DENSO, one of the largest manufacturers of ignition products in the aftermarket, explains how good service can maximise spark plug sales even as we exit the winter period and beyond.
Igniting the fuel inside the engine chambers, spark plugs are an essential element of petrol-powered internal combustion engines and have to work particularly hard in the cold winter months.
Unsurprisingly, the extreme conditions seen across Europe during the winter period can present workshops and distributors with outstanding sales opportunities for replacement spark plugs as well as offering improved service and an increased chance of customer retention.
Degraded spark plugs are one of the leading causes of hard starting, which can have a highly negative impact on fuel consumption and emissions – increasingly essential considerations for many drivers.
Nick Thomas, Product Manager, DENSO Sales UK & Eire & Product Manager DENSO Europe, explains that for workshops to maximise peak sales for spark plugs, it is vital for them to recognise and diagnose faults early then replace degraded plugs with high quality, reliable spark plugs.
Due to being such an integral part of a vehicle’s motor, it is imperative that spark plugs are monitored with regular services and cleaned or changed when necessary. Major causes of spark plug failure include an incorrect air/fuel mixture and worn out plugs, as well as incorrect installation which can lead to failed spark plugs, or even serious engine damage.
“Signs of needing to replace spark plugs could be misfires, increased fuel consumption and bad starting,” says Thomas. “Spark plugs are generally replaced at service intervals, before signs are noticeable. However the use of alternative or bad fuels can shorten the lifetime of spark plugs.”
Once the diagnosis has taken place, the spark plug can be replaced with a quality, reliable and efficient aftermarket part. Thomas says, “Cheap replacements are a risky short-term solution, and workshops can earn satisfied customers and an upsell by recommending higher quality products to customers.”
DENSO develops all of its ranges in-house as well as ensuring zero defects as standard in the manufacturing process. Thomas explains that DENSO’s expertise as an OEM directly benefits aftermarket customers, bringing trusted manufacturing techniques, design and quality to replacement parts.
Multiple factors are necessary to ensure the best practice of fitting a new spark plug.
• Use the correct wrench for the hex on the plug, and be careful not to damage the insulator.
• When changing, make sure that the oil on the outside of the plug does not enter the engine interior.
• When putting the plugs in, clean the engine side of the flange and put in the plugs after making sure the gasket is in the flange.
• Make sure the plugs are vertical and tighten them by hand until they cannot be tightened any further (A+B).
• Then, use a plug wrench to tighten them accurately to the torque or rotation angle.
The spark plugs offered by DENSO cover a complete range including Standard, Nickel, Platinum and Iridium which all guarantee optimum engine performance for the end customer.
Thomas says, “The small electrodes in our Iridium TT spark plugs allow for optimal flame growth in the early stage of ignition, whilst reducing the required voltage. Despite a small price increase compared to nickel spark plugs for example, these high quality spark plugs provide added customer value, leading to increased upselling benefits for all parties.”
DENSO’s Iridium TT spark plugs allow for a more effective spark and ensure improved performance across the spectrum, particularly on cold starts during the extreme weather in the winter months. The spark plugs significantly improve the combustion process enhancing vehicle performance and ensuring reduced emissions.
Depending on plug type, engine type and driving style, DENSO’s Iridium TT Spark Plugs can also provide significant improvements compared with standard spark plugs. We have measured that this could amount to fuel efficiency improvements of up to 2.4% just by using DENSO spark plugs,” says Thomas. These improvements ensure the customer is always receiving the highest possible quality and fuel efficiency in the winter and all year round.”