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Unread 06-06-2015, 03:14 AM   #1
jeepnoob2000
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Dielectric Grease debate

There does not seem to be a consensus on whether to apply dielectric grease to spark plug terminals or not.

I for one have been changing my spark plugs and lathered up the plugs pretty good including the terminal, as was recommended. Now I'm finding out that may not be right. I haven't started the jeep yet. Should I remove the plugs again and clean them off? (plus the inside of the coils will be slathered) :

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Unread 06-06-2015, 04:18 AM   #2
mike_dippert
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It's fine. Spark plugs are probably the singke most common application of dielectric grease. The grease creates a weather seal so the metal contacts don't corrode. It also helps slide the rubber boot over the ceramic part of the plug, and helps prevent them from sticking together after 30k miles or more.
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Unread 06-06-2015, 06:50 AM   #3
jeepnoob2000
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I've heard that the dielectric grease on the spark plug terminal will create resistance and possibly cause overheating or misfiring ? I've only replaced half the spark plugs so far, should I keep lathering the terminals with dielectric grease or no?
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Unread 06-06-2015, 07:04 AM   #4
festerw
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Never seen overheating or misfires caused by dielectric grease. I think or would take a very specific set of circumstances for either of those to happen.
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Unread 06-06-2015, 07:11 AM   #5
mike_dippert
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Keep going. You really only need it around the boot.

*If* it were to cause a problem, it would be because it is interfering with the metal-metal contact between the plug and wire. That would likely result in a misfire, and a related check engine light. The fit is tight enough to squeeze out the grease from the contact area 99% of the the time.
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Unread 06-06-2015, 07:18 AM   #6
jeepnoob2000
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well the point is that dielectric grease is supposed to be a nonconductor or electric insulator, so having a thin layer between the terminal and coil contact would create extra resistance, in theory. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and tend to err towards "better safe than sorry"... just don't want to hurt my car with spark plug electrical resistances! On the other hand, if it is well-known to not be a problem then I would just disregard it.
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Unread 06-06-2015, 07:21 AM   #7
jeepnoob2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_dippert View Post
Keep going. You really only need it around the boot.

*If* it were to cause a problem, it would be because it is interfering with the metal-metal contact between the plug and wire. That would likely result in a misfire, and a related check engine light. The fit is tight enough to squeeze out the grease from the contact area 99% of the the time.
yea the metal-to-metal contact is what I'm concerned about, and I put dielectric grease all over it. It appears to just be a spring inside the ignition coil that contacts the spark plug terminal
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Unread 06-06-2015, 07:36 AM   #8
ravenworks
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Just use it as you have been and move on,no harm done.
We use it on everything and I mean everything in heavy equipment.
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Unread 06-06-2015, 02:13 PM   #9
CoriolisSTORM
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Back before I learned anything about electricity (well a lot about it anyway), I had problems with my dashboard like most TJs caused by a bad connection to the pins. I went to the local auto parts store and asked for something that was electrically conductive to put in each pin to solve my issue. Well, the idiot gave me dielectric grease... That worked... well, not at all...
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Unread 06-07-2015, 07:13 PM   #10
y2k-fxst
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Used it on every plug I've changed in the last 30 years with no ill effects. Actually they send a packet with every set of plug wires I ever bought. I use the heck out out of dielectric grease on trailer wiring connectors.
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Unread 06-07-2015, 07:23 PM   #11
CJ7-Tim
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The proper application of dielectric grease is for it to seal the wire connector, or repel water from a spark plug boot, but not get on the actual metal to metal electrical contacts. 99.999 % of time, it really doesn't matter.
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Unread 06-09-2015, 05:02 AM   #12
jeepnoob2000
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Well, half of the spark plugs have dielectric grease on the terminals and half of them don't, so far running smoothly!

So is there an 'opposite' to dielectric grease that would actually HELP conductivity on the terminals?
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Unread 06-09-2015, 05:09 AM   #13
vadslram
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the only way Dielectric grease would make it misfire is if the connections are loose anyway. If the connector is tight there will be metal to metal contact and the grease does not interfere. Plus by keeping moisture and oxygen away from the connection you will prevent corrosion that does cause misfires.
I use dielectric on my outboards, snow mobile, tractor, lawn equipment, and Jeep, been doing it since I first heard about it decades ago and I have never had a problem with misfires caused by the stuff.
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Unread 06-09-2015, 06:42 AM   #14
jeepnoob2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadslram View Post
I use dielectric on my outboards, snow mobile, tractor, lawn equipment, and Jeep, been doing it since I first heard about it decades ago and I have never had a problem with misfires caused by the stuff.
yea but do you actually put it on metal-to-metal contacts? or just near/around them?
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Unread 06-09-2015, 07:43 AM   #15
mike_dippert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepnoob2000 View Post
So is there an 'opposite' to dielectric grease that would actually HELP conductivity on the terminals?
Conductive grease/paste does exist.
Don't use it unless you know you're suppose to. It can cause shorts, fires, or electrocution if used improperly.
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