Spark plugs: Function and maintenance

What is a spark plug?

The spark plug made its appearance in 1876, whereas it was not until 1902, an era when cars were in their ascendancy, that the manufacture of spark plugs really started for makers such as Robert Bosch.

Making petrol engines run, the plug produces a spark allowing maintenance of the air-fuel mixture in the engine by explosion during each cycle, with the engine running as a result.

Situated above the cylinder, it equips all current petrol engines.

What is the working principle of a spark plug?

The current arrives at the tips of the ignition coils, producing on its way through different conductors, a spark between the platinum or iridium pad and the grounding electrode.

What are common problems with spark plugs?

The plugs get clogged up from the burnt deposits after combustion but also from the number of kilometres covered. In fact, over time the plugs produce a spark of lesser quality, which affects the engine output, as well as the proper explosion of the air-fuel mixture.

The most commonly encountered problems are:

  • Unstable idling
  • Lags in acceleration
  • Loss of power
  • A sluggish engine
  • Problems with ignition 

How do I maintain spark plugs?

De-scaling by hydrogen injection contributes to the elimination of impurities, which accumulate on the spark plugs over time and due to the kilometres covered. They then recover a better spark, improving combustion of the mixture. Even so, it is necessary to consider replacing the spark plugs, which have a limited life cycle. Car manufacturers have implemented to that end various “manufacturer’s recommendations” to be observed.

Find out everything about de-scaling

Find out everything about de-scaling