One of the most essential parts of any combustion-powered engine are spark plugs. These spark plugs are responsible for the fuel ignition, which keeps engines running. With regular use, these devices also wear out and may require replacement from time to time.
Fortunately, spark plug replacement can be quite easy, but the key is to know when you need to change it. Generally, car owners get their spark plugs changed when they have problems in getting their cars to run, but one doesn’t have to wait for that to happen before replacing it. Other tell-tale signs to know when to replace spark plugs include the vehicle’s lack of acceleration, when the engine misfires or makes intermittent halting movements, or when it starts to consume more fuel despite running the same mileage. On the other hand, car manufacturers recommend to have these plugs replaced once every 30,000 miles covered – so it’s best to check the manual for these details.
Before beginning to replace spark plugs, make sure that the work area is clean and that the engine is free from any debris or crud near the cylinders. After removing all the dirt, it is now time to remove the ignition coil. You can do this by twisting the coil to break the seal and once the seal is broken, you can safely lift the coil.
After removing the ignition coil, it’s time to unscrew the old spark plug. However, before proceeding, completely clean out the carbon buildup to make this step easier and safer. Prior to installing the new plug, make sure to measure its gap with a feeler gauge. The recommended measurement is between 0.028-0.060 inches, but this greatly depends on the type of engine.
With the spark plug gap at the desired measurement, it’s now time to install the new plug. The safest way is to check the manufacturer’s torque specifications first, then screw in the new plug with a torque wrench. Remember, applying too much or too little torque can either distort the plug or crack the valve cover. Also, make sure to apply a bit of dielectric grease into the spark plug boot to help the engine in avoiding misfires. After doing this step, you can safely reinstall the ignition coil. Finally, it is time to fire up the engine and do a test run.
People can save a lot if they replace spark plugs on their own. All they need are the right tools for the job, and they’re sure to find it – and more – at Meyers Auto Parts!
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