Spotless Spark Plug Sockets Protect Engine Performance – UnderhoodService

Spotless Spark Plug Sockets Protect Engine Performance

The first thing that comes to my mind when trying to keep an automotive engine running clean is changing oil, but cleanliness goes far beyond lubrication. One of the most essential components for promoting engine life is the spark plug. Spark plugs deliver the electric current from the ignition system in our vehicles to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine, igniting the compressed fuel/air mixture with an electric spark, and dirt and debris can stop them from performing at a high level.

A suboptimal spark plug can hurt successful ignition, cut fuel efficiency, and cause long-term damage to any combustion-engine vehicle. Modern spark plugs, especially those built with iridium fine wire, provide durability for more than 100,000 miles, and that lifetime can be protected, or even extended, with some regular maintenance. One area to stay on top of is making sure spark plug sockets stay clean.

When inspecting a spark plug socket, it is critical that there is no presence of dirt, debris, or oil. Ensuring a clean socket before installation keeps the porcelain area pristine and dirt-free. If you fail to properly and thoroughly clear sockets, dirt, oil, and debris can get on to the porcelain part of the spark plug and accumulate additional buildup over the life of the plug. With more build-up, a spark’s path is altered, and it can get grounded before it is able to create ignition within an engine. This lack of an igniting spark could be categorized as a misfire, something that no driver wants to experience.

Clean sockets are one of many keys to clean-firing spark plugs. A clean pathway from ground electrode to firing tip can promote a longer service life for the plugs and more efficient engine operation. While checking sockets before plug installation is important, technicians should include this check in regular maintenance too. Even for modern iridium plugs, the optimal type of plug for late-model engines, it’s wise to conduct regular socket checks between 25,000 and 100,000 miles of service.

Autolite® has been focused on developing spark plugs since 1935. We have done the research
and put in the hours to enhance the performance, durability, and ignitability of plugs for
domestic and import engines. Our latest advances in technology are our Iridium Ultra® spark plugs. This plug offers the highest level of performance and a limited lifetime warranty
to show you we mean business. Explore the benefits of our new Iridium Ultra® spark plugs at

You May Also Like

The Importance of Proper Spark Plug Torquing

Whenever you install new spark plugs in your vehicle’s engine, there are some crucial considerations to keep in mind. For those who have installed plugs before, proper plug gapping usually comes to mind first. But another important factor in getting the most out of a new set of spark plugs is to precisely torque them

Whenever you install new spark plugs in your vehicle’s engine, there are some crucial considerations to keep in mind.

For those who have installed plugs before, proper plug gapping usually comes to mind first. But another important factor in getting the most out of a new set of spark plugs is to precisely torque them into the engine header, taking care not to under or overtighten them. 

What Causes Fuel Pumps to Fail?

Like most vehicle components, natural wear and tear is the unavoidable cause for parts replacement.  Fuel pumps are often out of sight and out of mind for most shop visitors. That’s because they are an as-needed repair and not typically a part of ongoing maintenance. Nevertheless, if you diagnose fuel pump failure, customers will want

Protecting Your Vehicle in the Winter

Depending on where you live, autumn is an idyllic time of year with bright colors and mild temperatures.  If there is one downside though, it means that winter is on its way, which means frigid temperatures, snow, ice and difficult road conditions. The lifespans of cars and trucks are increasing all the time, so protecting

Complete Pentastar Oil Adapter Fix

Engine Oil Filter Adapter: 926-959 Upgraded Aluminum Engine Oil Filter Housing with Oil Cooler and Filter Application Summary: Chrysler 2022-11, Dodge 2022-11, Jeep 2022-11, Ram 2022-12, Volkswagen 2014-11 The factory oil filter adapter on millions of OEM V6-powered vehicles often leaks oil when its plastic housing warps from harsh underhood conditions. As the plastic eventually

Helping Customers Understand the Signs of Fuel Pump Failure

Fuel pump failures are never a one-size-fits-all diagnosis.  Different symptoms indicate different problems and often, the pump will still function—albeit erratically—as it fails. Explaining this to customers isn’t always easy, especially because many of them may not know that the fuel pump has more than one role. Shop owners and technicians can help customers understand

Other Posts

Beam vs. Conventional Wiper Blades: Which is Better?

As you’re aware, all car parts change over time. This includes wiper blades, which some vehicle owners might not consider to be a crucial part. As with any other vehicle component, research and technology have improved the way wipers are designed, how they’re installed, and their overall function.  Weather and road conditions vary and will

What Do You Need to Know About Motor Oil?

Over the past decade, more and more shelf space has been dedicated to motor oils. New SKUs might be for new viscosities, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications, and even motor oil formulations. This proliferation can create confusion when recommending the correct motor oil for the vehicle and customer. To help clear up the chaos, it

6 Signs It’s Time to Put Down the Pen and Ditch the Paper

There’s no time to hesitate.  The surge in the aftermarket sweet spot — or vehicles in the six- to 12-year age range that will soon require significant repairs — reached 94 million in the first half of 2021, according to Experian Automotive. That total accounts for nearly 31% of all vehicles in operation.  That percentage

Updating Your Shop’s Approach to Vehicle Filtration 

Customers may wonder what the biggest threats are to their engines.  Heat is one for sure. But the other are tiny – often microscopic – particles. If these aren’t filtered thoroughly, they will accumulate inside the engine, which will increase friction, heat and lead to significant damage to internal engine components. In time, it will