Just when you think you’ve had enough challenges for the day, you come across your car not starting. Now, you open your car’s hood and find the reason to be a bent spark plug electrode.
Just the thought of it is so frustrating, considering the possibility of spending a whole day taking your car to the mechanics and all. Surely none of us wants to be in such a situation but not all of us know what to do to prevent this from happening. So, let us be your guide to make sure you get your car back on the road without having to waste all of your day.
Why Does A Spark Plug Electrode Bend?
There are a number of factors that may lead to the bending of a spark plug. We have listed all the important and usual reasons that you may come across. To detect the correct cause of your vehicle’s bent spark plug electrode, we would like you to go through all of the reasons listed below.
It’s common sense that the temperature inside the engine is extremely high which can soften the electrode. To make things even worse, during ignition, the temperature rises even more and when your car doesn’t start at the first try you try again and again. This sequence of actions can overheat and damage a spark plug.
Very high temperature can significantly soften a spark plug electrode causing it to bend. This means the type of spark plug you are using is not suitable for your vehicle. We recommend you use a spark plug with a lower tolerance for high temperatures.
2. Dropping The Spark Plug
You may laugh at us for mentioning this reason, you may even think that we are joking. No matter how silly it sounds this is an actual problem and occurs to quite a lot of people.
Although the spark plug itself is strong, the electrode is a fragile part compared to it. Therefore, dropping the spark plug during installation can cause bending or even cracking of the electrode.
3. Wrong Spark Plug Choice
It is really important for you to know what type of spark plug should be used for your vehicle. The size of the spark plug should be perfect, having not even a little of a measurement difference.
An incorrect spark plug size can cause it to be installed too deep or the spark plug itself can be long. Due to this reason, the spark plug may touch the piston causing the electrode to bend.
4. Rod Bearing Failure
Rod bearing is what connects the piston and crankshaft. When there is a rod bearing failure the piston goes deeper than it should, increasing the chances of it colliding with the spark plug electrode. We think that you can guess how much damage will this process cause to the electrode. If you come across this situation, we recommend you get immediate engine repair.
5. Improper Spark Plug Installation
The spark plug must be installed correctly and held in its place with the wrench tightened properly. The spark plug should neither be too loose nor too tightened because both of these will surely cause the spark plug electrode to bend.
6. Dropping Something In The Cylinder
It is highly possible due to negligence, especially during rough maintenance. If something falls in the cylinder during maintenance, it may get stuck between the piston and the spark plug. This will cause the piston to hit the spark plug causing the electrode to bend. This can also lead to major engine damage.
7. Debris Buildup in Spark Plugs
A build-up of carbon combustion material and other debris can cause the spark plug gap to close up, leading to electrode damage. You can always apply dielectric grease or other protective lubricants to a spark plug for extra protection from combustion carbon and debris.
What Happens When A Spark Plug Electrode Bends?
A bent spark plug electrode causes the vehicle’s engine to misfire. This will cause engine problems and difficulty in starting your car’s engine.
We hope reading this article gave you an insight into what causes a spark plug electrode to bend. As you’ve read above, there are many reasons that can cause the electrode to bend or even crack. For example: installing the wrong plug, installing the plug incorrectly, or dirt build-up.
You can not take your car out on the road unless you fix this issue. Pushing your car to start with a damaged spark plug instead of fixing or replacing it can cause serious to your vehicle.