1998-10-19

Cold Temperature Effects on Spark Plug Performance 982725

Fouling spark plugs on an internal combustion engine is greatly influenced by cold temperatures, especially at older assembly plants where the vehicle is moved several times because of discontinuities in the assembly line. To transition the vehicle, the operator starts the vehicle, places it in drive and accelerates rapidly, then shuts the vehicle off. This process only lasts ten to fifteen seconds and does not allow the spark plug or engine to get to a high enough operating temperature to evaporate away the fuel, which fouls the spark plugs. A spark plug fouling test is devised and is used to investigate which properties of fuel play the most significant anti-fouling role. Some additives believed to have anti-fouling properties will also be investigated to determine their significance. The anti-fouling fuel will then be implemented at the assembly plants.

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