Mvp Plugs

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Spark Plugs Problems That Can Cause Engine Problems

Spark plugs problems can easily be avoided if you take the time to do some preventive maintenance. Unfortunately, most people do not know what to look for when examining a spark plug. This article will help you to understand the problems that can occur, what to look for and what you can do to avoid costly engine repair.

The first thing you will need to do is remove a spark plug to examine the tip where the spark occurs. When examining the tip there are some signs that will let you know what is going on inside the firing chamber of your engine. If the tip is a light brown or tan color then that is an indication of normal wear and operation.

A carbon fouled tip will have a sooty dry black appearance. This can be caused by a couple of things such as a clogged air filter, rich fuel mixture, bad timing, sticking valves, bad ignition wires or a cracked distributor. An oil fouled plug will have oil on the tip which is a result of oil present in the combustion chamber. This can cause a misfire which will make your engine skip and idle roughly.

A spark plug that has been overheated will have an insulator nose that is eroded. A mechanical damaged tip can occur if there is a foreign object in the cylinder. A plug that has been used past its useful life will typically have the tip worn down which causes a greater firing gap.

These are some of the things to look for when examining a spark plug to determine if it is the cause of an engine problem. You will need to check every one to be sure that you can determine if they are or are not the cause of your engine problem since there are other things that can cause problems. If you find a plug that is carbon fouled, oil fouled, overheated or has mechanical damage you should take your vehicle to a mechanic to have the engine more closely examined.

Remember to make sure your engine is completely cooled before you try to do anything. Remove only one plug at a time and replace it before moving on to the next one. Check your engine compartment for any loose tools or other objects before you start your engine.

By taking the time and following these suggestions you will be able to avoid any spark plugs problems along with the costly repairs that can occur with engine problems.

Paul Richards is a "shade tree" mechanic who loves to tinker with his many old and new vehicles. To learn more from Paul about
spark plugs problems
for do-it-yourself mechanics visit his website at

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