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After 150,000 on the original factory plugs I replaced them all with Bosch Platinum, single tip, plugs. After a couple of months my car began to idle roughly at stops but not always. Then one day it got so bad the check engine light went on and stayed on. The problem was with the #6 cylinder. Upon removing the plug I noticed the tip was gone. Replaced it with same type and about a month later same thing. This time I used the type with four tips. Another month or so, #1 cylinder, remove plug, no tip. Few months later a loud backfire and a lot of power lost. #3 tip is gone and #4 but #4 was more severe because the coil sleeve is torn up and separated from coil. I was able to remove tipless plug but the treads were damaged and could not properly install new plug. Anyone have this kind of experience. Car is 1999 Chrysler 300M, 170,000 miles. So far the four prong plugs are all OK. Called Chrysler HQ, local Chrysler dealer, Bosch and other mechanics, no one knows what could have caused this.

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Did you check if the Bosch Platinum plugs you put in were the correct heat range and length? –  Timo Geusch Jun 10 '12 at 2:40
    
Did you check the gap on the plugs before installing? –  Mark Johnson Jun 11 '12 at 3:03
    
It's always wise to verify the gap, but do not attempt to re-gap platinum plugs. They don't take kindly to it and can result in the tip/prong breaking off, possibly in the engine while you're driving. The correct plug for your car should already have the right gap. –  Brian Knoblauch Jun 11 '12 at 13:27
    
Would LOVE a picture. Haven't seen that kind of plug damage in a long time! The people you called I'm sure gave you ideas? Bosch had no answer for you? Not even a guess? Invoke you warranty and return the plugs. –  geoO Jun 12 '13 at 10:15

3 Answers 3

It sounds like you have foreign objects coming into the combustion chamber. Barring the plugs themselves from being the problem (incorrect heat range shouldn't cause this, wrong plug length could), are there any holes along the intake tract where foreign objects could be ingested by the engine?

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The Bosch book "Gasoline Engine Management" has good information on troubleshooting spark plugs by appearance. It's a very useful book all-around.

They distinguish between damage to the center electrode and damage to the ground electrode (or electrodes in the case of the Platinum+4's).

Center electrodes can be melted or eroded by thermal overload due to auto-ignition (i.e. knocking). If the auto-ignition/thermal overload is bad enough, you can end up with simultaneous damage to the center electrode and ground electrode(s), and sometimes you end up with soft/spongy/cracked insulator tips (the white part).

If it's just the ground electrode that is eroded, for causes they point to:

Aggressive fuel and oil additives. Deposits or other factors interfering with flow patterns in combustion chamber. Engine knock. No thermal overloading.

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I am assuming you personally replaced them and aren't just talking to the service manager at the dealership.

Since the Bosch aren't OEM, they are of unknown spec, and likely not the correct replacement as indicated by their short life. Carefully measure the length against a plug you removed and also make sure the model number on the plug matches the model number on the Bosch box, a mix up may have occurred. Furthermore, make sure you personally check the fitment at the Bosch website and not just use what the parts guy hands to you. There is no replacement for checking this yourself.

It really sounds like you used the wrong plugs. There isn't any reason to use anything other than factory spark plugs in this car, especially since they last 150,000 miles and cost only a fraction of the Bosch.

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