Your spark plug is the main part of your vehicle’s internal workings and needs as much attention as every other part in your vehicle. That’s why using a spark plug thread chaser to clean your plug holes will increase your component’s lifespan.
Many people think that spark plugs are simply a small part of their cars with no relevant purpose. You need to maintain your components to ensure they’re in proper condition and avoid any issues.
In this article, you will learn the know-how of what a spark plug thread chaser does and walk you through the uses of this tool.
Table of Contents:
- What Do Spark Plugs Do?
- What Are The Negative Effects Of Dirty Spark Plug Holes?
- What Are The Ways To Clean A Spark Plug Hole?
- What Exactly Is A Thread Chaser?
- How to Use a Spark Plug Thread Chaser
- Steps To Know Whether You Need To Clean Spark Plug Using Chaser
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Bottomline
What Do Spark Plugs Do?
A spark plug is a part of a vehicle that starts and converts an energy source, like gasoline, into movement. This occurrence is a principle called internal combustion.
Spark plugs emit a small bolt of electric current across a small gap and create ignition for combustion. These parts may be small, but they can withstand extreme heat and pressure inside your cylinders to burn off fuel deposits or other contaminants.
The engine cycle causes this process to occur, where your valves fill your cylinder with a highly explosive composition of air and fuel. When your engine piston moves upward, it compresses this mixture until it’s contained in an extremely narrow space, creating more potential energy.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Dirty Spark Plug Holes?
Dirty spark plug holes can cause oil and dirt to seep down the hole. A common cause for this is when a valve cover gasket is faulty or leaking, seeping oil down the spark plug hole towards the engine.
A little bit of oil down the engine may not raise any issues, but a lot makes things more concerning. This complication can damage the vehicle’s catalytic converter and the plug leading to hydro locking issues in the engine.
In this case, the engine cannot compress the car’s fluids, leading to severe damage to itself. There are also worst-case scenarios where spark plugs can corrode until they break, causing serious damage to your car and which calls for full-blown repairs.
Hence, it is important to make sure you regularly maintain your spark plug holes, or else you may have to replace more than a few parts and new cleaning materials.
What Are The Ways To Clean A Spark Plug Hole?
If you find oil or dirt while inspecting your spark plugs valves, it would be a good idea to plan for a cleaning session on your components. Below are the steps involved to help you maintain them.
Disconnect Your Battery
To start your maintenance on your vehicle, you could start by disconnecting your car battery’s negative terminal then locating the spark plugs. There should be one coil/cable and one plug for each cylinder of your car.
Clean The Plugs
The first cleaning method you want to do is clean the surface of the plug. You can do this with an air gun or any similar tool, like can-compressed air, to gust off any gunk and dirt.
Once that is done, disconnect each ignition coil, one following the other. Then, unscrew the part with a spark plug socket. You can take your time with this.
Thoroughly Clean The Plug Hole
Next, clean the empty well with your air gun or compressed air. This method is the best way to remove any loose debris around the whole.
A spark plug thread chaser will also help clean the threads after spraying them with air.
If you are short on cleaning materials, you can wrap a cloth around a screwdriver to get into those tight creases, if there are any. Wire brushes and sandpaper also work well. Then apply carb cleaner to ensure any ingress and gunk is removed.
What Exactly Is A Thread Chaser?
A Spark Plug Thread Chaser is an automotive specialty tool that keeps your spark plug bores or threads clean and well-maintained. They are designed to remove dirt and grime from your spark plug threads and are commonly used with anti-seize compounds.
Tread chasers can’t be used to repair and create threads if your spark plug threads are damaged. But Thread Taps and Dies are.
They are made of extremely durable material for cutting and come in varying thread pitches and diameters.
How to Use a Spark Plug Thread Chaser
This video by Truck Stuff exhibits the use of a thread chaser to fix a cross-threaded spark plug. Sometimes, you don’t always do good when repairing your vehicle. But mistakes happen all the time.
The mechanic in the video was in a rush to change his spark plugs and was not careful as he should have been, and had his socket extension at an angle.
As a result, the thread on his spark plug got cross-threaded. Meaning he screwed the plug the wrong way, causing damage to the spark plug’s threads.
He could not remove a certain wire harness, making the process more difficult. Also, he practices good maintenance of the equipment.
In the video, the mechanic includes replacing all of the spark plugs because the threads on the spark plug itself might be contributing to the problem.
Make Sure You Have Room To Work With
If you want to make sure you don’t mess up anything else, it would be a good idea to take off any internal parts that may hinder your movement as you make repairs so that you have the necessary clearance to work.
Inspect Your Components
While taking out a few of your parts, take time to inspect your components for any damage or anything else that needs your attention.
Using The Thread Chaser
And now, you get to use your thread chaser and apply grease. The grease will act as a lubricant and an adhesive for any debris, like metal shavings in the threads.
Use An Extension
The length of the thread chaser will not reach inside the cylinder head. In this case, you would need to attach it to an extension.
Once you get the chaser into the cylinder head, run it through the threads by hand. This way, you decrease any chances of cutting in more problematic threads, and you won’t be applying more than enough torque.
After running the spark plug thread chaser through a few more times, you can apply more grease for a second cleaning to ensure you get all the gunk and grime out of there.
Install Your Spark Plug
After cleaning the threads, you may now install your spark plugs. And just like the thread chaser, you want to install the plug by hand as a precaution.
You don’t want to over-torque it. And after giving it a decent bite on the threads, and you’re done.
Steps To Know Whether You Need To Clean Spark Plug Using Chaser
You wouldn’t know when you need to use a thread chaser, so how will you know? The steps below are ways to find that out.
Check The Cylinder With Dedicated Cleaning Tools
You can use brushes slim enough to fit into the cylinder. If you don’t have those specific cleaning tools, you can wrap a rag to cover a screwdriver or a piece of tubing to rub against the threads lightly. If the materials come out dirty, you should clean the threads thoroughly with your thread chaser.
Check The Cylinder With A Thread Chaser
If you are worried about your components and wonder when you need to use a spark plug chaser, you can use it immediately.
A thread chaser is a specialty tool to help you clean the threads in the cylinder head, so there’s nothing wrong with using it at any time you think about using it. That’s what maintenance means.
Frequently Asked Questions
How frequently should I change my spark plugs?
How often you change your spark plugs in your care will depend on the type of plugs you commonly use and how you drive the vehicle. Naturally, good-quality spark plugs and decent driving performance are optimal to make any of your components last a lot longer.
How do I find the right plug for my vehicle?
The different spark plug types may be overwhelming, but the easiest way to find out what kind of spark plug you need for your vehicle is by referring to your owner’s manual. You can find all the needful information in your manual, especially the suitable plugs for your car.
But if that doesn’t help you or if you lost your manual for some reason, you can look up your can specifications on the internet.
What is the difference between a thread chaser and a tap?
The main differences you can spot are design, performance, and material. The threads on a thread chaser begin at the end while a tap’s thread gradually rises.
Chasers are not made to cut new threads, but taps are. In terms of materials, thread chasers are made from high-quality M2 steel or M-42 top-speed steel, while taps are manufactured with high-speed or carbon tool steel.
How do you avoid getting cross-threading?
It’s essential to remember that nothing should hinder your vision or movement when fitting something with a thread. Take out parts that could obstruct the process of fitting your components one at a time to ensure that you don’t mess anything up.
Spark plug thread chaser is for any repairs and maintenance you use for your car. It is an excellent tool for extracting spark plugs that have been damaged.
Clearing carbon and corrosion and restoring blocked plugs and minor cross-threading are all possible with this instrument. Thus, it is a piece of staple equipment for any DIY repairs.