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So, spark plugs actually have more than just one job. They ignite the gasoline/air mixture in the combustion chamber. But, they also remove heat from the combustion chamber.
Consequently, they cannot create heat; they can only remove heat. So, they work as a heat exchanger; by pulling unwanted thermal energy from the combustion chamber. As a result, transferring heat to the engines cooling system. Finally, the heat range is its ability dissipate heat from the tip.
They are what ignites the air/fuel mixture; creating the explosion which makes your engine produce power. These small but simple plugs create an arc of electricity; across two leads which are not touching. But, are close enough together; that electricity can jump the gap between them.
So, It’s true that over time; the explosions and corrosion lead to smaller or weaker sparks. As a result, leading to reduced efficiency in your engine. And, Could lead to other issues including misfiring; or failure to fire.
A spark plug gap gauge is a disc with a sloping edge; or with round wires of precise diameters, and is used to measure the gap. Use of a feeler gauge with flat blades instead of round wires; as is used on distributor points or valve lash, will give erroneous results; due to the shape of spark plug electrodes. The simplest gauges are a collection of keys of various thicknesses; which match the desired gaps and the gap is adjusted until the key fits snugly.
There is a lot of debate about the power differences; between different electrode materials. All of the discussion is mostly nonsense. The best judge of which spark plugs is best; is your vehicle manufacturer. Therefore, when in need of a replacement; trust your owner’s manual above all else.
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