If you are searching for ways on how to change spark plugs, you are at the right place as I’m going to work you through the steps needed to change a spark plug.
Replacing worn spark plugs can significantly boost the performance and reliability of your car’s engine, and it can be achieved with simple hand tools at home. To do it right, you will need to follow the instructions in your car’s manual while doing so; it is crucial to follow the right instructions in going about it so you can get desired results. Neglecting the manufacturer’s instructions would decrease efficiency and lead to problems with the adjacent parts or the engine itself.
Spark plugs continuously burn and wear down during driving time, limiting their performance, and replacing them on some vehicle engines can prove technical to a novice. The most formidable challenge you will likely face is to remove the spark plug wires or ignition coil and unscrew the spark plugs.
Well, if you want to know about how you can change the spark plugs in your car, this article has done justice to that. Below, we’ll go over everything you need to know about spark plugs, as well as some suggestions about how to change them.
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What is a Spark Plug?
The spark plug is an integral part of any incinerating engine of all modern vehicles; it also navigates the electrical charge to activate combustion in the machine, igniting the fuel. Just like some other parts of any car, the spark plug gets weary at some point, and they can be easily changed by making use of the right tools and steps.
Symptoms of a Bad Spark Plug
They are very few usual signals to look out for in dictating if a spark plug is worn out and needs to be replaced. Below are some of them;
- Tardy acceleration: When you notice a poor acceleration in your car, it’s mostly because of a problem with the ignition system. In this case, the spark plug might probably be faulty and will need to be removed because it could also be the source of your car’s sluggishness or failure to accelerate properly.
Poor Fuel Management: Spark plugs aids in burning fuel thoroughly in the combustion cycle. Therefore, a noticeable change in fuel economy can be considered because of a worn-out spark plug.
- Engine Misfiring: This can be caused by the damage of the spark plug wire or the tip because a worn-out spark plug takes its toll on the engine
- Hard Starting: In some cases, having issues with turning on a vehicle can be because the vehicle’s worn-out spark plugs need replacement.
Tools Required To Change Spark Plugs
- Socket: A spark plug socket is an essential tool with an opening in which the plug is designed to fit in for easy removal. You must find out the spark plug’s size for the vehicle to get the socket’s right size.
- A spark plug: You will undoubtedly need a new spark plug to change the old one, but to do so, you will have to find out the brand, model, and year of your car with the type of engine that comes with it in other to find the suitable spark plug match.
- Lubricant: Also, get an oil; this helps prevent the new spark plug from getting trapped against dissimilar metals. You might also want to get a dielectric soluble for the plastic boot of the spark plug’s wire.
- Extension Bar: Usually optional, but an extension bar is needed if the Tifton of the plug is out of the reach of a standard socket wrench. It is also used to reach for deep bolts that are used in sealing the engine parts of the vehicle.
How To Change Spark Plugs
With the right tools available, you will need to follow the below steps to change the worn-out spark plugs of a vehicle successfully.
- Purchase a matching spark plug: When going to the Auto parts store to purchase new spark plugs, try and make use of the vehicle’s manual to find out the type of plug suitable for the brand, model, and year of your car. These are the key points to look out for when shopping for a new spark plug.
There are different combinations of spark plugs in various measurements and prices; finding the perfect match with the one that comes with your vehicle is critical as the manufactures that fixed them in the car did it for a reason.
Never downgrade to a cheaper spark plug. It is imperative to get the exact fit of the one you are changing. In any case, you get confused, check the vehicle’s manual or verify from local dealers.
- Spot the spark plug: Spark plugs are usually located at the engine areas of a vehicle, so to spot the pin, you will need to trace the wires connected towards the engine to spot which one is connected to the spark plug.
This varies in vehicles, though, but the spark plug is always located at the engine ends of these wires under the plastic boots. You should also check the vehicle’s guide to find out out how many spark plugs come with the car and endeavor to trace each one of them carefully.
- Check the engine temperature: If the vehicle has been in use at the point, it is expected that the entire engine and the plugs with some other components of the car will be hot. It is advised to allow the vehicle to cool off for a while before commencing the process.
- Remove the spark plug: At this point, you will have to reach out to the wire end covering the pin with the plastic boot and gently pull. This is a very critical stage and requires that you draw with ease as not to sever the wire because it will leave you with a more significant task to deal with.
The metallic end connecting the plastic boot with the spark plug will have to come off with the boot. Still, if the process damage occurs, a replacement is highly recommended as installing a damaged plastic boot or wire will cause inevitable dharma other firing components of the vehicle. Once the boot and the cables are successfully detached,
Fix in your socket wrench with an extension bar, if necessary, and detach the spark plug with a ratchet from its lodge gently and carefully. You will have to remove the plug separately to replace them according to their appropriate housing and wires. This is because mixing up the wrong wire will either cause damage to the engine or cause it not to run at all.
In a situation where you remove all the spark plugs, tag and label each wire together with the appropriate spark plug. this will help you identify the proper wire and plug and where its meant to be lodged
- Clean and lubricate the plug’s thread: When changing a spark plug, it also serves as an opportunity to clean the spark plug’s wires, ports and check for possible damages for immediate replacement. This helps in keeping the new pin clean and make it work efficiently. It is also expected to review the wire boots for any anti-bind oil contamination and clean if necessary
Cleaning the thread of the new spark plug is also essential before applying any Anti-seize lubricant helps to avoid a reaction in metals that are not similar. You can also add a little amount of dielectric grease on the plug wire’s plastic boot to make it easily removable when the spark plug is due for a change.
- Install and tight the new plug: At this point, you will carefully put the spark plug back to the hole, gently twisting it backward in line with its thread to fit into the hole correctly. Cross-threading the spark plug might lead to the damage of the plug entirely; hence the process must be done carefully.
Use the socket wrench with the extension bar, if necessary, to tighten the plugs and be careful not to firm the pins too much as it will make it hard to remove when next you want to change a new one, and it can also easily damage the engine’s thread.
When re-installing the spark plugs, endeavor to install them accordingly to their different housings and connect each plug wire boots to the appropriate spark plug of each engine cylinder. Always attempt to refer to the vehicle’s manual for clarifications and try to make the wire boot snap on the spark plug’s tip to clip correctly. Lastly, remember to connect the battery back if it was disconnected before you started the process and then turn on the vehicle.
A vehicle owner must be conscious of a vehicle’s essential components and know when they are due for a change. Some parts, such as the spark plugs, when not appropriately changed when it is faulty, cause the vehicle’s engine to malfunction or break down outrightly. Changing of spark plugs in any vehicle regardless of the brand, model or year is relatively the same process, but there is a specific difference in the spark plugs’ location.
Lengths and prices of spark plugs also vary depending on the brand, model, and vehicle year. To get the desired result, you must endeavor to get the appropriate apparatus and know how to use them. Regardless of how the issue is, Always bear in mind that a spark plug will undoubtedly get worn out, and timely change and maintenance are critical to a healthy engine.