How to Prevent Spark Plug Blow Out: Ignition Problems Solved

January 27, 2012

A spark plug blow out occurs when the spark plug is fastened too tightly or not tight enough to the engine plug. The result is that the spark plug itself cannot properly channel the electric charge from the plug to the engine block, and the spark plug breaks down. This is a very dangerous thing, as it can happen while you're driving and cause a variety of different problems for your engine. Fortunately, spark plug repair is relatively straightforward and inexpensive. However, if you have an ignition blow out, you may be saddled with additional fees that help to increase the total cost of the repair project, as well as the time spent. Read on for a few ways you can help prevent a spark plug blowout in your vehicle.

Check the Torque

Although the torque varies for each set of spark plugs and engine, it's important that you maintain the appropriate levels of torque throughout the time you drive the car. The torque reference can be found either in the owner's manual for your vehicle or on the box that the spark plugs came in. A certified mechanic or another expert can also help you to determine what the ideal torque rating should be and how to go about determining it. The torque should ideally be monitored at about every 5,000 miles or so. This amounts to roughly every other oil change, so many people check the torque on their car spark plugs on this pattern. Be sure to adjust the spark plugs so the torque reading is accurate, in order to prevent blow outs from happening.

Install the Plugs Correctly

If you should happen to install your spark plugs incorrectly, you stand to be at a greater risk for a spark plug blowout. This is particularly the case if you happen to install your spark plugs while the engine is not completely cooled down. This is a dangerous way of installing the plugs anyway, but the change in the temperature of the engine can cause the plugs to twist and become poorly aligned as the engine cools. The result is that the spark plugs are more likely to blow out after you attempt to start the engine once again.

Listen for Ticking

If you hear a ticking sound as you attempt to start your car, this could be a warning sign. Listen for soft and repetitive clicks that occur either as you attempt to start the car or while the engine is revving in idle. These are oftentimes sounds generated by the spark plugs themselves. They represent a dangerous situation. If you hear clicks, stop the car immediately and get out to check the spark plugs. Once the engine has cooled completely, adjust them so they're properly in place and the torque levels are right. Or simply remove and replace them with new plugs.

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