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ertzog

spark plug suggestions

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Our 2016 transit titanium is at 96K and starting to throw intermittent misfire cel codes for all cylinders.

Looking around the old posts here I am surprised to see very little mention of spark plugs.

At what mileage have folks ended up changing their spark plugs, and when doing this did you also change the coil packs or leave them be?

odes

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90k is the lifetime of platinum plugs. Replace them and your misfires should disappear. Replace the coil packs only as they fail.

 

The focus st guys regap their plugs periodically. I will check/do this every 30k miles. But my 2016 only has 22k mi. 

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It was claimed that MotorCraft spark plugs are good for 100,000 mile. Now a lot of people are changing at 50,000, 60,000, or 75,000.  Some people say that plugs are fine, unless they misfire.  Others say change them at certain mileage, so that they don't misfire.  In your case, change them now.  You already have misfire.  

 

Some people say to reuse the Coil On Plug. Other people install new units, since it's just as much effort.  Some people change the rubber spark plug boot only.  Cost is the factor.  Coil Over Plug units are about $50+.  

 

Misfire can result from bad spark plug, bad COP, or deteriorated rubber boot on the COP.  COP are sold with boot attached.  Boot can be purchased separately.  

 

You could replace just the plugs, and be fine.  If there's still misfire, pull the COP, and change the boots.  If there's still misfire, change the COP.  Or change the COP when changing plugs, and you will be fine.  

 

A lot of people believe that you should only use MotorCraft ignition parts.  I have used other brands without issue.  Stay away from low cost spark plugs.  Aftermarket iridium plugs should be fine. I have used E3 plugs in Ford engines without issue.

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I check and change the plugs on a time basis.  The Platinum plugs tend to not miss fire for a long time. Pulling the plugs to make sure they do not corrode into the head is my real reason for pulling them out.  While they are out I put in new ones . 

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1 hour ago, G B L said:

While they are out I put in new ones . 

Sounds more reasonable.  

 

One of the scams is for a shop to send out coupons for 20K, 40K, 50K service.  For X-Dollars, they inspect a whole list of parts on your car car.  Filters, Belts. Hoses. Fluid condition. Brakes. Exhaust piping.  AND always - spark plugs.  

 

The tech and service writer bring the worn parts into the waiting room for you to see what condition it is.  

 

Then they get to give you an upsell to replace all of those parts.

 

If you are not so car savvy, you fall for the coupon special where they take off a bunch of parts, show them to you, then put them back on. Unless it's new, every part looks worn.  If you are not car savvy, you spend much more for changing all those parts.

 

My rule is if I take it off, a new one goes back on. Same effort now.  Why do the same job again later?

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8 hours ago, G B L said:

I check and change the plugs on a time basis.  The Platinum plugs tend to not miss fire for a long time. Pulling the plugs to make sure they do not corrode into the head is my real reason for pulling them out.  While they are out I put in new ones . 

 

Hopefully you always use a dab of anti-seize compound on any plug threads which will be used in any vehicle with aluminum cylinder heads  -  Very important!

 

Don

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changed them out. The overhang of the engine bay makes it harder than typical to unscrew and then grab the spark plug. .. sore back.

 

Used never seize on the threads and dielectic grease on the coil boots.

 

put in: NGK 5019 LTR5GP - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001MU28P2/

 

nothing too alarming on the ones I pulled out.  No CEL codes since the changeover but it is pretty early.

IMG_20190514_124344536_HDR.jpg

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What combination of spark plug tools and extensions did you use?

 

Any reason why you chose that brand and model of spark plug?  

 

Did you replace the COP?

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Nice clean running engine, but then... they all are these days (except in case of gross failure).  Pretty much makes it worth having lived through the first generation of smog-controlled engines in the 70s, though of course we didn't know that in those awful days.

 

Just my opinion, but even those 96k plugs could be re-gapped and run another 60k.  The gap's important though... too wide and the firing voltage makes extra stress for the coil too. 

 

So maybe 60k intervals to pull, gap, and anti-sieze the plugs is about right.

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If I pull plugs, new plugs go in.  Same way I am not draining transmission fluid to send in a few ounces for used oil analysis, pour it through a coffee filter in the funnel, back into the transmission.  Same thought process for changing the oil filter with the oil.  Bizarre that some people will change the filter, not the oil, and just top off because the bottle of oil claims XX,XXX miles.  Or changing the oil, but not changing the filter, because filter advertisement claims XX,XXX miles.  Some people drain radiator fluid, then pour it back in through a funnel with a screen.  

 

Not just reading it online.  I have seen all this in real life.  

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My ex liked to reuse paper towels.  Wipe your clean hands, the paper is still clean. You just washed them.  Spread it back out by a window.  It dries.  Reuse it.  

 

I have hand towels.  Wash and reuse.  

 

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 12:12 PM, Double Nickels said:

What combination of spark plug tools and extensions did you use?

 

Any reason why you chose that brand and model of spark plug?  

 

Did you replace the COP?

 

5/8" deep socket and two short extensions.... lucky I had two - one is not enough and the medium extension is too long.  plucked the plugs with needle nose pliers.. used an old 5/8" "spark plug" socket with a rubber grommet inside to hold the new ones for insertion/initial threading (but that socket was too short to use for wrenching).

 

they are cheap spark plugs with some variant of "platinum alloy", but still a known name..... amazon said they would fit.

 

left the COP.

 

and now the p300 cel is back... lists as "permanent" so perhaps my ODB2 reader/app cannot clear it?

that or it is actually a vacuum leak I need to track down......

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Changing the plugs did not correct your malfunction.  Maybe compression.  Maybe COP. Maybe some more diagnostics is called for. 

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OEM plugs are .50 gap. Your new plugs are .52.  Rule that out.  

 

As I was looking, I see that Autolite plugs are $4, and there is a $3 rebate.

 

I found this online:

 

  • Low Fuel Pressure– If there isn’t enough fuel getting to the engine, this will cause combustion to be less than optimal. Diagnosing low fuel pressure can be tricky. Typically, if you do have low fuel pressure, the vehicle will act fine when it doesn’t need a lot of fuel. But, it’ll sputter and act like it’s going to die at speed or under heavy acceleration. Here’s some information on how to tell if you have a bad fuel filter.
  • Vacuum leak– If your Focus has a vacuum leak, it can be very difficult for it to get the right air/fuel mixture. This will cause the cylinders to misfire and it’ll throw the P0300. Also, since a vacuum leak almost always affects each cylinder the same, you’ll typically get P0300 with it and not any cylinder specific misfire codes. Here’s a great article from Popular Mechanics on how to detect a vacuum leak. It’s easy (and kind of fun) to chase one down. Popular Mechanics: How to find a vacuum leak.
  • EGR Problems– If the EGR system is not able to recycle the engine gasses right, it’ll throw P0300.
  • Ignition Problems– Bad plug wires (if equipped), bad coil packs, and spark plugs can cause misfires to occur. This isn’t higher on the list because typically you’ll get a misfire in one cylinder specifically, and not a P0300 only. If you got a P302 or something similar with the P0300, it may be a good idea to check and see if there is any damage or failure from your ignition components. Here’s how to test a coil pack, how to tell if a spark plug is bad (video), and how to test plug wires (video).
  • Cam or Crank Sensors– This one is very unlikely, but it does happen. If the ECU is not getting the right signal from these sensors, the vehicles timing is not going to sync up and it’ll misfire.
  • Low Compression– If you have a leaking head gasket, bent valve, cracked head, etc.. that would cause compression to not be as high as it should, you’re going to get P0300. You should also feel the vehicle is down on power as well.

 

Most Common P0300 Fixes

A lot of the time, P0300 is going to be fixed by something obvious, such as an EGR leak. When it’s not glaringly obvious what is wrong, a tune up is a great place to start.

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14 hours ago, ertzog said:

 

5/8" deep socket and two short extensions.... lucky I had two - one is not enough and the medium extension is too long.  plucked the plugs with needle nose pliers.. used an old 5/8" "spark plug" socket with a rubber grommet inside to hold the new ones for insertion/initial threading (but that socket was too short to use for wrenching).

 

I looked into my toy bag.  I'm hoping that I have the right combination of extensions and spark plug sockets to do the job.  That big piece is a deep well spark plug socket, for engines like Transit Connect with deep wells & coil over plug.  I've got a couple of different swivel spark plug sockets in different styles.  A few extensions, a swivel, and a finger spinner.  I've got a couple of spark plug sockets without the swivel, in 3/8" & 1/2" drives.  1/2" in case I need the torque to break it free.  

IMG_20190520_194917480.thumb.jpg.5be7e994c92e8a5862e865f401e2689f.jpgIMG_20190520_195351840.thumb.jpg.b1b1cef549be0c7867c0652da74166af.jpgIMG_20190520_195024902.thumb.jpg.f54b2226beae03a44d0704a8780895a5.jpg

On 5/17/2019 at 9:15 AM, Eddy Kilowatt said:

Just my opinion, but even those 96k plugs could be re-gapped and run another 60k.  The gap's important though... too wide and the firing voltage makes extra stress for the coil too. 

Not so crazy.  Some people do that.  Some people clean the spark plugs also.

 

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5 hours ago, Double Nickels said:

OEM plugs are .50 gap. Your new plugs are .52.  Rule that out.  

Owners manual gives the spark plug gap range as:  0.049-0.053 in.

 

If you buy iridium spark plugs, or the  e3 style, the manufacturers usually say that you do not re-gap.  I was skeptical at first.  e3 have been in my pickup truck for about 6 months now, and they work fine.  I may try them on the Transit Connect.

 

In most cases your Iridium Power plugs do not need to be gapped. ... Should you decide to re-gap your Iridium Power plug, use extreme caution as improper gapping may damage or destroy the Iridium center electrode or porcelain center.

Spark Plug Installation | DENSO Auto Parts

 

 

 

Automotive spark plugs have a unique three-leg ground electrode and the powersport plug with its unique ground electrode are pre-gapped at the E3 factory to meet the O.E. requirements for the vehicles they are listed to fit. Do not attempt to change the gap.

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On 5/21/2019 at 12:58 AM, Fifty150 said:

e3 have been in my pickup truck for about 6 months now, and they work fine.  I may try them on the Transit Connect.

 

 
I put e3's in my 2016 2.5. There wasn't a noticeable change, but through research, and other peer reviews, they seem to be one of the best out there for newer vehicles. I'll update at about 90k how theyre running (at this rate, I'll hit 90k in about a year lol)
 

 

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Same results. No gains in horsepower or mileage. No problems either.  

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these are the plugs i put in my van. i bought it used. ive put about 26k on it since february. i put the plugs in about 2k ago. i did this as part of an improvement maintenace that i wanted. it got these plugs, new valve cover, motor mounts and transmission filter

 

 

 

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/bosch-oe-fine-wire-double-iridium-spark-plug-9657/10115513-P

 

 

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/carquest-trans-filters-automatic-transmission-filter-kit-96046/11133143-P

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On 5/23/2019 at 9:11 AM, i86hotdogs said:

I put e3's in my 2016 2.5. There wasn't a noticeable change, but through research, and other peer reviews, they seem to be one of the best out there for newer vehicles. I'll update at about 90k how theyre running (at this rate, I'll hit 90k in about a year lol)

 

How have the e3 spark plugs worked in your van?

 

They are fine in my pickup.  You hear a lot of people say "only use Motorcraft".  There's probably some wisdom to not using really cheap spark plugs.  Over the years, I've used different spark plugs without incident.  Always used a more reputable brand.  Denso, Autolite, et cetera.  

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On 1/29/2021 at 9:49 PM, Fifty150 said:

How have the e3 spark plugs worked in your van?

 

So far so good! I check the plugs about twice a year. Haven't seen anything wrong yet with em. 

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