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Sparkers Tell-Tales

Short Photo comparison chart to help you decide what's going on in your engine

Trying to find out what might be wrong with an engine, first port of call should almost always be to have a look at the state of the spark plugs; colour & Condition can tell you a lot about what's going on inside.


Normal

Oil Fouling

Heavy Deposits

Over Heating

Electrode Damage

Lead Glaze

Carbon Fouling

Split Core Nose

Normal

Grey/brown deposits, lightly coated core nose.

Plugs ideally suited to engine, and engine in good condition

Oil Fouling

Wet, oily deposits

Fault

worn bores/piston rings or valve guides sometimes occurs (temporarily) during running-in period

Heavy Deposits

A build up of crusty deposits, light grey sandy colour in appearance

Fault:

often caused by worn valve guides, excessive use of upper cylinder lubricant or idling for long periods

Over Heating

Electrodes have glazed appearance, core nose very white - few deposits

Fault:

Fault: plug over-heating. Check plug value, ignition timing, fuel octane rating (too low) and mixture (too weak)

Electrode Damage

 Electrodes burned away; core nose has burned glazed appearance

Fault:

Pre-Ignition. Check for correct heat range as 'over-heating'

Lead Glaze

Electrodes have glazed appearance, core nose very white - few deposits

Fault:

plug over-heating. Check plug value, ignition timing, fuel octane rating (too low) and mixture (too weak)

Carbon Fouling

Dry black sooty deposits

Fault:

Over rich fuel mixture. Check Carburettor mixture settings, float level, choke operation, air filter

Split Core Nose

May appear initially as a crack

Fault:

detonation or wrong gap-setting technique. Check ignition timing, cooling system, fuel mixture (too Weak)

 

 

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