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How to Change Your Car’s Spark Plug

Changing a car’s spark plug may seem daunting for the uninitiated but the process itself is surprisingly simple and straightforward. In fact, you can change the spark plug in an hour or less. The key to trouble-free installation is to work on one spark plug at a time. Why? Spark plugs are installed in a proper firing order so each one has to be replaced on the same order. Each spark plug wire should go from the spark source to the spark plug. This means you will only remove the wire from one plug at a time so you don’t disconnect both ends of the wire.

Also, a car has several spark plugs and not all of them requires a replacement at the same time. As such, inspect each spark plug and see if it’s worth saving before replacing it before moving on to the next spark plug. To replace your car’s spark plug, consider this step-by-step guide how:

You will need:

2 lint-free cloth
Oil dipstick
Silicone lubricant
Protective gloves

Start by zeroing in on the spark plug hole located in the cylinder block. Clean the spark plug hole using a lint-free cloth, carefully wiping dirt away from the hole. With your oil dipstick, lightly dab a little oil on the threads of the new spark plug but avoid the getting any oil on the sides or center of the electrodes.

Next, start threading the spark plug into the engine with your hand, turning the plug clockwise to seat the plug. If you cannot hold the plug properly, which is quite normal, try attaching a piece of thin plastic tubing or vacuum hose to the plug get a better grip.

It’s important that you seat the plug by hand so you don’t end up with a crooked spark plug or damaging the threads of the plug or the spark plug hole! It will take about two full turns before the spark plug is secured. Once secured, you can start using the spark plug socket and ratchet.

Put the spark plug socket over the plug and attach the ratchet handle. Continue turning the plug until you feel a resistance. It’s equally important not to turn the plug too tightly or the porcelain component might crack. Stop turning once the plug is no longer wiggling. In addition, the plug should stick a little when you try to loosen it. This is why working with your hand is ideal when changing spark plugs, so you get a feel of the thing as you turn.

After you’re done turning the spark plug, check the cable before attaching its boot to the plug. If the cable looks saturated with oil, frayed, or it’s general gnarly, replace it. Apply a small amount of silicone lubricant on the insides of the boot then push it over the new spark plug has exposed terminal by pressing it in place and you’re done. Now repeat the same process until all the damaged spark plugs are replaced with fresh ones.

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