Spark Plugs are very important and need to be kept in good condition for optimum performance. The electrodes of the spark plug need to be kept clean and sharp to create the powerful spark necessary for ignition.
If your spark plug is damaged or dirty, it can lead to inconsistent firing which would result in poor performance and excess fuel consumption.
Luckily spark plugs are easy to repair, maintain and if necessary, replace. With the easy steps provided below, you can inspect and service your spark plugs.
- Start by disconnecting the spark plug lead from the spark plug. Remove any debris around the spark plug before you remove the plug to keep the debris from getting into the combustion chamber.
- Take out the spark plug by using a spark plug socket wrench.
- Using a wire brush and spray on plug cleaner, remove light deposits from the plug. If there are still difficult deposits, try using a strong knife to scrape them off. DO NOT use a shot blaster or abrasives to clean your spark plug.
- Inspect your spark plug for damage and heavy deposits. If there is any damage, you should replace your spark plug.
- Next, check the gap between the electrodes at the tip of the spark plug by using a spark plug gauge. A typical gap for small engine plugs is 0.030". But, you should always check the specifications for your particular model to be sure (Too small of a gap could result in a smaller and weaker spark, leading to an increase in fuel consumption. Too large of a gap could result in misfiring or premature electrode wear).
- Finally, reinstall your spark plug and attach the spark plug lead. Be sure not to over tighten your spark plug when you reinstall it.
If you’ve done all this and still have problems, you may want to use a spark plug tester kit to diagnose whether you have a problem with your ignition system or you are having a spark plug misfire. If you have a spark plug that is misfiring, you should replace your spark plug.