One of the key factors for a shop’s success is its reputation for customer service. While you cannot change the way vehicles and parts are manufactured, you can offer confident recommendations to customers on which parts will work best for their needs.
The use of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines has continued to grow across every segment of the auto industry since the late 2010s. In 2018, GDI engines made up more than 50% of the new vehicles in the U.S. according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Understanding how to help keep those engines running efficiently will ensure customers are happy and return for other needs. Because spark plugs in a GDI engine require more focused ignition for proper functioning, you can easily earn trust by setting up customers with the best spark plugs for those engines.
While GDI technology delivers better performance and fuel economy over conventional fuel injection systems, it also comes with unique service requirements and challenges. GDI engines work by directly injecting fuel at high pressure into the combustion chamber. This process is more likely to fuel wash spark plugs than older, indirect fuel-injection systems or conventional carburetors.
GDI technology results in a more complete combustion and cooler temperatures inside the cylinder. Those cool temperatures lead to an enhanced compression ratio that delivers better efficiency and power with the same amount of fuel, but cool temperatures can also be more likely to create carbon fouling. Iridium spark plugs, with an optimal heat range, provide better fouling resistance.
Another ignition challenge created by GDI engines is the restriction of air flow. As these engines directly inject gas into the cylinder, small amounts of dirt in the air and blowback carbon build up on intake walls. This carbon buildup will restrict air flow to the cylinders, causing the loss of torque and fuel economy.
So, the main advantage of GDI technology – its precision – also becomes its primary drawback. In order to maintain the desired level of GDI efficiency, you must use parts that are up to the task of delivering equally effective precision. To keep a GDI engine running cleanly and efficiently means proper maintenance, including the right choice of spark plug metallurgy.
Autolite® spark plugs provide the precision and reliability of an engineered OE replacement iridium spark plug. Iridium Ultra® features a laser-welded 0.5 mm iridium finewire center electrode for optimal fuel efficiency, acceleration and focused ignitability. Iridium XP offers a tested blend of iridium, platinum and tungsten to precisely focus spark energy at the optimum ignition point to deliver high power, long life and exceptional value.
An independent study showed that during the first 10% of MFB (Mass Fraction Burned) or ignitability, the Autolite spark plug flame kernel burns faster than other spark plugs. This increased speed burns more fuel during combustion and the increased burn rate means more of the fuel gets converted into pushing the piston down. All of this means Autolite’s spark plugs improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.
Making solid recommendations and sharing insights on products creates a better service experience for customers, which builds trust and customer retention.
Autolite has been focused on developing spark plugs since 1935. We have done the research and put in the hours to enhance the performance, durability, and ignitability of plugs for domestic and import engines. Our latest advances in technology are our Iridium Ultra and Iridium XP spark plugs. Explore the benefits of our iridium spark plugs at autolite.com.