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Automotive Tips from Appalachian Spring Village


What Is A SPARKPLUG And How Does It Work?

A sparkplug is a device that provides a fixed air gap for an electrical current to jump across, in order to create an electrical spark.

It is this spark which ignites the air/fuel mixture that has been injected into the combustion chamber.

And it is the energy from this mini-explosion that creates the power stroke (pushes the piston down), powering the vehicle.

Sparkplugs can get fouled (dirty) from various conditions:

  • bad sparkplug wires not delivering a hot enough spark

  • excessively rich fuel mixtures and

  • oil finding its way into the engine for any number of reasons.
  • When a sparkplug gets dirty, it becomes ineffective (won't produce a hot enough spark to effectively and efficiently ignite the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber).

    This results in reduced fuel economy and poor power.


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    (Please note that these columns are written several weeks in advance so publishing it will be delayed accordingly.)


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