Important Steps To Follow While Checking Spark Plugs In Car
The first step before checking on the spark plug is to ensure the engine is cool. Engines when hot can easily cause serious damage, so be damn sure that it is completely cool before moving on.
Once the engine is cool, locate the spark plugs, and determine if removal of upper engine components are required. Sometimes, working around and through these components can be irritating and tough.
When things are accessible, remove one spark plug wire and find out what size deep-well socket is required to fit snugly around the spark plug. Then place the socket over the plug and apply even, counter clock-wise pressure until the plug loosens. When there is loosening, just get rid of the ratchet and twist the extension counter clock-wise until the plug is free from the plug well.
Now, with the spark plug in hand, look at the tip for any indication of foul, like the fusing together of the electrode and the platinum or copper insert. In case there is no clear evidence of fusing, then there should be some carbon build-up that indicates the plug has been firing properly.
To ensure the efficient operation of the plug, use a wire brush to clean the carbon from the tip. Also, keep an eye on the outer shell of the plug for cracks and deformed threads, while analysing closely at the ceramic insulator for cracks. If there is anything suspicious, then take out the plug and replace it with a fresh one.
When there is a need to reinstall the plug, thread it into the plug-well by hand to ensure there is no cross threading. One should not find it difficult to turn most of the way in until it reaches the plug gasket. If only a few turns are achieved by hand before tightening, it’s about to cross thread. Take out the plug and try again until it turns freely and is almost all the way in before tightening. And then tighten the plug the rest of the way with your ratchet; applying just enough torque to press the gasket of the plug into place, heavy torque is not required.
Repeat the process on the remaining plugs. Replace any components removed to allow access and then start the car. It should fire up immediately if everything is perfect. The car should now run smooth and efficient.
However, if the car takes more turns before starting, and runs roughly, it might be because of the loose or defective plug that will require additional troubleshooting. If things are alright, the car will operate easily and efficiently.