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What is spark plug:
A spark plug is a device used in an internal combustion engine — that is, an engine that derives its power via exploding gases inside a combustion chamber — to ignite the air-fuel mixture.
Cars typically have four-stroke gasoline engines, which means there are four strokes, or movements, to the moving parts inside the engine per rotation. Inside each cylinder is a piston, which moves up and down within the cylinder to compress the gas for combustion, and pushes the exhaust gases out after combustion. The piston is operated by an arm that attaches to the crankshaft, a shaft that extends through the bottom of the engine. The piston goes up and down twice during each rotation, hence the four strokes -- up, down, up, down.
The spark plug is positioned at the top of the cylinder, where the air-fuel ratio is compressed. The tip of the plug sits inside the engine, recessed into the side of the cylinder wall. The other end remains outside the engine and is attached to a wire that is also attached to the distributor.
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1. Designed specifically for the performance enthusiast.
2. The Iridium Spark Plugs offer extreme ignitability, improved throttle response and superior anti fouling.
3. Fine Iridium tip ensures high durability and a consistently stable spark
4. Laser welded Iridium center electrode tip
5. Iridium alloy has extremely high melting point, perfect for today’s high-tech,
6. high-performance engines
7. Trivalent Metal Plating has superior anti-corrosion and seizing properties
8. Outstanding acceleration, high fuel efficiency and durability
9. Ultimate design, technology and performance
10. Corrugated Ribs Prevent Flashover
11. Pure Alumina Silie Ceramic Insulator, Provides Superior Strength and Better
12. Heat Transfer
13. Copper Core Aids in Heat Removal
14. Triple Seals Prevent Leakage
How to Read Your Spark Plugs
Is your engine running too lean? Too rich? Is there an issue with oil control or ignition timing? Or is everything just fine with your engine? Like the mechanical version of the Magic 8-Ball, your spark plugs may have the answers for you. The trick is learning how to read your spark plugs.
With help from the spark plug experts at Beyond First Auto, we’ll teach you how to diagnose minor tuning issues or potentially major engine problems by examining your spark plugs. Check out the images below, courtesy of Spark Plugs, and get ready to do a little light reading the next time you pull your spark plugs.
Appearance: A light tan/gray or brownish color, along with very little electrode erosion, indies optimal operation conditions, including a healthy engine and correct spark plug heat range.
Appearance & Symptoms: The electrodes—center and ground—are covered in an ashy coating. As a result of this masking of the electrodes, your engine may experience a misfire. This build-up of combustion deposits can eventually (but not usually) fill in the space between the two electrodes.
Possible Causes: Oil leaks, poor fuel quality.
Wet and Dry Fouling
Appearance & Symptoms: Dry fouling (top) appears as sooty, black build-up. Wet fouling (bottom) has a wet, sometimes oily appearance. Both conditions can create poor starting and misfiring.
Possible Causes: Depending on whether the spark plug is coated in oil or fuel, wet fouling can be symptomatic of a compromised head gasket, poor control from your pistons’ oil control ring, valvetrain problems, or an extremely rich condition. Dry fouling, or carbon fouling, is often caused by an overly rich condition, and the problem may lie with your air cleaner (clogged) or carburetor. Other possible causes could be low compression, vacuum leak, overly retarded timing, or improper spark plug heat range.
Appearance & Symptoms: Lead fouling can only occur in appliions that use leaded gasoline, such as racing engines. Lead fouling generally shows up as yellowish brown deposits on the spark plug’s insulator nose. Lead fouling can cause your engine to misfire only at high-rpm and under hard acceleration.
Possible Causes: This condition commonly occurs when gasoline contains too much lead; however, because spark plugs are changed frequently in racing appliions, lead fouling has become less common.
Appearance & Symptoms: The insulator around the center electrode may be broken (see left) or the ground electrode may be bent. Again, you will likely experience misfire and some power loss under these conditions.
Possible Causes: If the insulator is broken, it may be the result of sudden thermal expansion or thermal shock caused by extreme temperatures or temperature change. Detonation is often the culprit and can be caused by an extremely lean air/fuel mixture, drastically advanced timing, improper gasoline octane rating.
Appearance & Symptoms: In this case, the center or ground electrode is melted or scorched, and your engine may be experiencing some power loss.
Possible Causes: Melting often results from loose installation, which prevents the plug from properly transferring heat from its tip. But melting may also indie unusual heat or hot spots within the combustion chamber. This excessive heat is often the result of pre-ignition, which can be created by an overly lean condition, improperly advanced injection timing, or improper heat range (too low).
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