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Not too hot, not too cold

Question : MY 1973 Ford Escort 1.3GL requires new spark plugs but I am now unable to buy the make and grade of Motorcraft plugs recommended by the engine manufacturer.

My local spare parts supplier recommends a copper type with a wide heat range. While it will physically fit the vehicle, I am worried that using a plug of incorrect heat range will result in engine damage, and would be grateful if you could suggest any alternatives.

Answer : IT is important that spark plugs of the correct heat grade are fitted to your engine.

Too hot a grade will result in pre-ignition (detonation) that will eventually result in engine damage, while too cold a grade will result in carbon (soot) deposits forming on the plug. The latter means higher exhaust pollutant levels, loss in engine power and increased fuel consumption.

Graded spark plugs have not been available for some years. The use of copper, platinum and iridium has resulted in spark plugs with wide heat ranges.

Modern plugs are less susceptible to overheating which means the chance of engine damage from detonation is reduced.

Moreover, modern plugs exhibit excellent durability and wear characteristics, and often spark plugs are now renewed at 100,000km intervals.


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