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20

Spark plugs are normally a wear and tear kind of part instead of an "all or nothing" kind of failure. Over time, they get worn or build up deposits from years of use and they become less effective and efficient. I have rarely ever heard of a spark plug failing 100% all of a sudden. Over time, it would contribute to reduced gas mileage, rough idle, and ...


14

Your owners manual should tell you how often to replace the spark plugs in addition to that I would inspect the spark plugs every 5000 miles. Spark Plug Conditions Normal operation will show a light tan or gray color. The gap clearance will be slight with very little deposits on the insulator tip. A plug that indicates replacement will show ...


13

If you keep driving it that way for very long, the fuel that's pumping through the non-firing cylinder will contaminate the catalytic converter. That can result in the catalyst overheating and melting, possibly blocking the exhaust in the process (BTDT and cats are not cheap...). If you're really having a bad day, the cat could theoretically catch on fire ...


10

Copper conducts better and is generally used in higher-performance/modified engines. In dedicated race cards resistor-less copper plugs are used. Iridium and platinum plugs are chosen for their longevity only. You shouldn't gap iridiums because of potential damage to the tips. For that reason and their inferior conductivity, they aren't used in modified ...


7

They really are that simple - as long as you torque them correctly, there isn't a lot that can go wrong. They are designed to be as straightforward as possible - they don't require calibration, measurement etc. Make sure the connector is securely on the top of the spark plug, and make sure you don't get oil or grease on the contacts. And do them one at a ...


7

Check the other end of the wires to make sure you did not loosen them. Your wires could be going bad and moving them around made the problem worse. Would not hurt to replace them as well. Also it could just be a coincident with the spark plugs, it could be a fuel issue or a problem with your distributor. Although, this is less likely than the first two ...


7

Mostly replacement is preventative maintenance. Eventually they'll get cracks that moisture can get into, etc. If they test good, they're probably fine for the moment, however, at their age they could develop problems any time. On my '91 Toyota, I've been through several sets now, and have to say that in my case, OEM is the best. I've tried other brands ...


6

The main difference is the material that the 'tip' of the spark plug is made of - normal ones are usually copper, whereas the other two have tips made out of platinum or iridium. Platinum and iridium tips tend to last longer - copper tends to erode over time so the spark plugs wear out - plus they're slightly better conductors and can produce a spark under ...


6

Note that while it's common to re-gap copper plugs, the platinum (and other more exotic) plugs that I've seen usually say that they're not to be re-gapped. If you choose to re-gap them, the risk is possible breakage (potentially during operation) as some of those other metals are more brittle than copper and don't appreciate being re-gapped.


6

The oil pan never gets hot enough in normal operation to soften the metal of the oil pan or the drain plug, and any thermal expansion at that temperature also shouldn't be much of a concern. For me the ideal temperature is maybe about 20-30 minutes after a drive, or when I can safely put my hand on the drain plug for a few seconds. The oil is still warm ...


5

Buy a can of good quality penetrating fluid (not WD-40, which is designed as a lubricant). Spray plenty of it into the plug recess, and leave overnight. Repeat this two or three times. Using a proper spark plug spanner (with the little rubber insert to grip the plug properly), try to rock the plug back and forth, tightening then loosening. Eventually, with ...


5

Before doing anything else, get some penetrating oil. Reducing friction in the threads will dramatically reduce the amount of twisting force required to remove the stuck plug, making the job way easier & reducing the chance of making things worse (i.e. breaking off a screw extractor!) Follow the instructions on the container, or just spray around the ...


5

The two biggest risks I can think of are fire, destroying the catalytic convertor and possible exploding a muffler. The arcing of the plug wire could ignite the underhood insulation. The extra unburned fuel could ruin the convertor, the fuel could collect in the muffler and ignite rupturing the muffler. All these are worse case scenarios if the distance is a ...


4

Whenever you have a cranks won't run condition the first step is to see what's missing, fuel or fire. First pull a spark plug wire off, stick a thin screwdriver in the end of the wire where the spark plug goes. Hold the side of the screwdriver about 1/4 inch away from a metal part of the engine, while holding onto the handle (insulating yourself from the ...


4

I have used all three types of spark plugs in my cars (all Suzukis) and found quite a difference between the Iridium/Platinum and the Copper ones which are much cheaper. The reason being that the iridium and platinum tips are more resistant to erosion due to the sparking. So overall they provide better performance over their lifetime, and don't degrade in ...


4

Back to O.E.M (orignial equipment manufactured). The four types of plugs are copper, platinum, double platinum, iridium. The type of ignition system should be your first variable to the question. Old ignition systems had one coil that povided spark to 8 plugs. They survived off the copper plugs, they would require to be replaced at the 2 yr interval, ...


4

The ECU may have "tuned" itself to the gap and behavior of the old plugs. When you had the plugs replaced, if the shop did not disconnect the battery (and even if they did, not sure about your Ford) the ECU would still have the long term fuel trims that matched your old plugs in effect. So this may result in a bit less or more fuel being injected and ...


3

Most people use Copper because it's the most common and cheapest, but beware the cheap/generic stuff that's only good to 600°F or so. I use the Nickel type, not so much for the temperature (2400°F), though that is a bonus, but because there are some metals that you can't use the copper on (Titanium might be one, I'm not 100% but Nickel is fine for ...


3

If you get the serial number off the engine the Briggs and Stratton website has the info you need, including where to find the serial number on older motors. After 25 years the odds are pretty good that the plug isn't even the correct one for your motor. I seem to remember it being .030 for some and .040 for others. Perhaps the difference was a ...


3

Gasket sealant is always good, but not necessary. Sealants are different, so ask the guy at your local auto parts store for sealant for the valve cover gasket. The difficulty levels vary with this, however. For example, I have an older Nissan Hardbody truck with leaking valve cover gaskets. The new gaskets are cheap enough, but removing the valve covers ...


3

No one has mentioned vibration yet. When one of the spark plug wires went 'bad' on my Chevy LS1, the spark plug failing to fire immediately translated to regular vibrations that changed frequency with RPM and became especially bad at idle. Replacing the wires (and spark plugs) eliminated the vibrations completely.


3

A couple ways to go about this, depending on the exact situation: If the ceramic stem is broken, and you can still fit a deep socket on it, go with that. If the nut itself is stripped so much that you can't get a socket or an open-end wrench on it, or if the nut is broken, you should try using pliers to remove the spark plug. You could also try something ...


3

It should carry on running, albeit somewhat lumpy. I've seen a car (a 6-cylinder BMW) spit out a plug on the motorway, it carried on running quite happily, just got noiser and lost some power (as you would expect!). The owner pulled over at the next exit, found out what had happened and drove to the nearest parts shop to get a new plug.


3

Most people that do this tend to keep their methods secret. I have seen it done at carshows,races etc and from the smell I can tell you they aren't burning gasoline. The issue with using fuel from you tank is these things burn large amounts of fuel and you have a relatively small tank that is fairly close to you body. Any malfunction or miscalculation could ...


3

You can find the spark plug gap specifications on a sticker that will be either on the radiator support or on the underside of the hood (there are other locations such as the strut towers, etc). This is the gap that should be used when using the OEM spark plugs and even when using an off-branded plug that is a valid replacement for the OEM brand. Here are a ...


2

One more option: If you tried taking the spark plug out of a hot/warm engine and the plug broke off between the lug-flats and the lug-threads (both non-technical terms), you may be able to use a screw driver or chisel to gently tap the remaining portion out. Here's why: When your engine is hot, the spark plug holes are compressed due to the expansion in ...


2

One thing not mentioned here is that the unburnt fuel from a cylinder misfiring will find its way into the oil and cause symptoms similar to a flooded engine. I called a mechanic to try boosting the engine on a relative's car today, and he said it was extremely flooded, the spark plugs needed to be replaced and the oil changed, and he wouldn't be able to do ...


2

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 ...


2

Oiled-up plugs usually don't burn out ignition coils, so I'd rule that out unless the plugs get really badly carboned up. Just keep an eye on them. 1l/1000 miles isn't great for oil consumption, but it's not that bad either (although I wouldn't be too happy either given the low mileage of the engine) - have a look at the owners manual as to what the specs ...


2

This is a case of what is your time worth and how long can you be without a car. I would try self extraction first. Short of breaking the extracter off in the remaining plug you can't make it worse. I have a couple of suggestions if you are doing it yourself. When I have a situation like this I soak a rag in PB blaster and wrap it around the fitting. The rag ...



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