If your car has a gasoline or petrol engine, then you what is spark plugs are. These are crucial parts of a combustion engine system. Your vehicle won’t be able to move a bit without these tiny components. But do you ever thought about how a spark plug works? Well, you will get your answer today! In this article, I am explaining the working process of spark plugs. So, keep reading.
Components of A Spark Plug
If you want to know the detailed working process of spark plugs, you have to know about all the components of a spark plug first. A fresh spark plug has these components.
- Center Electrode
- Hex Nut
- Ground electrode
Structure of Spark Plugs
Starting from the top, the bare metal tip is the terminal connection. This is where the spark plug wires connect with the plug. just below that, a central electrode goes from the terminal connection to the very bottom of the plug. Also, there is a resister that lies in the middle of the central electrode. The central electrode can’t be seen from the outside since it is thickly coated with porcelain insulators.
The very outer portion is the nut layer that basically contains the nut thread and the hex head. It hides half of the plug’s insulator covering. At the bottom, the end tip of the central electrode can’t be seen. Lastly, a ground electrode that extends from the nut-housing bends underneath the central electrode.It has a measured gap between the electrodes. Lastly, a gasket is situated between the insulator and the housing to prevent combustion gases from leaking.
How do spark Plugs work in A car?
In a combustion engine, spark plugs ignite the fuel-air mixture inside the piston housing in rhythm. It eventually moves the piston cylinder in the engine and rolls the wheels. It all starts from the terminal connection where a very high voltage electric pulse is sent through a connection wire known spark plug wires. This voltage may be between 20,000V to 40,000V.
This high voltage current then transmits to the central electrode. The resister however emits electrical noises which generate during sparking. Apparently, this resister stops electrical interference with other electrical components of your car. However, the current then reach the end tip of the central electrode. Now the high voltage jumps the gap to go reach the ground electrode in order to complete the circuit. This jump generates a small but strong arc.
This arc creates a small but strong inside the piston housing and creates high pressure. Now since the piston housing is completely sealed when the piston is in up position, it piston has no choice but to go down with the pressure. It eventually rolls the wheels. The spark plug continuously does this process and keeps the vehicle rolling.
Few Things about spark Plugs
- Spark plugs have shorter service life than most other engine components.
- The gap between the two electrodes is very important. The bigger the gap, the higher voltage it needs.
- Spark plugs with a longer “reach” than required can end up getting banged by the piston.
- Almost all vehicles use cold spark plugs.
- The diesel engine doesn’t have spark plugs.
Learning how does a spark plug works may give you a clearer view of an engine’s internal functions. Spark plug function is a little complex. But you will understand the whole spark plug working principle if you read the article attentively. Furthermore, learning about engine components always helps in emergencies. I hope this article has fulfilled all your queries about spark plugs.