Wrong Spark Plugs

I recently had an older Honda Odyssey come into the shop for a few recalls and other repairs, and found that it had some codes in the computer indicating misfires. It was misfiring on all 6 cylinders. First thing to do when you have a misfire is to pull the ignition coils and spark plugs for the cylinders that are misfiring. I quickly found the problem.

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On the left is a plug that I pulled out of the engine. It’s a Champion Copper Plus spark plug which sells for around $2.50 each. On the right is a factory replacement NGK PZFR5F-11 platinum plug, which you can get for $12-$20 each. There’s a big price different, but this car was clear evidence why you need to get the right spark plugs for your engine. If you can’t afford the OE spark plugs I would recommend still getting the best you can get, in this case one of the other NGK platinum or iridium plugs. Honda uses NGK plugs so I wouldn’t recommend using another brand if you can help it.

As this car demonstrated, something as simple as spark plugs can cause big problems. An occasional misfire is a problem, but not as big as constant misfires on all cylinders. Over time that will damage the engine and cause big problems. Do your maintenance correctly and you won’t cause more problems.


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-Dan

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