Honda Civic/CRX/del Sol 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Spark Plug Wires



See Figures 1 through 5

At every tune-up, visually inspect the spark plug cables for burns, cuts, or breaks in the insulation. Check the boots and the nipples on the distributor cap and coil. Replace any damaged wiring. Always replace spark plug wiring in sets, with a coil wire as well. Length is important; get the correct set for your vehicle.

Every 36,000 miles (58,000 km) or so, the resistance of the wires should be checked with an ohmmeter. Wires with excessive resistance will cause misfiring, and may make the engine difficult to start in damp weather. Generally, the useful life of the cables is 36,000-50,000 miles (58,000-80,000 km).

To check resistance, remove the wire from the plug and the distributor cap. Look at each contact inside the wire for any sign of cracking or burning. A small amount of discoloration is normal but there should be no heavy burn marks. Connect one lead of an ohmmeter to each end of the cable. Replace any wire which shows a resistance over 25,000 ohms.

Test the high tension lead from the coil in the same fashion. If resistance is more than 25,000 ohms, replace the cable. It should be remembered that resistance is also a function of length; the longer the cable, the greater the resistance. Thus, if the cables on your car are longer than the factory originals, resistance will be higher, quite possibly outside these limits. Honda recommends the 25,000 ohm limit be observed in all cases.

When installing new cables, replace them one at a time to avoid mix-ups. Start by replacing the longest one first. Install the boot firmly over the spark plug. Route the wire over the same path as the original. Insert the nipple firmly into the tower on the cap or the coil. Make certain each cable is replaced in any holding or retaining clips along the route.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Check the spark plug wires for breaks, cracked shielding or corroded terminals

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Fig. Fig. 2: Always grasp the boot of the wire, not the wire itself

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Fig. Fig. 3: An ohmmeter can be used to check the resistance of the spark plug wire

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Fig. Fig. 4: A rubber insert in the socket holds the plug securely

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Fig. Fig. 5: This plug can be cleaned and re-used