A spark plug is a small but essential part of your vehicle. If we talk about its use, then let’s understand it in a simpler way. Without a spark plug, the engine of the vehicle won’t even start. This is the real importance of the spark plug. Also, the spark plug needs proper maintenance and cleaning, just like other parts of the vehicle. One of the main questions which come into everyone’s mind is how to clean a spark plug?
Learning how to clean a spark plug can help you in enhancing your DIY knowledge. This increases your experience and saves a lot of time and money you give to the professionals to get the things done. In this blog, we will discuss every aspect of the spark plug and share ways of cleaning it.
What is the work of a spark plug?
In general, the spark plug is a simple device capable of performing a couple of jobs. The first job is to create an artificial bolt of lightning that ignites the engine. This lighting heats the engine and helps in getting a quick start. Here the voltage or the sparks can be easily around 20,000 to more than 100,000 voltages. The main task assigned to the spark plug is the ignition of the engine, and other than this, it helps in heat flow too.
How to check whether the spark plug is clean or not?
The engine is the heart of every vehicle, but have you ever considered what starts the engine? It is the spark plug that ignition the engine that helps start the engine. But a damaged or worn-out spark plug can be dangerous for the engine. It will impact the vehicle’s overall performance.
The owner or the user needs to check the spark plug frequently to avoid any malfunctioning in the vehicle. One way is to change the spark plug when your vehicle travels around 80,000 miles. Other ways through which you can know that the spark plug needs to change are mentioned below.
Checking the Engine Light
The first way you can understand that the spark plug needs to be changed by checking the engine light. From these engine lights, you will get a basic signal: the flashing of the engine light. If the engine lights are flashing, then without thinking twice, change the spark plug. If you delay the process, then the engine of the vehicle can be affected seriously.
Most users face a common issue when the spark plug is worn; that is the starting problem. This issue is because the spark plug ignites the engine as and when you insert the key. And if the spark plug is defective, it will not correctly ignite the engine, and the vehicle faces starting issues. If this happens, then it is a signal that you should change the spark plug to get a swift start. Also, in extreme weather conditions, a worn spark plug is not able to start the vehicle.
Other than the ways mentioned above, it would help if you always considered the manufacturer’s recommendations. Each manufacturing brand specifies after how much time you should change the spark plug. If you follow those recommendations, then you will never face any issues regarding the spark plug.
How to clean a spark plug – Step by step
Removal of spark plugs
Firstly you have to disconnect the negative terminal and disconnect the battery as well. It will look somewhat like two plastic boxes, so double-check whether the negative terminal is disconnected properly. Now slightly loosen the bolt and then turn off the terminal. So this is how the first step takes place.
Now the next step is to locate the spark plugs. Now find the wires and plug them properly and let the opening reach the cylinder head. Each cylinder will contain one plug and one cable. If you are unable to find the wires, then go through the user manual properly.
Now you can clean it easily with the help of compressed air. Find where the plugs are screwed. You can easily clean the dust and dirt from that area. Once all the debris is cleaned, you can disconnect the plugs and make sure all the cables are placed in the right place. Now, at last clean, the endings of the extension, and socket plug, then again at the right position.
Deep cleansing with abrasives
In the beginning, you have to find the electrode which looks quite similar to bare metal. Now carefully start sanding it, and you are on your way to clean the spark plug. Now file down the electrode, which is full of dirt. Be careful and make sure that the spark plug is in its right place.
Now you have to scrub the thread with the help of a wire brush to clean it properly. Be generous while cleaning so that the reinstallation process won’t be complicated for you. While scrubbing the threads, remove all the dirt and junk. Now once this step is finished, spray the brake cleaner on the wires and wipe them properly. Now let it dry completely, and repeat the same process with the other spark plugs also.
Clean with the help of a blow torch
You can clean a spark plug with the help of a blow torch as well. You have to keep the grip of the plugs firm and soft to avoid any damage. Now you must wear your gloves and ignite the torch. Now switch on the knob and allow the gas to flow. Hold the edge properly until the flame becomes red.
With the help of a torch, clean off debris and dirt properly and make it smooth and nice. After this is done, plug in the wires again, but make sure they are cooled down and properly dried. That’s all, and now you can easily reinstall the mechanism and use it.
Reinstallation of the clean spark plugs
The last and most important method is to reinstall the spark plugs. If this step is not performed properly, then it may affect the whole functioning. You must have a gap calculator to know the gap between the plugs and electrode. If you feel there is enough gap between the two, then place them slightly closer.
Once this is done, make sure both the socket threads are facing outward. Now hold the plug and place it to lower down your engine. The insertion of the spark plug should be clockwise and keep track of the tightening.
Now tighten them with the help of a socket wrench. At last, reinstall the clean plugs into the spark plugs and wires. Now give them a proper grip and press it downwards. Now you can start your engine, and you are good to go.
This was all the vital information about the spark plug. By now, you must have got the idea about how to clean a spark plug, how to check it, etc. If you keep the spark plug fresh and clean, it will help you enjoy long drives without any issues. If the spark plug is in good condition, then the engine will perform well and give a swift start. So that’s all from our side; we hope that this blog will help you in various ways to maintain your vehicle.
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