How to change spark plugs
You know that spark plugs are worn out. Well, “burning” is more like that, because when a spark jumps the ditch between the two electrodes, actually burning (eroding) small amounts of metal each. Over time, the gap grows to the point where the spark can no longer make the leap. This is when you get misfires, bad fuel consumption, poor acceleration and, ultimately, the “Check Engine” dreaded light.
To keep vehicles running at peak performance for longer maintenance intervals, many automakers install long-lasting plugs. Because their electrodes are coated with precious metals with higher melting points, sometimes these caps can maintain an accurate space of up to 100,000 miles. But even with higher melting points, metals such as yttrium (2779 degrees F), platinum (3222 degrees F) and iridium (4,429 degrees F) can not prevent erosion forever. The electrodes will eventually erode, increasing the distance, and, well, you’ve heard the rest of this story.
If you’ve changed your own candles in the past but are intimidated by the new style reel on the (COP) plug of the (almost standard since 2000) ignition systems, it’s time to reconsider.
POP systems may seem complicated, but they are easier to work than older distributor-based systems. Of course, you will have to learn some new tricks, but the basics remain the same.
Change your own candles, it takes about an hour (for a four-cylinder engine) and will save at least a hundred dollars in the job. You can use the same old tune-up tools (ratchet and socket deviation gauge). You must use a torque wrench to tighten the plugs. But there is a way to avoid that if you do not have it. Just follow these steps and tune in in no time.
Spark plug misunderstanding
When replacing the spark plugs, do not be surprised to see the center electrode “past” the size of a pin. If your car has been equipped with iridium candles sparkle center wire electrode end in these plugs can be as small as 0.4 mm to nine. You are probably accustomed to larger diameter of 2.5 on a traditional copper mm central electrode spark plug.
We talked to Dave Buckshaw, Technical Trainer Spark Autolytic Plugs, to get the lean on the latest technologies taken. Dave’s advice was simple: Whichever brand you buy, spend the extra money to spark iridium wire end caps. These plugs cost a little more than platinum plugs, but they last longer and offer a better spark.