The first thing that comes to my mind when trying to keep an automotive engine running clean is changing oil, but cleanliness goes far beyond lubrication. One of the most essential components for promoting engine life is the spark plug. Spark plugs deliver the electric current from the ignition system in our vehicles to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine, igniting the compressed fuel/air mixture with an electric spark, and dirt and debris can stop them from performing at a high level.
A suboptimal spark plug can hurt successful ignition, cut fuel efficiency, and cause long-term damage to any combustion-engine vehicle. Modern spark plugs, especially those built with iridium fine wire, provide durability for more than 100,000 miles, and that lifetime can be protected, or even extended, with some regular maintenance. One area to stay on top of is making sure spark plug sockets stay clean.
When inspecting a spark plug socket, it is critical that there is no presence of dirt, debris, or oil. Ensuring a clean socket before installation keeps the porcelain area pristine and dirt-free. If you fail to properly and thoroughly clear sockets, dirt, oil, and debris can get on to the porcelain part of the spark plug and accumulate additional buildup over the life of the plug. With more build-up, a spark’s path is altered, and it can get grounded before it is able to create ignition within an engine. This lack of an igniting spark could be categorized as a misfire, something that no driver wants to experience.
Clean sockets are one of many keys to clean-firing spark plugs. A clean pathway from ground electrode to firing tip can promote a longer service life for the plugs and more efficient engine operation. While checking sockets before plug installation is important, technicians should include this check in regular maintenance too. Even for modern iridium plugs, the optimal type of plug for late-model engines, it’s wise to conduct regular socket checks between 25,000 and 100,000 miles of service.
Autolite® has been focused on developing spark plugs since 1935. We have done the research and put in the hours to enhance the performance, durability, and ignitability of plugs for domestic and import engines. Our latest advances in technology are our Iridium Ultra® spark plugs. This plug offers the highest level of performance and a limited lifetime warranty to show you we mean business. Explore the benefits of our new Iridium Ultra® spark plugs at autolite.com.
This article was sponsored by Autolite.