How to Stop Spark Plug Wires from Arcing [Causes and Solutions]

Arcing spark plug wires is a problem that many individuals like you experience in their vehicles. As a result, you might start looking for solutions to prevent spark plug wires from curving.

So to answer the question: “how to stop spark plug wires from arcing?” Arcing spark plugs may be avoided by examining them regularly, renewing the wires, changing the ignition coils, and searching for shift linkage disconnection.

What is Arcing?

Arcing is comparable to sparks, but they are not the same. Arcing is a frequent and minor electrical issue but may have serious consequences for your autos in various ways.

Fusible Link

A vehicle’s fuse box is more vulnerable to arcing damage. A greater voltage can melt all fuses in a car’s fuse box.


Arcing can, in rare situations, start a fire inside the automobile. Wires in automobiles connect the batteries to various components so that they can be a potential source of fire.

Automobile Computer

A higher current sent to the battery might harm the automobile computer. When arcing generates a greater current quantity, the auto computer detects it.


Arcing can fully deplete the battery’s charge. It can potentially disrupt the amount of current necessary at a given time and drain the whole charge.

Why Is It Arcing?

If you have rusted and damaged wires, your spark plugs will probably arc. The basic reason is that these faulty wires lack a proper ground linkage between the coil and the nearby conductive spark plug wires.

The voltage created by the ignition coil is connected to the engine block ground. So, the voltage must return to the ignition coil via the spark plugs.

As a result, it develops its own conductive route and sparks plug wire arcing.

If you have a weak ignition coil, this might cause the arcing. The weak coil must produce enough voltage to leap the spark plug gap.

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How to Stop Spark Plug Wires from Arcing

Once you’ve determined the reason or causes why your spark plug wire is arcing, you can now fix it. So, here are ways you can prevent the arcing of your spark plug wires.

1. Look for Any Disconnected Shift Links And Have Them Repaired

If the spark plug wires of your vehicle arc, an electrical current will pass unstable throughout the engine. Also, there may be a disconnection, causing a gap in the spark plug’s shift linkage.

Any grounded surfaces near it, such as exhaust manifolds, engine brackets, and so on, might develop this problem.

As a result, you’ll need to determine where the gap is located in the shift linkage. After discovering it, you can now repair the disconnection as quickly as possible.

2. Regular Inspection And Replacement of Old Spark Plug Wires With New Ones

If spark wires aren’t checked regularly, they can arc, but there are techniques to avoid this. Before driving away, verify your vehicle’s engine and make sure everything looks in working condition.

Inspect the wires for any indications of damage or corrosion. After examining it, you must remove and replace your spark plug wires with new ones if you detect any.

If not replaced immediately, it can cause a misfire and spark.

3. Arcing Ignition Coils Must Be Removed And Replaced

The ignition coils are responsible for creating and delivering high voltage charges to the spark plugs. So, these high voltage sparks are the ones that will help your car function smoothly.

However, if the ignition coils are weak, this might result in arcing. Yet, there are a few more plausible causes for arcing.

It might also be dampness in the ignition coils, overheating, housing leaks, etc. This is because high voltage cannot be reversed. So, it will flee and travel to an unknown outside source.

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4. Check Your Wires And Engine Regularly

Before driving, verify your vehicle’s engine and make sure everything looks in working condition.

Even if your car runs well, it still needs yearly engine maintenance and spark plug wires checking. Maintaining preventative measures, such as cleaning dirt from gasoline lines, is crucial.

They are prone to failure when dirty or crack noisily in anticipation of the heat, resulting in a pricey repair job if not found and replaced before too much damage is done.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What are the best spark plug wires to help stop arcing?

Many spark plug devices are currently available that can help you improve arcing. However, these three are the most recommended items from users.

1. Spark Plug Wire Set NGK FX101

NGK wire sets are designed to fulfill OEM specs for a wide range of cars. A variable pitch wire wrapping is applied to provide resistance to radio frequency interference.

This enables suppressing the electrical waves emitted by the spark plugs across a wide frequency range by scrambling and splitting them up. NGK wire sets offer greater firing and fuel savings and exceptional longevity.

Key Features:

  • Variable pitch winding
  • Numbered for easy cylinder identification
  • Color-coded coil wires for proper and simple installation
  • Terminal ends made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel
  • High-temp (250°+ C / 482°+ F) silicone outer jacket

2. Professional 9748RR Spark Plug Wire Set by ACDelco

ACDelco Professional Spark Plug Wire Sets are designed with fiberglass reinforcement and high-temperature silicone insulators.

These spark plug wires are a high-end aftermarket product that fits more than 96% of automobiles on the road. ACDelco Professional Spark Plug Wire Sets are engineered to fit, form, and perform like new automobiles.

Key Features:

  • Wire conductor, wire length, and diameter
  • Spark plug distributor solid boot type
  • Terminal design
  • Insulator

3. Spark Plug Wire Set Denso 671-4239

These have identical OE end caps that “click” into place for simple installation and a secure fit. The terminals of these wires are connected using a unique procedure to ensure an extraordinarily strong connection, ensuring that the cable and boot do not separate while removal and installation.

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These wire sets are precut to precise lengths and are ready to use right out of the box.

Key Features

  • Efficient fuel usage
  • Dimensions of the package: 20.574 L x 6.604 H x 20.574 W (centimeters)
  • Weight of the package: 0.9 pounds

All three can operate effectively, with a high level of safety, and at a fair cost, given their capabilities.

What causes spark plug wire failure?

The three most common reasons for spark plug wire failure are listed below.

Excessive vibration damage

Over time, excessive engine vibration can cause the electrical system at the spark plug to deteriorate. Hence, causing your spark plug wire to fail.

Damage caused by overheating

The heat generated by the engine might cause wire insulation and boots to burn. A damaged boot may also interfere with the proper seating and operation of spark plug wires.

How to test bad spark plug wires?

YouTube video

The electrode is linked to the ground on one side. A spark plug without a side electrode, on the other hand, is linked to the spark plug wire and the ignition coil.

Connect each wire to either side of the wire with a multimeter. It is deemed normal if the kilo-ohm of resistance is 9.

If the wire does not result in a reading, it is internally damaged. While you’re at it, mark the cables with no readings.

At atmospheric pressure, a standard engine can sustain a gap of 15mm. If this condition is not satisfied, the engine will ignite continuously in all operating modes.

What are the symptoms of a spark plug wire arcing?

Some indications might help you determine whether or not your spark plug is arcing. Among the indications of spark plug arcing are:

  • Fuel Consumption is on the rise
  • Acceleration power decreases
  • Rough idle of the engine
  • Misfire or backfire
  • Engine shriek
  • Rough starter
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What is the problem with spark plug wires crossing?

Crossing spark plug wires result in incorrect air compression and fuel timing matching in the spark delivery because they do not align.

This misalignment of these pieces will most likely cause your engine to not operate or run very slowly, if it does run at all, resulting in increased electrical risk.

Other consequences include the disintegration of plug wire insulation, cross-firing from one plug to another, energy leak, and spark decrease at vital periods, resulting in a miss. It may be difficult, but you should endeavor to keep your spark plug wires from crossing.

Can electrical tape be used on spark plug wires?

It is not recommended to put electrical tape on spark plug wires unless it is an emergency and only a few days before the correct repair.

This is because when spark plug wires are exposed, they are toxic and can become dangerous if touched to remove or plug them in.

Is it dangerous for spark plug wires to come into contact?

If both spark plugs and wires are in fine condition, spark plug wires touching should not be an issue.

This is because they shoot at various times and are separated by a decent distance. However, you may wish to put plastic ties to provide some room.

But, do not allow the plug wires to come into contact with the engine’s base metal, as this might cause misfiring and other electrical problems.

These issues might result in a faulty engine, which will severely impact your car.

What’s the difference between coils and spark wires?

A coil pack is a single coil that lies directly on top of the spark plug to give maximal spark with the least voltage loss. This form of ignition is used in the majority of contemporary engine designs.

On the other hand, Spark wires are high tension or voltage cables that transport current from a common coil that can power all cylinders.

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Older engine designs employ plug wires from a remote coil to power one or more spark plugs, and they convey the voltage from the coil to the spark plug.

Do ignition coils arc too?

Overheating, condensation, acid corrosion, and case leaks are among the issues that coils and coil packs face. And yes, arcing also happens.

A spark (voltage) escapes from a coil casing and grounds against an outside source’s surface. Arcing ignition coils must be replaced immediately.

Is arcing in cars dangerous? (40-50 words)

Yes, arcing in cars is dangerous. It may cause third-degree burns, heart arrest, hearing loss, blindness, nerve damage, and death. Generally, severe burns can result if the victim is only a few feet away from the arc.

Takeaway: Spark Plug Wires Arcing

A spark plug wire is a fragile component that can easily be broken, causing your engine to shut down. So, how to stop spark plug wires from arcing?

The key to conserving this component of your car is to examine the wires regularly and keep them clean and dry.

Do not wait to fix it until it is too late if you discover damage or rust. In the long term, resolving the issue now will save both time and money.

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