April 27, 2022
Spark Plug 101: Why Are They So Important To Your Engine?
Like timing belts and oil changes, spark plugs are one of those engine components that you don’t think about until they start to cause problems. And just like those other components, it’s essential to understand what spark plugs do and how they work to maintain your car correctly.
Today, we’ll take a look at the nitty-gritty of spark plugs because you, as a car owner, must know why they’re so important in keeping your engine running like a top. So lean back & get ready to learn something new!
Spark Plugs – A Bare-Bones Definition
In the most basic terms, spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture in the engine cylinders so that combustion can occur.
A spark plug consists of a threaded metal discharge shell connected to the engine’s ignition system and a center electrode that protrudes into the cylinder. The spark plug also has a ground electrode that helps to complete the circuit.
When the engine is operating, the spark plug produces a spark that travels across the gap between the electrodes. This spark ignites the air/fuel mixture so that combustion can occur.
Combustion is what powers the engine, so you can see why spark plugs are such an essential part of the equation!
Types of Spark Plugs
Spark plugs come in various material types, sizes, and shapes. They also have different heat ranges, which are determined by the ground electrode design.
The most popular spark plug is the copper core. This type of spark plug is intended for normal, everyday usage.
Platinum and iridium are two other materials that are sometimes used to create spark plugs. These plugs tend to last longer than copper core plugs, but they are also more expensive.
Why are Spark Plugs Important?
Aside from the fact that they are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture in the engine, spark plugs also play a role in fuel economy and emissions.
A properly functioning spark plug will help to ensure that the air/fuel mixture is burning completely. It helps to improve fuel economy because less fuel is wasted. By investing time and money into maintaining your spark plugs, you can save money at the pump!
Spark plugs that are operating correctly will also help to keep emissions low. They ensure that the air/fuel mixture doesn’t contain any unburned fuel. When the mixture burns completely, fewer harmful emissions are released into the atmosphere.
Maintaining your spark plugs is a fantastic place to begin if you want to be more environmentally friendly.
How to Maintain Your Spark Plugs
The good news is that spark plugs are relatively easy to maintain!
To clean your spark plugs, you’ll need to remove them from the engine and use a wire brush to remove any debris or buildup. You can also use a commercial cleaner designed specifically for spark plugs.
Once the plugs are clean, you’ll need to check the gap between the electrodes. The gap should be between .028 and .060 inches. If it’s not, you’ll need to adjust it using a feeler gauge.
You must also check the condition of the spark plug’s threads. If the threads are stripped or damaged, you’ll need to replace the plug.
Spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. However, this interval may be shorter if you drive in stop-and-go traffic.
We hope this information will help you take care of the next car you buy at The Key Online – Lawton, serving Lawton, OK. We have a wide variety of makes and models so you can find what you’re looking for.
We also have cars for people with bad credit. Give us a call today!