Buy Spark Plugs: A Make/Model Purchase Guide for Top Ignition Performance

January 27, 2012

If you want to replace the spark plugs on your vehicle you need to buy spark plugs suited to the car manufacturer’s specifications. A spark plug is used in several internal combustion engines. It ignites fuels like liquefied petroleum gas, ethanol, and gasoline by producing an electric spark. The voltage of the spark plug generally lies between 40,000 volts and 100,000 volts.

Insulation

Since the spark plug has to produce a high voltage spark at the tip of the electrode and not at any other point on the plug, most spark plugs have a ceramic insulator to keep the high voltage isolated at the electrode. The ceramic insulation also helps to burn deposits that stem from the electrode. Since there are different types of spark plugs available for sale, you need to find out which spark plugs are suited to your vehicle's make and model before buying and replacing old spark plugs with new ones.  

Types of Spark Plugs

Although several manufacturers sell different plus, the two most commonly used spark plugs are hot plugs and cold plugs. Hot plugs are designed in such a way that the distance between the ceramic insulator and the metal edge of the plug is smaller. This helps the plug run hotter, as the heat transfer from the ceramic insulator is reduced. Cold plugs have a larger contact area and therefore run at lower temperatures. Car manufacturers will select a plug with the right temperature in order to match the performance of the engine. If the engine generates a lot of heat, it will have to be equipped with a cold plug. This prevents the risk of fire.

Buying the Right Spark Plug

It’s important to use the right spark plug so that it doesn’t get overheated and ignite the fuel before firing a spark. To find out which spark plugs are ideal for your vehicle, keep the VIN (vehicle identification number) handy. Ask your car dealer to look up the VIN to find out more about the manufacturer’s specifications. You could also look up the manufacturer specifications on different automotive websites by paying a small fee. After buying the right spark plugs, you have to find out if the plugs need to be gapped. You could either read the instructions listed on the package you’ve purchased or ask an employee at the auto parts store.

Replacing Spark Plugs

It’s important to carry out routine car maintenance tasks so the vehicle remains in good working condition. Replacement of the spark plugs is one such task that needs to be carried out occasionally. It helps the car run smoothly and also increases fuel efficiency. Although replacement of the plugs is a moderately difficult job, it can be accomplished with the help of a few tools and the right guidelines.

You could either buy the ignition coil plugs at a local hardware store or order the spark plugs online. Make sure you follow the right procedure when replacing the plugs so you complete the task without any difficulty. Since there are several tutorials and step-by-step DIY guidelines available online, make use of these to successfully replace the spark plugs on your own.