The Value of Spark Plugs & A Good Tune Up

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We hear common automotive terms all the time (timing belt, brake pads & brake rotors, radiator, plugs and wires, A/C compressor) but do we really know what these “car parts” do for our vehicles ?   Do you really know what a spark plug is or what it does ?

To oversimplify, a plug’s “spark” is somewhat like a lightning bolt – it forces electricity to arc across a gap.  Extremely high voltage is necessary in order to travel the gap & create a spark.  This spark ignites the mixture of fuel and air.  Once this mixture ignites, an explosion is created that drives the pistons down, cranking the cam shaft, which turns the driveline and enables your vehicle to move forward or backward.  The electricity must be contained within an insulated passageway, typically porcelain, so that it can travel down to the electrode and “jump” the gap and travel to the engine block, where it is grounded.  The cylinder contains an extreme amount of heat and pressure so the spark plug must be able to withstand these conditions and be designed so that fuel additives don’t build up on the plug.  Not all plugs are created equal so it is important to know what your particular vehicle requires and when to change them.  Replacement can be at 30k, 60k or even 100k miles so please look at your owner’s manual to determine the manufacturer’s specifications for your car or truck.

Perfecting the mixture of air and fuel is extremely important.  If your vehicle runs lean or rich and is not properly diagnosed as to the root cause, it could lead to carbon deposits and burns, knocking or ping, reduced fuel mileage, or even engine damage.   Do not underestimate the importance of an OEM spark plug and a good Tune Up.   A little Preventative Maintenance now can save you hundreds of dollars a year in fuel costs, help you avoid being stuck on the side of the road, and minimize potentially expensive (and extensive) work caused by the neglect of your spark plugs and wires.

Call Das Autohaus today to schedule an appointment at 520-8523 so that we can inspect your vehicle and keep your car running at maximum performance level.