How to Properly Read Spark Plugs

For people looking in from the outside, the process of building a race car might look ...

For people looking in from the outside, the process of building a race car might look rather straightforward. Big power is stuffed under the hood of a car, it’s backed up with a transmission and a rear, and a roll cage is tossed in the mix. Before we know it, the machine is miraculously making quick passes down the drag strip. Right?

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For those thinking that way, we think that any decent racer would have a pretty good laugh at that sentiment. Instead, building a race car is more of a science. It’s not necessarily all brute power as one would think. Instead, there is a lot of intricate fine-tuning required to make it all work.

There’re a ton of different parts that need to come together in order to make a car succeed. In fact, when looking at it overall, the process might just be a little bit overwhelming. However, with a willingness to learn and take it step-by-step, eventually, one could put together the knowledge that it takes to maybe make a couple passes themselves. It all starts with learning the small things, though. When analyzing results, these aspects all come together in order to make it work.

This time, we get to take the chance to learn a little bit about reading spark plugs. This is yet another aspect of an engine that can’t just be slapped in and forgotten about. Instead, spark plugs are frequently changed in vehicles that make big horsepower. Between each change, there are signs left behind on the plug. These signs can spell out the story of what’s going on inside the engine. If an engine needs a little bit of attention in one way or another, there’s a good chance that the indicators on the spark plug will tell you how.

By following along with the video below, we get to tune in with Big Country and Lil Country as they show us how it’s done. With this information, we get to check out just a small slice of the effort and hard work that goes into a race weekend.

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