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Niterra, owner of the NGK and NTK brands, lists 6 factors that classify the use of the vehicle as severe

14 Dec 2023
3 min reading

The company also highlights the main impacts caused on the performance of the ignition system, such as difficulty in starting the engine

São Paulo, December 2023 – Niterra, a Japanese multinational that owns the NGK and NTK brands and specializes in components for ignition systems and automotive sensors, highlights six determining factors to classify the use of a vehicle as severe - a criterion established by automakers to identify more critical operating conditions:

  1. Use in heavy traffic;
  1. Professional use, such as taxis, ambulances, public service vehicles (police, fire, municipal and state services) and app services;
  1. Use on poorly paved or dusty country roads;
  1. Use with significant load or towing;
  1. Lack of regular use;
  1. Use on short distances, preventing the engine from reaching the ideal operating temperature.

Impacts on the ignition system

Consisting of coils, cables and spark plugs, the ignition system plays a key role in the operation of Otto cycle engines, ensuring the correct burning of the air/fuel mixture. Designed to operate with various fuels, these engines, whether flex-fueled, gasoline, ethanol or gas, depend directly on the correct actuation of the ignition system. Intensive use of the vehicle can accelerate the wear and tear of the system, affecting its performance and resulting in difficulties in starting these engines.

"In heavy traffic, the engine operates continuously, even without adding many kilometers. This constant idling runs wears down the spark plugs. Although this wear is small, if the condition is maintained for a long time, it will impact the durability of these components", explains Hiromori Mori, Technical Assistance consultant at Niterra do Brasil.

"Another factor is the build-up of residue at the tip of the spark plug that impacts its performance, increasing the voltage needed for the spark and putting more stress on the ignition coils. System failures increase fuel consumption and result in harmful gas emissions, impacting the environment and drivers' budgets," Mori adds.

To preserve the ignition system, those facing rigorous conditions of use should follow the specific maintenance chart for this context. In many cases, car manufacturers recommend halving the regular maintenance plan.

Replacement of damaged components

In situations where the ignition system already has problems due to severe use of the vehicle, the driver should be aware of signs such as increased fuel consumption, injection light on, difficulty in cold starting, acceleration failures, loss of performance and irregular idling.

"When replacing compromised parts, the use of spark plugs that are inappropriate for the vehicle should be avoided," Mori explains. "It is always preferable to opt for the specific product to ensure proper performance. Opting for a spark plug with the wrong thermal grade can cause significant damage to the vehicle."

Niterra provides the aftermarket with a wide variety of high-tech and durable NGK brand spark plugs manufactured with noble metals, such as the G-Power (Platinum) and Iridium IX (Iridium) series, which are an option to modernize and improve system performance.

NGK also offers the conventional nickel spark plug lines, Laser Platinum and Laser Iridium, aimed at vehicles that use this type of spark plug as original equipment. "The extended maintenance intervals of the spark plugs of the Laser Platinum and Laser Iridium lines must follow the maintenance plan of severe use, ensuring that the daily life of the car user is not affected and providing a more efficient and reliable experience," concludes Mori.

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