If you own a car, you need to look after its maintenance so that it keeps performing in a god condition all the time. While people pay attention to most other things inside the engine to get the best performance from their cars, they forget or ignore the spark plugs and spark plug wires that play a crucial role in the performance of the engine of the car. Spark plugs may be cheap but they perform very important role in the ignition system of your car. It is these spark plugs that ensure your car is able to start with a single and short movement of the car keys inside the ignition. This is because the spark plug ignites the air and fuel mixture inside the ignition chamber every time you turn on the ignition.
Mind the gap in the spark plugs
Normally you feel nothing as long as spark plugs keep on performing to their best. It is only when there is some trouble with these plugs or they have come near to the end of their life that you need to replace the spark plugs. Another important component of the ignition system is the wires that carry electric current produced by the ignition coil to the spark plug. Using proper spark plugs and its wires ensures you are never stranded on road with your car not starting on account of lack of spark needed for the combustion of fuel. There is a standard gap across your spark plug that is necessary to generate the spark needed for turn on the ignition. The ability of the plug to create this spark every time on time is known as its electrical performance. Another aspect of the performance of the spark plugs is their thermal performance that should be such that there is no pre ignition but the firing end temperature is such that there is no fouling either.
Often, spark plug wires are the culprits
Spark plug wires are rarely checked by mechanics when troubleshooting during a repair. They are always going after condenser, point, distributor cap, and even spark plugs but they never think that even spark plug wires need a replacement. There are basically two types of wires around spark plugs, the copper wires and the silicone wires. Copper wires are great when it comes to carrying current from the distributor cap to the spark plugs. These wires are very durable and do not require replacement frequently. However, with heat and use over time, these wires cause leakage of voltage so they produce the current but at a lower voltage. Many car manufacturers are today using silicone wires that are good but not so durable. This is the reason spark plug wires need frequent inspection.
When carrying out inspection of spark plug wires, the first thing to check is whether they are clean or not. Wires accumulate a lot of dirt and this dirt can cause drop of voltage. Dirt on the wires can also cause current leakage with weakening of insulation. You can wipe clean the dirt with a moist piece of cloth or even use a mild detergent to get rid of all the dirt. Take out one wire at a time and clean and replace it before moving on to the next wire. After cleaning, ensure that the ends of all the wires are firmly connected with the spark plugs. These wires need replacement if you find them surrounded by blue sparks when turning on the ignition of the car.
Proper inspection and maintenance of spark plugs and spark plug wires ensures you never have a stranded car on account of problem in these critical components.