How To Clean Spark Plugs?

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In order for your spark plugs to be able to work properly, it is paramount that there is no dirt and debris inside the spark plug engine area, as this could interfere with the electrodes and prevent the spark plug from being able to produce a spark powerful enough to power up an engine, and that would result in your car being unable to start up – as the spark plugs are key to igniting the air and fuel mixture.

So, with all of that being said, if a spark plug has become dirty due to exposure to external elements or you simply haven’t managed to get around to your maintenance checks – then there is a chance that dirt, dust, and other particles of debris could get inside the interior of your spark plug and preventing it from working as it should.

Luckily enough, though, spark plugs are very durable and will typically begin working as normal after they have been cleaned!

But, the all-important question here is how do you clean spark plugs safely like commercial cleaners? If you’re currently asking yourself this question, then rest assured that you have clicked on the correct article.

To ensure that you are able to effectively clean your spark plugs without compromising on safety, we are going to be talking you through everything that you need to know below. Read on!

How To Clean Spark Plugs? Step-By-Step Instructions

How To Clean Spark Plugs? Step-By-Step Instructions

Spark plugs are an essential part of your car and are the components that help to “fire up” your engine and get it running when you first stick the keys in the ignition.

In order to provide the explosion necessary between the air and fuel inside your car, the spark plug’s electrodes need to be kept in pristine condition, otherwise, they won’t be able to do their job.

Luckily, as we have already touched upon above, the great news is that even though you might not think it – cleaning spark plugs are a lot more simple and easy to do… so long as you know the proper technique! This is where we come in to lend a helping hand. Read on for instructions on how to safely clean your spark plugs:

  1. Disconnect the negative terminal: First things first, you are going to want to locate your car battery and disconnect its negative terminal.
    • This will require you to locate the minus symbol and remove its bolt so you can slide it off, so if you are not confident you can do this, then we recommend either asking an experienced friend to help, or alternatively visiting your local garage.
  2. Find your spark plugs: After you have done the above step, you can then proceed to locate your spark plugs! This should be pretty simple as they are typically connected to the spark plug wires that have swirling coils.
    • However, if you are having some trouble locating your spark plugs, then we once again recommend leaving the job to someone who has experience with cars, as it will not only save you time – but also help to ensure that you stay safe. Nevertheless, once located, you will then be ready to begin cleaning.
  3. Use compressed air to remove surface debris: With a can of compressed air, we recommend that you take a moment to quickly spray over your spark plugs to shoot out any surface debris and dirt that might be getting in the way of the electrodes.
    • While this step is optional, we recommend that you do so, as this will help to get rid of any surface debris.
  4. Clean your spark plugs with sandpaper: After you have gotten rid of all the surface debris, you can then proceed to give each spark plug a deeper and more thorough clean.
    • To do this effectively, we recommend that you clean each spark plug one at a time, and take a piece of sandpaper to the electrode area, in order to get rid of any built-up residue that might be interfering with the spark plug engine.
  5. Scrub the threads: After you have taken the time to thoroughly clean the electrodes of each spark plug with your sandpaper, you can then move on to clean your spark plug threads.
    • This can be a little bit tricky to do with a cloth, which is why we recommend that you opt to clean your spark plugs with a wire brush, as this will ensure that you are able to get inside the threads and get rid of any debris that might be residing there.
  6. Finish with brake cleaner: Last but certainly not least, all you will then need to do is finish up by spraying your spark plugs with some brake cleaner.
    • Besides helping to remove any remaining dirt and debris, many people believe that brake cleaner can also help to provide a protective coat to your spark plugs, which will help to prevent any dirt or debris from interfering with their performance for longer.

Safety Warning

No matter how experienced you are in handling spark plugs, it is very important that you make sure you are taking the time to thoroughly read through the safety manual that would have been provided to you upon purchase of the spark plugs.

Not only will this help to ensure that your spark plugs do not become damaged during the cleaning process, but it will also help to ensure that you are able to use the spark plugs safely.

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Remember, your safety is of the utmost importance – so if you’re not confident that you will be able to safely clean your own spark plugs, then we recommend that you seek professional help from a car electrician. Thank you for reading!

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