General car questions - Spark Plugs and Spark Plug Wires.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by CRyan, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    OK. Well, I know enough about cars to perform general maintenance but that is about it. I had the spark plugs replaced several months ago in my wifes 99 Civic EX.

    A few weeks ago, I looked over the car before taking a short trip. Well, I found that one of the spark plugs was loose (glad I checked). The tube through which you place the plug had gotten black and corroded and the spark plug wire had deteriorated somewhat. I replaced the plugs myself with the correct torque of course and did not think too much about it.

    Well, I called Honda where I usually have my oil changed and asked them about the issue. They said that the black corrosion was crystalized oil and that there are gaskets under the plugs that should be replaced because they are probably deteriorated just like the spark plug wire. Sounds reasonalbe I guess.

    I just wanted to know what anyone here thought about it. What are these gaskets (seals) called? They want $90 to replace them. Is this reasonable? Thanks for any input.

    Also, on a side note. Why in the world are spark plug wires so expensive. I was going to replace them myself, but the cheapest set I could find was for $63. Hell, Honda will replace them for me for $70.


    Thanks again,

    C. Ryan
     
  2. Kyle M. Krueger

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    Well I will answer one of your questions, Foreign Cars = expensive replacement aftermarket parts..
     
  3. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    The gaskets under the plugs are to keep the oil from the head out of the spark plug holes. If there was black crud in there, then yeah, those gaskets might be bad. Really shouldn't be much of a big deal, though. Most cars will go 150+ thousand miles and might have a little bit of leak from those gaskets, but it doesn't matter much. You can change them yourself by just popping the valve cover off. On a 4-cylinder engine, taking the valve cover off is no big deal at all. You disconnect the pcv valve, maybe the breather hose, and then you just unscrew the valve cover bolts. Piece o' cake.

    If you don't have a Haynes manual for your car, I highly recommend one. It's the bets $14 anyone can spend on a car (usually).

    For plug wires, never go to the dealer. Dealers suck on prices. I'm mainly a Mitsubishi guy, and the only reason I buy most Mitsu parts at all is because I know some dealers that give 25% off for car club members. Check out nopi.com for plug wires. You should be able to get NGK wires for the car for under 40 bucks, and NGK is as good as or better than anything else out there.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    actually the inner valve cover gaskets can leak fairly often, on altimas (my car) people have to replace them a few times I've read. I've replaced mine once, not a big fan of oil on my plug boots either. The parts shouldn't be too expensive (mine ran 30$ for an inner and outer gasket, I would do both while you're in there) and like mentioned, do it yourself, it's pretty straightforward, if you can do plugs I don't imagine this would be hard for you..

    90$ from the dealer seems reasonable, assuming the gaskets run 30 bucks or so, that leaves 60 for labor, probably not even an hour. You could get aftermarket gaskets too, might save you a few $, I stuck with OEM for them, plug wires I'd get NGK also.
     
  5. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    While a thread exists, I thought I would ask a car question that stumped my (extremely) limited knowledge.

    I was asked about a car that had a sort of minimum threshold on the accelerator before it would fuel would be added to the car. The problem was that it wasn't a small amount of fuel but instead a sizeable enough amount that the car would very slightly jerk ahead.

    Driving the car myself, I could certainly notice it if I was driving right at a gear boundary and using minimal fuel (like 38 in 4th gear). As I would add gas, I wasn't getting a smooth transition. I would normally chock this up to unfamiliarity with the car, but she had come to me with it so it has to be there.

    Is this something broken in the car, and if not, is it something that can be tweaked to give the fuel delivery a smoother curve?
     

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