One size spark plug does not fit all

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS -

Choos­ing the cor­rect spark plug for your cus­tomers’ ve­hi­cle isn’t dif­fi­cult be­cause NGK has al­ready done the hard work.

While many spark plug sup­pli­ers rec­om­mend a sin­gle part num­ber for a va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cles, we know that this “one size fits all” ap­proach com­pro­mises per­for­mance.

“Any man­u­fac­turer who still be­lieves they can pro­duce a spark plug to suit mul­ti­ple ap­pli­ca­tions is liv­ing in the dark ages,” says James Fil­shie, se­nior prod­uct man­ager at NGK Spark Plug Aus­tralia. “This old-school type of think­ing dis­re­gards ad­vance­ments in mod­ern en­gine evo­lu­tion and can com­pro­mise pre­ci­sion en­gine out­put, re­li­a­bil­ity, and fuel ef­fi­ciency.”

En­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers spend many years re­search­ing and de­vel­op­ing a new en­gine de­sign. Dur­ing this com­plex process, ev­ery en­gine com­po­nent, in­clud­ing the spark plug, is en­gi­neered and tai­lored to per­fectly match the make and model.

“Be­ing the largest OE spark plug sup­plier in the world means that we work hand-in-hand with ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers dur­ing the devel­op­ment of each new en­gine con­fig­u­ra­tion,” James said. “We en­gi­neer spark plugs specif­i­cally de­signed to suit each en­gine’s in­di­vid­ual re­quire­ments to en­sure op­ti­mum per­for­mance.”

When spark plugs are generic, im­por­tant at­tributes are of­ten com­pro­mised and this can have a big ef­fect on per­for­mance and longevity.

“Our re­search has found that in­stalling a spark plug that is not specif­i­cally de­signed for the en­gine in which it is be­ing in­stalled can re­sult in some pretty se­ri­ous side ef­fects, the big­gest of which is the heat range,” ex­plained James.

“If the spark plug is too cold then car­bon foul­ing can be­come a prob­lem, while if the spark plug is too hot pre-ig­ni­tion can oc­cur that can cause se­ri­ous en­gine dam­age,” James added.“

In ad­di­tion to heat range, there are a num­ber of at­tributes which can im­pact the ve­hi­cle when a spark plug is com­monised: cen­tre elec­trode pro­jec­tion length, num­ber of ground elec­trodes, ground elec­trode de­sign and dou­ble fine elec­trode (DFE) de­sign.

“To as­sist me­chan­ics and au­to­mo­tive tech­ni­cians to quickly and eas­ily iden­tify com­mon spark plug is­sues, we have de­vel­oped a se­ries of short videos that you can check out on our web­site,” said James.

To find out more and to watch the video se­ries visit

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