Will worn spark plugs cause engine damage

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  #1  
Old 11-25-08, 12:43 PM
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Will worn spark plugs cause engine damage

I have an Infiniti 2004 FX35 with 130k miles. Will worn spark plugs cause engine damage? This car has multi-valve heads and the dealer warned her that she could have engine damage due to worn plugs.

Is this a wives tale? We plan to have it changed ASAP but she needs to take it on a short trip. The car appears to be running ok but I hear the valves pinging before it full warms up.
 
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Old 11-25-08, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dgoode View Post
I have an Infiniti 2004 FX35 with 130k miles. Will worn spark plugs cause engine damage? This car has multi-valve heads and the dealer warned her that she could have engine damage due to worn plugs.

Is this a wives tale? We plan to have it changed ASAP but she needs to take it on a short trip. The car appears to be running ok but I hear the valves pinging before it full warms up.
Never heard of bad plugs causing engine damage. It will not run properly or get optimum mileage, but don't think it will cause damage. It may cause valves to carbon up because of improper fuel burn. That may cause pinging. I would change them as soon as possible. Be sure to use proper plugs. Are you getting any codes out of the computer? I'm sure a more knowledgeable mechanic will respond soon.
 
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Old 11-25-08, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeTN View Post
Never heard of bad plugs causing engine damage. It will not run properly or get optimum mileage, but don't think it will cause damage. It may cause valves to carbon up because of improper fuel burn. That may cause pinging. I would change them as soon as possible. Be sure to use proper plugs. Are you getting any codes out of the computer? I'm sure a more knowledgeable mechanic will respond soon.
The engine is not flashing any check engine lights nor does their appear to be any diminished performance. The tailpipes has some soot on it. Only thing I see it takes longer for it to warm up.

I would change them myself but my wife likes to give the dealer her money.
 
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Old 11-25-08, 07:27 PM
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the pinging can cause engine damage, it can actually cause wear on aluminum parts in the engine, such as pistons and heads, it would take quite a lot of pinging to cause significant damage though.

murphy was an optimist
 
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Old 11-26-08, 05:25 AM
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First old plugs cannot kill an engine, but you are wasting gas.
But, yes, pinging can kill an engine.
This is created by early combustion of gas, due to:
- unsuitable gas with a too low octane degree
- bad timing
Are you filling with the correct type of gas?
Years ago when I found my Ford Taunus (german made) was swallowing too much gas, I tried to fill with regular : a real disaster it was pinging as soon as i was accelerating. The cure was to fill again with premium.
I had solved the pinging problem on the Opel of one colleague, simply by adjusting the distributor for less early ignition. The Opel garage had tuned the engine a couple of times without solving the problem >>> ROBBERS!
If you plugs are a bit old, brush them with a wire brush, blow some air to get rid off dust and re-adjust the gap, normally to 0.8 millimeter (no idea in inches).
I seldom change plugs on my car, only if the electrodes seem too thin.
You can do it yourself! Your wife wll kno how to spend $ you have saved
Good luck.
Marc
 
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Old 11-26-08, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dgoode View Post
I would change them myself but my wife likes to give the dealer her money.
I'm not sure I would be in any hurry to give money to anyone who was using what could be construed as scare tactics to sell a tune-up job. Would depend on how it was said/explained.
 
  #7  
Old 12-01-08, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
I'm not sure I would be in any hurry to give money to anyone who was using what could be construed as scare tactics to sell a tune-up job. Would depend on how it was said/explained.
It was a infiniti dealer. I will tell you the other tactic also.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 04:45 AM
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The pinging while it is cold could be caused by a lack of EGR due to the emission system being in open loop. I never worked on Infiniti cars but I would guess their engine control has some sort of warm up period. As far as worn plugs damaging the engine, BS!! I have pulled plugs with the ends burnt clean off, replaced with a good one and everything was fine, no way I would pay a DEALER for a tune up.
 
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