Performance is not always about blasting away from a stoplight. Towing, stop-and-go driving, extreme weather conditions… they all require a higher level of performance. Performance ignition systems can make your car easier to drive, increase power, and improve mileage.
A few things before you begin
In case you need them, you can always find free print outs of specific vehicle instructions and torque specifications from Mitchell on Demand at your local PartSource store.
Everything you need for this job can be found at your local PartSource store. Ask a Parts Pro about what you'll need for the job. It's better to have extra spare parts ready for anything that might need to be replaced. The last thing you want to do, is go shopping when you have the car up on the jack.
When taking parts apart, be organized. Keep similar parts together in a safe place where they won't get lost and layout parts in a way that will allow you to put them back in the same order.
Make Safety Your Top Priority
Every vehicle is different. When it comes to maintenance and repairs, always follow the vehicle's owner's manual.
Safety should be your number one priority. Don't smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or wear a necktie while working on the car. Watch out for hot objects, sharp instruments, hazardous materials and other potential safety hazards in and around your workspace.
Don't work with a Philips when the job calls for flat. Substituting tools can compromise your safety or a vehicle's performance.
Finally, when the fun turns to frustration, or if the job requires specialized knowledge beyond your capabilities, please do not attempt it yourself. Talk to a Parts Pro or seek the assistance of a professional mechanic or installer. The last thing we want is someone getting hurt.
How to Make an Electronic Ignition Perform Better
First, start with spark plug replacement. Platinum spark plugs, or depending on your performance requirements, iridium spark plugs will give you the best results. They take less voltage to fire and last longer than standard plugs.
Upgrade your vehicle ignition system with one of our high-energy ignition systems or high performance race ignition kits to maximize your available ignition performance.
PartSource sells a variety of standard and performance spark plugs, performance spark plug wires and ignition amplifiers that can provide a 30-percent hotter spark.
Visit the Tune Up Ignition Do It Yourself Jobs for a detailed step-by-step description!
Why You Should Upgrade Your Ignition
A factory ignition system is adequate for the basic transportation of vehicles. If you demand more from your vehicle, there are things you can do to increase performance and mileage. Automotive ignition systems degrade with age, and mileage resulting in lost power and fuel economy.
Upgrade to high performance ignition chips and spark plug wires using platinum or iridium plugs. While you're at it, add an aftermarket ignition amplifier (i.e. spark ignition controller or electronic spark control module) to increase performance. Especially with trucks or SUVs that are often loaded with equipment, trailers or the kid's soccer team.
Higher quality electronic programmed ignition systems will usually result in a more powerful spark.
How to use a spark plug gap tool
When replacing standard ignition parts with high performance spark plugs, make sure to follow the manufacturer spark plug gap settings and calibrate them according to the recommended spark plug gaps.
There are many different spark plug gappers so ask your Parts Pro for the right spark plug gap tool when you buy your new performance spark plugs.
A bigger plug gap can provide a more powerful spark, but only if the ignition system can handle it. If you're not sure about the type of spark plug gap settings you need for your vehicle, your Parts Pro can help with that as well.
An ignition amplifier, spark ignition controller or electronic spark control module will greatly increase your spark energy. Most of these performance ignition systems are easy to install.
Depending on the vehicle and how it is used, additional performance may be gained by advancing the electronic spark timing. Check with your Parts Pro or the in-store services like Mitchell On Demand before changing your engine's timing.
The difference between regular and premium gasoline
All the performance gained when upgrading your ignition system will be lost unless you switch to high octane gas which can squeeze every last drop of energy out of your car.
Learn more about Gasoline for your car.