The spark plug is the one that keeps your engine started. So it would be perfect if you kept it in good condition. If you fail to do so, you will notice an increased failure in the performance of your engine. And if you continue to ignore the signs, it will result in an even bigger engine failure that will cost you a fortune.
According to Carcody.com, your vehicle will never start without a spark plug. So here are our most notable tips for you to check whether your spark plugs are in good condition or not.
Spark Plugs: An Overview
Imagine yourself in the wild, and you need a fire. To create one, you will need a tinder nest and a rod or stick to make a fire. Or you will need to stone, rub them briskly to create a spark to start a fire.
That is the same thing with spark plugs. It acts as the tinder nest and sticks or the rocks to create a spark. That spark of electricity will supply the needed electricity for the whole engine to start up. Without it, the engine would not even move a bit.
Maintenance Tips for your Spark Plugs
You already know the importance of your spark plugs. But now is the time for you to take extra care of it. Here are some inspection and maintenance tips for you to follow.
Clean the exterior first
Before taking out the spark plug, make sure to clean the exterior first to avoid any debris from getting inside the cylinder bore. If it happens to enter the cylinder bore, it will damage the walls and the rings. And that is not a good thing to happen. So instead, you can use a spray gun or a brush to remove the debris in the outer part of the spark plugs.
Inspect for any damage
Once you have ensured that the outer part is cleaned, take the plug out and inspect for any damage. For example, you can check if the porcelain has any cracks or if the electrodes are not in good shape. If they are not, gently align them using needle nose pliers. Make sure to do it as it is pretty delicate gently.
Make sure to be extra gentle to avoid breaking the electrodes. Or further bending them makes it hard to turn back to their original form.
Use of carburetor cleaner
It would be perfect if you sprayed the cavity in the correct position. The plug face should face downward to have any debris or dust fall out while you pour the center of the electrode. If the porcelain dust is not removed from the spark plug, it will cause damage or misfire, especially when under load.
The thread must be coated with an anti-seize compound
It is imperative to avoid any damage to the thread when you remove the spark plug in the future. Of course, there will be another period for you to remove your spark plugs. It can be a maintenance day or a replacement day.
Bear in mind that you must not allow it to reach the electrodes. If in case it will, wipe it right away with a rag.
The secondary wire should be coated with a dielectric compound
Aside from the secondary wire connection, the porcelain insulator should be coated too. The porcelain insulator is where the boot is located. The dielectric compound avoids any future corrosion. It also avoids the possible sticking of the boot with the insulator. If this happens, it will cause the wires to break when in use in the future.
Spark Plug Inspection
As part of maintaining your spark plugs, you should inspect the health of your spark plugs to know whether you need to replace them or simple cleaning will do. Browse over the following spark plug conditions that you need to know.
The primary step is to remove the spark plugs. You may need extra tools to do that, like extension bars or ratchet socket drive wrench. Just a reminder, if you have your engine running before the inspection of the spark plugs, let it completely cool first before removing them.
After that, you need to check if there is any black soot building in the insulator or the central electrode. This only indicates that the engine is rich in fuel. Just adjust the carburetor to fix this one.
If you have excessive fuel usage, there will be ash-looking deposits on the central electrode or insulator. So the moment you check any white residue, please check the seals of your valve guides, piston oil control rings, and any issues with your cylinders. Or, to be sure, have it viewed by a mechanic.
Also, if you notice any white blisters, that means you are having problems with your fuel or the additives in your fuel. You may need to change gas stations and different fuel additives. Then see the difference on your next maintenance day. If they are still present after the change, check the valves or let a mechanic view them.
Now if you see black spots in the nose, it may look like blackheads; it means light detonation. Further damage may include cracks with the plug insulator or problems with the valves and piston rings. To avoid this, you may want to check if you are following the suitable heat recommendation for your engine. Check your octane levels too.
If you notice that the current spark plugs will fail you after this inspection, replace them immediately. It is better to prevent any further damages.
While your spark plugs play a vital role in keeping your engine up and running, it is your responsibility to keep it in good condition. In that sense, we hope that this write-up helped you make sure that your spark plugs are in good condition. A happy spark plug means more happy road trips. And that is what we are after, right?
If you have any helpful ideas from your experiences about engines, share them with the team to create a practical and happy engine community.