Spark Plug: Can it Shock and Kill you? [With Examples]

If you’ve ever been zapped by a spark plug, you know how painful it can be. You might have even thought about whether or not a spark plug could kill you?

A spark plug is an electrical device that works to ignite the air/fuel mixture in your car’s engine. When a car’s engine starts, there are two electrodes inside the cylinder head. One electrode is called the “sparking” electrode and creates sparks when electricity flows through it from the other electrode which is called the “ignition” electrode.

Once these sparks hit fuel vapor in the cylinder, combustion occurs and this causes your car to start running as usual. IN this article I will answer the question of whether a spark plug can shock and kill you.

Table of Contents

Can spark plugs kill you?

No, spark plugs cannot kill you. They can cause a shock which is unpleasant but not deadly. Although spark plugs have high voltage energy, they have low amp currents which can not kill you. The amps in a spark plug are too small to create the shock that will lead to death, so even if it hurts when you’re zapped by one of these plugs, it probably won’t cause your untimely demise.

In short, a spark plug cannot kill you because the voltage is too high and the amps are too low.

How many volts does a spark plug give?

The spark plug voltage depends on the engine size and type, but you should never exceed 20,000 volts when servicing a car’s ignition system.

Can you touch spark plug wires while the engine running?

No, you should never touch the spark plug wires while the engine is running. You risk severe electric shock by electrocution if your hand touches a metal part of the car’s wiring system at the same time as it makes contact with an external voltage source like a wire or power cable.

What is the best way of installing a spark plug?

The most important thing about changing your spark plugs is making sure you drive the new one in straight and without bending it too much. Be careful not to touch any metal parts with your bare hands while installing a spark plug and don’t use any tools that are not specifically designed for this purpose.

Can touching spark plug wires cause a misfire?

Yes, touching the spark plug wires when the engine is running can cause a misfire. The most common causes of this problem are physical damage to the electrode or insulator surfaces and dirt accumulation on these parts which prevents sparks from being created. A third possibility is that you have an insufficient supply of fuel for combustion.

What is the spark plug gap?

The distance between the two electrodes on a spark plug can be adjusted for different types of operation but usually, they are set to .025 inches. This gap distance is measured from the tip of one electrode to the other when they are in their “firing” position with electricity flowing through them.

Can first/secondary ignition coil shock you?

An ignition coil can shock you if it’s broken. If the insulation on a spark plug wire is damaged or worn, there will be an increased risk of electric shocks from this component as well.

Should a spark plug wire shock you?

Yes, spark plug wire could shock you. You might be shocked if there’s an insulation fault on the wire, such as a small split or crack in its rubber coating.

If the wire is routed such that there’s not enough air between it and the ground (another metal surface), you might get shocked when touching the wire because another part of your body would be in contact with the ground — like if you touched two different metal objects.

The spark plug wire could also have a corroded end terminal or torn conductor, which might not be what it should look like after installation.

In summary, the most common cause of a shock from this type of wiring is an insulation fault, such as a small split or crack in its rubber coating on the wire itself that’s in contact with metal engine parts or the car body. The next most common cause of a shock is if there’s not enough air (distance) between the wire and another metal surface, such as in an installation where wires are too close together.


It’s true that spark plugs have high voltage. However, the amps are too low to cause death instead, they can just hurt when you’re zapped with one of these plugs. Even if it hurts and is unpleasant, a shock from a spark plug probably won’t kill you.