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Repair Center  How to Test a Small Engine for Spark

Why Read This Article?

  • Test your spark plug.
  • Troubleshoot engine starting problems by testing the strength of your plug(s).

Article Breakdown

Repair Information:
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 10 minutes
Frequency: Yearly or as needed Testing The Spark
1. Remove the spark plug boot.
2. Attach the tester to the boot and spark plug.
3. Pull the start rope to test spark.
4. Examine the condition of the spark plug.
5. Remove the tester and replace the boot.

Video

Tools & Materials

  • Spark tester

How to Test a Small Engine for Spark

November 7, 2012
If your small engine isn't starting, you'll need to diagnose many issues including the spark plug. This video walks you through the steps of how to test for a spark using a spark tester.  
If you've had your small engine long enough, it's bound to have some issues. However, these issues can be promptly negated if you perform routine maintenance. This article address the steps to test the spark of a small engine. This can and should be part of the regular maintenance you perform on your small engine, so keep this article handy for future repairs.
 

 

  Swing by our lawn equipment page to find any small engine parts that you need.   Testing the Spark

1. Remove the spark plug boot

This will just pull off of the engine shroud with a little bit of force.

 

2. Attach the tester to the boot and spark plug

Press the metal end of the spark tester into the boot-- then place the rubber female end over the spark plug.

 

3. Pull the start rope to test spark

You wont need to start the engine completely.  A few pulls to get the engine turned over is all you need to see the spark in the spark tester window.

 

4. Examine the condition of the spark plug

The spark tester cannot detect if a spark plug is damaged. You'll need to pull out the spark plug and manually inspect it.  

5. Remove the tester and replace the boot.

Once you're done testing the spark, simply pull the tester off of the engine and replace the rubber boot  

 
[Back to Top]
  Conclusion And that's how easy it is to make sure that you're small engine is still getting a spark. And if you found out that the spark was working correctly but your small engine still won't start, watch or read our articles addressing engine maintenance. Now get back out there and put that engine to work!   If you need replacement parts for the Hitachi string trimmer that's featured in the video, you can find them here   [Back to Top] What We're About  

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