What is Spark Plug? What does it Do? What is it Made Up Of

Spark Plug Function

Engines which are the main driving force of the modern day vehicles comprise of two main types, depending upon the type of the fuel being used in the engine. Hence the engines can be categorized as spark ignition (Petrol) vehicles and compression ignition (diesel) vehicles. And the most important part in the petrol vehicle which ensures constant sustainable life to the petrol engine cars is the spark plug which is the sole agent responsible to ignite the petrol and make it burn which in turn will generate the power for the petrol vehicles. Best spark plugs available in the market are used for getting the optimum performance of the cars. The Spark plugs are therefore the most crucial part of ignition system of cars. Also since the spark plugs are one of the directly exposed to combustion parts of the engine, the spark plugs are designed to bear high temperatures of combustion while an engine is running.

Spark Plug Construction

There are following three main parts of a spark plug

  • Center electrode
  • Ground electrode
  • Insulation between two electrodes

Moreover, there is a body shell, the sealing ring and the gasket washer. The insulator between two electrodes, play an important role in maintaining temperature. Outer insulation prevents hot gases from leakage. Spark plug wires attach it with engine and make it the part of whole ignition system.

If continuous ignition occur in spark plug, it would be difficult to control temperature of central electrode as it is constantly increasing. Therefore for maintaining certain temperature level, Spark plug gaps are important. There must be some resistance in combustion to make spark gaps possible.

Therefore a best spark plug should have following characteristics.

  • Should maintain certain (engine operating) temperature
  • Insulation among electrodes
  • External insulation
  • Supports reasonable spark gaps

Spark plugs require proper maintenance and need to be replaced for smooth functioning of car engines. One must know spark plug symptoms to know when to replace a spark plug. There are some simple steps that one can follow to check whether spark plug needs to be replaced or not.

Due to ignition process exhaust gases are released, which is the main source of accumulation of carbon gases on spark plug, which in result make it covered with black color (carbon accumulation). This is the indication that the spark plug should be cleaned or replaced if the engine is not delivering the optimum performance, as the direly required spark plug replacement increases the engine efficiency.

Conclusion

In a nutshell the spark plugs and spark plug wires are two decisive things that require proper maintenance and are the backbone of engine efficiency. After certain time intervals these must be replaced to enjoy power of the acceleration on petrol.

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