Are expensive spark plugs worth it?

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  #1  
Old 05-03-10, 09:13 AM
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Are expensive spark plugs worth it?

I have a 92' Ford Ranger Supercab with remanufactured 2.9 V6. It is due for spark plug change. I am thinking about getting plugs with multiple electrode and multiple spark paths. Something like Bosch platinum. What are the benefits in using these plugs and is it worth it since this is not a high performance vehicle? Will using such plugs affect the computer and electronics or have any adverse affect

Thanks,
Dave
 
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  #2  
Old 05-03-10, 09:42 AM
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Several (as in most) of the Pro mechanics here say to ALWAYS use factory brand plugs. Not that you have to buy them from the dealer of course...but that you should use OEM brand. More than one has stated he solved driveability issues just by switching to the correct OEM plug.

A search in this and the outdoor equipment forums will give you several threads to peruse...
 
  #3  
Old 05-03-10, 10:17 AM
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I agree with Gunguy. Manufacturers develop their engines with a certain type of spark plug, so you can expect OEM plugs to be the best plugs for engine performance.

Upgraded plugs with precious metal tips (platinum or iridium) may be warranted for engines where spark plug replacement is either difficult or expensive. Though advertised for 100K service, these plugs may only last 50K. Manufacturers often specify them in waste-spark ignition engines, where they see twice the spark events that normal designed engines see.

Certainly stay away from boutique plugs, e.g., splitfire, which are only gimmicks.
 
  #4  
Old 05-03-10, 11:27 AM
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Buy the expensive aftermarket brands.

Thanks,

Stockholder in the Expensive Aftermarket Brands Co.

LOL
 
  #5  
Old 05-03-10, 12:09 PM
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Geez, I don't even remember what OEM is for my 1992 Ford Ranger. I've been using the cheapest Autolite plugs. Is this ok?The current ones have just over 30,000
 
  #6  
Old 05-03-10, 12:25 PM
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I imagine Autolites were probably the OEM...I think most/all Fords use them? Oops..Maybe Motorcraft? Do they still make plugs?

What? No factory service manual...lol...j/k.

Anyway...if the Autolites are working fine..then no prob sticking with them...just don't spend the money for the "fancy" stuff.
 
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Old 05-03-10, 12:43 PM
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Champion Truck plugs worked great in an old Dodge pickup I had. They do cost a bit more than the cheap plugs, but you may notice a difference.
 
  #8  
Old 05-03-10, 12:51 PM
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I hope I didn't wait too long at 30,000 miles. But that is recommendation in owner manual. No problems I am aware of. But gas mileage could stand improvement.

I'll look for Motorcraft plugs at the parts store. Either that or Autolite
 
  #9  
Old 05-03-10, 07:32 PM
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Stick with what manufacturer recommends. Fords, Motorcraft/Autolite, Chrysler products-Champion etc etc.
In 39+ years of working on vehicles, I have seen many times when aftermarket brands used, has cost the owner more money, more troubleshooting etc, only to replace them with what the manufacturer recommended, and problems were gone.
 
  #10  
Old 05-03-10, 08:40 PM
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Wink

if you just go back to the manufacture / recomended plug ( assuming you are not hauling a 2 ton horse trailer around)
a 'copper electrode' plug is good for 60+.000 miles./- IF! there is a platinum tip plug offered - it will go for say 100,000 miles.
if you are having a fuel consumption problem-/ -if the eng is not stumblimg/missfiring-on acceleration,/ ignition is probaly NOT your problem.
'ALOT' of times= fuel mileage is DIRECTLY connected to the ' DRIVERS' habbits!!
( IF you drive like you are on the Dukes Of Hazzard-you aint gonna get decent MPG!)
? DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOUR fATHER TALKING TO YOU?
Well Good!!
 
  #11  
Old 05-04-10, 07:06 AM
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True, there are many things that can affect fuel mileage. Just changed PCV, fuel filter, oil/filter, and air filter. Air filter was dirty. Plugs get replaced in a few days

By the way I often drive like a grandmother. Last year, highway patrol pulled me over and gave me a written warning for driving too slow.

Will change the plugs in a few days. I don't what you guys think about this. But I have gotten into the habit of using anti-seize compound on nthe sparl pklug threads. I don't use too much and make sure that that it doesn't touch the electodes. Changing the plugs is not easy in mu truck with the tight spaces I have to wok in. Anything to make it easier.

I even spray penetrating oil in the spark plug ports a few days before I change plugs.
 
  #12  
Old 05-04-10, 01:20 PM
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A written warning for driving too slow??? OMG.... Put your foot in it a little and blow out some of that carbon build-up! I'm not sure about the newer vehicles, but carbon buildup used to rob gas mileage in the older vehicles. Geez.... I don't think you should tell anyone else about this "driving too slow" thing... LOL!
Oh.... and I also recommend use of OEM plugs. Tried some of those fancy plugs when they were being sold on clearance and didn't observe any noticeable difference. However, the "platinum" plugs do last longer than the non-platinum plugs. But I'd only use them if they ARE the OEM because the ignition systems have to be up to snuff also if you're going to get the 100K miles out of them.
 
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Old 05-04-10, 01:33 PM
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I imagine a small amount is prob not an issue. Do your plugs use a tapered seat or a crush washer? If a seat..just make sure its clear..of a crush washer..its a non issue. Just a wipe though..not a heavy coat.

Oh...and want to compare difficulty? My Tribute requires removal of the intake manifold! is that crazy or what?
 
  #14  
Old 05-04-10, 08:17 PM
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Most cars now go hi miles before a tune-up becomes nessesary. Thats because they have double platinum plugs installed OEM. The latest greatest is Iridium. My GM doesn't require plug service for 100,000mi. I change them at 95k and they were still good. I don't see any reason why you would stray away from a plug with that durablility Lots of fancy aftermarkets plugs that may be better but I see alot of gimmicky tip designs & far fetched claims. I say the OEM replacment is expensive enough.
 
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Old 05-05-10, 08:04 PM
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Anti-seize is also good for the lug studs in case the tire guy gets a little too happy with the impact wrench.
 
  #16  
Old 05-05-10, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike.B View Post
Stick with what manufacturer recommends. Fords, Motorcraft/Autolite, Chrysler products-Champion etc etc.
In 39+ years of working on vehicles, I have seen many times when aftermarket brands used, has cost the owner more money, more troubleshooting etc, only to replace them with what the manufacturer recommended, and problems were gone.
I agree 100%. I typically use AC Delco for GM products, Autolite for the older stuff (usually cheaper). Champion is Chrysler only in my book.
 
  #17  
Old 05-06-10, 07:08 AM
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Don't worry, I've picked up the speed. One reason I was driving slow was because I had a warranty issue with engine that's been resolved.

To answer the earlier question, the spark plugs use a tapered seat. I'm replacing with standard Motorcraft plugs since it is a Ford.

I feel sorry for Gunguy who has to remove the intake manifold to change a plug. Yeah, that is crazy. I would avoid owning a vehicle like that
 
  #18  
Old 05-06-10, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bluesbreaker View Post
I feel sorry for Gunguy who has to remove the intake manifold to change a plug. Yeah, that is crazy. I would avoid owning a vehicle like that
Too bad enough of us do not share that attitude, otherwise the car companies might start making us cars again like the old Dodge Darts with slant 6's, or 70's Ford Mavericks, and other such era cars we could work on easily. Albeit the cars today last a great deal longer.

I really hate the fact that they went to in- the- tank fuel pumps, that cost hundreds of dollars to replace, compared to the mechanical ones held in by 2 bolts and cost under $10, and you could install one yourself in no time. Or the serpentine belt era with tensioner and no way to hardly get at the belt. Was I lucky I was able to change out the belt in my car this last winter, on the side of the road when 0 degrees out! - which is a rarity today. Most people would have to have their car towed, just from a broken belt. That is nonsense, IMO.

I like cars where you can access all the parts - is the bottom line. Not the sardines, in a sardine can engines today, where you might not even find the battery.

And if you can find one of these easy to work on cars, it will cost you, I'm sure, and so will any parts needed for it. And lead replacement gas additive?
 
  #19  
Old 05-06-10, 08:54 PM
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Unhappy

sorry pal/ I am with you on that!
but thosedays are long gone for the average consumer.

the poor guy that owns FORD S.D. with a 6.0 or a 6.4, pretty much " cannot change his own drive belt"
(i was a ford-dealer tech/with 30 years) & it still would take me & a helper 20 min to change a belt-on a cold eng!
 
  #20  
Old 05-06-10, 09:15 PM
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No adverse effects to computer/electronics.

The platinum plugs are worth it - in terms of longevity of the plug / replacement efforts. I routinely get 50K - 75K miles out of the better plugs.

IMHO any upgrade over 2 electrodes - is a bit of a waste of $$$ unless you get a really good price.
 
  #21  
Old 05-07-10, 06:45 AM
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Tell me about it!. My father gave me his used 96' Ford Contour. One day I popped the hood because I wanted to change air filter, replace coolant, maintenance, etc. I couldn't even reach some of this stuff without disassembly. What the hell?

You know what I did? I said screw this. I sold it to neighbor across the street. Just like that.
 
  #22  
Old 05-26-10, 03:14 PM
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I have a bud that used to work for Champion. He said they had plant meeting about making split-fire plugs back in the day. About how they work exactly the same as a single electrode plug and it was just going to be a marketing gimmick to say they are better. He tells me that story about once a month.

In the Matter of Splitfire, Inc - 972-3029 - Agreement Containing Consent Order

Now the iridium or platinum I would get if you have an f-150. Anybody ever had to do one of those? Unbelievable!
 
  #23  
Old 05-26-10, 04:38 PM
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Had to get a spark plug for my weedwhacker the other day. Saw a plug by the name E3. Was curious until I saw the $7 price tag for 1 plug. Said to myself "This is for a weedwhacker!!". Bought the Champion plug that had the same # that was in it.
 
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