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Old 08-27-2007, 12:17 AM   #1
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Engine sputtering + check engine light = spark plugs need replacement?

I'm wondering if someone can advise me on this issue. My car is over 80,000 miles (with no previous engine issues) and I'm on original spark plugs aside from the recall that changed the leading spark plugs. I know it's been way too long so please no flaming because I had the recall plugs done at over 50,000 miles and I had assumed all 4 were changed. I recently found out that only the leading ones are changed.

Saturday, my car sputtered at a stop light and the check engine light went on for a split second. I eased it into parking lot, stopped the engine for about 2 minutes, restarted, and everything was fine. Earlier today, it happened again and everything was fine after I restarted the car. But at about 8 pm tonight, I was trying to get onto a fwy on-ramp with a slight incline and it sputtered badly and the check engine light came on but didn't go off. I had to take it to the next offramp and take side streets back home for about an estimated 3 miles. I went as high as 3rd gear and between 25 and 35 mph. At times it was so rough that it seemed like only one rotor was running.

Could spark plugs that are worn out do this? Is this essentially detonation? Can it damage my engine? What are the chances my engine is ok? Should I just go ahead and have the dealership install new spark plugs? If so, what would the cost be (plugs + labor)? Since I could risk damage driving my car to the nearest mazda dealership, would you guys advise me to mail-order the plugs for cheap at sparkplugs.com and install it myself?

If I install the plugs myself, would a regular spark plug wrench set work fine or is there a special tool for the RX8 plugs? A friend of mine said I may want a dealership to install the plugs because really old plugs can get brittle and there is a chance I can break the ends off while trying to unscrew them. Is this true?

Thanks in advance.



***Edit: I failed to mention that 2 months ago, my engine started requiring about 4 cranks before starting (instead of the usual 2). Now it's more like 5 cranks to start. The starter is strong though. Two weeks ago, I brought my car in to repair a flat tire and the service guy told me I need new spark plugs. He was pretty sure it was the plugs.


***Final Update: Problem Solved!!!!!

Monday morning I had a dilemma. I wanted to drive my car to a certain Mazda dealership that matched Rosenthal Mazda's price of $110 for four spark plugs (sparkplugs.com is still cheaper at $80 for four but I couldn't wait. Other dealerships were way more expensive than Rosenthal and refused to go lower.). However this dealership wanted an hour and a half for labor, which is a rip-off. Another dealership offered me a half hour for labor. My plan was to buy the plugs at the first place and get them installed at the second place. The problem was AAA would only cover the first 7 miles for towing; the first place was 16 miles away and the second place was 30 miles away. So what I did was take a chance and drove my car clunking around side-streets on basically one rotor and 25 to 35 mph for 9 miles in order to get within 7 miles of the first dealership, at which point I called AAA and they came and towed my car to the first dealership. At that dealership, I decided not to risk damaging my car any more and so I accepted their exorbitant labor cost. The technician reiterated what nycgps had told me: it probably wouldn't hurt the engine but might hurt the catalytic converter. So thanks again to nycgps, he was right on, which is why I even made the strategic decision to drive the 9 miles in the first place. The technician said that the back rotor was completely shut down, the plugs were really dirty, but it wasn't so much the spark plugs as it was the ignition coils for the back rotor were fried. The tech said I needed two new coils so I figured he wasn't lying (and I would have to replace them soon anyway) so I decided to purchase all four, but only after the parts guy agreed to beat Rosenthal Mazda ($29 per coil instead of Rosenthal's $30 per coil). Oh, and he added a half hour of labor. I'm glad to report that my car is running and revving better than ever. The tech did tell me that there is a chance that the cat was messed up, but I believe it's ok after driving the car all afternoon. I did not however buy the spark plug wires/leads and the tech did not try to sell me those. One last thing is that while clunking the engine for around 15 miles over the last two days on one rotor went from the beginning of the LAST QUARTER of my gas tank to when the light came on (that's right about when I parked the car and waited for the tow truck)! Usually, I can drive 40 miles on the last quarter before the light comes on. So a TON of gas must have been dumped into the cat. Just for swoope's sake, the tech's conclusion was that the plugs were shot AND the two coils for the rear rotor were also shot.

But anyway, my calculated risks paid off and it was only because of the sound information given to me by this forum, namely nycgps!
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Last edited by Phil_Hendrie_is_back; 08-28-2007 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:28 AM   #2
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could be a number of things causing this .
working on your car can be rewarding but if you don't have a lot of knowledge already it can also be expensive from the unintended damage you may cause.
If you have a friend who is knowlegeable with cars you may be able to get him to help - that way you learn without the risk .
Depends on how much time and patience you have as to whether you tackle this or just take it in to the dealer.

Last edited by Brettus; 08-27-2007 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:55 AM   #3
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For a number of reasons listed above, I'm thinking it's probably the spark plugs. Can some people please advise me on the questions pertaining to spark plugs, possible effects on engine and engine damage, and installing them? I need to take quick action and I wanted to wait after the comments of experts on this forum. Thanks.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:08 AM   #4
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You're telling me, your first spark plug change was @ 50K miles for recall. and yes only leading plugs were changed.

so that also means, your trailing plugs are 80K miles Old.

Wtf ?

Im suprise that your car still moves.

Change your plugs, all 4, throw some new plug wires in too. Magnecore or Racing Beat has some good ones.

Im 100% sure it will be ALOT cheaper to change the plugs yourself. Dealership will probably charge you 40-60 per plug, and 1-2 hours of labor. you do the math.

what you'll need

2 Jackstand (less than 20 bux)
4 new plugs (Online, 20 bux each times 4)
1 Spark plug Socket (couple bux)
1 Torque Wench (preferred, or regular one is fine, just dont overtight it too much)
1 Bottle of Anti-Seize Paste (like 5-6 bux)
1 hour of time (could take you up to 2 if this is your first time)


Since it sounds like your Trailing plug was never out before, dont try to force it out, use a small hammer and hit your wench lightly to get it out.
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Last edited by nycgps; 08-27-2007 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by nycgps View Post
You're telling me, your first spark plug change was @ 50K miles for recall. and yes only leading plugs were changed.

so that also means, your trailing plugs are 80K miles Old.

Wtf ?

Im suprise that your car still moves.

Change your plugs, all 4, throw some new plug wires in too. Magnecore or Racing Beat has some good ones.

Im 100% sure it will be ALOT cheaper to change the plugs yourself. Dealership will probably charge you 40-60 per plug, and 1-2 hours of labor. you do the math.

what you'll need

2 Jackstand (less than 20 bux)
4 new plugs (Online, 20 bux each times 4)
1 Spark plug Socket (couple bux)
1 Torque Wench (preferred, or regular one is fine, just dont overtight it too much)
1 Bottle of Anti-Seize Paste (like 5-6 bux)
1 hour of time (could take you up to 2 if this is your first time)


Since it sounds like your Trailing plug was never out before, dont try to force it out, use a small hammer and hit your wench lightly to get it out.
nygcps,

Thanks for your reply. Actually I thought the recall changed all 4 plugs and only recently found out that only 2 were changed.

Some people like me never learn. On the one hand I want to save money and do it myself; on the other hand I'm working a lot and don't really have the time.

Could you or someone please comment on possible engine damage due to spark plugs that are too old? I eased my car back home last night over about 3 miles or so, staying between 25 and 35 mph and no higher than 3rd gear. The car was "clunking" pretty bad at certain points. Occasionally, the rotors were firing normal but then start to sputter again. Much of the time, it even seemed like only one rotor was running. Is this the same as detonation? What are the chances that my engine is ok?

Last edited by Phil_Hendrie_is_back; 08-27-2007 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:38 AM   #6
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there shouldnt be any damage besides your Catalyst converter. cuz thats where any unburnt fuel end up.

if you really dont have the time,Just do it at dealerships.

You know why? cuz your trailing plugs are so old, Im afraid that it might just break. if the dealership breaks them, you can blame it on them so they give you a new engine :D
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:43 AM   #7
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nycgps,

i'll follow your advice and take it in to the dealership. i owe you one. this is why dummies like me appreciate this forum so much.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:52 AM   #8
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Nah, dont say that.

you can save yourself a few bucks if you order the plugs online and have some local garage to install them. but if your old plugs breaks off Im afraid that they will not pay you a new engine.
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:07 AM   #9
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HEY, thanks to to nycgps, my problem was solved today!!! but it did cost a little money. My engine is fine and everything else is good.

Please read the addendum above in the starter post for the details!
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_Hendrie_is_back View Post
HEY, thanks to to nycgps, my problem was solved today!!! but it did cost a little money. My engine is fine and everything else is good.

Please read the addendum above in the starter post for the details!
read the edit..

the info is in the owners manual.. not that hard.

still does not cover what you asked.. and if you are the real phil hendrie, your post is as lame as your show...

gfl

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Old 08-28-2007, 01:56 AM   #11
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Your post does not make sense. When you consistently show your bad attitude, are you drunk?

This post is not lame. It can help others who are experiencing similar things. Scan the Issues and Problems forum and you'll see a bunch of threads recently on engine stuttering with or without AC on. BTW, I didn't even mention my AC was adversely affected recently. Well, after the spark plugs and coils, the AC compressor isn't sucking for air anymore. Another thing I didn't mention is that my engine was chirping on startup. Some of the pundits, poners, and poneheads around here like to be dogmatic and I've noticed they jump the gun and suggest the engine is toast. Have YOU done that in some posts that are similar to mine? Even one expert here whose name is like a popular chocolate candy sardonically explained to a guy that it was engine detonation, some engines are more sensitive than others, and there was nothing you can do about it. I believe that guy changed his plugs and coils and everything was fine. If you remember, shortly after that, he totaled his car and so he couldn't provide a longer term update. YEAH, I've been reading up and searching for a while now because of this problem with my car that I'm writing about here. Why? Because this fricking post can clarify the muck that ducks and dicks like you like to add unnecessarily to confuse people who start threads here merely to attempt to find solutions to car issues they are experiencing only to innocently run into ********* like you.

You got a reputation for being a total fucknut. Do not fucknut around here. Once you understand fully that you do not fucknut around me, I'm confident we will get along.

Last edited by Phil_Hendrie_is_back; 08-28-2007 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:07 AM   #12
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wow,

so you could be the real lame *** phil hendrie...

so what was your real problem,, and what fixed it??? not remotely clear in you post...

as to my advice.. stuttering with the ac is something i know about.. never asked on this thread..

yes you have read a lot about stuff that goes wrong, what does that have to do with your post...

i would bet my troubleshooting is much better than yours.. i am sure if you sent me a pm with a real problem i would point you in the right direction..

but you have no direction.. 80 k on plugs.. dont know when or how to replace...

am i drunk, no and i am not stupid...

i would bet the only other 2 posters on this thead might know me...

btw,, my writing sucks,, but you take the cake..



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_Hendrie_is_back View Post
Your post does not make sense. When you consistently show your bad attitude, are you drunk?

This post is not lame. It can help others who are experiencing similar things. Scan the Issues and Problems forum and you'll see a bunch of threads recently on engine stuttering with or without AC on. BTW, I didn't even mention my AC was adversely affected recently. Well, after the spark plugs and coils, the AC compressor isn't sucking for air anymore. Another thing I didn't mention is that my engine was chirping on startup. Some of the pundits, poners, and poneheads around here like to be dogmatic and I've noticed they jump the gun and suggest the engine is toast. Have YOU done that in some posts that are similar to mine? Even one expert here whose name is like a popular chocolate candy sardonically explained to a guy that it was engine detonation, some engines are more sensitive than others, and there was nothing you can do about it. I believe that guy changed his plugs and coils and everything was fine. If you remember, shortly after that, he totaled his car and so he couldn't provide a longer term update. YEAH, I've been reading up and searching for a while now because of this problem with my car that I'm writing about here. Why? Because this fricking post can clarify the muck that ducks and dicks like you like to add unnecessarily to confuse people who start threads here merely to attempt to find solutions to car issues they are experiencing only to innocently run into ********* like you.

You got a reputation for being a total fucknut. Do not fucknut around here.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:13 AM   #13
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If you read my starter post, then you would know that I thought the emissions recall replaced all four spark plugs. If that were true, then my plugs would have less than 30,000 miles on them. Since the recall replaced only the leading plugs, the trailing plugs were way overdue. I take the responsibility for getting confused about which plugs were changed, but others around here also thought the emissions recall replaced all the plugs, so I'm not the only one.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Phil_Hendrie_is_back View Post
If you read my starter post, then you would know that I thought the emissions recall replaced all four spark plugs. If that were true, then my plugs would have less than 30,000 miles on them. Since the recall replaced only the leading plugs, the trailing plugs were way overdue. I take the responsibility for getting confused about which plugs were changed, but others around here also thought the emissions recall replaced all the plugs, so I'm not the only one.
uh,

no if you claim to read as much as you do you would know that 25k miles on a set of plugs is pushing it...

and yes i read all of your post,, and the edit after... still how does ac and the rest of your crap have to do with the first post..

fucknut???? yep that is me..

dont be bitter because you are ill read and lazy... you are the jerry spriger here...

the owners manual is in the glove box, it will set you free... also...

this crazy *** faq for new owners...

RX8 - FAQ for New Owners

dont blame others for your lack of research..

beers
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:35 AM   #15
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wow,

you continue to edit the first post, with stuff that makes you look more stupid...

wtf.. stop while you are ahead...

the fact that you tried to save a buck or two or fix the problem right away proves my point...

BIG NOTE.. AND THIS IS HONEST, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, CAT DAMAGE IS LIKELY....

that is just good advice,,

we can continue the pissing contest again now... but read the caps.. that is important..

but what do i know.. yours fucknut.

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Last edited by swoope; 08-28-2007 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:54 AM   #16
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What is your purpose here? It just occurred to me that your strange aggressiveness is mostly because of your ego, because you feel I should have come to you for advice rather than lionize nycgps. You are a strange guy. I started this thread so help could come here on its own volition, which is what nycgps chose to do. You held out...until your ego couldn't take it any longer. weirdo.

Hey check out this reality check think note for you. I had a problem with my car that needed problem-solving. Nevermind what I could have done to prevent it. I am here and wrote this thread because the problem had arrived. I needed to think about the present. Nycgps wanted to help me in the present. Why the hell are you focused on the past? What is your purpose for even being here? I had a problem and it is now fixed. You have no positive purpose here, knucklehead.

The more you fight me, the more stupid you look. God, I'm in disbelief that an idiot of such magnitude is even in this forum. You serve no purpose in this thread.

I am watching the cat closely. If it clogs up eventually and I report it to you, what will be your purpose then? If it does not clog up after 6 months and I report it to you, will your purpose be to propose to then rip your own ***** out and announce on this forum that you are a nutless alcoholic tequila worm?

Last edited by Phil_Hendrie_is_back; 08-28-2007 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:04 AM   #17
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not fighting,,

agitate and incite does not work for me..

you need to be focused on cat problems..

beers
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:01 AM   #18
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Please stop with the personal attacks, guys, so I don't have to send out warnings and close the thread.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:27 PM   #19
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how do i protect my car?

i heard the rx8 sucks for the dessert, i live in vegas, and it gets hot ive heard that many rotarys die in the heat because of the way they work. what can i do to protect my car from the dessert summer heat?
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:11 PM   #20
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i heard the rx8 sucks for the dessert, i live in vegas, and it gets hot ive heard that many rotarys die in the heat because of the way they work. what can i do to protect my car from the dessert summer heat?
put it in an air conditioned garage .
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:11 PM
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