HOW TO CHANGE YOUR CAR’S SPARK PLUGS
Petrol-powered vehicles basically run on controlled explosions of energy. Those explosions are caused and controlled partly by spark plugs. They ignite the air and fuel mixture; and the explosion, caused by electrons at the end of plug, is converted into energy that causes crankshaft motion. Having said that, without these spark plugs, your gasoline engine won’t really take you anywhere.
If you use your car regularly, the spark plugs will most definitely wear over time. The electrodes will eventually deteriorate and make the electrons’ needed gap too wide. If you’re having troubles starting your car, if the engine seems to have a rough idle, if you notice a higher fuel consumption, or if your engine misfires and surges, those are signs that you need to have your spark plugs replaced already.
As one of the leading companies in the car wreckers Melbourne market, Rapid Car Removal is committed to helping car owners make the most out of their cars. As car buyers with two decades of experience, we have extensive knowledge about cars. We truly believe that if you still have that luxury to do DIY repairs and other projects on your car, by all means, enjoy it while you still can. Having said that, we are here to help teach you on how to replace your spark plugs without actually screwing up.
First things first, avoid that last-minute rush to the hardware store and prepare these tools beforehand:
- Socket/ratchet set
- Needle-nose pliers
- Extension bar
- Gap gauge
- Torque wrench
- Spark plug wire puller
- Swivel socket
Step 1: Let your engine cool first. Remove loose dirt from your engine before actually doing anything. Blow off the crud from the ignition coils to prevent them from falling into the cylinders. If there’s still a plastic cover on top of your engine, remove it carefully.
Step 2: Detach the coil electrical connector by depressing or pulling off the lock tab. Then twist the ignition coil to break loose the O-ring seal. Now remove the old spark plug boot assembly out. Some engines have detachable spark plug boot assembly and spring. If they don’t remove easily, you may use needle-nose pliers.
Step 3: Before you pull the old spark plug out, it’s also important that you remove the dirt and crud that have settled around it. Using a swivel-head plug socket and an extension bar, unscrew now your old spark plug by rotating it counter-clockwise.
Step 4: Always remember to check the spark plug gap before installing a new one. Using the gap gauge, select the correct wire gauge between the electrodes.
Step 5: Using the proper ratchet-socket wrench is critical in fixing today’s car engines. Always buy the one that is according to your car manufacturer’s specifications. But because spark plugs today now have anti-corrosive thread coatings, it’s a lot easier to install new ones. Just screw them in and finish up with the proper torque wrench setting. You may check in your vehicle service manual to know the exact torque setting of the plugs.
Step 6: Lubricate the boot assembly first before reinstalling the ignition coil. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of dielectric silicone compound into the spark plug boot and spread it using the applicator. Make sure to properly reinstall coil, bolt, and electrical connector. Wait for it to “snap” on. Note that if this is done incorrectly, you may cause your engine to misfire.
Roughly, spark plugs today last about 30,000 to 70,000 mile-intervals. But to make it easier for you, just religiously follow your car manufacturer’s recommended spark plug service intervals.
It really pays to get your hands dirty at least once or twice in your car’s lifetime. Experiencing even the simplest of DIY repair or maintenance jobs will make you appreciate and take care of your car more.