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Many people have this misconception about spark plug resistors. Some think that the resistor will stop oil fouling or may stop the deposits from entering or exiting the spark plug chamber. Instead, the resistors were created for EMI (electromagnetic interference) or RFI (radio frequency interference). With the spark plug and spark plug wires, this is extremely minute amounts of radiation that are emitted by electric circuits which carry rapidly changing signals. These unwanted signals interfere with other signals sent from other electric or electronic signals. When a spark moves or jumps the gap on the spark plug, it creates electromagnetic field causing a number of problems, such as poor spark plug performance. But the EMI or the RFI can also cause more severe problems with your vehicles computer or radio, or other vehicle electronic or electrical systems. Though the spark plug and spark plug wire manufacturers have been coming up with new technologies to retard the effects of EMI or RFI, the people who design the cars, trucks, SUVs and vans we drive everyday are working hard to help with the effects of EMI or RFI.
Generally, most people will associate fouled spark plugs with gas and oil. Although these are two reasons for spark plug fouling, there are other issues you should consider. Every spark plug can foul, no matter how expensive or how good they are. Here are some of the most common reasons for spark plug fouling:
A few things to remember when replacing your spark plugs and spark plug wires.
Wondering the firing order for your Jeep, Chevy, or Saab? With all the auto manuals and software, it's easy to find the firing order for any vehicle.
The firing order of a vehicle is the sequence of sparking of the spark plugs in a reciprocating engine, or the sequence of fuel injection in each cylinder in a Diesel engine. Achieving the correct firing order may prove difficult at times. Producing the correct timing on a vehicle is crucial to your vehicles performance and/or your customer when a time line as been drawn for the repairs.
Knowing the firing order of any vehicle you own is important when you're working with ignition, timing, spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributors, caps, etc. If you do not know the firing order, you can get it from a dealership that sells your make and model vehicle, the local parts store, or a local mechanic shop. You can even find it online with a little searching.
Although there are quite a few spark plug manufacturers to choose from, your vehicle really doesn't know the difference between one or the other. But understanding the differences in the spark plugs will help you decide what brand or manufacturer of spark plugs you would like to install or have installed in your vehicle.
Always look for quality over price. Though some spark plugs are better for your vehicle, it's not the brand that causes a difference. Price does not dictate a spark plugs performance -- the quality of the spark plug is what creates better performance. Here are a few other tips to help you choose:
The sad truth about some aftermarket performance wires (or waarz, as my uncle Jed calls them) is that a lot of them ain't worth a pee-hole in the snow. Many factory wires have a two-piece connector that grips the spark plug, utilizing both an inner and outer collar. Some after market brands use only one, which means they may not stay on the plug as well as they should. It's easy to check a connector with the naked eye, but it is hard to judge the quality of the insulation or how well the wire will stand up to vibration just by looking at it. In the end, the best advice when shopping for performance replacement wires is to go with tried and true names like Nology, Bosch, and others.
If you are the average motorist, you probably think that all spark plug wires are the same and that you and just yank out the old resistance ones and pop on the new non-resistance ones and you are good to go. But you would be wrong. Oh, so wrong. Here's why. Many modern ignition systems that were designed with the resistance as part of the circuit. You use non-resistance wires and who knows what kind of damage will result. So here's the rule: Always use replacement wires that were designed for your vehicle's ignition system.
Spark plug wires, aka ignition wires, aka plug wires connect the spark plugs to the distributor or ignition coils. Spark plug wires are not like your normal wires. They are different by design. Electrically speaking, you might say they were born to resist. The main reason for this resistance is so you can listen to your car radio in peace without all that static. The resistance in the plug wires reduce radio static generates by the ignition system.
To paraphrase an old song, plugs and wires go together like a horse and carriage. You shouldn't change one without the other. And when you do change them, you should make sure they were made for each other. Wires and plugs are just one link in the entire ignition system, so any changes have to be carefully coordinated. Mismatching plugs and wires can mess up your ride more than a little bit. Upgrading to high-performance spark plugs and low-resistance plug wires can net you more mpgs and better performance. While you are at it, you might look into putting in high-performance coils and ignition boxes. They will help your engine get more power out of your gasoline.
Before you go down to your local parts store and pick up some replacement performance plug wires, there are few things you should keep in mind before you fork over your hard earned money.
Make sure the resistance of the replacements is within specifications for your vehicle. This is important.
Why? Because many after-market replacements may be listed to work for a wide range of vehicles.
Translation? They are not a good match for your vehicle. The fact of the matter is you have to know your specs. You can find them in a factory service manual for your vehicle.
Then measure the new wires with an ohm meter. If you get a reading that is too high or too low by 5 or 10 to 1, put them back and check out another brand.
There is a saying in the auto repair community, that a clean plug wire is a happy plug wire. And why not? A thin film of dirt on the outside of the plug wire and around the boots at the ends of the wires can form conductive path to the high voltage when exposed to moisture. The conductive path drains away the current that should be going to the spark plug. This can make your engine miss or run rough, especially in damp weather. So, take care to make sure that your wires are clean, and always wash your hands before returning to work.
In the red-hot world of performance ignition wires, Nology HotWires are white-hot. Their HotWires come engineered with a special built-in capacitor, which creates a spark that is 300 times more powerful than your typical wire. Here's how. The wire's unique design allows energy from the ignition coil to accumulate in the capacitor until the voltage at the spark plug electrodes reaches the ionization point. The entire power of the stored spark is discharged at once. The result is faster, more complete combustion, and more horsepower.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|