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Wiring Up Your Spark Plugs

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Wiring Up Your Spark Plugs

Joe Thompson
June 6, 2006

Your car’s spark plug is one of the indispensable parts of your whole car. However, you are not exactly sure what it is?

A spark plug is actually an electrical device. It is found mounted into the cylinder head of an internal combustion engine. What it does is it actually ignites compressed aerosol gasoline through an electric spark. Thus, spark plugs actually are considered to be the start of a car’s combustion. In simpler terms, your car would be able to start as long as it has spark plugs as part of its system.

Now, the electric spark that starts off from the spark plug actually is transferred to the rest of the other systems in your car with the assistance of spark plug wires. However, through time and wear, these wires could actually get brittle or could get quite rugged and old. And when this happens, your car may not run well or may not even start up even if you try to do so. Remember, automobile experts suggest that your spark plug wires should at least be changed every 30,000 miles. You can have your trusted technician do the job or you can do it yourself.

Changing spark plug wires by yourself can be quite easy. First, you should of course have new spark plug wires available. You can purchase these at auto parts stores. And when you have them ready, you should start locating the old spark plug wires that are still installed. When you have found them, pull off the wires that would be replaced. You can do this by grasping the base of the wire. You can employ a spark plug wire puller to assist you in doing the task or you can do it with just your fingers.

After you have removed the wire, check the length of the old one with the new ones you just purchased. Make sure that the new ones that you would be installing are the same length the ones that you will be replacing. And when you are sure, you can attach the new one to the spark plug. Remember that one end of the wire goes to the end of the spark plug while the other end goes to the distributor cap. You will know that it has been attached well for you will hear some sort of click or pop.

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