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Spark Plug Question

1404 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Tuflehundon
I was told by the guy who did the diagnostic thing for my "service engine soon" light that I could clean the spark plug and that would solve the problem.

So do you clean a spark plug?

And second, if I had to replace that something I could easily do myself? I called Midas about replacing them and they told me it would cost $287!

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To clean a spark plug you can soak the tips in gas for a bit then use some emerycloth to buff the metal ends shiny again. All you need to do is knock off the carbon build up which is the black sooty stuff on the plugs. It is caused by the impurities in the gas when it is burned. Also check the gap set after you clean them to make sure you didn't move it during cleanning then just put em back in. OR buy a new set, check the gaps and put em in! (Autolite HT1's)
What code did your car throw? That's the important part......
Umm...the code was P0301
I never clean spark plugs. They're less than $2 each at Autozone. If I suspect a problem, I just replace them.
spark plugs are something you can do yourself for around 15-20 bucks on a scale of 1-5 5 being the hardest i give it a 1
The P0301 code could be for several things. Is it running funny?
P0301 is a cylinder 1 misfire. Change out your spark plugs. Forget cleaning them. They cost $2 a piece (get autolight or motorcraft plugs, anything else is just a waste of money) and some dielectric grease ($3 tube). You'll also need a long socket. I can't remember which size maybe 18mm or 19mm. Get a plug and find a socket that'll fit it at the parts shop.

Driver's side is pretty straight forward. Gap your plug properly with a gapper (feeler gauges are better, they're thin pieces of metal)

.052 inches.

Unplug your spark plug wire boot near the exhaust manifold. Do this when your engine is COLD or you'll get a nasty burn.

Stick your socket in, make sure it fits properly, then loosen it up and take it out. When you put in your new plug, use that dielectric grease on the threads of the new plug and on the inside of your spark plug wire boot. Use liberally. It helps to make contact with your boot and it acts to lubricate for future changes. Finger tighten first.

DO NOT FORCE IT IN....if you follow any of these directions, follow this one!

Do ONE plug at a time to avoid mixup.

Tell your mechanic to take is $300 estimate and shove it! :hihi:

Oh yah, passenger side, you'll need to remove the intake hose but that's pretty easy, just a few screws. Take a look at it, you'll figure it out
The P0301 code could be for several things. Is it running funny?
Thanks for the info/help...I'd be pretty lost on this subject without it!

I plan on attempting this project (WITH HELP!) tomorrow. I'll post up whether or not I was successful...

I haven't been online in a few days, but in response to the question whether the car's running funny...I feel a definite loss of power and its eating up gas...

Take your time, and pick up a can of electronic parts cleaner and clean your mass air sensor inside your intake tube. Don't touch the sensor with your hands, just spray the heck out of it. It only takes a couple seconds to dry. Also, make sure the sensor is level from side-to-side when you put your intake tube back on.
I Did It!

You can check my post- but thanks to these guys- I pulled it off and like you saved over $300.00 (Pep Boys).
I changed wires and plugs for code P303- CYL 3 misfire.

Good luck- Jeff
here's a picture

One more follow up-

Antisieze works great on plug threads- dielctric grease on top of plug where wire connects-

I originally gapped the plugs at .052 then tried .056. Range is 0.052-.056. I found the car idles perfect at 0.056.

My problem was actually wires. Not plugs- when I pulled #3 wire, I could see it was arcing. Try this- turn off all the lights and then look into a dark engine- that is how I found #3.

By the way, the OBD-2 computer is figuring out the misfire from the Cam shaft sensor and Thottle Position sensor. There is no misfire sensor.
So it worked for me- plugs and wires. Hope it works for you- just take your time and wear gloves for #3 and #2 passenger side against fire wall. Drivers side 4,5,6 will take 15 minutes. Passenger side #1 15 minutes. #2+#3 pass side- hope you are faster than me- took me six hours but I did not break anything. #2 has the EGR tube in the way. You can fight it like I did, or just remove the tube and then it is easy.

Good luck. Jeff
If I recall , removing the EGR tune is a pita , I wouldn't do it.
removing the EGR tune?

Or Tube? Its not hard to remove the egr, takes all of 20min or less.
If I recall , removing the EGR tune is a pita , I wouldn't do it.
Egr Tube

I took off the EGR so I could move the Tube in front of plug#2. Once the tube was out the way, it was a breeze. By the way, it took a couple of minutes to disconnect the EGR with WD-40 spray on connectors.
Go to the parts store and get new plugs, see if they have C3 plugs, if not get some Bosch, invest in a Haynes manual while you are there. The manual will explain and give photos of how to do just about any repair you can think of. It cost around $15 but will save you a lot of money in the long run if you do maintanence yourself.
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