There are times when you experience some unusual behavior with the performance of your vehicle, you must not ignore these signs. If you experience that your vehicle has a little spunk lately, this might indicate that your spark plugs need to be changed. In such a condition, a quick inspection won’t be able to tell you that it’s time to replace your spark plugs, but can tell you about the condition of your engine. If you see deposits of different colors, then this can be an indication of big problems. Your spark plugs hold numerous clues about the condition of your engine. Here are a few things you must look for:
If you see a yellow glaze on the spark plug’s electrode and tip, then this can inhibit conductivity, keeping the spark from the ability to jump the gap. In such a case, clean your spark plug by spraying it with cleaner, then let it soak for 10 minutes and wipe it with a clean cloth/ nylon brush.
If you see heavy, oily black deposits, then this indicated that oil is being sucked down into the combustion chamber. This can occur due to worn out valve guides, guide seals or piston rings or cracked piston. In this case, you must check for oil consumption problems including leaky valve cover gaskets, crankshaft end seals and oil pan gaskets.
If you see a wet spark plug, this means that it hasn’t been firing due to engine flooding or a bad ignition cable. Also, dirt or moisture outside of the spark plug or an internal crack in the spark plug’s ceramic insulator can too be the culprit.
Witnessing the electrodes of your spark plugs smashed flat or broken indicates that they are the wrong plugs for your engine. In such a case, the spark won’t be able to ignite your fuel correctly and can also cause poor gas mileage.
A chipped or split spark plug insulator indicates pre-detonation. This is also known as “spark knock”. When you see such a situation, check for engine overheating or ignition timing problems as this can be caused by a clogged combustion chamber.
Reading your spark plugs helps you with providing multiple clues about the condition of your engine, saving you tons of money!