Starting your vehicle on a chilly winter morning can be an arduous task and can often lead to a disappointing outcome; there are various causes of this problem but is often caused by old and eroded spark plugs. Though they may seem small in size, they play a very important part in starting a vehicle. So, if your mechanic is not available at that very moment to replace the spark plugs, you can refer to the below-mentioned steps and replace the spark plugs all by your own.
The spark plugs are placed differently in cars and bikes, but after you locate them, you have to follow the same procedure for both.
- Locate the spark plugs: Most of the motorcycles have an exposed engine unit, which means locating the spark plugs wouldn’t be a hard task, commonly they are located on the sides of the engine and have a cap with a thick wire attached to it. In cars, the process is a bit different, when you open the hood/bonnet of the car, you will see 4 to 5 thick wires that lead to different compartments of the engine; the spark plugs are at the end of these wires. Before you proceed, make sure that your engine has cooled down which can be determined from the temperature sign in the speedometer.
- Remove the spark plugs: To extract the spark plug, you need to uncover the spark plug chamber which can be done by removing the thick wires that cap it. You need to be very careful while removing these wires, a clumsy and rigid movement may damage them. After removing the wires, you will need a ratchet wrench, extension bar, Spark plug socket and a spark gap gauge. Use the wrench to reach the spark plugs as deep as possible and then when it seems that you have a grip of the plugs, turn the wrench gently in the untwining direction.
- Check the spark plug gap: After you have extracted the spark plug, use the spark plug gap gauge to measure the gap between the plug. If the gap is high than .028-.060 inch, the plug might need to be replaced, but if the plug is of high quality, then you can tap the spark plug on a wooden surface to reduce the gap.
- Changing the plug: If the plugs are damaged, or you opt to change the plugs for maintenance purposes, first, use a tire compressor and blow away any debris that may fall in the plug chamber (this has to be done before removing the plugs). Use a cleaning agent to wipe the new spark plug with a cloth. Then place the spark plugs with your hand in the chamber and then use the wrench to tighten the plugs. Do not over tighten the plugs, as doing so might stop them from performing efficiently. Re-place the spark plug chamber wires and give them a gentle tap to fasten them.
Though all of the above may seem easy, you need to be very careful while replacing the spark plug and if anything goes wrong, leave the vehicle with the experts to do the needful, as the engine is a part where heroic deeds may not pay off well.