Spark Plug Diagnosis – Read Your Spark Plugs to Find Engine Faults, Common Faults With Spark Plugs and Their Causes, Appearance, Symptoms, and Trouble it May Cause, blue exhaust smoke is also an environmental hazard. Overheating. He put in a helicoil and has been having this problem pretty much ever since. This shortens the electrode, and requires more and more electricity to create the arc necessary to fire the cylinder. Fault pre-ignition. Appearance, Symptoms, and Trouble it May Cause. It will gradually erode over the course of the plug’s lifetime. Do you have enough oil and coolant? The insulator could have a hairline crack or be missing a sizable chunk. How Are High-Performance Ignition Systems Different from Standard Ones. This enables it to spark across the small gap between the central electrode and the side electrode, which starts off the combustion process. Overheating Damage: Overheating spark plugs can cause the electrode to wear faster. You may see that it’s cracked, split or otherwise broken. Hence the name—the deposits form a bridge over the gap. This includes descriptions of symptoms and suggested actions to take. Check the following and replace if necessary. Examples: 2-ground electrode plug, small ground electrode plug (taper cut), racing plug, surface discharge plug, etc. Here are some photos of what it looks like when a spark plug gaps change as compared to new properly gapped plugged. A strained motor means poor performance and increased likelihood of damage. A broken insulator can be one of the signs of detonation. Some cars require a hot plug. Internal components hitting the plug (incorrect installation is likely). You don’t have to take the whole engine apart to find your spark plugs, making the inspection and the use of them for diagnosing many car troubles simple. This is sort of like the automotive equivalent of cooking sugar, but unappetizing. With a functional spark plug and given that everything else works efficiently in harmony, your car can achieve better than average fuel economy. Ground electrodes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The subsequent troubleshooting sections on spark plug fault diagnosis, are listed in alphabetical order. Take your socket and socket wrench or scrench tool and unscrew then remove the spark plug. The answer to this problem, devised by the spark plug manufacturers, was to use a different material and design for the centre electrode that would be able to carry the heat of combustion away from the tip more effectively than a solid nickel alloy could. Oil Contamination: If oil seeps onto the spark plug, it will foul the tip. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Try to take your vehicle for longer drives every so often rather than exclusively short trips. What Is the Difference Between Conventional, Electronic and Distributor-less Ignition Systems? This was to burn off lead deposits. If there’s a breach somewhere, you’ll eventually find oil where it shouldn’t be. The length of time the Spark arc is maintained across the spark plug electrodes is called Burn Time. The oil deposits may also have hardened to a pale brown crust. Your engine would run rough, it would idle poorly, it might spit and sputter during acceleration, and it might even stall out on you. Could the electrode have burnt away? 1 sec = 1000 ms. A foreign object bouncing around your combustion chamber can spell disaster. Check for engine damage afterward. Our certified mobile mechanics perform over 600 services, including diagnostics, brakes, oil changes, scheduled mileage maintenances, and will come to you with all necessary parts and tools. Normal deposits will be absent, burned away as soon as they form. Insulator for damage; Electrodes for wear; burning condition, coloration; dark to light brown shows good condition. Check your spark plug. At one time it was common to remove the spark plugs, clean deposits off the ends either manually or with specialized sandblasting equipment and file the end of the electrode to restore the sharp edges, but this practice has become less frequent as spark plugs are now merely replaced, at much longer intervals. Home » Maintenance » Spark Plug Diagnosis – Read Your Spark Plugs to Find Engine Faults. Replace normal spark plugs as per your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. If it isn’t compatible with your vehicle, it may be running too hot. If you skipped over it, go back and read through. This term refers to when spontaneous combustion happens after the spark plug has fired. They’re the result of low operating temperatures. This can happen due to dirty injectors, a clogged air filter and many other reasons. In milliseconds ( ms ) that 's how short really is coated nose! Toll on your motor too far in this state, it wouldn’t be worth it are better insulators which more... 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