Engines operating on gasoline depend on the spark plug to provide the spark needed to flare up the air-fuel concoction in the combustion compartment. However, there are other helpful ways in which spark plugs can help you maintain your car. Here’s a complete guide on how maintaining and checking your spark plugs can save you from buying expensive tools or getting costly repairs.
Check the Spark Plug for Soot
If your spark plug seems to be jammed with black or grey soot, don’t worry, it’s a fairly common occurrence. The insulation tip of the spark plug usually gets covered with black soot because of there being excessive fuel and not enough air in the engine. This is called having a ‘rich fuel-air mixture’. Prolonged periods of idling and constantly driving at low speed are the most common cause. To cure your engine of this ‘rich fuel-air mixture’ problem, you will need to adjust your carburettor slightly. There’s no need to buy Australian automotive industry tools- this problem has a quick fix!
Choosing a spark plug that is not compatible with your engine can cause broken electrodes. To check whether or not you have a broken electrode, open your engine compartment and take the spark plug and check its fishhook-shaped ground electrode. If this portion of the spark plug is uneven or looks damaged, you will need to buy new spark plugs. If you continue to use this incorrect spark plug, it can cause your engine to break down. Your fuel economy will also suffer. Whenever you buy automotive tools, it is vital to check whether or not that tool or auto part is compatible with your vehicle. You can buy car parts for cheap at most car sales in Australia.
If you spot a pasty deposit on your spark plugs’ electrode, there is a possibility that your plugs are oil-fouled. Spark plugs get oil-fouled when there is an engine leak. It may also be a sign of broken cylinders. Unlike a carbon-fouled spark plug, oil-fouled spark plugs are wet and need proper supervision. Since there’s a leak, hiring a mechanic to find the source of the leak is very important. Otherwise, you can replace them yourself but end up having another set of oil-fouled spark plugs.
Reading spark plugs can considerably save you a lot of money on repairs and new purchases. Replacing spark plugs is easy but if you ever suspect that there’s a leak or some form of structure failure, consult an expert.