The stable operation of the car engine directly depends on the spark plugs, which over time lose their properties – covered with soot, which prevents the stable passage of the spark. Other factors lead to the failure of the spark plug, but most often their replacement is due to a clogged electrode, which begins to melt. This can be avoided if the spark plugs are cleaned of the resulting soot.
Contrary to popular belief, the formation of soot does not always indicate a problem with the motor or something else. Even with a good engine, quality fuel and oil, there is still plaque on the spark plugs that gradually reduces their effectiveness. As a result, the candle breaks down.
Of course, there are many other causes of “death” of candles, but most often they stop working because of too thick layer of soot, which leads to overheating and melting of the electrode.
The average service life of spark plugs, which the owner monitors and cleans from soot, can grow by 5-10 thousand kilometers, ie from 20-25 thousand to 30-35 thousand, if we are talking about quality elements. You can clean spark plugs at home by various methods, and below we will tell you how to do it.
The easiest and most obvious is to use fine sandpaper or a small brush with steel bristles. The use of highly abrasive paper is strictly prohibited.
Despite the simplicity of this method, it is not so safe for the candle itself. Even with a fine-grained “finishing” sandpaper you can easily damage the insulator. This will lead to faster formation of soot on the candle and its rapid failure.
Never use sharp tools such as a flat-blade screwdriver or sewing device for cleaning.
Let me remind you, there are now only two main types of spark plugs: ordinary nickel and advanced iridium. I’m not going to talk about two, three electrode variants now, yet they have a central electrode mainly made of nickel.
There are two basic types that differ fundamentally:
Nickel – they have a central electrode and a side electrode made of nickel alloy with other metals, steel, etc. can also be used. There are no precious metals, the central electrode is made in the form of a cylinder.
Iridium electrodes – there are also central and side electrodes. Their base is also made of ordinary metals, but there is a spraying of iridium, platinum and other precious variants from above in a few microns. This is done so that the central part, which is sharpened like a needle, does not burn from high temperatures.
It is worth noting that cleaning in these two main types will be very different.
ROUGH CLEANING OF CANDLESTICKS WITH SANDPAPER
It will. A brush with thin steel bristles or sandpaper with the smallest grain size.
Cleaning procedure. This method is simple, and that’s its main advantage. The car owner can use sandpaper or brush to clean the spark plug with physical force. The disadvantage of this method is that with this method of cleaning the spark plug there is a good chance to scratch the insulator badly, so that it will be much faster to cover the soot while working. In no way should you clean spark plugs with a knife, sewer or screwdriver – one wrong movement and the electrode will fail.
A safer and simpler way implies the use of conventional household chemicals. Limescale and rust removal agents are best suited. In fact, it’s the most common household chemicals for sanitary engineering.
CLEANING SPARK PLUGS WITH HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS
It will. Rag, water, small brush, small container, lime scale and rust remover, most commonly used to clean slabs, sinks, faucets and other household appliances.
Cleaning procedure. Various household chemicals are good at removing soot from spark plugs. Maximum efficiency is shown by the means used for the removal of lime scale and rust – their cost is small and the effect is excellent.
Cleaning the spark plug with a detergent is as follows:
- In a small container (plastic cups can be taken), a detergent is poured to remove scale and rust. Pour so much so that part of the spark plug with soot is completely in the detergent;
- Next, all spark plugs are lowered into the container at the same time;
- Wait about half an hour, after which the candles are taken out of the container, and the residues are cleaned with a small brush;
- The spark plug is then washed under water and wiped with a towel;
- The spark plugs must be completely dry before they are placed on the vehicle. You can put them on the battery for a few hours, but some motorists, to speed up the drying process, put the candles in the oven at a minimum temperature of 15-20 minutes.
This method is good in that the strong household chemicals cleans the soot from all areas of the spark plug, on which it gets. In this way, not only the electrode of the spark plug is cleaned, but also the insulator and the threads. The candle looks like a new one and is able to work for some more time.
The third way is distinguished by some difficulty, but if you want a thrill and does not give rest to the glory of the heroes of the series “In All Heavy”, you can try it, too.
CLEANING THE SPARK PLUGS WITH A SOLUTION OF AMMONIUM ACETATE
It will. Water, household stove, gasoline, 20% aqueous solution of ammonium acetate, hard brush.
Before you start, you need to hold the candles in the gasoline for a while to maximally degrease and then dry. Only then can you move on to a 20% solution of ammonium acetate.
The cleaning procedure. If the car owner has the option to make a 20% solution of ammonium acetate, they can clean the spark plugs. For this purpose it is necessary:
The first thing to do is to wash the spark plugs in petrol and dry them. This should be done in order to degrease their surface as much as possible;
Then a solution of ammonium acetate is brought to the plate at 90 degrees Celsius. To make it easier to navigate the temperature of the solution, and not to lower it below the required temperature, you can bring it to a boil;
The spark plugs are lowered into the solution for half an hour. Attention: This procedure must be performed with good ventilation (included in the hood or open window), because the vapours emitted by boiling ammonium acetate are harmful to the body;
After half an hour, the spark plugs are removed and cleaned with a brush; they should then be washed under hot water and dried.
The result of cleaning the spark plugs with a solution of ammonium acetate is no different from removing soot with household chemicals. In both cases, the spark plugs are completely cleaned and can be fitted again to the vehicle.