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Difference Between Hot Spark Plug And Cold Spark Plug ?





Hot & Cold means the relative cooling capacity of the plug while operating in your particular engine. If a spark plug is said to be "hot" if it is a better heat insulator, keeping more heat in the tip of the spark plug. A spark plug is said to be "cold" if it can conduct more heat out of the spark plug tip and lower the tip's temperature. Whether a spark plug is "hot" or "cold" is known as the heat range of the spark plug. The heat range of a spark plug is typically specified as a number, with some manufacturers using ascending numbers for hotter plugs and others doing the opposite, using ascending numbers for colder plugs."

The metal shell of each plug will function at almost the same temperature as the metal of the head itself because the plugs are screwed into the head and there is a good path for heat flow between shell and head.Heat collected by the insulator tends to accumulate there because the insulator material is not a good conductor of heat. The track for heat flow is away from the insulator nose. Heat has to flow upwardly along the nose until it reaches the place where the insulator is in mechanical contact with the shell.

Spark plugs are manufactured with different heat ratings, from very cold to very hot, so a desirable plug can be found for your engine, depending on what you need, based on your riding or driving conditions. Plugs with the same diameter and reach will have different lengths of the insulator nose section and different type numbers to indicate which runs hot and which runs colder.



The operating temperature of a spark plug is the actual physical temperature at the tip of the spark plug within the running engine, normally between 500 and 800 °C (932 and 1,472 °F). This is important because it determines the efficiency of plug self-cleaning and is determined by a number of factors, but primarily the actual temperature within the combustion chamber. There is no direct relationship between the actual operating temperature of the spark plug and spark voltage. However, the level of torque currently being produced by the engine will strongly influence spark plug operating temperature because the maximal temperature and pressure occur when the engine is operating near peak torque output (torque and rotational speed directly determine the power output). 

The temperature of the insulator responds to the thermal conditions it is exposed to in the combustion chamber, but not vice versa. If the tip of the spark plug is too hot, it can cause pre-ignition or sometimes detonation/knocking, and damage may occur. If it is too cold, electrically conductive deposits may form on the insulator, causing a loss of spark energy or the actual shorting-out of the spark current.


A spark plug is said to be "hot" if it is a better heat insulator, keeping more heat in the tip of the spark plug. A spark plug is said to be "cold" if it can conduct more heat out of the spark plug tip and lower the tip's temperature. Whether a spark plug is "hot" or "cold" is known as the heat range of the spark plug. The heat range of a spark plug is typically specified as a number, with some manufacturers using ascending numbers for hotter plugs, and others doing the opposite – using ascending numbers for colder plugs.

The heat range of a spark plug is affected by the construction of the spark plug: the types of materials used, the length of insulator and the surface area of the plug exposed within the combustion chamber. For normal use, the selection of a spark plug heat range is a balance between keeping the tip hot enough at idle to prevent fouling and cold enough at maximal power to prevent pre-ignition or engine knocking. By examining "hotter" and "cooler" spark plugs of the same manufacturer side by side, the principle involved can be very clearly seen; the cooler plugs have a more substantial ceramic insulator filling the gap between the center electrode and the shell, effectively allowing more heat to be carried off by the shell, while the hotter plugs have less ceramic material, so that the tip is more isolated from the body of the plug and retains heat better.


Heat from the combustion chamber escapes through the exhaust gases, the side walls of the cylinder and the spark plug itself. The heat range of a spark plug has only a minute effect on combustion chamber and overall engine temperature. A cold plug will not materially cool down an engine's running temperature. (A too hot plug may, however, indirectly lead to a runaway pre-ignition condition that can increase engine temperature.) Rather, the main effect of a "hot" or "cold" plug is to affect the temperature of the tip of the spark plug.

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