Car Care 2013 Tip 25: Change Your Car’s Spark Plugs

New spark plugs are great. photo by Matt Wright

A spark plug is considered as an important component of a car’s engine. This is because the spark plug provides the spark of electricity into the compressed mixture of gasoline and air in each of the engine’s cylinders. The spark is responsible for igniting the mixture and takes charge of forcing the piston of the cylinder to go down. This motion of the cylinders’ pistons thereby creates the power generated by the engine.

Aside from doing such job, the spark plug also takes charge of pulling the heat away from the engine’s combustion chamber. In short the spark plug usually gets very hot causing this to wear out. Due to the nature of its function, a lot of car experts recommend that a car’s spark plug should be replaced regularly or whenever possible.

In case you currently own a vehicle and realizes that its spark plugs are in need of immediate replacement, try to do this on your own using the steps provided below.

Step 1: Prepare the needed tools

Check out the rubber holder inside. Matt Wright

The first thing that you should do when you start replacing the car’s spark plugs is to prepare the tools that you might need in doing the entire procedure. This task usually requires the tools such as the socket wrench and extension, spark plug socket, boot pliers, clean rag and rubber tube.

The socket wrench, the extension and the spark plug socket will allow you to remove the old spark plugs. The clean rag and the pliers are not necessarily required but having these around would ensure that everything will go smoothly in case you need them.

Step 2: Remove the old spark plugs

Remove your wires one at a time! Matt Wright

After preparing all of the tools that you might need, you can now start removing the old spark plugs. In case you don’t know where the spark plugs are, try to check your car’s owner manual. As soon as you locate where these plugs are located, search for the wires and examine if there is a dirt buildup around its base. Make sure to clean this thoroughly using the clean rag and the compressed air from a wet/dry vacuum.

After cleaning the wire’s base, you can now start removing the old spark plugs. To avoid getting confused, make sure to do these one by one. This simply means that you should remove an old spark plug, place the new one and move to the next spark plug.

Before you could remove the old spark plug, you should first look for the wire which connected to it and have this removed. Gently remove the wire from the spark plug by pulling the boot. However, you should avoid pulling the wire itself since this could ruin the connection between the spark plug and the wire.

After the wire is disconnected, you can now start removing the old spark plug. You can use the spark plug socket attached to the socket wrench to do this. Gently fit the spark plug socket into the spark plug and gently turn the socket wrench counter clockwise. Most spark plugs could be unscrewed easily, but in the event that you encountered resistance, it is better to stop what you are doing since forcing the plug to turn could cause this to break and eventually damage the engine. When this happens, it is advisable for you to contact a professional mechanic to do the job. This could save you from spending a lot of money due to engine damage.

But in the event that you were able to successfully remove a spark plug, inspect the threads and make sure that this is cleaned using a clean rag.

Step 3: Gently attach the new spark plugs

Carefully install the new spark plug. Matt Wright

After removing an old spark plug, make sure to attach its replacement before removing the others and repeating the second step again. You can do this by placing the new spark plug into the hole where the old one was removed. Using the spark plug wrench and the socket wrench extension, gently turn the spark plug clockwise until this is tightened to the recommended level. Avoid over tightening the spark plug for this might cause any damage on the thread as well as on the engine. Do the same procedure on the other spark plugs.


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