How to clean a Spark Plugs with Best 4 Ways

A spark plug essentially is the life of any automobile. Whether it is a truck or small car, spark plugs are lifelines to both of them. Spark plugs can be considered as one of the most hardworking parts of an automobile. The entire luggage of responsibility, for an automobile to start, is over the spark plug. Spark plugs are the smallest yet the most crucial parts of any car and engine part. Therefore, every car must have clean spark plugs. 

Imagine the smallest of particles to obstruct the working of spark plugs. Your car will just not start. Cleaning spark plugs are not that difficult in reality. All you will need is the correct technique and information, and this article will do the same. 

What is a Spark Plug?

Spark plugs are the most important influencers of your car. They have to work non-stop even when your engine is turned off. Under the influence of spark plugs, the various functions inside the engine like fuel consumption, idling, and acceleration are heavily affected.

You will be intrigued to know that there are two major types of spark plugs. One is known as “hot plug” and the other as “cold plug”. Even though both of them appear to be similar, there is a major difference. Observing carefully, you will notice that the hot plug has a longer nose which helps in retaining heat for a hotter tip. 

On the contrary cold plug has a shorter insulator nose which helps it dissipate heat very quickly. Using a wrong spark plug in a car engine can affect the overall performance of the car, even degrade it, and we do not want that. Hence choosing the right spark plug and maintaining clean spark plugs have become more important.

How to clean a spark plug?

Cleaning a spark plug is the first rule of basic car maintenance tips which speaks a lot about its owner. There are many methods with the help of which one can get their engine’s spark plugs cleaned very efficiently. Some of the methods are elaborated as follows,

1. Cleaning spark plugs through sandpaper

Ever thought a basic entity like sandpaper will be efficient to be used for cleaning spark plugs? The answer is yes. Here is how you can clean spark plugs by using sandpaper.

  • Detach the spark plug from the engine system carefully, and use sandpaper of about 170 or more to get rid of soot particles.
  • Fold the sandpaper and cut it into half, then slide it between the electrodes and the arm so as to remove any deposits jammed in there.
  • Clear out the area which is between the electrode and the insulator to clean the debris from the groove. You can also make use of any thin wire or pin to reach the groove.
  • To clean the sanded particle, flip the spark plug and get the electrode side down. Blow the part properly and ensure the sand has been got rid of.

2. Cleaning spark plugs with grit blasting technique

Many professional garages and service centers make use of grit blasters that can clean a spark plug in a quickie. You can get a grit blasting machine to clean the spark plug, however one can always go for inexpensive and easier techniques. Here is what you can do to simply clean spark plugs with simple tools.

  • Use a gapping tool or a screwdriver, preferably a thin one to make space for the file by levering open the gap.
  • Now gently clean the treads with a soft wire brush if there is an accumulation of oil and dirt inside the groove.
  • Clean the entire plug, the outer portions with a soft cloth to get rid of excess dirt, and make sure you clean the ceramic part of the plug well.

3. Cleaning spark plug using compressed air

The job of spark plug cleaning becomes all the way simpler and non-exhausting by using compressed air. Once you have checked and found the spark plug in the engine, you need to blow off the dirt and junk from the area so that they do not obstruct other parts. Here is how you can achieve it.

  • Disconnect the spark plug carefully from the engine body before applying compressed air.
  • If there is any dirt or dust particles around the spark plug, spray the compressed gas around it. The gas will blow the particle that is loosely present. 
  • Make sure you do not overuse it. The purpose of using compressed gas is to move the bigger particles swiftly and not throw them in another hole or part.
  • After the particles are loosely moved, take a cloth and clean it with ease. Then join the spark plug back.

4. Cleaning spark plug using a blow torch

One can also use a blow torch to clean car spark plug professionally. However, this method will require the correct equipment and a blow torch of course. Apart from this, an individual needs to be well-versed with its functioning to avoid accidents. Here is how you can use a blow torch to clean the spark plug.

  • Since blow torches yield fire, it is better to hold the spark plug with the help of a plier to avoid burning injury. 
  • Pliers will give you a firm grip over the spark plug. Next, you need to wear safety gloves and ignite the blow torch. Turn the knob on ethane gas or propane gas to allow the flow. Ignite the torch using a source. 
  • Direct the torch over the spark plug. This will burn all the debris over it and carbon content. After you are done burning, let the spark plug rest and cool down. Wipe the plug and reinstall it back.

Conclusion

A spark plug, though the smallest, is the most essential part of an automobile. It is responsible for power, fuel efficiency, and acceleration to a certain extent in the automobile. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that they always remain clean and keep functioning. If you need to replace spark plugs with Smart Parts Export, you can always find reliable parts. Follow the above points for clean spark plugs and a fit automobile.

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