The fan belts and spark plugs are a needed part of your car. Without them your car would not work properly. The spark plugs give the needed spark to ignite the fuel oxygen combo to make your car move. And the belts make sure various other components do their job. Like all vehicle maintenance, these parts need to be inspected and changed regularly. The belts should last longer than the spark plugs, but don’t let them go unchecked for more than 90 days.
When ever I change the oil is when I inspect both of these parts. I check the belts for unusual wearing. If there is cracking or any kind of tear. If excessive wear and tear exists they need to be replaced.
The spark plugs should also be looked at during the oil change. You simply pull them out one at a time and inspect them. If the plug is a light gray, or slightly brown, then it is operating properly. I also check to see if the gap is still within it’s recommended placement. Each car is different and you need to consult your car manual for it’s spark plug gap. There is a simple tool you can get to check the gap.
The tools you will need for this task is as follows:
- Safety glasses
- Wrenches and sockets
- Spark plug puller and gap checker
- Car manual
- Shop rags
You usually do not need to lift your car for this, but it depends on your car. You need to check you manual for the location of the spark plugs and fan belts.
Let’s start with the spark plugs. We are assuming that we are changing all the plugs for this article. Lift the hood and find the spark plugs. They usually have wires running to them from the coil pack, or distributor depending on the age of your car. Remove the cable from the first plug. Place the wrench and plug puller onto the spark plug and loosen it. Pull it out and place the new one in the same way it was before you pulled it out. Then put the wire back on. Do this for all of your plugs.
Each car is different and you may have anywhere between four and eight. You don’t want to remove all the wires at the same time, unless you can put them back in the same place.
If you see fluid build up then you may have a problem that needs to be addressed. If you do not know how to fix this then you need to consult a professional at the manufacturers dealership or a mechanic. The spark plug condition can tell you a lot about your cars condition. If it doesn’t look light gray or slightly brown then something more needs to be investigated. Never let this go unchecked.