Spark plugs wires are essential in routing power to your sparkplug in the most efficient manner as possible, and choosing a high-quality one can cover all of that. This depends on your needs and the type of car you are in, as spark plugs vary in types for different uses and have unique connector points for certain engines. For more in-depth information about spark plug wires and parts related to it, visit carfromjapan.com.
Choosing the right spark plug wire for your vehicle can be a bit difficult at first, but this article aims to help you find the proper spark plug wire and be more knowledgeable about it in the future.
What is a spark plug wire?
A spark plug wire helps electrical charges drive from the ignition into the sparkplug. By charges, we mean, the most of what the ignition can provide for the smoothest conduction of electricity while avoiding the creation of Electromagnetic interference (EMI)/ Radiofrequency interference (RFI) to the devices around or in the car that can be affected by it. These interferences are created by the electricity moving through any wire, especially one that is as rugged as sparkplug wires.
As weird as it sounds, interferences such as these cause can cause damage to electrical appliances. When exposed to EMI, hard drives in a computer or the memory on the phone can have errors in the data or make the data completely lost. Be careful, and don’t keep your phone near your spark plugs if you are working on it.
If your car won’t start or is stalling, then you might think something is wrong with the engine. Wonder if the spark plug needs to be replaced. But a spark plug wire can also be the cause for these mishaps if it’s neglected for a long time.
The spark plug wire doesn’t carry the complex information. However, it does deliver electricity to the sparkplug and make the engine’s fuel combust to start the engine. Simply put, if the spark plug was good enough and the spark plug wires weren’t, then the car won’t perform well or start. This part should not be neglected.
Qualities of good sparkplug wire
Spark plug wires cannot add any more performance to the car as it was only made to bridge the ignition and sparkplug. But broken or bad quality once do reduce engine power, cause engine to surge, engine miss and engines to idle and not start up immediately, as a result. Bad quality plug wire needs to be replaced often and can have more adverse effects down the road. The best solution to avoid all of these issues is to buy the good-quality wire for your vehicle that matches it. It must be reliable and sturdy, so you don’t need to replace it too often.
The making of good spark plug wires is the way they are made; this will be discussed in a little bit of detail without making it too complex down below. You can also check spark plugs at TheGrumpyMechanic.com.
Before we start, we would like to note that having a good professional mechanic can ease all of this. That is if you do not know much about cars and their internals. This can help you avoid further waste of time and possible unintentional damages that might cost you more in the long run.
The resistance of the wires
Wires that are made from copper or any other material that conducts electricity have resistance. This resistance is measured on Ohms. By resistance, we mean how much flow of electrical charge is impeded. The higher the resistance, the lower amount of charge can be delivered to the sparkplugs and causing the engine to cross-firing often. So you need to find wires that have a low resistance to the electric flow. High resistance in wires is generally a telltale sign that either the wire’s design is bad or the material that makes up the wire is of low quality. So always check the ohm ratings.
The cores are the backbone of the wires. What material it’s made from and how much it has in quality make up for most of your worries.
There are 3 types of cores available in cars. The first being Carbon core, second is spiral cores, and third is solid cores. These three make up most if not all of the wires you get in the market or aftermarket.
Solid cores are very durable and are often made from stainless steel or copper. Giving it unmatched conductivity and very low resistance. But they have very little in terms of EMI/RFI suppression. This is especially to be avoided in cars with electric ignition and cars with more equipment sensitive to these interferences.
Carbon cores are often OEMs and have really good suppression but have the crux of low conductivity, thus larger resistance. This is bad for cars that often stall and don’t have much in the way of being performance handy, and also this has low durability, which is to be noted.
Mixing the best of both worlds in this core, this is a mix between copper, stainless steel, and tin. Provides the balance of suppressions of EMI/RFI and low resistance. This is considered the most optimum out of every available core type.
This is the insulation of the wire that suppresses the EMI. This will keep your radio or other appliances from being affected by this and causing damage to them. Often manufacturers have to choose between suppressing Emi or having less resistance. But good quality wires even if OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) have a good balance of both suppression and low resistance to an extent, especially in modern cars.
Higher Ohm ratings also cause the temperature to increase intensely. You might think that cars are metals that can resist high temperatures and built to resist heat them. That is right to a degree. The reality is high temperatures can cause the wires to degrade over time faster. Causing performance issues while ruining any other wires or equipment nearby it, if not completely stalling the engine. This might be a good wire to put inside an electric stove, they use high resistance in metals to heat the food using electricity. But such a method only can be called bad if not unacceptable in cars.
This is usually fixed by having good insulation that keeps the cores of the wire from overheating. This also stops excess heat from leaving the wires. Heat might be bad if it’s too much, but moderate amounts help lower resistance without damaging the wires itself.
Fiberglass is a great support in forms of mesh or braided wiring. These can handle high temperatures while also giving extreme durability to the wires to avoid breakages. While also as a bonus adds extra suppression of EMI.
Types of connector and heads
The plugs and heads have different shapes and sizes. So give extra care in noting the compatibility of the wires connector with your engines sparkplug chamber.
All of these different parts and core variety makes up the spark plug wire.
Vehicle specific based choices
There are a variety of vehicles that you might use and have different purposes. In this section, we will discuss the uses of different materials and which can be narrowed down for your vehicle.
Stock or daily use
For your factory new or non-mod vehicle, you might as well choose the carbon core. This is solid and has a lower price than other types of wires involved. It needs to be replaced more often than others but new once are solid for a while. The Average once can cost $40. Anything under $40 should be avoided as they don’t provide good endurance.
Higher-performance vehicles nearing race cars or modern vehicles that come with more equipment on the electronic side. The spiral cores are the best choice. This has great suppression of EMI while having low conductivity. The quirks of the spiral core help it deal with larger fuel capacity and very high pressure like the V8 engines. These are often the most expensive and have different diameters for different engine types. Can cost up to $80 to $100 depending on the uses. If not moe for more premium options.
Drag and racing cars
The older and classic/vintage cars need more durability and have less in the way of electronics. Racing cars have different needs, based on different class type and car selected. But solid cores are the most often used in these scenarios. As they need the most fluent conduction to have the edge in competitive uses. Costs 40$ to 100$ depending on the uses.
Better cars and more luxury sports cars have their specific wires to deal with conduction. Those are out of normal consumer’s reach, and usually have professional mechanics take care of the maintenance of the car.
Better safe than sorry, if spark plug wires are neglected and so problems pile on. Don’t cheap out and change it as soon as you can with a high-quality one. Professional advice is always recommended for the best results.