Do you know the main function of the engine plug? If you said it was for fuel ignition, you would be right! Whether it’s spark plugs or glow plugs, they are the reason your car’s internal combustion engine (ICE) can burn fuel. That’s why checking your spark plugs is an important part of your car’s routine maintenance. So, what is the difference between spark plugs and glow plugs?
Champion knows a thing or two about traffic jams. The website explains that the fork is one of the three components required for all ICE vehicles. The three main components are fuel, air, and an ignition source. Without these three, your car is not going anywhere!
The fuel will not burn without the addition of the proper amount of air and a plug that initiates the combustion of the air/fuel mixture. In a gasoline-powered car, the spark plug produces thousands of sparks per minute to keep the fuel mixture constantly burning.
Glow plugs don’t have to work so hard to keep the diesel mixture burning. As soon as they ignite the fuel mixture, their work ends before the next engine start. The lack of spark plugs is one of the reasons diesel engines are easier to maintain.
So, what is the difference between spark plugs and glow plugs? Basically it’s the type of engine they’re in. Gasoline engines need a spark to ignite the fuel, but glow plugs are sufficient to ignite diesel fuel, which begins to burn at relatively low temperatures. In fact, if the engine or the weather is warm enough, the diesel will ignite even without the help of glow plugs.
Even if diesel fuel could ignite without glow plugs under ideal conditions, it would not burn cleanly and produce more emissions. Glow plugs will ensure a more complete combustion, fewer emissions and engine starting regardless of the weather.
Unlike diesel, gasoline does not ignite without a real spark. This is because it ignites at a higher temperature than diesel fuel, about 120° higher. This temperature difference will take longer than a really hot day to start a gasoline engine!
Knowing what a new glow plug looks like will help you identify problems when they arise. You may notice subtle signs, such as a slightly angled tip of the probe to make contact with the body of the glow plug. This is due to incorrect installation, often resulting in excessive tightening torques. The same thing can happen if you notice broken threads.
A less obvious sign that it’s time for a new glow plug is a swollen, damaged, or misshapen tip. And, of course, the probe tip is completely missing!
When using spark plugs, you may notice noticeable changes in the spark plug. Discoloration can be caused by fuel additives that damage spark plugs, or by vertical burn streaks caused by electrical discharges. A wet, greasy appearance indicates excess oil, which is preventing the spark plug from “sparking” properly.
Other signs that it’s time to replace your spark plugs because they’re failing include unusual deposits such as ash or soot, a burnt appearance, and black or gray spots. A properly functioning but worn spark plug will have too much gap and the electrodes will be rounded due to wear.
This wider than usual gap will force the entire ignition system to work harder, leading to poor fuel economy, misfiring, and possibly damage to other parts of the ignition system. Why not give your engine a new set of reliable spark plugs? Your engine will start easier, your car will run better, and you’ll save on gas bills. Sounds like a triple spark plug!
Post time: Oct-28-2022