Some people like to try and save money by doing certain basic car projects on their own. One of these projects happens to be changing the spark plugs. If you are planning to change your own spark plugs on your BMW, unless you have a significant amount of experience with this, it may not be such a good idea.
Spark plugs are one of the most important components to fuel efficiency and operation for the engine. Even though you won’t be messing with the timing (in most cases) that doesn’t mean you can’t affect the performance of your BMW by replacing the spark plugs improperly.
Let’s talk about the three most common reasons why you should not change your own spark plugs.
Choosing the wrong plugs.
You can go to any auto parts store and pick up spark plugs that will fit your BMW. That doesn’t mean they are ideal for it. In fact, you could end up choosing a spark plug that is of low quality, will not withstand the type of heat your engine will put out, and could actually have pieces break off and enter the chamber or cylinder of your engine and that can cause a lot of damage.
Cheaper spark plugs won’t withstand excessive heat like higher-quality spark plugs. Just focusing on the price of the spark plug is not enough to determine whether it is the right one for your BMW.
Over tightening the spark plugs.
Spark plugs should be tightened by hand only. It is absolutely essential that you do not over tighten these plugs. You don’t want to leave them too lose, either, as that can lead to oil leakage and other problems.
If you over tighten the spark plugs, you can actually crack either the spark plug or the seat. That can lead to a costly repair bill. Even if nothing gets damaged by the tightening process, you may find that removing the spark plug to replace it next time becomes almost impossible.
Setting the wrong gap.
The gap is the distance between the cone of the spark plug and its tip. The gap will be measured in millimeters and it is absolutely essential that the gap is set properly for your specific automobile. If the gap is not set properly, then it may be too close or too far away and the spark will not ignite the fuel properly. This can result in power loss and excessive fuel being sent to the exhaust.
In order to ensure proper efficiency for your BMW, make sure that you have your spark plugs changed by an authorized BMW technician.