What do you do when you find that your spark plugs are worn-out or old? You replace them.
But, what if we told you that it’s not time yet? Unless they are damaged, there is one way to get extra miles from them and that is cleaning them.
Unfortunately, it is not as easy as just pick removing them from the vehicle and wiping them down. No, you can’t hose them down either. If you are planning on cleaning your iridium spark plugs, there are certain things that you should remember.
Cleaning spark plugs – things to remember
Many people are under the impression that you can follow the same procedure to clean any type of spark plugs. If you try a one-size-fits-all approach here, you will end up spoiling the plug altogether. Using these damaged plugs will lead to significantly serious problems.
The main difference between copper, platinum, and iridium spark plugs is the tips. Each of them has a tip made of the specified material. Iridium tips are particularly known to be very fine while copper tips are slightly bigger. In one of the common cleaning procedures, you will see the usage of sandpaper. This works for copper plugs but if you sand an iridium tip, you will damage it.
How to clean iridium spark plugs
Now that we have explained the caveats, let’s go through the steps to clean iridium spark plugs in particular:
- Use a clean rag to wipe the firing tip and the plug. Be gentle.
- Now, take a quick-dry cleaner and spray it onto the firing tip.
- Leave the plug alone for 10 minutes so that the deposits loosen.
- After 10 minutes, use a wire brush to remove all these deposits.
- With an air compressor, blow the plug off. This will remove any hidden deposits.
- Re-gap the spark plug.
- Start using it.
Should you clean your spark plugs?
While there is a way to clean spark plugs, experts say that you should avoid it if you can. Replacing them is almost always safer than attempting to clean them. This is because any lax through the process can cause problems. Here are a few points to note:
- Clean the plugs properly and thoroughly. If you clean them insufficiently, they will fail very soon, negating the trouble you went through.
- Some people dip the spark plugs in water to clean them. Please don’t do this.
- Always clean one spark plug at a time, without attempting to do them all at once.
- If your plug is not working properly even after thorough cleaning, you must replace it.
Iridium spark plugs are sensitive. They will be your partners for 80,000 to 100,000 miles or so but when they are worn-out, they deserve to be replaced. It is the best thing to do. So, if you are not confident about cleaning them, please don’t do it. Replacement saves a lot of hassle and protects the vehicle from potential dangers.
If you have any doubts, about spark plugs, you know how to reach us.