What is the purpose of spark plug wires? Spark plug wires (also referred to as ignition wiring) transfer the spark from the distributor or ignition coil to the plugs. The subsequent spark ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your engine.
What do the spark plug wires do? Spark plug wires, also known as ignition cables, are a key part of the ignition system. Car engines that have a distributor or remote coil pack have spark plug wires that transfer the spark from the coil to the spark plug.
Do spark plug wires really make a difference? There isn’t any performance to be gained from spark plug wires, just better build quality, which gives you not a better spark, but rather maintains an appropriate spark for more miles/years before their performance degrades to the point of needing replacement.
Are spark plug wires necessary? When we talk about performance parts, we usually talk about air intakes, exhaust systems, nitrous kits… anything but spark plug wires. However, spark plug wires are vitally important, and a simple upgrade can make a tremendous difference in performance on an older vehicle and/or a vehicle with other upgrades.
What is the purpose of spark plug wires? – Related Questions
Does changing spark plug wires improve performance?
The short answer is Yes, when you replace the spark plugs and wires can increase your vehicle’s performance. New spark plugs help keep your engine at its peak performance and efficiency levels. Worn or dirty spark plugs require higher voltage to get a strong enough spark to start a vehicle.
What happens if you switch spark plug wires?
When one or more spark plug wires are crossed, the engine may not run, or runs roughly as the timing of fuel/air compression does not align with the delivery of the spark.
How many years do spark plug wires last?
The ignition cables on a car are made to last about 60,000 miles before they have to be replaced. In some cases, the wires will need to be replaced due to the rubber boots on the end getting damaged and now allowing for a good connection with the spark plugs.
Can I change spark plugs without changing wires?
It is not necessary to change the wires but it’s a good idea. Here’s the reason. If your spark plugs have been in the engine too long the component at the end of the plug get’s oxidized over time from having such high voltage run across it to jump a gap and create a spark.
Do spark plug wires add horsepower?
In short, yes, in some situations spark plugs can increase horsepower. The theory behind spark plugs increasing horsepower is that by providing more spark to the firing tip of the spark plug, it will (and does) combust more fuel.
How do I choose spark plug wires?
Plug wires are most often rated by their diameter. The most common are 7mm and 8mm thicknesses, but what’s more important is the conductor. The best choice is the spiro-wrap style Taylor wires that reduce resistance, minimize RFI noise, and offer the best performance.
Do spark plug brands matter?
Although many motorists and technicians prefer to stick with the same brand when replacing spark plugs, there’s nothing on the label that limits a particular brand of plug to a particular vehicle make or model.
How often do you need spark plug wires?
If the vehicle is equipped with spark plug wires, they should be checked at the time of spark plug replacement. When they are old and crispy, just disengaging them from the spark plug can cause them to come apart. A quality set of spark plug wires can generally last around 60,000 to 70,000 miles.
What can faulty spark plug wires cause?
If there is any issue with the spark plug wires the engine spark can be disturbed, which can result in engine performance issues such as misfires, a reduction in power and acceleration, as well as a reduction in fuel efficiency. In severe cases bad cables may even result in engine stalling.
What’s better 7mm or 8mm spark plug wires?
8mm spark plug wires are a heavier gage wire than the 7mm type. A more robust core provides a lower resistance path for the power, thereby allowing more power to reach the spark plugs. Additionally, the 8mm wires have a thicker outer coating that keeps the core safe from damage.
What size spark plug wires should I use?
Most manufacturers recommend an 8 or 8.5mm plug wire on most applications. Exceptions would be an all-out race car or a street rod where EMI/RFI suppression is not a concern, but weight and appearance are. In which case, a 5 or 7mm wire might be a better option.
Do spark plugs make a car run smoother?
Installing high-performance spark plugs can smooth out a rough idle and get your motor purring immediately. Pulstar spark plugs can give your engine more power, a quicker throttle response, and a more stable, longer-lived engine.
What does a bad spark plug sound like?
There are only two possible sounds that may indicate a bad spark plug: Your engine running rough, even though it’s supplied with fresh fuel, or the silence of it not running at all.
What happens if I don’t change my spark plugs?
Spark plugs will depreciate over time, so various engine issues will arise if they are not replaced. When the spark plugs do not generate the adequate spark, the combustion of the air/fuel mixture becomes incomplete, leading to loss of engine power, and in the worst-case scenario, the engine will not run.
Why should you vacuum around a spark plug before removing it?
A collection of spark plug wires — always pull from the boot, not the wire. Clean the area around the plug with compressed air or a wet/dry vacuum. This helps prevent anything from falling into the cylinder once you get started.
Does changing spark plugs matter firing order?
Q. Will a Car Run With the Wrong Firing Order? When the firing order is wrong, the vehicle may run, but it will not run properly. The wrong firing order makes the spark be delivered to the cylinder either when there is no air and fuel mixture or when the mixture is not properly compressed.
Will wrong firing order damage engine?
When the firing order is wrong or delayed, the engine does not run properly. The spark may be delivered to the cylinder when there is no fuel/air mixture or before it is properly compressed. Turning the ignition does not start the engine.
Do spark plug wires go bad with age?
Can plug wires deteriorate just from age? Yeah, ESPECIALLY if they are moved around.
How much voltage can be present at the tip of a spark plug?
Spark plugs usually require voltage of 12,000–25,000 volts or more to “fire” properly, although it can go up to 45,000 volts. They supply higher current during the discharge process, resulting in a hotter and longer-duration spark.
Can I change my spark plugs myself?
Like rotating tires or changing oil, replacing spark plugs is a job that can be easily, and inexpensively, done in the confines of your own home. Although they don’t need maintenance as often as the other two tasks, spark plugs are equally as important and require consistent monitoring.
Do coil packs add horsepower?
Although the new coil packs produced 40,000 volts under load, as opposed to 25,000 volts for the stock ones, it was always known that aftermarket ignition systems, high voltage coils, etc. did not result in horsepower gains for low rpm stock engines.