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What would your spark plugs look like if your spark was "retarded" v. "advanced"? concerning auto-

motive timing v. combustion?

A: An overly-retarded spark timing won't show except as an absence of any evidence pointing to too much advance.

In an overall advanced spark, the insulator (which should look approx. the same as when it was new), has a porous, grainy appearance, this is evidence of overheating. If the signs of overheating are confined mostly to the center electrode you have too much ignition advance.


The spark plug subjected to "retarded" spark would have a much lower IQ.

One subjected to "Advanced" spark may qualify for Mensa. ;-)

Black carbon on the plug indicates that your engine is running too rich. Too much oil around the electrode indicates high oil consumption or damaged rings.

A cracked ceramic plug body will lead to shorts or misfires Damaged insulator may be caused by detonation. A blistered insulator is most often caused by using the wrong heat-range.

Ordinarily the plug's color will vary from a light tan to a grey. Light deposits are perfectly normal on used plugs.

For more read this ...

Aquarius the Brett:

It might be the dizzy spark that's retarded or advanced on it's hyper tension cable feed!


Hi Ziggy! My spark has fizzled as it is past 3 am now!


Mine too.

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