With the right spark plugs, the car consumes less fuel, has better performance, and works smoothly – but when did last you check them? Spark plug replacement is often referred to as a menial little job, usually done with an oil change service, but a good mechanic will always recommend regular control and a more frequent change if necessary.
Spark plugs are the first messenger of poor performance or engine malfunction. Also, the spark plugs have a major impact on engine performance and it is important to change them according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. You will know that the spark plugs are worn out when the vehicle’s consumption is increased (usually by several deciliters), performance will be weaker, and the engine will work unevenly on the gear.
The worst that can happen when changing the spark plugs is damage to the head of the engine head. Namely, a careless assembly can damage the thread, which means that it is necessary to dismantle the engine head, replace all gaskets and practically “edit” the entire head of the engine that needs grinding in order to do everything according to the rules of the profession. In translation: do not change the spark plugs yourself, you are risking too much, it’s a job for professionals.
Knowing what to check
With modern engines, the spark plugs are deeply embedded and often require a long key, often with a special blade. For example, the five-year-old Citroen C4 1.6 16V is a job for a professional, because without a special 16-inch key you will not be able to do the job. Therefore, it is best to visit some reputable service and to leave the change to the professionals.
After dismantling the spark plugs, the professional will notice what you would certainly not pay attention to. Namely, according to the color of the spark plug, it is possible to determine exactly whether the engine is working well and what is the cause of its abnormalities.
For example, if the electrodes are the color of chocolate and equal on all cylinders, the engine is all right. But if one of them is light-grey, the service technician will know that the cylinder works with a poor mixture and will recommend checking the injection system in time. The poor mixture results in uncontrolled self-blending of the mixture and high temperatures which then leads to serious damage to the vehicle engine.
The spark plugs may also be greasy, which will serve as an alarm for the servicer to check the wear of the piston rings, or by checking the ignition system to remove suspicion of problems with high-voltage coils and cables. It is extremely important to use the recommended spark plugs when changing.