The beauty of SCCA’s Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack events is that anyone can participate – all you need is a safe vehicle, a helmet, and the desire to get on a racetrack. From there, though, #funwithcars can become all encompassing, with drivers soon striving to tweak their rides for reliability, agility, and speed. It often begins with performing your own oil changes and perhaps swapping brake pads – the latter being a necessity for those attending multiple Track Nights. Basic engine tune-ups are the next step, with a DIY favorite being the installation of fresh spark plugs. But before you grab for that spark plug socket and begin wrenching, Hagerty has several incredibly helpful tips for you.
“The tools you need for a job like this are pretty simple – it’s a great entry-level DIY and it’s something all the cars are going to need,” explains Kyle Smith in a Hagerty-produced video that details some of the finer points of spark plug replacement. “For me, I get the dedicated spark plug sockets with a simple ratchet, your various gap tools to determine your new spark plug size, a set of plugs for your application, and then a little bit of rubber hose.”
That’s right, spark plug installation requires finesse that a simple piece of rubber hose can afford – and verifying the gap from the ground to the center electrode is vital.
Beyond spark plug removal and gapping, this Hagerty video also includes how to interpret what story the old plugs tell.
“This is an important part in the process of changing your own spark plugs...actually taking them out and looking at what you removed, especially relative to a new plug,” Smith says. “This can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside your engine and what you might need to change moving forward.”
Whether you’re a casual enthusiast or a hardcore, track-driving piston-head, this video from Hagerty is a must-watch. So click the button below and get ready to up your automotive game.