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Old 10-18-2012, 12:36 AM   #1
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Default Does it need a new "Spark"

O.K. Have a question for those in the "Know". I have a 2000 Buick Lesabre custom which runs fineand has the 3.6 litre Engine (the only one available for this vehicle. The owner'* manual calls for a change of "Spark Plugs" at one hundred thousand miles. The car runs fine, is this really necessary. Am I wasting my money with this* Maintenance.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:24 AM   #2
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I did a quick Google search on 100,000 sparkplugs.

This seems to sum it up pretty good.

Quote:
That depends on what you mean by "last." Is it possible for a spark plug to function for 100,000 miles? Under ideal conditions, yes. Spark plugs made with platinum or iridium coupled with today’* high output ignition systems may be able to create a spark sufficient to fire the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder for 100,000 miles. But, there may be some severe consequences to waiting for the 100,000-mile mark.
One is the additional burden placed on the ignition system by worn spark plugs. An ignition system will only produce enough voltage to fire the spark plug, typically 5000 volts at idle to perhaps 15,000 volts under acceleration. Some modern ignition systems such as DIS (Distributorless Ignition Systems) or COP (Coil-On-Plug) systems can produce as much as 50,000 volts!

As a spark plug wears, the gap becomes wider and the electrodes more rounded. Both conditions require more voltage to create a spark. So, if your worn spark plug requires 40,000 volts to fire, the ignition system will do it. But producing that kind of voltage will take its toll on the ignition system. The question becomes, "Would you rather replace four, six or eight spark plugs at $5 each or four, six or eight ignition coils at $90 each?"

There’* an even greater reason to replace spark plugs before 100,000 miles. They have been known to seize in the cylinder head if left in that long. If that happens, you could be looking at a $2000 repair bill to remove the heads and replace the spark plugs. Will that happen to you? Maybe, maybe not. Are you willing to take that chance?

The 100,000-mile spark plug is nothing more than a 60,000-mile spark plug that the carmaker’* marketing department calls a 100,000-mile plug. It sounds impressive to say that their car doesn’t need a "tune-up" for 100,000 miles. It’* really a marketing driven claim, not one based on sound engineering. Manufacturers often add stipulations to the 100,000-mile interval that’* in the owner’* manual, but is often overlooked.

The most prudent thing to do is to replace standard spark plugs every 30,000 miles. Platinum and iridium plugs should be replaced every 60,000 miles.
So, yes, I would recommend replacing them BEFORE the 100K mark. Especially if your sparkplugs are installed into aluminum heads.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:33 AM   #3
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ive put alot of miles and had alot of cars. you always have to replace the gm plugs at 100k and when you take it out i bet your gap is 70-80. my mom and others i take care of let hers go to 120ish the electrodes are almost wore through, the only thing they complained about was hard start in the morning and a little rough idle, still getting the same mileage. these cars dont like the cheap plugs either. get the same as oem or ive been running e3'* pretty successfully. you can get them for 4.80 at advance with the p20 discount
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:20 AM   #4
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Maintenance = spending a little money before you need it, instead of spending a lot of money after you should have.

There is no such thing as "wasting my money" on maintenance. Consider it an investment.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kg4u View Post
Maintenance = spending a little money before you need it, instead of spending a lot of money after you should have.

There is no such thing as "wasting my money" on maintenance. Consider it an investment.
What Roy said. I've replaced plugs at 30K and at 80K, and noticed no tangible difference other than that warm, fuzzy feeling car guys get after a successful repair. However, the quoted article sums up the science very well.

A failing plug is better than a totally failed coil. I've had both.
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