ParkAvenue 1997-1999

Spark Plug Wires



At every tune-up/inspection, visually check the spark plug cables for burns cuts, or breaks in the insulation. Check the boots and the nipples on the coil. Replace any damaged wiring.

Every 50,000 miles (80,000 km) or 60 months, 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.

To check resistance, disconnect the spark plug wires from the coil and spark plug. Connect one lead of an ohmmeter to an electrode within the cap; connect the other lead to the corresponding spark plug terminal (remove it from the spark plug for this test). Replace any wire which shows a resistance over 30,000 ohms. The following chart gives resistance values as a function of length. Generally speaking, however, resistance should not be considered the outer limit of acceptability.

0-15 in. (0-38cm): 3,000-10,000 ohms.
15-25 in. (38-64cm): 4,000-15,000 ohms.
25-35 in. (64-89cm): 6,000-20,000 ohms.
Over 35 in. (89cm): 25,000 ohms.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Checking individual plug wire resistance with a digital ohmmeter

It should be remembered that resistance is also a function of length; the longer the wire, the greater the resistance. Thus, if the wires on your car are longer than the factory originals, resistance will be higher, quite possibly outside these limits.