3 Ways to Get More Spark from a Car Ignition System

Upgrading a car ignition system with higher quality parts will deliver a more powerful spark and yield improved overall vehicle performance, increased power, and better gas mileage. The ignition system degrades with age and mileage, resulting in lost power and economy. Properly maintained, a factory car ignition system is adequate if all you're asking from your vehicle is to provide basic transportation. If, however, you demand more, there are ignition system upgrades you can make that will increase both performance and mileage.


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1. Change Your Spark Plugs

The easiest place to start is by upgrading your spark plugs to platinum or iridium. They take less voltage to fire and last longer than standard plugs. When replacing spark plugs, be sure to gap them properly. Check your repair manual or vehicle owner's manual for the proper gap specifications or look for the information on a label attached to the underside of the hood. A bigger gap can provide a more powerful spark, but only if the ignition system can handle it. An inexpensive spark plug gap gauge will help you set the proper gap.

2. Upgrade the Plug Wires

Once you've installed new spark plugs, consider upgrading the plug wires and adding an aftermarket ignition amplifier, both of which will help increase performance, especially in trucks or SUVs that are expected to perform while loaded down with equipment, trailers, and people.

3. Timing Changes

Depending on the vehicle and how it's used, performance may also be gained by advancing the timing. Doing so, however, might require running premium gasoline. Learn more about ECU tuning in this article. Check your vehicle repair manual before changing your engine's timing.

These quick fixes can help restore an aging car's ignition system so that it delivers more power and improves performance.

Have you considered giving your vehicle an ignition facelift? Share your recommendations in the comments below.

Last updated June 6, 2018