Spark plugs are one of the most important components within any Chevrolet engine, as they are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture. Not all spark plugs are manufactured the same way because not every Chevrolet engine is designed the same way. Spark plugs operate under extreme pressure and heat. Heat range is perhaps the most important characteristic of a spark plug, since it dictates how efficient and reliable the spark plug will be. Finally, the ability to diagnose the spark plugs is quite possibly the best way to quickly determine the condition of the engine.
Spark plugs are measured according to their heat range. Heat range refers to a spark plug's ability to conduct heat away from the tip of the plug. A plug's heat range must balance the ability to avoid pre-ignition by burning too hot with the risk of not producing enough heat to avoid corrosive deposits that can lead to misfiring. A plug's heat range can be identified by first noting the number stamped into the side of the spark plug, then by consulting the spark plug's manufacturer to find out which heat range that number indicates. When replacing the spark plugs, the heat range will be noted on the box. Another way to check the heat rage of plugs that are already in use is to remove the spark plugs and note the condition of the tip of each plug. If the tip is either a clean white color or appears blistered, the heat range is not correct. Always refer to the engine's specification's manual to identify the correct heat range for the particular Chevy engine.
Spark Plug Diagnosis
One of the easiest and most effective ways to determine the condition of an engine is to note the condition of the tip of the engine's spark plugs. If the tip is a light tan to grayish color, the engine is operating normally. If the tip is covered with a wet, oily coating, there is an oil control problem. If the plugs have a glossy, black color, the plugs probably just need to be replaced. The glossy black color typically results from hard, fast acceleration, where the normal deposits that have gradually accumulated have melted onto the insulator. If the tip of the plug is covered in black, sooty deposits, the air/fuel mixture might too rich, the choke could be stuck, the air cleaner may be dirty or the engine could have low compression. If the tip of the plug is broken, the engine is detonating, a condition sometimes referred to as "spark knock," as detonation produces an audible knocking sound, particularly upon acceleration.
- Chilton's Fuel Economy & Tune-Up Tips; Chilton Book Company; 1980
- Motor's Auto Repair Manual; Ralph Ritchen; 1968
How to Troubleshoot a Spark Plug
Many spark plug problems can be remedied by removing the damaged spark plug and replacing it with a new plug purchased from...
Spark Plug Wire Problems
Spark plug wires are the channels by which electricity travels from the distributor or electronic ignition to the spark plugs. When everything...
How to Troubleshoot a Chevrolet Silverado With No Spark
eHow; Car Repair & Maintenance; Ignition System Repair & Maintenance; Troubleshoot Ignition System Problems; How to Troubleshoot a Chevrolet Silverado With No...
How to Diagnose the Distributor on a Chevy
When diagnosing a Chevy HEI distributor, in the event of an ignition miss, the spark plugs and the spark plug wires should...
Spark Plug Specifications for a 350 Small Block
The 350 small block engine first appeared as a high-performance V-8 option for the 1967 Chevy Camaro. In 1968, it could be...
Cracked Cylinder Diagnosis: Check the Spark Plugs
Check spark plugs when diagnosing a cracked cylinder head by removing them or pulling them out to inspect their color; learn how...
How to Replace Spark Plugs in a Chevy Silverado
Chevrolet suggests you replace the spark plugs in Chevy Silverado engines every 60,000 to 100,000 miles depending on the amount of wear...
How Can I Change the Spark Plug of a Chevy Trailblazer?
It is important to replace the spark plugs on your Chevrolet Trailblazer every 20,000 or 30,000 miles to maintain engine performance and...
Chevrolet Impala Engine Problems
Chevy engine problems have led General Motors and the National ... retention channel at the front of the engine and to install...
How to Change the Freeze Plug on a 4.3 L Vortec Engine
How to Change the Freeze Plug on a 4.3 L Vortec Engine. ... The freeze plugs on the 1998 Chevy 4.3 are...
How to Tell If the Spark Plug Is Bad in Your Lawn Mower?
If the porcelain tip of the spark plug is broken, the air/fuel mixture is probably too lean or the engine oil level...
How to Change the Spark Plugs on a 2008 Chevy Aveo
Chevy introduced the subcompact Aveo in the 2004 model year. In 2008, the Aveo came in two styles: a four-door sedan and...
How to Replace Spark Plugs in a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu
How to Replace Spark Plugs in a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. ... Gap all four new spark plugs using ... The spark plug...