Click & Clack Talk Cars
By Tom & Ray Magliozzi
Dear Tom and Ray:
How do I know when I should
change my spark plugs? I mean, will my car do
anything different I was getting my oil changed,
and the guy said I should change my spark plugs.
How would he even know? Thanks. - Maureen
RAY: Well, generally speaking,
there are four reasons to change your spark
plugs, Maureen. One is, simply, time. A lot of
cars now use platinum plugs that are supposed to
last 100,000 mils, so you shouldnt need to
change them often. But if your car has 110,000
miles on it and you know for a fact that
youve never had your plugs changed, your
mechanic would be correct in recommending a new
TOM: The second reason we
suggest new plugs is if weve examined them
and found that the electrodes are worn out. When
the electrode wears out, the spark-plug gap (the
space that the spark jumps between) grows. That
leads to reduced mileage and can lead to a
misfire, which is when a cylinder fails to fire.
RAY: We might also notice that
the ceramic insulation around the center
electrode is cracking. That can cause a plug to
fail, too. If we notice either of these signs of
impending spark-plug geezerdom (ISPG), wed
probably recommend that you replace all of the
TOM: The third reason we might
change your plugs is if you already have a
misfire that we suspect is caused by a bad spark
RAY: And the fourth reason we
tell our customers they need new plugs is if we
got a special "case price" on them from
our supplier, and we need more room in our parts
By Greg Zyla
Sponsored by Curry Automotive
With Tony Stewart?
Q: Greg, you
always seem pretty honest and dont brown
nose too much. So what do you think of Tony
Stewarts remarks about the
"entertainment" caution flags in NASCAR
and his saying that NASCAR Nextel Cup is about
the same as professional wrestling? Also, did he
deserve that $10,000 fine? -- Sandy K., The
received the $10,000 fine not for his comments,
but for not attending the post-race media
conference. It is written in NASCARs driver
contracts that the top three finishers must meet
with the media, so I feel the $10,000 fine is
As for his
statements about bogus caution flags and pro
wrestling, he made those on his Sirius Satellite
radio show the Tuesday evening following the
Phoenix race, where he finished second to Jeff
Gordon. So, Tony pretty much said what was on his
mind, and NASCAR didnt appreciate the
comments one bit.
Stewart was asked
to attend a 6 a.m. meeting with NASCAR officials
on Friday, April 27, at the Talladega race before
he could unload this race car in the pit area.
After the meeting,
NASCAR announced that Stewart, who drives the No.
20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing, was
fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec.
31, 2007, for failing to fulfill his post-race
media obligation following the Subway Fresh Fit
500 at Phoenix.
My final opinion
is this: I think Tony Stewart is one of the best
drivers out there in any type of race car.
Hes a real racer. If I had a car, Id
want him behind the wheel of it.