Setting a Spark Plug Gap

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 28, 2010)

A basic vehicle tune up involves replacing spark plugs. Setting a spark plug gap is one of those simple parts of performing basic maintenance on your vehicle.

Materials needed:

  • Car repair manual
  • Spark plug gapping tool
  • Complete ratchet and socket set

Procedure:

  1. Remove. Remove the old sparkplugs one at a time. This will reduce the possibility of confusion and mistiming the firing sequence of the spark plugs.
  2. Check. Check the current gap on the new sparkplug. To find the correct gap for your car, consult the proper car repair manual, or possibly under the car's hood for the information. Many manufacturers have it stored on a sticker that they place on the inside of a hood. You can also use a gapping tool to check your old sparkplug's gap. The accuracy of this depends on the accurate gapping of the old sparkplug.
  3. Gap. Insert the gap tool into the little space by the "hook" of the sparkplug, which is actually an electrode. Bend this out till it reaches the correct measurement. If the space (or gap) is too large, simply push the hook against a hard surface to close up some of the excess space.
  4. Check. Check the space using the gapping tool and the measurements that were given to you in the car repair manual or the information sticker that was located under the hood of the car.
  5. Repeat/Install. After you have reached the proper gap measurement, install the plug according to the instructions in the car repair manual (typically this is going to be just the reverse of how you removed the plug). Repeat this process as often as necessary for each of your vehicle's sparkplugs.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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