What are the symptoms of spark plug wear and when to replace them

Spark plugs from the moment of their creation are so universal that they are used to this day. Although the specification has not changed much, with the development of engines they have become much more powerful to provide the power unit with optimal performance and efficiency.

As the final element of the ignition system, the power and efficiency of the engine, but also fuel consumption, depend on their condition. The ignition system itself is most often used in spark-ignition engines (gasoline engines) – in diesel engines there is a compression ignition, in which glow plugs are used instead of spark plugs.

The fuel-air mixture in this type of engines ignites only when an electric spark jumps between the electrodes of the candle. Misfires cause the unburned mixture to enter the catalyst and consume it. Damage can be prevented by checking and replacing the spark plugs regularly.

Causes of spark plug damage

Spark plugs during operation are exposed not only to high pressure, but also to high temperature in the combustion chamber. They must be ready to work not only at high speeds, but also with minimal load. Spark plugs are therefore destroyed during typical engine operation – they wear out during electroerosion caused by regular spark jumps. No wonder that after some time the gap between the electrodes increases, which at the same time forces the flow of a greater voltage to cause a spark (electric discharge).

The wear of electrodes in spark plugs is also affected by corrosion. It is the result of hot gases that affect the mechanism while in the combustion chamber. Ceramic candle insulators may also be a problem, which under the influence of prolonged high temperature lose their properties.

The above symptoms of wear of the element can not be noticed – the only option is to replace the component on time. The only sign of candle wear that can be seen with the naked eye is cracks resulting from impacts or improper handling of the candle.

Indications for replacement

In the case of older cars, if the voltage of 25000 V does not cause a spark, the engine is unlikely to start or will work unevenly. More modern models, however, are able to work despite the lack of ignition in one of the cylinders. It results in unburned fuel entering the catalyst, which destroys this element. Therefore, it is necessary to check from time to time whether the spark plugs are not contaminated with oil or soot – if this is the case, it probably indicates too high a level of oil in the engine or signals excessive wear of the piston rings.

If the central electrode is deformed, it is likely that the engine overheats – negligence of this element will certainly lead to the fact that it will be necessary to overhaul the engine. The cost of repair is not small, so it is advisable to inspect this element. By the way, it is worth observing whether the central electrode is not melted, because in this way the thermal overload shown results in a decrease in motor power.

What how much to replace spark plugs when they are not damaged

Due to the fact that the spark plugs deteriorate during normal operation of the engine, the moment of their replacement cannot be neglected. As the above examples prove, this can be tragic. Also, do not wait with the replacement until the candle accumulates carbon deposits – its large amounts will block the candle and may even lead to the dismantling of the head.

The period of replacement of the candle depends on what material it was made of. Standard candles, suitable for older cars, are cheaper and need to be replaced after about 30,000 km. In turn, platinum and iridium candles are more resistant to temperature, which allows you to consult a mechanic only after driving 80,000 – 120,000 km.

When choosing a candle to replace, you must be guided primarily by its quality – especially its thermal value. You should also check the manufacturer’s recommendations, which will certainly contain useful suggestions.

Is there anything that can be done to improve the performance of spark plugs?

The right oil and engine oil additives can prevent most problems with overheating of mechanisms and the effects of excessive friction of individual elements. The addition to Ceramizer engine oil also ensures a longer service life of the entire structure. Although the candles should be replaced regularly, the key to a working vehicle is the proper functioning of each element – especially when it comes to the engine. This mechanism, although complicated, can be secured with one means. That is why, when considering what additives for engine oil will best protect all components, it is worth choosing Ceramizer CS engine oil additive. Choosing the right candles and replacing them on time, it is certainly not often before you consider how much it costs to overhaul the engine.

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