A spark plug is an essential component of your engine and ignition system.
But have you ever wondered what helps keep them functioning smoothly?
Well, it’s an often-overlooked material — spark plug dielectric grease.
This lubricant is crucial for preserving electrical performance and ensures your engine fires on all cylinders!
This Article Contains:
- What Is Dielectric Grease?
- How to Apply Dielectric Grease on Spark Plugs
- What Are the Advantages of Using Dielectric Grease?
- 4 FAQS about Spark Plug Dielectric Grease
What Is Dielectric Grease?
Dielectric grease is a non-conductive lubricant that protects and insulates various electrical components in a car to ensure excellent electrical performance.
As per the product description of dielectric grease, the lubricant is made from silicone and a thickener. This combination makes the lubricant waterproof and helps keep corrosion and rust at bay.
Silicone dielectric grease also helps prevent voltage leaks in the ignition system and may help extend the spark plug’s lifespan up to 100,000 miles. This feat is achieved by deterring arcing (unwanted electric discharge) and preventing the spark plug boot from merging with the component’s ceramic connection points.
But there’s a catch:
Be sure to apply only a thin layer of dielectric grease to electrical components to avoid difficulties. Applying a thick layer will hamper the reinstallation of the spark plug into the rubber boot, disrupting the electric current and preventing ignition.
What can you do if you add too much dielectric grease?
You can use a petroleum distillate and chlorinated solvent to remove dielectric grease. It could come in handy if excess grease gets onto parts like the ignition coil or spark plug wire.
Now that we have a clear idea of dielectric grease, let’s explore how to apply the lubricant to a spark plug.
How to Apply Dielectric Grease on Spark Plugs
Applying dielectric grease to a spark plug can become tricky.
Due to its non-conductive nature, dielectric grease must only be applied to the plug boot where the spark plug meets the ignition coil pack.
- Remove the spark plug.
- Clean the plug and the rubber boot with a spark plug cleaner and wire brush.
- Squeeze a small amount of the silicone grease onto a cotton swab.
- Insert the swab into the spark plug boot.
- Apply a thin layer of silicone grease to the interior of the spark plug boot. (Ensure that you don’t let it get onto the metal wires, such as the spark plug wire terminals).
- Reattach the spark plug and plug boot.
Worried about the grease getting onto other parts?
You could let your mechanic handle the application.
Next, let’s explore the benefits of using dielectric grease.
What Are the Advantages of Using Dielectric Grease?
Dielectric grease is a good tune-up lubricant that protects the electrical connection in your vehicle.
Here are a few more advantages of using silicone dielectric grease:
- Prevents water damage and corrosion: The lubricant is formulated with silicone, making it hydrophobic (waterproof). This helps repel moisture, preventing corrosion and rust from destroying your electrical connection.
- Fights against dirt and grime: Dielectric grease keeps dirt, water, and grime away from a spark plug. In turn, the grease extends the longevity of your spark plug wire and spark plug threads.
- Protects the high voltage connection: The lubricant improves insulation and preserves the spark plug’s high voltage connection by keeping contaminants out.
- Prevents heat damage: Silicone dielectric grease is an excellent insulator that can withstand extreme temperatures, protecting connection points.
Still have some doubts about dielectric grease?
Let’s dive deeper and explore common queries about it.
4 FAQs about Spark Plug Dielectric Grease
Here are answers to common questions you may have about dielectric grease:
1. What’s the Difference Between Dielectric Grease and Lubricating Grease?
Dielectric grease and lubricating grease are similar but designed for different purposes.
Lubricating grease is formulated with lubricating oil, thickener, and petroleum distillate to lubricate industrial and automotive mechanisms.
Dielectric grease is made with silicone and thickener and is used for protecting or insulating various electrical connector components in a vehicle.
2. Is Dielectric Grease Necessary for Spark Plugs?
No, dielectric grease is not necessary for spark plugs to function.
But, when applied correctly, it aids the electric current flow from the ignition coil to the spark plug by sealing electrical contacts from dirt and moisture ingress, and prevents arcing. This helps maintain the integrity of your ignition system.
3. Can You Use Dielectric Grease for Other Car Parts?
Yes, other car parts that can benefit from dielectric grease application include:
- Battery Terminal: The application of dielectric grease on a battery terminal delays the process of rust build-up and corrosion.
- Electrical Connector: The lubricant can be used for various electrical connectors to preserve connectivity. These include spark plug wire boots, heat shrink terminals, or spark plug threads.
- Ignition System: Dielectric grease is used on the ignition coil connectors and coil pack to prevent voltage leakage. It’s also commonly used for a distributor cap tune-up.
- Bulb Socket: Silicone dielectric grease can be used on a headlight bulb socket or connector to extend its lifespan and decrease voltage leaks.
4. Does Dielectric Grease Expire?
Dielectric grease is a low-maintenance product that can remain effective for a long time.
Contrary to popular belief, dielectric grease doesn’t expire two or three years after initial use. That’s why it can extend the lifespan of spark plugs, rubber gaskets, and the ignition coil.
So, if you have a dielectric product that’s thick and pasty, you could continue using it. It may have a funny smell after a while, but it’s still effective.
Dielectric grease is a valuable lubricant used to insulate and preserve various electric connectors in your car. It protects against dirt, moisture, and corrosion, and also assists in maintaining the electric connection needed to start a vehicle.
This lubricant can extend the lifespan of various car parts, such as a spark plug and high-energy ignition systems.
And if you need help applying it, you can contact AutoNation Mobile Service.
AutoNation Mobile Service is a convenient mobile auto repair and maintenance solution offering competitive, upfront pricing. Our expert mechanics can perform routine maintenance, like applying grease, right from your driveway.
Contact us for help on any car issues today.