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Old 12-13-2001, 10:22 AM   #1
Bruiser
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Question Platinum plug problem

I got a check engine light this weekend so when Subaru checks it out they pull out a toasted Bosch platinum plug (I replaced the OEM Champions about 7000 miles back). They would not consider it waranty work since I changed plugs. They also said Platinum plugs were not recommended. Now, I feel like the machanic was just doing his duty and following Subaru protocol. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 12-13-2001, 10:39 AM   #2
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Why would you use a Platinum plug, they are not cold plugs.
For turbo engines you need to use cold plugs.
I used NGK plugs. $9 each
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Old 12-13-2001, 12:53 PM   #3
SubyTechMaster
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Bosch plugs work great in German cars. For Japanese cars use either NGK or ND plugs. Champions are OK for the lawn mower.

Platinum does not mean better. More expensive does not mean better.
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Old 12-13-2001, 01:12 PM   #4
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Platinum plugs just erode slower than copper plugs. Platinum plugs were created mainly so US automakers can claim 100,000 miles between tune ups.

Subaru was within their authority to deny warranty coverage for the plugs due to your replacement of them with a non-factory part. They probably wouldn't even warranty NGKs if you replaced them and didn't buy them from Subaru.

NGKs every 15K, $1.69 a plug.
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Old 12-13-2001, 04:18 PM   #5
vvk
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Default Bosch Platinums are junk!

Use NGKs. I personally have never tried NDs, but I have heard good things about them. Bosch Super (regular copper plug, $0.99 at NAPA) are also very good. I use NGKs wherever I can. You can also ruin DI cassettes in the WRX if you use anything other than the specified NGKs.
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Old 12-13-2001, 05:25 PM   #6
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I don't think you'll void your warranty by using regular NGK's. On my 99 RS, the owners manual gives you the NGK replacement number and the Champion number. Why they just didn't go with NGK's to start with is beyond me.
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Old 12-13-2001, 05:36 PM   #7
Richard L.
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Here is an excerpt from SE-R.net about copper vs. platinum plugs:
Quote:
> I have heard that platinum plugs aren't very good for performance...how is this so?

All things being equal, a more powerful spark will create higher cylinder pressure which will create more power. The power of a spark is determined by its voltage (more voltage = more powerful spark).

Aside from variables such as cylinder pressure and A/F ratio, the amount of voltage required to jump across the gap of a given type of spark plug is determined by the plug gap. A smaller plug gap requires less voltage to jump across the gap and a larger plug gap requires more voltage to jump across the gap.

There is a way to reduce the amount of voltage required to jump across the gap of a plug. By increasing the number of sharp edges that the spark can jump from and to (as in SplitFire and Torquemaster plugs) or by using an electrode material that is a more efficient conductor than the standard steel material (like platinum) you can decrease the amount of voltage required to "jump the gap". The only problem is that these "specialty" plugs will produce a less powerful spark than a standard plug will at the same gap. This means that, as long as your ignition system can provide enough voltage to jump the gap on the spark plug all of the time, with these "specialty" plugs installed in your car your engine will produce less power than it will with standard spark plugs. The only way you can regain the power lost with these "specialty" plugs is to open their gap out farther (a wider gap requires more voltage to jump the gap).

I've seen a number of cases where people have installed SplitFire, Torquemaster or platinum plugs in their car in the place of standard spark plugs and have complained of reduced power. In all of these cases the specialty plugs were installed using the plug gap specified for the car's original standard plugs (with the exception of the Torquemaster, whose gap is not adjustable). The reduced spark power due to the reduced voltage requirement of these plugs was the culprit.
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Old 12-14-2001, 08:55 AM   #8
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The dealer can't void warranty work because you replaced your plugs with an equivalent aftermarket plug (a plug that was specified by part number for your car). By law, in order for Subaru to be able to specify what replacement parts you put on your car they would have to provide them for free. So, either they should have given you new plugs or you could have put plugs that were made for your car in the car.

Sean
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Old 12-14-2001, 09:08 AM   #9
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Yes, but if you install Bosche plugs (which are not spec'd in the owners man.) and Platinum plugs (which are not spec'd in the owners man.) they can charge you for the labor and parts required to correct the problem caused when you did your own plug replacement.
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Old 12-14-2001, 10:09 AM   #10
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Kalins, what SubeTech said. By your reasoning, I could replace my internal engine components with equivalent aftermarket pieces, then if something screws up, take it into the dealer and they'd have to cover it? That's good news.
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Old 12-14-2001, 10:10 AM   #11
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Replacing plugs is maintenance. Unless the OEM plug has actually failed (broken), then it is your nickel.

Bosch plugs are crap. Any of them, including platinum.
They don't work well in any forced induction car, or any car I've owned.

As everyone else said: NGK platinum is the way to go.

Glenn
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Old 12-14-2001, 01:03 PM   #12
Bruiser
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thanks for all the feedback. I replaced the Bosch with NGK copper plugs as that is the general concensus. I'm out of pocket an hours labor at Subaru, but lesson learned.
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