Spark gap and maintenance

With petrol engines, spark plugs give sparks and whilst that explosion, the engine starts working. Spark plugs work under huge pressure and temperatures of around 600°C to 800°C. Their life span is from 15000 to 30000, but they can survive longer.

Maintained spark plug

An a maintained spark plug is light brown-yellow color in it’s working sector. It should be checked from time to time, and if cleaning is needed, you clean it with a wired comb. The model and the gap is different for every car. So it’s needed to determine what model and what gap is needed for your car. The spark gap is from around 0,3 mm to 1,1 mm. The spark gap is scaling on the external electrode. And for that a blade filler is used (image below). You place it on the middle electrode, and hit the side one slowly away from the measure. While increasing the gap be careful not to break the ceramic part. Popular brands are: NGK, Briks, Bosch, Beru, etc…

Blade Feeler Filler
Blade Feeler Filler

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Faulty spark plug

Every spark plug that is mechanically damaged that you look at taken out of the engine is faulty. When the electrode is too worn out. The indication that the spark plug is faulty can also be that the engine is throttling it in cold, but when it’s heated up as well. Shots from the exhaust can be heard as well. These indications don’t have to mean that the spark plug is faulty, it can also be the electronics and the installation that brings the electricity to the spark plug.

When the car is working on 3 clips, namely throttling. The cause might be that one cylinder is not getting enough fuel, something is damaged in one cylinder. But usually the spark plug or devices around it are the problem. To determine what cylinder is faulty, we are taking down the power supply of spark plugs one by one and putting it back. Be careful not to get shocked by electricity. On the spark plug that the engine power didn’t change (engine power didn’t get worse) is faulty.

Spark plug changing

When we have fitting spark plugs, and the spark plug gap is fitting, be careful there are different types of spark plugs. Pull the cables off the spark plugs. Do it one by one so that you don’t confuse the order. If there is a tip that ties it, unscrew the screw that ties it. Clean out the place and the screw where the spark plug will go. Be careful so that nothing gets into the whole of the spark plug. Put in the spark plug and tie it, but not too tight. Put the whole installation back the opposite way, and start with the new spark plug.

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Some spark plugs you need to tighten with defined force, with the key for the defined force.

Faulty spark plug can indicate on faults as well

  • Rust spark plug, engine starts harder, could be that the engine colds too quick.
  • If it’s wet, the oil will sip through the heat chambers, change the engine oil type.
  • Melted central electrode, ventilation adjustment needed.

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