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Old 02-26-2004, 07:41 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 47493
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: CT, USA
1999 Legacy Outback

Default when to change spark plug wires

How often should the spark plug wires be changed out?
How much do they typically cost?

I am due for a tune up and someone mentioned to me that they recommend changing the wires along with the plugs.

I am certain this has been hashed out before but, what plugs are good and what plugs are bad for a '99 Legacy O. Wagon?

Advice welcomed.

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Old 02-26-2004, 09:53 AM   #2
Mike Wevrick
RIP 1/19/64 - 7/23/11
Scooby Guru
Member#: 24654
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: saraseager.com
1957 Taggart Comet


I don't see the need to change plug wires unless you have a problem. I still have the original wires on my 95 Legacy (170,000 miles and still running fine.)

Recommended plugs should be in your manual.
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:04 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1415
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Anytown, USA
2005 OBS 3.0R
'12 SantaFe



You will get differing opinions on when you should change your plug wires. You could check your owners manual although I can't remember if that is in there or not.

My opinion is that plug wires "could" be changed out every 60,000 miles.

As for recommended plugs definitely use what's in your owners manual. I personally run NGK V-Power plugs in mine. They don't cost an arm and a leg, last longer than the stock Champions, and do their job well.
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:14 PM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 17315
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Date Line Denies F-22s
MY95 Impreza 207C
MY05 Forester 257X


Yes as always go with the manual. Since you would want to follow the procedure indicated by the someone who actually designed your car.

If there is no speak of it, then check the wires for corrosion/rust or any other foriegn restriction. If a problem still arises, then test the wire with a meter on Ohm readings.

Compare the readings indicated in service manuals and replace if the resistance is not within that range.

A typical max resistance is normally 7000 Ohms per foot.

-paK +4
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Old 02-28-2004, 11:16 AM   #5
Scooby Guru
Member#: 10309
Join Date: Sep 2001
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle, WA
'02 OBS 2-tone!
'95 Montego Miata


The problem with plug wires is that it's not easy to visually or otherwise inspect them for damage, since the most typical damage is breakdown in the insulation which allows arcing from the wire to the head, partially or completely skipping the spark plug. This kind of damage also can't be detected by measuring the resistance of the wires; wires are fairly cheap, so why not just replace them every 60k and not worry about it?
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Old 02-28-2004, 02:09 PM   #6
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 49217
Join Date: Nov 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: South-East Michigan
2002 Impreza WRX


1) Spark plugs.
I use the stock NGKs and change them accorindg to the Subaru interval - 30K miles. Works great, cheap, efficient.
2) Wires.
I have the original ones on my 95 Legacy and have 183K miles on it. If there is a serious problem with the wires (like arcing) it's actually very easy and obvious to diagnose - you will get a MIL and a P0300X code (that's misfire). Ever since OBD-II life has been easier on many accounts.
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Old 02-28-2004, 03:44 PM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 47493
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: CT, USA
1999 Legacy Outback


Thanks for all the great input. It's helpful to hear other people's experiences on a topic relatively new to me.

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