How to Remove and Inspect Your Car’s Spark Plugs
Removing and inspecting your car’s spark plugs doesn’t have to be a complicated process. This is best done when your engine is completely cool though. You don’t want to risk burning yourself on a hot engine. The other reason is that metal will expand when it is hot. That will make the spark plug in place very tightly and you don’t want to break it off in the head when you try to remove it.
To remove the spark plug you need to pull the spark plug wire off of the head of it. Determine the size of the deep well socket you will need. Some of these deep well sockets are specifically made for spark plugs. They have a rubber insert in them to protect the ceramic casing of the spark plug. However, if you are very careful you can use any deep well socket that fits to get the job done.
Remove your spark plug by turning it counterclockwise. Once the spark plug is out you can inspect it. Take a look at the electrode area of it. Make sure it isn’t burnt or damaged in any way. Take a good look at it to make sure you don’t see a build up of excess carbon in it. You also want to make sure the spark plug isn’t wet due to either gasoline or oil getting on it.
If you discover any of these types of issues then there could be a problem with the way your engine is performing. For example it may be getting too much fuel and not enough air or vice versa. The gap in your spark plug is very important in regards to the way in which your engine will perform.
There is a simple tool for setting this gap to the correct distance on your spark plugs. The engine manufacturer determines what the gap of the spark plug should be. Each of the spark plugs in your vehicle should be set accordingly. If the gap is too large, you can tap on the electrode to close it until you get it to the correct setting.
If the gap is too small you can use a small flat head screwdriver to open that gap wider until you get to the correct setting. If you have inspected the spark plugs and find no problems and the gap is correct you can put each of them back in place. You want to make sure you tighten them clockwise.
However, make sure you don’t over tighten them.
In today’s newer vehicles the engine head where the spark plug screws into are made from aluminum. If you tighten the spark plugs too much you may cause damages to the threads.
Make sure you press all of the spark plug wires back on correctly. If there is any space between the tip of the spark plug and the metal connector on the inside of the wire your engine will have a miss in it and not run correctly.