Knowing Your Car: What Size Socket For Spark Plugs And How To Replace It?
Long gone are the days when each and every car trouble forced us to visit the mechanic. Today, more and more of us are trying to learn the basics of auto mechanical work and fix our vehicles by ourselves.
Do you always visit a car mechanic for changing car spark plugs? Well, not anymore! In this article, we will find out what size sockets for spark plug would fit your car and how to replace it. Read to find out.
Why Spark Plugs Are So Important For Our Cars?
The spark plugs in our cars are designed to deliver an electric current from the ignition system to the combustion chamber for lighting the compressed fuel and air in a spark ignition engine. Therefore, the spark plug is what gives our car the spark, both literally and metaphorically.
You may have to change the spark plug because of many reasons like overheating, wear and tear and the likes. Further, a bad spark plug can lead to poor fuel economy, low acceleration, engine misfire and overall difficulty starting the engine.
So naturally, knowing how to change the spark plug of your car is something all car owners should know. It can also save you a few hundred bucks.
What Size Of Spark Plug Sockets Should I Use To Remove Car’s Spark Plug?
The most important tool when it comes to replacing your spark plug is your spark plug socket. It is the actual device that removes the spark plug. The size of the socket to be used is determined by the hex of the spark plug. Most spark plug sockets come in 2 sizes. These are 13/16 inches or 21 mm sockets and 5/8 inch or 16mm sockets.
Sockets of 18mm size are also available even though they are not as common as the other two spark plug sockets. The size of your spark plug depends on the car or vehicle you use. A spark plug commonly comes in 5/8 inches and 13/16 inches, but may be larger than 1 inch or less than 8mm depending on the specification and requirement.
It is better to remove the spark plug and visit the local shop. Show them the spark plug and they will provide you with an appropriate spark plug socket which will fit your spark plug.
Before we can talk about removing the spark plug, we should first know what all tools we will require for the process.
What Tools Do I Need To Change My Car’s Spark Plug?
You can easily change your spark plug in just an hour using the tools you might find in any toolkit.
- Spark plug socket
- A gap gauge
- Torque wrench
- Universal joint
- Compressed air
- Needle nose plier
A ratchet is nothing but a socket wrench which has a socket attached to it at one of its ends.
Spark plug sockets help in holding the spark plugs firmly at their place.
A gap gauge (wire style gap gauge or variable thickness disc style gap gauge) is used to measure the gap width between two electrodes.
It is important to use a torque wrench when tightening the spark plug. Care should be taken while tightening as tightening the spark plug too tight can cause the threading in the cylinder head. This might even damage the whole spark plug. Most torque wrenches have a gauge that displays the torque being applied.
You may also require a universal joint if your spark plug is in difficult to reach places.
Compressed air which is at a higher pressure than the normal atmospheric pressure is used to clean dust and debris before start changing the spark plug.
These help in easy cutting and holding of equipment and components.
Replacing The Spark Plug
Now that you have learned about the important tools you will be requiring, it is time to get to the actual process of removing and replacing the spark plug. It is typically easy to remove and change your spark plug within just a few hours. Here are the steps to follow while replacing your spark plug.
Step 1 : Clean The Work Area
Before you can begin working, use compressed air to remove any crud and prevent it from falling in the cylinder.
Step 2 : Remove The Vanity Cap And The Air Cleaner Assembly
Label any vacuum hose that you may remove to prevent confusions later. Clean the top of your engine before you proceed to remove any more parts.
Step 3 : Remove The Ignition Coil Electric Connector
This can be done by pulling up or depressing on the locking tab. Pull out the entire coil and boot assembly by removing the coil hold down bolt. If your car uses a COP system, and the rubber and boot don’t come with the coil, use needle nose pliers and replace them with newer parts. And if your car doesn’t use a COP ignition, you can easily pull the boots off the plug.
Step 4 : Actual Removal Of The Spark Plug
Blow away any dirt and crud that may have accumulated on the spark plug. Use a spark plug socket and turn it counter clockwise to remove the spark plug. All spark plugs may not be easily accessible and you might require an extension of some length to do the job easily.
Step 5 : Maintain The Proper Gap
It is important to always gap your spark plug before you install it. You can use a wire style gap gauge or a variable thickness disc style gap gauge. Slide the suitable wire gauge between the electrodes.
Step 6 : Install The New Spark Plug
Use a torque wrench to tighten the spark plug with the perfect torque. If you do not have a torque wrench, you can check the spark plug company’s website to search for a suitable manual tightening technique. Using the correct torque is important as too little torque and the spark plug may come right off and too much torque and the spark plug may end up getting distorted. You should further reduce your torque by 10 percent if you had applied and anti-seize compound.
Step 7 : Lubricate The Boot
The last and final step in replacing your spark plug is lubing and buttoning up the boot. Apply a little bit of die-electric grease to prevent misfires and for easier removal in the future. Install the ignition coil; hold down the bolt and other components that you had removed earlier. Reinstall the air cleaner assembly and the vanity cover.
In this world, it is always good to know more. And basic auto mechanics is a good and practical field to have this knowledge. Removing and replacing your spark plugs is one of the easiest and least time-consuming repair works that you can do in your garage as it doesn’t require a lot of complex tools.
The spark plug is a very important component for the working of our cars and SUVs. That is why it is important to know how to replace your spark plug. It can also save you a lot of time running behind a mechanic and at least a few hundred bucks.
And to replace your spark plug, it is essential to know the size of spark plug socket. I hope that through this article, you now know about the spark plugs and spark plug sockets. If you have further queries and doubts or if you liked the article, do write to us in comments and share the article with your friends and family to spread the knowledge.