet.

However, conditions such as high temperature will reduce the lifespan of the spark plug wires. That’s why I advise getting a silicon-coated plug wire rather than a rubber-coated one.

Regardless, once you notice a crack or opening on the insulator, you must install a new spark plug wire for safety.

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Having an idea of how long a spark plug wire is supposed to last, let’s see the function of the spark plug wires and how to make them last longer.

How frequently should I Replace Spark Plug Wires?

If you’re using older vehicles, you should change your spark plug wires whenever you’re getting a plug replacement because plug wires on older cars have a mileage of around 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Also, car owners are fond of pulling out spark plug wires to check if they wrap around the spark plug, enhancing plug wire shortage or breakage.

Meanwhile, owners of new car models may not encounter faults in the spark plug wires until they are sold out due to how modern spark plug wires are built.

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This is because modern vehicles and spark plug wires are routed and appropriately insulated, making them durable.

However, there are a few symptoms that you’ll notice on your car that are susceptible to a spark plug wire shortage or failure. Example includes.

  • Engine stalling
  • The check Engine light will turn on
  • Engine misfiring
  • Crack in the spark plug wire insulators
  • Sparks coming out of cracked insulators
  • Rough idling and the current related issues

So, in conclusion, there’s no defined lifespan for using a spark plug wire. However, there are external factors that might affect the lifespan.

How to Check Spark Plug Wires

There’s an excellent way to test a spark plug. I saw it on Quora, and I’ve tried it personally.

All you need to do is run your car engine at night when the darkness is optimal, then watch out for a current(electricity) leak on the insulators that wrap the wires.

The main goal is to detect cracks and unrouted electrical current that’ll come in contact with the engine’s metal parts, causing misfiring.

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You can now use black tape to clothe the openings as a temporary fix. You can also get a spark plug wire replacement.


Spark plug wires send current from the engine coil to the spark plugs, enabling proper engine functionality.

While all components on a car often experience wear and tear, the spark plug wires stay exempted in modern vehicles due to their packaging.

Unlike older vehicles, you must check often to ensure your plug wires are intact.

Whatever the case, I’d recommend you get a spark plug wire replacement once you notice peeling on the sheaths covering the wires.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.