How To Stop Spark Plug Wires From Arcing?

Spark plug wires are an important component in any vehicle’s ignition system. They deliver electrical current from the distributor or coil to the spark plugs, which ignite fuel in the engine. However, these wires can sometimes develop a problem called arcing, where electricity jumps from the wire to another part of the engine instead of reaching the spark plug.

Arcing can cause misfires, reduced power, and even damage to engine components. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this issue from occurring. In this article titled “How To Stop Spark Plug Wires From Arcing,” we will explore some common reasons why spark plug wires arc and provide tips on how to prevent it from happening.

Why arcing spark plug wires are problematic?

How To Stop Spark Plug Wires From Arcing

Reason 1: Worn or damaged wires

Worn or damaged wires can be a major cause of engine misfires and poor performance. When spark plug wires are arcing, they can create a high-voltage spark that interferes with the normal flow of electricity in the engine. This leads to reduced power output and potentially dangerous conditions for the driver.

One way to prevent spark plug wires from arcing is to regularly inspect them for wear and tear. Check for any signs of cracking or fraying on the outside of the wire, as well as any corrosion or damage to the connectors at each end.

Reason 2: Incorrect installation

Arcing, which happens when electricity moves from a spark plug wire to another nearby surface rather than through the intended spark plug, can be caused by improper spark plug wire installation. This can result in

  • Misfires
  • Reduced Engine Power
  • Increased Fuel consumption

One common mistake when installing spark plug wires is not routing them properly. They should be neatly arranged and secured away from any hot or moving parts to prevent arcing.

Reason 3: High humidity

Spark plug wire arcing can be very problematic, particularly when there is a lot of humidity present.

The spark plug wires in your engine compartment may get wet if there is moisture in the air that seeps in.

Arcing, which happens when stray electrical currents leap from one wire to another instead of following their intended path, is more likely as a result of this.

Read More:- How To Test A Spark Plug With A Battery?

Prevention Methods: How To Stop Spark Plug Wires From Arcing

How To Stop Spark Plug Wires From Arcing

1. Replace worn/damaged wires

Firstly, When replacing or changing the spark plug wire, Determine which wire has to be replaced first. Keep an eye out for wear indicators like exposed wiring or cracks. After the old wire has been located, carefully remove it by twisting off both ends.

To ensure a proper fit when installing the new wire, take note of the length and route of the old wire.

2. Properly install wires

Purchase high-quality replacement wire that matches the specifications of your vehicle’s make and model.

Firstly, it’s essential to make sure that the spark plug wire connections are clean and dry before installation. Any moisture or dirt on the connection points can lead to arcing and damage to the wires.

Secondly, be sure to correctly route the wires so they don’t touch any engine components or each other. This will prevent any unnecessary friction or rubbing which may lead to arcing.

Lastly, when installing new wires or replacing old ones, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Improper installation of spark plug wires can result in incorrect firing order leading to misfires and engine issues.

Make sure the spark plug wire boots are securely fitted into the distributor or coil pack terminals as well as the spark plugs.

3. Use dielectric grease

To use dielectric grease, start by disconnecting the battery and removing the spark plug wires from their connectors. Apply a small amount of grease to each end of the wire, ensuring that it covers both the wire and connector thoroughly.

Reconnect the wires to their respective connectors, making sure they are secure but not over-tightened.

Finally, reconnect your battery and start your engine – you should notice smoother operation with no more arcing!

It prevents electricity from escaping and creating arcing by acting as an insulator. Arcing can be effectively reduced or eliminated by putting a thin layer of dielectric grease over the metal contact region and the inside of the spark plug boot.

4. Upgrade to high-quality wires

Upgrading to high-quality spark plug wires is an important step in maintaining the health of your vehicle’s engine.

Arcing, or electrical leakage, can occur when the insulation on old or low-quality wires begins to break down.

This can lead to reduced engine performance and even damage over time.

To prevent arcing and ensure a smooth-running engine, consider upgrading your spark plug wires to ones made with quality materials such as silicone or Kevlar.

These types of wires offer better insulation and durability than standard copper-core wires. Additionally, choosing a set of wires specifically designed for your make and model of vehicle can further enhance performance.

Spark Plug Wires Arcing Symptoms

Here are the common symptoms of spark plug wire arcing

  • Rough idle
  • Misfires and Power loss
  • Engine hesitation during acceleration
  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Increased exhaust emissions:

1. Rough idle

One possible indicator of arcing spark plug wires is erratic idling, which can cause the engine to shake or sputter. The reason for this is that an electrical short circuit caused by arcing wires can impair the engine’s ability to run smoothly.

2. Misfires and Power loss

A car may have misfiring and diminished performance if the electricity in one or more cylinders is incompletely burned, resulting from a wire jumping to another part of the vehicle rather than passing through the plugs.

3. Engine hesitation during acceleration

A car may have misfiring and diminished performance if the electricity in one or more cylinders is incompletely burned, resulting from a wire jumping to another part of the vehicle rather than passing through the plugs.

4. Poor fuel efficiency

The spark plugs in each cylinder may experience an uneven voltage distribution when the spark plug wires arc. This unequal dispersion may cause certain cylinders’ fuel to burn incompletely, which lowers fuel efficiency overall.

5. Increased exhaust emissions

Higher levels of dangerous emissions from your car’s exhaust system may be caused by faulty or worn-out spark plug wires. These cables can arc, which can impair proper combustion and raise emissions of unburned hydrocarbons.

Conclusion: Keep your car running smoothly with proper maintenance

In conclusion, proper maintenance of your car is essential for keeping it running smoothly. How To Stop Spark Plug Wires From Arcing? Regular oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine tasks can prevent costly repairs and extend the life of your vehicle. Don’t ignore warning signs or put off maintenance tasks – they will only lead to bigger problems down the road. By being proactive with upkeep and addressing issues promptly, you can ensure that your car stays in top condition for years to come. So, schedule that tune-up today and keep your wheels rolling smoothly!


1. What is ignition coil Arcing?

The term “ignition coil arcing” describes the spark or electrical discharge that happens between the coil’s terminals, usually as a result of poor voltage regulation or an insulation breakdown.

2. What should be the distance between plug wires to prevent arcing?

Generally speaking, plug wire spacing should be between 0.040 and 0.060 inches (1 and 1.5 millimeters). For a precise measurement, it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s specs or the handbook for your car.

3. Is temperature related to electrical arcing?

Yes, temperature can play a significant role in electrical arcing

4. Can low temperature cause electrical arcing?

Extremely low temperatures can increase resistance and raise the risk of electrical arcing, however, they are less prevalent.

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