Did you know that whatever happens to your spark plugs can serve as a huge clue to what ails your car? It's almost like an x-ray, a urine exam, or a blood test for cars in a sense!
With that said, whenever your spark plugs undergo lead fouling or the appearance of yellow-brown deposits on the plug's insulator nose, it probably means you're using a car that runs on leaded gas such as race cars.
Lead fouling is dangerous because it causes engine misfires hard accelerations or at high RPM. If the gasoline contains too much lead, lead fouling is likelier to occur. However, because in leaded gas cars, spark plugs are changed constantly, this problem has become less of an issue.
Spark Plug Destruction and What It Means
- Plug Breakage
It can even be a broken insulator that's thermally triggered if cold fuel is sprayed on a hot insulator as well as drastically advanced timing. Electrode damage can also be because of excessive vibration or collision with internal engine components. Improper installation can lead to vibration and breakage. Meanwhile, collision is possible for spark plugs with too long of a reach.
- Melting Spark Plug
A spark plug melting within your engine is also indicative of hot spots or unusual heat spikes within your combustion chamber. Such intense temperatures might be caused by pre-ignition through an overly lean condition between your air and fuel mix. An improper heat range that's too low or improperly advanced timing can also cause melting shenanigans.
- Lead Erosion
To be more specific, this spark plug condition is caused by lead compounds that, when under high temperatures, react to the electrodes chemically. Thusly, the plug's electrode material of nickel alloy becomes brittle and weak. This is caused by too much lead in your petroleum. Switch to unleaded unless you're driving a race car.