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Deceased October 2017
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure many remember the days of changing spark plugs as part of a tune up. Now most cars and trucks don't need them changed or the manufactures don't call for them to be changed for 100,000 miles.

My 2004 Chevy Express van with 196,000 miles on it still has the factory plugs in it. :swow:

Just realized that over the weekend, when driving home from Pittsburgh Pa. The check engine light was on the entire time, and flashed when driving above 65 mph or so. It did it about 5 months ago and my friend used his code reader which said "high speed miss" I'm assuming that with the plugs being so old and used that one or more can be misfiring at high speed ?

Think that's a good guess ? I'm sure hi speed mis can mean many things. But I'll start with new plugs. Haven't changed plugs in a car or truck in 20 years. I hear it's not so simple now with the coil PAC ?? On each plug. Is that true ?
 

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The Magnificent
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20,952 Posts
Ken, do you have the fancy distributor-less ignition? If so, you likely have a coil pack going bad. I lose one in my VW about every 25K miles, and I have changed my plugs every 35K whether they needed it or not. You are also likely due for a PCV valve change (which is probably not in your scheduled maintenance section of your owner's manual).

As for the difficulty of changing plugs, on my VW it's a matter of disconnecting the wire at the coil pack, pulling the coil pack off the plug, then business as usual.
 

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196,000 out of the original tune up, That's amazing! Have you ever serviced the anti-freeze, trans. or injection?

No idea on what's in store for you to change the plugs though. Good luck!
 

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Deceased October 2017
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
196,000 out of the original tune up, That's amazing! Have you ever serviced the anti-freeze, trans. or injection?

No idea on what's in store for you to change the plugs though. Good luck!
Antifreeze has been done at least twice and I think 3 times.

Trans has been done twice for sure.

Injectors ? Nope just additive injector cleaner done a few times.

I'm gonna start with new plugs this evening, gotta TRY to get it in the garage, it's getting COLD
 

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With 200,000 miles, I'd replace the plug wires at the same time as the plugs. Using a scan tool you can check missfire counts and see which cylinder is missfiring if it's only one, that way if the plugs and wires don't correct the problem you would know which coil to check.
 

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Make sure you use Platinum at minimum, better to upgrade to the iridium plugs for best efficiency. Replacing all 8 coil packs could get very pricey, no plug wires on this one. If you have a coil pack going bad, it usually misses really bad at idle and smooths out a little at higher rpms, sounds like you definitely need plugs first, then go from there. Fuel filter is a must to if it hasn't been changed in a while.
Couple could be tight where the engine sits up by the engine cover. Overall should be easy access once you remove the engine cover from the interior
 

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Just pray they come out,instead of snapping off in the heads...thats my biggest fear about replacing plugs in our '93 Caravan,that has "only" 88K,but is also nearly 20 years old,thats a long enough time to let the plugs seize in the aluminum heads...if I bust one of the rear plugs off--its DONE!..its got so many other issues,that fixing that wouldn't be worth it...(never had a timing belt,or coolant flush,even the fuel filter is original!--brake lines are all ready to pop too,and the original exhaust is about to fall off it too)...

Some engines with individual coils have boots made onto them that connect the spark plugs to the coil,and the plugs are WAY down in a deep well--many times those boots get oil soaked or crack,and let the spark jump to the head instead of firing the plugs--the coils often fail too,they can crack or get corroded wiring inside the windings and cause intermittent misfires...my friend replaces a lot of coils at his shop on later model vehicles,they seem to fail often and certain cars "eat" them it seems!..

I dont like platinum plugs,they didn't work well in my older GM vehicles,I would only use them if the factory put them in or reccomended them,if it were my vehicle..
 

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rust in my veins
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use the longer wires, they fit either coil. also make sure the engine is overnight cold or you may face stripping a plug out. If the check engine light is flashing, not solid on it means there is a situation which can lead to serious damage to the catalytic converters.
 

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Deceased October 2017
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
use the longer wires, they fit either coil. also make sure the engine is overnight cold or you may face stripping a plug out. If the check engine light is flashing, not solid on it means there is a situation which can lead to serious damage to the catalytic converters.
It only flashes at 70 mph or above. It was only once in a while before, the past week or so it's everytime I drive about 70.

If I drive below 70 it's steady. But if I drive below 70 on some highways near me, I'd be rear ended.

I'll be sure to make sure the engine is cool :thanku:

And :thanku: to everyone else that has posted :fing32:
 

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Deceased October 2017
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just picked up 8 ACDelco iridium plugs. Figured I'd stick with direct replacements.

$60.69 with tax.

Came home and for the heck of it, I checked eBay $41.99 no tax and free shipping. So for $18.70 the ones I have now are going back the next time I pass advance auto parts.
 

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Ken, see bet you didn't have to drive 70 mph the whole time you were in Pittsburgh, those hills slow you down or you don't stay on the road! Hope you get the van fixed!
 

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The Magnificent
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I just picked up 8 ACDelco iridium plugs. Figured I'd stick with direct replacements.

$60.69 with tax.

Came home and for the heck of it, I checked eBay $41.99 no tax and free shipping. So for $18.70 the ones I have now are going back the next time I pass advance auto parts.
I probably pay way too much way too frequently because I buy exclusively from my local NAPA. But I like dealing with parts people who know their rear ends from rabbit holes. Oh, and I can get a lot of my tractor stuff there too!
 

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I just picked up 8 ACDelco iridium plugs. Figured I'd stick with direct replacements.

$60.69 with tax.

Came home and for the heck of it, I checked eBay $41.99 no tax and free shipping. So for $18.70 the ones I have now are going back the next time I pass advance auto parts.
Are they the verysame pluggs ken? its a real good idea to stick with the same plug that it came with. Todays engines are designed so tight on tolerances that something as simple as a wrong plug can make it run like junk. I see it all the time.
 

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Deceased October 2017
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21,767 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Are they the verysame pluggs ken? its a real good idea to stick with the same plug that it came with. Todays engines are designed so tight on tolerances that something as simple as a wrong plug can make it run like junk. I see it all the time.
Yes Paul, both AC Delcos same #'s

I also bought my rear brake pads off of eBay last week. Same deal, they were about 20 bucks cheaper then anyplace local, both the pads and plugs from a place in Brooklyn, NY.
I did buy those Akebono pads that I asked you about. :fing32:
 
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