Spark plugs play an essential role in the operation of an engine, so it is essential to keep them clean and in good operating order. Spark plugs need to be cleaned for a variety of reasons, and while cleaning them is a simple and quick way to keep them functioning properly, it is essential to be aware of these reasons. Spark plugs that are old and unclean should typically be replaced, but if you can’t acquire replacements right away, cleaning them can keep your vehicle running until you can. Using abrasive materials like as sandpaper or a file to clean your spark plugs is an excellent method; but, if you do not have either of these tools, a blow torch can also do a reasonably decent job of the task.
If your spark plugs have a buildup of dirt, use WD-40 to clean them. To begin, make sure that the engine of the vehicle is turned off. Next, spray some WD-40 on a clean and gentle cloth, and then wipe or spray directly on the spark plug wires and the distributor cap of the vehicle.
There is no question that spark plugs are one of the most important elements of a car. The fundamental purpose of these components is to supply the spark of electricity that is required to ignite the air-fuel mixture that is contained within the engine. It is imperative that you maintain the spark plugs in your engine in good functioning condition in order to ensure that the engine continues to operate properly.
Cleaning your spark plugs at the appropriate intervals is one of the things you can do to ensure that they continue to function in the best possible conditions. An engine misfire is not something you want to experience in your vehicle, and a buildup of dirt, oil, or debris in the spark plugs can make this more likely to happen.
One of the solvents that motorists use to clean the dust, debris, and filth that has accumulated on the spark plugs is called WD-40. Because the product is made up of a one-of-a-kind and specially formulated mixture of lubricants, it may be used on spark plug holes without any issues. Anti-corrosion compounds are also present in WD-40, which is an interesting fact.
How exactly should the interior of a spark plug hole be cleaned the most effectively? Is it okay to spray WD-40 into the opening for the spark plug? Is it okay to put lubricant in the holes of the spark plugs? What kinds of products may I spritz into the hole where the spark plug is located? As you continue to read through the rest of this essay, you will come across the solutions to these pressing problems.
Removing Spark Plugs
1 Detach the wire connecting the battery’s negative terminal to the rest of the battery. Find the battery either in the engine compartment or the trunk of your vehicle. It will have the appearance of a box made of black plastic, with two metal terminals protruding from the top. Locate the negative terminal, which will be denoted with a minus symbol (-), and connect that. To remove the cable from the termination, first loosen the bolt that is holding it there, and then slide it off.
If you are unable to locate your car’s battery, please consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle or the website of the manufacturer.
Put some space between the cable and the battery terminal by tucking it to the side. This will prevent the cable from accidently coming back into touch with the battery terminal.
2 Identify the location of the spark plugs.Locate the points at which the spark plug wires (the thick cables extending from the ignition coils to the top of the engine) link to the spark plugs, and then follow each of the spark plug wires until you reach the appropriate opening in the cylinder head. There will be one cable and one plug for each cylinder in your engine; therefore, a V6 will have six of each, while a two-stroke dirt bike will only have one of each.
If you are having difficulties identifying the spark plugs on your specific car, consult the owner’s manual or a repair manual that is designed specifically for your make and model of vehicle for assistance.
3 Remove any debris from the spark plugs by using a can of compressed air to blow it away.After you have located the region in which the spark plugs are screwed in, you will need to clear the area of any debris and dirt in order to prevent any of that debris from falling into the cylinders as the spark plugs are being removed. Make use of the compressed air to quickly and easily clear the area of any loose items.
It is possible for the engine to sustain significant damage if any dirt or debris enters the cylinder while the spark plug is being removed.
When clearing away debris with bottled air, it is imperative that you always wear eye protection.
4 Disconnect the wire from each spark plug individually before proceeding.It is recommended that you clean the spark plugs one at a time in order to maintain the order of the cables and reduce the likelihood of foreign objects being sucked into the cylinders. If all of the spark plugs were removed at the same time, it would be easy to become confused about which cable is connected to which cylinder, and it would also increase the likelihood that something might fall into the spaces that the spark plugs had previously filled. Grab the spark plug cable firmly on the low part of the boot that is closest to the spark plug, and then pull it away from the plug until it is completely detached.
- If you pull from a higher point on the wire, you risk tearing the inside of the cable away from the connector that goes into the plug.
- If the wire is truly jammed, try to loosen it up by giving it a small twist first, and then pull on it.
5 To unscrew the spark plug, you will need to use a spark plug socket.The spark plug socket should be mounted on the extension first, and then the extension should be connected to the ratchet. Place the socket over the spark plug, and while holding it in place, crank it in the opposite direction of the clockwise rotation to remove the plug from where it is placed. After it has been partially unscrewed, remove the extension and socket from the wrench, and then continue the process by unscrewing it by hand.
- While you are removing the spark plug socket from the engine, the spark plug will remain securely seated in the socket thanks to a rubber grommet that is located inside the socket.
- Before removing the spark plug, you should take one last look around to see if there is any dirt or debris that has become loose. If you find any, you should brush it or blow it away.
Cleaning with Abrasives
- The spark plug electrode should look like bare metal. If it doesn’t, keep sanding until it does.
- Always wear eye protection and a mask when sanding.
- Wear gloves while you do this to avoid poking yourself with the wire brush.
- The threads don’t need to be perfectly clean to work, but should be free of most buildup.
- If your spark plugs are really dirty, you can use the brake cleaner and wire brush together to tackle stuck on grime.
- Make sure to wipe the plug down thoroughly with the rag after to remove all of the brake cleaner that has soaked up dirt and oil.
What Are Spark Plugs?
Spark plugs are part of the ignition system where the electrode voltage will travel from the top to its bottom part.
This voltage will “jump” across the spark plug gap, the distance between the central and ground electrode.
You can refer to what happens in voltage as rubbing your feet on the carpet, then touching the doorknob, and there you can see a visible spark.
The spark will ignite the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber, causing a big explosion that leads to the power stroke of your engine and eventually to the wheels.
Generally, the distance or the gap size between the central and the ground electrode varies.
The size of the spark plug gap is essential in determining if the gap would be enough to produce a spark in igniting the air-fuel mixture.
If the size of the gap is too small, the sparks produced are likely to be weak. Whereas if the size is too large, the engine may not run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes Spark Plugs Dirty?
Oil from the combustion chamber may flow into the spark plugs, if neglected, would further accumulate inside, reducing your car’s performance.
The spark plug transports the electric current from the ignition system to the combustion chamber to ignite the compressed air-fuel mixture as an electric spark.
If the oil gets leaked into the combustion chamber, it may accumulate on the tip of the spark plugs.
Normally, the carbon buildup on the spark plug may be caused by:
- Dirty air filter
- A large amount of air-fuel mixture
- Leaving your car idle for too long
- Too much driving at low speeds
Leaving your spark plugs dirty can lead to your car having poor acceleration, reduced gas mileage,
engine misfires and triggers your check engine light.
Does My Spark Plug Need Cleaning Or Replacement?
To tell whether your spark plug needs cleaning or replacement, check for damages on each part after cleaning the spark plug from carbon deposits.
Inspect for the following to see if the spark plug would need a replacement:
- If the carbon deposits don’t come off even after scraping or cleaning them
- There are cracks in any part of the plug
- Dents and melted parts on the metal of the electrodes
Is WD-40 Safe On The Skin?
No, WD-40 exposure to your skin is not safe. WD-40 can cause skin irritation, so it would be safe to wear gloves whenever you use one.
How To Tell If WD-40 Is Fake?
Beware of counterfeited WD-40 products from China with slightly smaller 350 ml cans, far from the original 382 mL cans.
You can also tell that it is fake if the description in the cans is only in Chinese characters, instead of the description being both in English and Chinese.
What Are The Other Uses Of WD-40?
WD-40 is not just used for car engines but is also effective in using in your household or other utilities, especially in cleaning or removing something.
You can use WD-40 on the following:
- Removing stickers
- Cleaning your golf clubs
- Erases the crayon drawings on the walls
- Loosen the ring stuck on your finger
- Removes carpet stains
- Protect kitchen utensils from rust
- Use it to clean your car windscreen
- Cleaning the fridge
- Removing fingerprints
- Clean leather furniture
- To remove graffiti, paint, and superglue
- Fix the door squeaks
- Polishing coins and silver jewelry
- Removing chewing gum on your hair