What are Spark Plugs and Why Does Your Ford Engine Need Them?

Spark plugs are crucial in keeping your Ford’s motor running smoothly. The function of a spark plug is to provide the spark needed to ignite the fuel/air mixture in your engine.

In this article, you’ll learn all about what spark plugs are and why your engine needs functioning spark plugs at all times.

What a Spark Plug Looks Like and How it Works

Spark plugs replaced

Image Credit: MattsTruck

Inside each cylinder, you’ll find a spark plug. (Some Rangers and Mustangs have 2 spark plugs per cylinder.)

The top end of each plug is connected to the ignition coil. On the bottom end, you’ll find a ground electrode made in a hook shape.

Within the spark plug there is also a center electrode. It takes the high-voltage electric current from the ignition coil and then converts it into a contained lightning bolt (also called a “spark”).

The spark jumps the gap between the center electrode and the ground electrode. The spark ignites the air/fuel mixture being pushed up the cylinder by the piston. As soon as the spark touches the air/fuel mixture, an explosion occurs and enough energy is created to power the engine.

Why Spark Plug Maintenance is Important

Your engine can’t run without spark plugs. Even without one functioning spark plug, the engine doesn’t produce as much power as it should. In a perfect world, spark plugs would last forever. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.

Ford builds its spark plugs to be as durable as can be, but even these plugs have their limits. Conditions are very harsh inside the cylinder. OEM Ford spark plugs have to withstand the high temperatures in the combustion chamber. And, they also fire up to 3,000 times per minute from the moment you turn on your engine to the moment you turn it off.

Over time, the ground electrode will erode, carbon will build up on the plug, and the plug cable or wire will wear out and become loose. When one of your spark plugs goes bad, you need to replace it as soon as possible. Replacing your spark plugs as soon as they go bad will keep engine performance optimal and fuel economy up.

Replacing Your Spark Plugs

New oem spark plugs

Some car owners like to replace only the bad spark plug(s) as soon as they go bad. Others prefer to replace all of the spark plugs at once when the first one goes bad. Both maintenance methods are fine.

Luckily, replacing spark plugs is something you can do at home. It’s much cheaper than taking your car to a Ford dealership. You don’t have to pay for labor and you can order genuine OEM spark plugs from us at wholesale pricing. It’s also pretty easy to do, especially with this tutorial to guide you.