VIDEO: Inspecting Spark Plug Appearance

VIDEO: Inspecting Spark Plug Appearance

A spark plug can reveal short- and long-term problems if you know where to look. This video is sponsored by Autolite.

The electrodes and porcelain of a spark plug can reveal short- and long-term problems if you know where to look. OEMs consider the spark plugs a part of the emissions system on most modern vehicles.

Oil fouling of a spark plug typically results in a shiny, black appearance. If enough oil is in the combustion chamber, the deposits can build up on the tip, porcelain or shell.

If you can’t determine if it is carbon or oil fouling, smell the plug; it will smell like engine oil. The oil can come from the piston rings, valve stem seals or the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system.

Malfunctioning PCV systems are becoming a leading cause of oil fouling in modern engines. These systems have become more than just a spring-loaded check valve. Modern systems can separate oil from the crankcase vapors and electronically regulate when the engine ingests the vapors. If the PCV valve is stuck open, the excess vapors and oil droplets can quickly foul the spark plugs. This video is sponsored by Autolite.

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We’ll start with PPE and electrical safety gloves. Class zero electrical insulating gloves rated for 1000 volts are required for EV service. Simply put, these gloves prevent high voltage from traveling through your hands, and they must be tested every time you use them by checking for a pinhole or any damage that could allow voltage to pass through a glove. A glove inflator is the most efficient way to do this. Insulating gloves must also be clean and dry so there are no conductive substances that can allow high voltage to travel outside the glove to your arm. Treat these safety gloves with extreme care. They can be damaged easily and they’re sensitive to UV rays, so they should be stored in a dark, dry environment. A ventilated UV-resistant bag is the best option. Safety gloves must also be re-certified every six months. You’ll also wear them with a leather outer glove to protect them, most prefer to wear an inner cotton glove as a liner to allow your hands to breathe.

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