Understanding the Importance of Spark Plug Maintenance for Optimal Engine Performance


In the realm of internal combustion engines, the role of spark plugs is paramount. They are the initiators of the combustion process, orchestrating the delicate interplay between spark, fuel, and compression. At Drive Auto in Leachville, Arkansas, we recognize the pivotal role of spark plugs in an engine's ability to start and run seamlessly. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of spark plug maintenance, deciphering their impact on engine performance and longevity.

The Triumvirate of Power: Spark, Fuel, and Compression

The symphony of engine operation is orchestrated by the trio of spark, fuel, and compression. These three elements, when harmoniously synchronized, enable an engine to roar to life. Understanding that these are the foundational elements of engine function is essential for any car owner.

The Crucial Role of Maintenance

Maintenance is the cornerstone of a well-functioning vehicle, and spark plugs are no exception. These small yet mighty components require regular attention to ensure optimal engine performance. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, coupled with the type of spark plug used, a replacement interval of every 20,000 to 40,000 miles is recommended. Your vehicle's maintenance schedule, a guide found in your owner's manual, serves as your roadmap to keeping your spark plugs in prime condition.

The Perils of Ignoring a Dead Spark Plug

The repercussions of driving with a dead spark plug are not to be taken lightly. A non-firing cylinder leads to the accumulation of excess fuel, causing a cascade of issues. The engine's lubrication system, designed to protect vital components, is compromised as fuel washes away essential engine oil. This accelerated wear on pistons and rings, exacerbated by dilution of engine oil, can lead to costly repairs.

Decoding the Blackened Spark Plug

A spark plug donned in black unveils a story of combustion imbalance. It signals an air/fuel ratio skewed towards richness or an influx of oil into the cylinder. Drive Auto's experts discern these symptoms as potential red flags, warranting a closer examination of engine health.

Oil-covered spark plugs are harbingers of deeper maladies within the engine. This predicament can be attributed to several underlying issues, ranging from faulty gaskets to more severe internal engine component fractures. Recognizing these potential culprits – such as valve cover gaskets, head gaskets, valve guide seals, spark plug tube o-rings, worn piston rings, cracked pistons, and damaged heads – is pivotal.

Deferring Maintenance: A Risky Gamble

At Drive Auto in Leachville, Arkansas, we advocate for proactive maintenance to avert catastrophic failures down the road. Neglecting spark plug maintenance and other essential upkeep can transform into a costly repair ordeal. It's prudent to explore all avenues, including the option to sell your vehicle.


As we conclude this exploration into the world of spark plug maintenance, we extend our commitment at Drive Auto in Leachville, Arkansas, to empowering vehicle owners with knowledge. A well-maintained spark plug is emblematic of a thriving engine, and our team stands ready to guide you on this journey. Prioritizing spark plug health translates to enhanced engine performance, prolonged vehicle life, and a smoother ride – all aspects that define our dedication to exceptional automotive care. Contact Drive Auto today to embark on a voyage towards engine excellence.

The Best Used Cars for People with Bad Credit

Hey there! Have you ever felt like buying a car is a tough nut to crack when your credit score isn't so hot? Well, don't let that get you down because there's some pretty cool news – finding the right used car can actually make things a whole lot smoother. In this guide, we're going to take a friendly stroll through all the nitty-gritty details about how to pick a great used car, even if your credit isn't exactly top-notch. We'll cover some important stuff like how much you can spend, what to look for in a car, and even some secret spots where you can find some pretty sweet rides. So, buckle up and get ready to take this road trip of knowledge together!  

Understanding Bad Credit and Car Buying 

Okay, let's talk about something real for a minute. A bunch of folks face some challenges when they want to buy a car with not-so-great credit. But guess what? You're not alone in this boat! We're going to dive into why having a less-than-awesome credit score can make buying a car a bit trickier. See, when your credit isn't all that, getting a loan or paying extra in interest can feel like a bit of a bump in the road. But hey, don't sweat it – understanding these challenges is like getting the map to beat the game. By the time we're done here, you'll be geared up to tackle the car-buying challenge like a champ! 

Using Used Cars to Tackle Bad Credit 

Now, let's imagine something cool for a sec. Used cars aren't just old wheels – they're like your trusty sidekick in the adventure of car buying. They're not only easier on the wallet but also pretty darn reliable. When you're dealing with bad credit, picking a used car can actually help you clear some of those hurdles. It's like having a secret weapon in your back pocket. We're talking about finding a car that fits your budget without giving you any headaches down the road. So, while bad credit might seem like a tough cookie to crack, choosing the right used car is like having a superhero on your side. Get ready to see how making a smart choice about your car can make a big impact on your credit journey! 

Picking the Perfect Used Car 

Alright, let's get into the nitty-gritty of picking the right used car for you. First things first, let's talk about money. We'll help you figure out how much you can spend without making your wallet cry. Then, let's chat about something super important: having a reliable ride. Nobody wants a car that's going to surprise you with problems. Think of it like finding a trusty partner that's always got your back. Oh, and don't forget about insurance – we'll give you some tips to find a car that won't mess with your insurance budget. By the end of this section, you'll be a pro at spotting the perfect used car that checks all the boxes!  

Getting Your Hands on a Used Car

 Now, let's talk turkey about how you can actually nab that dream car of yours. There are two cool ways to go about it: used car financing and used car loans. Don't let those fancy words throw you off – we'll break them down into bite-sized pieces. Used car financing is like a special deal that helps you grab that car you've been eyeing, even if your credit isn't shouting "awesome." And used car loans? Well, that's just borrowing some money to get the car you want, and we've got some tricks up our sleeve to make sure you're getting the best deal. So, whether you're into financing or loans, rest assured that getting your hands on a used car that fits your style is totally within reach! 

Awesome Choices for People with Bad Credit 

Alright, it's time for the fun part: checking out some seriously cool cars! If you're all about saving money while still cruising in style, we've got your back with some awesome subcompact cars and trusty sedans. These cars are like the perfect match for your budget and your vibe. And if you need something that's got room for all your adventures, we've got your back with compact SUVs and hatchbacks that are like your personal road companions. Ready to add a dash of excitement to your ride? We've got sleek coupes and compact cars that bring a punch of thrill to your drive. Get ready to meet some fantastic car choices that are perfect for folks like you!  

Family-Friendly Cars that Rock

 Got a crew? No worries at all! We've got you covered with two awesome options: used minivans and midsize SUVs. Minivans are like your own magical castle on wheels – they can fit everyone and everything, making family trips a breeze. And midsize SUVs? Well, those are like cozy living rooms on the move, perfect for road trips and adventures. It doesn't matter if you've got a big squad or a small one – we've got a car that'll fit your crew like a glove. So, get ready to explore these family-friendly rides that'll have everyone smiling! 

Cool Places to Find Unique Cars

 Ready for something a little different? We've got some secret spots where you can find some seriously awesome used cars. Ever thought about grabbing a car from a rental company? They treat their cars like royalty, so you're snagging a gem that's been pampered. And if you're feeling a tad adventurous, we'll show you how to hunt for hidden treasures at government auctions – it's like a treasure hunt for cars! So, get ready to discover some unique places where you can find a used car that matches your style perfectly. 

Smart Tips for Buying and Paying

Almost there – we're at the final stretch! Before you hit the road with your slick new ride, we've got some savvy advice for you. First off, we'll talk about giving the car a good look to make sure it's in tip-top shape. And when it's time to chat about money with the seller, we've got some pretty neat tricks to help you get the best deal. Oh, and do not worry about financing – we've got some cool moves to help you score a sweet deal on your car loan. By the end of this section, you will be armed with some sharp car-buying skills!

 A Brighter Road Ahead

 Here comes the grand finale! As you cruise in your chosen used car, you are not just hitting the road – you're steering toward a brighter financial future. Picking the right used car is not just about getting around – it's about taking control of your money and moving forward. 

Whether you're cruising in a subcompact star, a family-friendly minivan, or a sporty coupe, your choice is like a key to unlocking a better path. So buckle up, enjoy the ride, and remember that you're on a journey to a more confident and exciting tomorrow. Your awesome used car isn't just a ride – it's your partner in this thrilling adventure!

How to Keep Your Used Car Running Well


Owning a well-maintained used car isn't just about having a mode of transportation; it's an investment in reliable mobility. As we delve into the key aspects of maintaining a used car for optimal performance, you'll discover that a little attention goes a long way in extending the life and value of your vehicle.

Regular Maintenance

Following your car manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule is like giving your car a personalized healthcare plan. This routine care involves basic yet crucial tasks like oil changes, fluid checks, and filter replacements. By sticking to this schedule, you're not only ensuring smooth operation but also preventing potential costly repairs that can sneak up on you.

Monitor Fluid Levels

Your car's performance dances to the tune of its fluids: oil, coolant, brake fluid, and more. These unsung heroes play pivotal roles in keeping your car running smoothly. Regularly checking and topping up fluid levels is a simple task that can save you from unnecessary headaches. Remember, using the right type of fluids ensures your car's systems work harmoniously.

Tire Care and Rotation

Tires are your car's shoes, and like a well-fitted pair, they need attention. Proper tire maintenance isn't just about safety – though that's paramount – it's also about fuel efficiency. Regularly checking tire pressure and ensuring it's within recommended limits keeps your ride stable and efficient. Additionally, rotating your tires and maintaining proper alignment promotes even wear and a longer tire lifespan.

Brake System Inspection

Brakes are the unsung heroes of safety. Regularly inspecting your brake components is like ensuring your safety net is intact. Visual inspections can reveal signs of wear, tear, or potential issues. If you notice any abnormalities or changes in braking performance, it's wise to seek professional help. Your safety and that of others on the road depend on it.

Battery Maintenance

Your car's battery is its electrical heartbeat. Ensuring a healthy battery is key to smooth starts and uninterrupted electrical functions. Cleaning battery terminals and connections might seem like a small chore, but it can prevent big problems. Extreme temperatures can play havoc on your battery's lifespan, so proper care is essential for longevity.

Effective Driving Habits

Your driving habits are like the conductor's baton in an orchestra – they set the tone. Smooth acceleration, controlled braking, and avoiding sudden maneuvers might seem like small practices, but they contribute significantly to your car's longevity. Using the right gear and avoiding excessive idling not only saves fuel but also reduce wear and tear on your vehicle's components.

Proper Storage and Shelter

While your car is built to weather the elements, prolonged exposure to harsh weather can take a toll. Imagine it as your car's skin – it needs protection too. A garage or a car cover can shield your vehicle from the sun's scorching rays, rain's caress, and snow's chill. For those periods of long-term storage, such as during a vacation or seasonal hibernation, a few precautions can ensure your car awakens in prime condition.

Addressing Issues Promptly

Minor issues in life tend to escalate if neglected, and the same applies to your car. That seemingly harmless squeak or minor vibration might be indicative of a larger underlying problem. Promptly addressing these concerns not only saves you from bigger and costlier repairs but also keeps you safe on the road. Regular visits to a mechanic can unveil hidden issues before they wreak havoc.

DIY vs. Professional Maintenance

There's a time for DIY and a time for professional expertise. While changing air filters and bulbs might fall under the do-it-yourself category, more complex issues demand skilled hands. Knowing when to seek professional help is essential. Think of it as seeking a specialist's care when a minor ailment turns into something more serious – the sooner, the better.


Maintaining a used car isn't just about aesthetics; it's about prolonging its life and your investment. Following these steps ensures that your car stays roadworthy, safe, and efficient for the long haul. The regular maintenance, fluid checks, and attentive driving all contribute to a harmonious and economical relationship with your vehicle. As you embark on this journey of vehicle care, remember, a well-loved car rewards you with years of faithful service while saving you money and granting you peace of mind. So, create a personalized maintenance plan that aligns with your car's needs and your driving habits – your car will thank you with miles of joyful journeys.


The Best Used Cars for Families

When it comes to finding the perfect used car for your family, there's more at stake than just having a reliable mode of transportation. The right car can make family outings more enjoyable, road trips memorable, and daily errands a breeze. But with so many options out there, how do you make the best choice? In this article, we'll explore the essential factors to consider when selecting a family-friendly used car, ensuring you find a vehicle that perfectly fits your needs.

Safety First

The safety of your loved ones should always be a top priority. When shopping for a used family car, look for models equipped with advanced safety features. Features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring can significantly enhance your driving experience. Additionally, pay close attention to the car's crash test ratings, as they offer valuable insights into its safety performance. Checking the vehicle's safety history and recall information can provide you with peace of mind before making your purchase.

Space and Seating

Families come in different sizes, so it's crucial to find a used car with the right seating capacity for your needs. Consider how many family members you need to accommodate regularly and whether you frequently travel with extended family or friends. Look for cars with spacious interiors that offer ample legroom and headroom, providing comfort during longer journeys. Versatile seating arrangements, like foldable third-row seats or adjustable second-row seats, can be a game-changer when you need extra cargo space.

Reliability and Durability

A reliable and durable used car can save you both time and money in the long run. Research models known for their dependability and longevity. Look for vehicles with a reputation for being well-built and having low maintenance requirements. Checking the vehicle's maintenance history and ownership records can give you valuable insights into how well the car has been cared for by its previous owners.

Budget-Friendly Options

Family expenses can add up quickly, so finding a budget-friendly used car is essential for many families. Look for reliable models that fit within your budget and consider the overall cost of ownership, including fuel efficiency, insurance, and maintenance. Don't hesitate to negotiate the best price with the seller, as getting a good deal can make a significant difference.

Fuel Efficiency and Eco-Friendly Options

With increasing environmental awareness, fuel efficiency is a key consideration for many families. Look for used cars with excellent gas mileage or consider eco-friendly options like hybrid or electric vehicles. Calculating fuel costs and the environmental impact can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your family's values.

Family-Oriented Features

Modern used cars often come equipped with a range of family-oriented features. Keep an eye out for entertainment systems to keep the kids entertained during long drives. Advanced safety technologies can add an extra layer of protection and peace of mind. Look for child-friendly features like built-in sunshades and easy-access doors, making your daily routines easier.

Popular Family Car Models

With a plethora of used car options available, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices. In this section, we'll take an in-depth look at popular used family car models.

When you're looking for a car to fit your family, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. You'll need a car that's spacious enough to comfortably seat everyone, has enough cargo space for all your gear, and is safe and reliable.

Here are some of the most popular family car models on the market:

  • Honda Accord: The Honda Accord is a midsize sedan that's known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and spacious interior. It gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, and it can seat up to five passengers. The Accord has been a top-selling car in the United States for many years, and it's a great choice for families or commuters.
  • Toyota Camry: The Toyota Camry is another popular midsize sedan that's known for its reliability and fuel efficiency. It gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, and it can seat up to five passengers. The Camry is also available in a hybrid version, which gets an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
  • Mazda3: The Mazda3 is a compact car that's known for its fun driving dynamics and fuel efficiency. It gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, and it can seat up to five passengers. The Mazda3 is also available in a hatchback version, which offers even more cargo space.
  • Mazda6: The Mazda6 is a midsize sedan that's known for its fun driving dynamics and fuel efficiency. It gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, and it can seat up to five passengers. The Mazda6 is also available in a hatchback version, which offers even more cargo space.
  • Nissan Altima: The Nissan Altima is a midsize sedan that's known for its affordability and fuel efficiency. It gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, and it can seat up to five passengers. The Altima is also available in a hybrid version, which gets an EPA-estimated 39 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
  • Hyundai Elantra: The Hyundai Elantra is a compact car that's known for its affordability and fuel efficiency. It gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, and it can seat up to five passengers. The Elantra is also available in a hatchback version, which offers even more cargo space.
  • Kia Forte: The Kia Forte is a compact car that's known for its affordability and fuel efficiency. It gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, and it can seat up to five passengers. The Forte is also available in a hatchback version, which offers even more cargo space.

Carfax and Vehicle History Reports

Before finalizing your used car purchase, it's crucial to understand the vehicle's history. Carfax reports provide comprehensive information about a car's past, including accidents, service records, and ownership details. Learning how to obtain and interpret these reports can save you from potential headaches down the road.

Certified Pre-Owned vs. Non-Certified

When shopping for a used family car, you'll likely come across both certified pre-owned (CPO) and non-certified options. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each can help you make the right choice for your family's needs and budget.

Researching and Test Driving

Before making a final decision, thoroughly researching used cars online can help you narrow down your options. Once you have a shortlist, arranging test drives is essential to get a real feel for the cars you're considering.


In conclusion, finding the best used car for your family requires thoughtful consideration of various factors. By prioritizing safety, space, reliability, and budget, you can narrow down your options to the most suitable ones. Additionally, exploring family-oriented features and researching popular models will help you make an informed decision. Don't forget to consider the vehicle's history, financing options, and maintenance requirements before finalizing the deal. With these insights and tips in mind, you're now better equipped to find the perfect used car that meets your family's needs and sets the stage for countless memorable adventures together. Find your Dream!