The weather is getting warmer, and the grass is finally growing back in. Like many, you may dread the thought of mowing your lawn because of the trouble your lawn mower gives you. When you want to cut the grass, you need a lawn mower that starts easily and runs properly. Your lawn mower’s spark plugs are some most critical components of your gas-powered lawn mower. Maintaining your lawn mower’s spark plug properly and regularly is essential.
What is a Lawn Mower Spark Plug?
A spark-ignition is very common in the contemporary world. It is the primary component used in engines that use gas to run, such as cars, chain saws, and lawn mowers. The spark plug is used to conduct electric current from the ignition system to the engine’s combustion chamber. The spark plug produces an electric spark at the gap at its tip. The spark then ignites the compressed fuel and air, starting the engine and keeping it running. The spark plugs are, therefore, very crucial components.
What is the Function of a Lawn Mower Spark Plug?
The lawn mower’s spark plug is in the mower's cylinder’s engine. It’s critical when it comes to starting a lawn mower, since it essentially ignites the mixture of fuel and air inside the engine’s cylinder. The spark plug has a gap at its tip. When you power your lawn mower, a high voltage current passes at the gap, igniting the fuel and starting combustion.
What causes lawn mower spark failure? There are two leading causes of spark plug failure. One of these reasons may be that dirt and grease are collecting around the plug, and the other is an electrical failure. When this happens, the quality of the spark plug reduces, and the lawn mower may experience various problems. Some of these include incomplete fuel combustion, lower engine performance, and efficiency. Therefore, proper maintenance of the lawn mower spark plug is essential for the optimal performance of your lawn mower.
How to Check a Lawn Mower Spark Plug For Failure
Follow these steps to check your lawn mower’s spark plug:
- Remove the spark plug. In order to check your lawn mower’s plug, you first need to remove it from the mower. You may find the spark plug on the back or the side of the lawn mower. If you are not sure where the spark plug is, check the lawn mower’s user manual.
- Look for a short wire that leads to a cylindrical protrusion from the engine. Detach the wire from the spark plug, then use the spark plug wrench to unscrew the spark plug.
- Check the condition of the tip. A lawn mower spark plug in excellent condition will appear to have light gray color or tan color. If there are any oil deposits or sooty carbon deposits along the spark plug’s tip, this shows the spark plug is not in excellent condition and will either need to be cleaned or replaced.
How to Clean Spark Plugs
Spark plugs used to be very expensive, and thus cleaning and reusing spark plugs was common for many people. However, the price of spark plugs has drastically reduced over the years, and one can get a new lawn mower spark plug for around five dollars. However, learning how to clean a spark plug is essential because one may not always have a new spark plug at hand.
To effectively clean a spark plug, you just need rubbing alcohol, an old toothbrush, and a piece of cloth. Follow these to clean the spark plug effectively.
- Soak the tip of the plug in the rubbing alcohol so that it may cut through the oil and carbon deposits.
- Then scrub the tip with the old toothbrush repeatedly.
- Rinse the plug with clean rubbing alcohol and dry it with a cloth.
- If it’s still not clean, repeat the process.
When the spark plug’s tip has oil or carbon residue, the electric current that is supposed to jump-start the lawn mower takes an alternative route. This prevents the formation of the spark that ignites the fuel. This will make it hard or even prevent the lawn mower from starting. Cleaning the spark plug usually solves this problem.
However, if you can get a new plug, it is better to do so. This is because apart from dirt accumulation at the tip, spark plugs may also fail electrically. Therefore, you may find a cleaned spark plug still failing to deliver the optimal spark that the engine requires.
How to Change Lawn Mower Spark Plugs
Changing a spark plug is a relatively straightforward, simple process. This is because each plug has a code number on its side. Therefore, you buy a plug with a similar code. Although different manufacturers have different codes, all companies make their plugs standard so that you can use them interchangeably with other brands.
- Buy a new plug with a similar code to the lawn mower’s original or an equivalent.
- Apply a small amount of anti-seize compound along its threads. This will make it much easier to remove the plug when cleaning or to change it next.
- Screw it into its slot.
- Tighten it using a spark plug wrench.
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