Checking Spark Plugs for Their Health and Efficacy
Naturally then, a healthy spark must be sent every time it’s required and for that reason, it’s vital that the spark plug of your two-wheeler’s engine is always in the pink of its health for the combustion cycle to complete efficiently. It might look like a simple metallic thing which doesn’t do much, but without it, the engine is as good as a matchbox with no matches in it. Read on then as we guide you to how you can go about checking this important link for its health and efficacy.
The spark plug is also the litmus which tells you a lot about the state of things inside the engine. The next time you unplug it from the motor, here’s what you must look out for. A normal and properly functioning plug will have some white/grey/light brown discolouration around the electrode. The electrode itself will be slightly worn with most of the metal intact.
On the other hand, a spark plug with heavy deposits around the insulator and the electrode will be a result of poor fuel quality or high oil consumption from a mechanically-worn engine. This also leads to glow ignitions where the deposits heat up and glow on their own. Black coloured carbon deposits appear if the spark plug is frequently operated below its self-cleaning temperature. This happens when only short distances are ridden repeatedly or an incorrect spark plug with a heat rating different than specified by the manufacturer has been installed. Blistering, burn marks or glaze on the plugs could indicate that they are running too hot and are probably not the ones specified by the manufacturer for that engine.
Mechanical damage to the plug like chipped insulators or electrodes could indicate the presence of foreign bodies or hard deposits in the combustion chamber which could end up damaging engine internals. The other causes of such breakage could also be the use of wrong torque or probably the spark plugs were dropped on a hard surface (e.g. workshop floor) before installation.