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Old 01-07-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
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The Spark Plug Debacle

The Spark Plug Debacle

Preface: I drive a 2004 AT. The car has roughly 23k and had one previous owner. This was the first coil/plug change for this car.

Tuesday

2 pm: We begin work and the coils go in without a hitch. He next order of business is the spark plugs.

4pm: We jack the car up and remove the wheel. The workspace is tight but manageable. The front rotor plugs work fine so we move on to the rear rotor plugs. The trailing plug is stuck like a rock. No movement what so ever. We decide to warm the car up and try again, but during our drive we can hear the car misfiring (sounds like when you put a playing card on your bike spokes as a kid). We cut our ride short and get the car back in the garage.

6 pm: We decide to work on the leading plug and there are no problems with it. The trailing plug is still impossible to move, even with a breaker bar.

9 pm: We pack up for the day and decide to resume work tomorrow. The common consensus is that the plugs threads are deformed or crossed.

Later that night I recall that mazda did a de-choke procedure on my car in the summer. On the invoice, it said that they removed my plugs in the process. My thought was that while installing the plugs, someone was in a hurry and got a hold of a high torque, air compressed gun and went to town, ripping the plug and housing threads in the process.

Wednesday

I decide to call mazda and check if the plugs are part of the warranty extension (even though I knew the answer). They said no to I told them that I had a de-choke done and asked if the plugs had been removed then. Mazda said “probably not”. I told them to check the records. They checked confirming my suspicion that mazda isn’t taking me seriously. I ask if their poor workmanship will be covered under warranty and they said that I would have to bring it in too look.

My problem is this.

If I get it towed to mazda, it’s there 100%. I can’t afford their labor and any other problems (such as the possibility of a stripped motor housing because of horrible plug installation.) What are my chances of having this covered under warranty? Should I stick it out in my garage and use a different technique or should I let the “professionals” work with it?

(sorry if this seems rushed, I had a nice version typed up but then my browser decided to log me out of the forum, so I lost everything.)
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
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The plugs should never be so tight that you need a breaker bar to remove.
If you go any further, happen to remove it, and realize that they are cross-threaded, they might blame you and say it occurred when you were taking it out.
I would let the dealer investigate THEIR mistake and fix it.

You have documentation stating that they removed the plugs.
As long as they were the last to remove them, you should be fine.
But first work with the dealer, then if needed, go above them.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon316G View Post
The plugs should never be so tight that you need a breaker bar to remove.
If you go any further, happen to remove it, and realize that they are cross-threaded, they might blame you and say it occurred when you were taking it out.
I would let the dealer investigate THEIR mistake and fix it.

You have documentation stating that they removed the plugs.
As long as they were the last to remove them, you should be fine.
But first work with the dealer, then if needed, go above them.
that seems the most logical way. should i reinstall the 3 old plugs?
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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^I say yes on the re-install.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:57 PM   #5
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def let them take a look at it if y9ou have documentation of them taking out the plugs they should b covered under labor warranty...I don't see y u would need to put the old ones back in all u have to say if they ask is you were changing the plugs and coud not get that one out
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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^Parts and labor warranty are only good for 12mo/12000 miles on new parts being installed.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #7
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yeah, they know i was changing them and that i had the problem.

theres a labor warranty?
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:01 PM   #8
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It falls under the parts warranty...all factory parts are given a 12mo/12000 miles warranty. That's how I have yet to pay to for plugs and coils since I bought my car...they don't last 12k miles, haha.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
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It falls under the parts warranty...all factory parts are given a 12mo/12000 miles warranty. That's how I have yet to pay to for plugs and coils since I bought my car...they don't last 12k miles, haha.
yeah but my plugs were 32k old. you should see the tips, charcoal black. my coils were all white burnt too.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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I wasn't sure about the labor warranty but then again i never go to the dealer to have anything done unless in warranty!
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:20 PM   #11
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White spots on coils don't mean anything...you have to check the ohms with a fluke meter to see if they are really bad. New coils usually have about 3 ohms resistance, anything over that they start causing minor misfires. As for the plugs, black normally indicates good plug life...mine are sometimes white as hell, running to lean I guess. But keep in mind from now on, you should probably change out plugs and coils every 15-20k miles.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:32 PM   #12
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the white spots is from what happens when your rotary gets all excited at 9000 rpms -- then tries to hide its "marks" under a very inconspicuous place.

hehee

Only way to know is to check resistance.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:43 PM   #13
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yeah as said above check resistance for coils and plugs should b a brownish black color if they are covered in black carbon you are running rich plugs should b brownish powder coated
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyarnold69 View Post
the white spots is from what happens when your rotary gets all excited at 9000 rpms -- then tries to hide its "marks" under a very inconspicuous place.

hehee

Only way to know is to check resistance.
ohhh ok. well when i installed them i felt the difference right away, so they must have been on their way out.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:10 PM   #15
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yeah if you have had them awhile they will slowly wear out and u will not notice till they change how coils work is after they spark they get "charged" via a magnetic field when it's time for that particular spark plug to light the voltage/current going to the coil for the magneticfield get turned off and when power drops it's called flyback voltage and produces a crazy amount of power up to 120,000 volts and that just the gap in a spark plug then the fuel lights....everytime they are charged and discharged they wear out slowly so i'm sure u would have felt a difference
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
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yeah if you have had them awhile they will slowly wear out and u will not notice till they change how coils work is after they spark they get "charged" via a magnetic field when it's time for that particular spark plug to light the voltage/current going to the coil for the magneticfield get turned off and when power drops it's called flyback voltage and produces a crazy amount of power up to 120,000 volts and that just the gap in a spark plug then the fuel lights....everytime they are charged and discharged they wear out slowly so i'm sure u would have felt a difference
it was an incredible difference. at first, i was thinking my cat might have been clogged but i wanted to try the coils/plugs first. i think i might ditch the cat anyway just to be on the safe side.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:29 PM   #17
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yeah they must have been bad if you though ur cat was goin i'm on my originals with 40k miles and it does not feel too bad but i'm sure that changing them soon i will feel a great differece
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:37 PM   #18
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alright, thanks for the advise guys. i think im calling AAA tomorrow for the tow.

*crosses fingers*
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:41 PM   #19
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Good LUck
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:35 AM   #20
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Why does the car need to be towed?
I concur with the other recommendations not to try too hard. I stripped about half the threads out of that plug hole, and now have a new plug that's not installed correctly (the previous plug was cross threaded all the way in. Had to have been installed with an impact wrench.) Going to try to helicoil this weekend.
Of course if yours is in bad shape as mine was you'd need about an 8' breaker bar. I broke a 1/2" drive plug socket before getting a set of deep impact sockets and whacking on the thing for at least a full minute with a good impact wrench.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:17 PM   #21
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He already tried using a breaker bar...no worky.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:21 PM   #22
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No anti-seize and the plug is now welded in......

Been there, T-shirt aquired.

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Old 01-08-2009, 02:58 PM   #23
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I say install the three new plugs and tell them the whole story IE the truth .

Always works out better when you do that
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #24
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huh I don't think there is anti seize on my plugs i pulled them about a month ago and th threads were dry! oh no hope they don't get stuck in there!
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:48 PM   #25
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hooooo, i got to mines right in time. took me about 30mins to do all 4 plugs, including the time to jack the car up, and clean up afterwards. well when i pulled all the plugs out, the threads had a light coat of what looked like surface rust, any longer in the motor and i think they all would've seized. my trailing pair even had this weird light blue stain on the hex nut where it meets the ceramic outer part.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:48 PM
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