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Old 06-27-2002, 11:21 AM   #1
pico
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Default Will a check engine lit cause by bad spark plug and plug wire?

My friends sunfire got a check engine lit, the dealer replace the head gasket but it's still on. They said she needs to replace the wire and plug as well. Is that true?
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Old 06-27-2002, 11:25 AM   #2
krave
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i doubt the wires are a problem, but changing plugs won't hurt...what you really need is an obd2 scanner to pull up the code
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Old 06-27-2002, 12:06 PM   #3
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If you have a bad plug/wire it can cause a misfire which will trigger a check engine light.......
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Old 06-27-2002, 12:07 PM   #4
North Ursalia
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If the CEL is being caused by say a misfire, then plugs and wire certainly could be suspect.

EDIT: Looks like SilverBoosted and I are thinking the same thing


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Old 06-27-2002, 12:17 PM   #5
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Depends on what year the car is. If it's pre-OBDII (95 or earlier) there is no misfire detection, although if the wires/plugs were bad enough that there was no spark in the cylinder at all the resulting richness at the 02 sensor could trigger a code and turn on the light.
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Old 06-27-2002, 02:12 PM   #6
pico
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The mechanic told her that her car has a bad o2 sensor, thus causing the leake of the head gasket. Also he find out that the wires and plug are need to be changed. Her car has 47K miles on it, so I do believe that it's time to change the spark plugs. But isn't the wires suppose to last much longer? BTW her car is 1998, so theres possible that both the plug and wire will cause the check engine light?! If she keep driving with the bad plugs and wires, will it cause a big problem? thanks
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Old 06-27-2002, 02:19 PM   #7
North Ursalia
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I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if the mechanic told her or you that a bad O2 sensor caused a head gasket to blow, find a new mechanic . That's kind of like saying a worn shifter synchro caused your wheel to fall off .


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Old 06-27-2002, 04:57 PM   #8
Chuck H
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I was about to say something similar. The bad O2 sensor could cause the car to run lean or rich, triggering codes, but wouldn't cause a head gasket failure. And if she paid for a headgasket replacement just because her check engine light was on, she should get a lawyer and sue the mechanic.

To answer the general question, yes, bad plugs and/or wires can turn on the check engine light with a misfire code. In Neons (which I'm most familiar with), there are some other odd things that can trigger a misfire code, including broken or worn valve springs.

47K is a LOT of miles for spark plugs. Changing them every 20K miles or so is cheap insurance to keep the car running well. And changing the wires every 30,000 to 40,000 miles never hurt either. Plugs and wires are cheap so why take chances.
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