What The H Are Spark Plugs?
Are you due for a spark plug replacement? Find out everything there is to know about spark plugs and how they’re covered under Honda Tailored Servicing.
You could say this about a lot of automotive technology but spark plugs are one of the most important components in a modern engine.
You’ve probably heard of spark plugs before, but do you know what they do?
Spark plugs are little electrical devices that fit into the cylinder head of internal combustion engines. They work by having electrical energy transmitted through the spark plug, causing a spark within the cylinder, igniting the gasoline and air combination inside.
Essentially, spark plugs create tiny sparks which cause miniature controlled explosions which help power your car.
Pretty cool, right?
How many spark plugs does my car have?
A common question that gets asked is “how many spark plugs does my car have?”.
It might seem like a pretty straight forward question, but depending on your engine, the answer can vary.
The general rule is that there’s one spark plug for every cylinder of your vehicle. So if you’re driving around in a four-cylinder car you’ll have four spark plugs. A six-cylinder car will have six spark plugs and so on.
However, this rule of thumb may vary as some engines are what’s known as ‘twin spark engines’. As the name suggests, twin spark engines contain two spark plugs per cylinder.
If you’re unsure if your car has a twin spark engine, check with your vehicle manufacturer or a trusted mechanic.
How to clean spark plugs
As spark plugs are the source of a high number of mini-explosions per second, there’s a gradual build up of soot and debris that collects on the spark plug. Sometimes when your spark plugs aren’t performing as efficiently as possible, a quick clean can get them back on track.
As this is a potentially dangerous exercise, we don’t recommend cleaning your spark plugs on your own. This activity should only be performed by a trained mechanic or someone with automotive expertise.
If you believe dirty spark plugs may be causing you problems, visit your local Honda dealer or an authorised mechanic.
How to change spark plugs
Spark plugs are one of the hardest working pieces of technology in your car and eventually get overworked and need to be replaced.
To determine whether or not your spark plugs are due for replacement, visit your local Honda dealer or an authorised mechanic.
How to test a spark plug
The life of your spark plugs varies and when your vehicle isn’t performing as efficiently as possible it might be the spark plugs.
There are ways we can test to see if a spark plug is still ‘active’ and still capable of generating a spark. To do this we use the creatively named tool, the ‘spark plug tester’.
Spark plugs can stop working due to a number of reasons. Mostly related to wearing down over time and overuse.
To get your spark plugs tested, visit your local Honda dealer or an authorised mechanic.
When should spark plugs be changed?
For Honda cars, we recommend changing spark plugs between 40,000 - 100,000kms travelled, depending on the model in question.
This isn’t a blanket rule, just a recommendation. As with most maintenance items in a car, a huge number of factors can influence the operational length and efficiency of a spark plug. Things like driving style, road conditions and age of the car also come into play.
Honda Tailored Servicing
Spark plug maintenance and upkeep is one of the many services we provide as part of the Honda Tailored Servicing Program.
In addition to the base scheduled service you receive as part of the program, you’re also eligible to receive service on adaptive items such as engine filters, transmission fluid and spark plugs.