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Old 10-10-2004, 04:36 PM   #1
Handsdown
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Default CEL obd results

well- for everyone that said it was my gas cap-

i got the code read for free at autozone, turns out i had a misfire on cylinders one and two.

i'm replacing my plugs today once the engine cools off(with bosch platinums) and will then go back to autozone to get the code(s) cleared.

if that doesn't work i'll try some new spark wires and if that doesn't work i'll have to think about distributer caps, but i'm pretty sure my factory spark plugs decided they didn't want to put up with my heavy-footed driving and just misfired.

luckily this was a cheap fix($12.78 and an hour of my time) and i can look forward to crisp, new plugs in the immediate future.

just wanted to tell you all so that you'd feel bad for saying it was my gas cap.
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Old 10-10-2004, 06:26 PM   #2
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At least we're not putting Bosch Plats in our cars... :P
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Old 10-10-2004, 06:58 PM   #3
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from your profile on the left it says you drive an 03 2.5rs, if this is the misfiring car you speak of, i highly doubt its the plugs, second it going to be hard to find distributor "caps" for it,
does the car have any mods done to it, or are we dealing with a diffrent car?
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Old 10-10-2004, 07:46 PM   #4
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsdown
...but i'm pretty sure my factory spark plugs decided they didn't want to put up with my heavy-footed driving and just misfired.
Yeah, that's almost certainly what happened.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 10-10-2004, 08:40 PM   #5
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okay pat, you're right. what caused the misfire? if it wasn't my abuse of the engine, and it wasn't a spark plug hiccup, what was it? wires? distributor cap?

i changed the spark plugs and drove it around the block for 5-6 miles... it's operating great, fires better and smoother than before, and no CEL yet.

if i get another misfire i'll let you know but i think you're more full of more disdain for my speech and word choice than anything else.

jeez.

i'll look into the distributor cap if it misfires again, i'm not saying you guys are wrong i'm just saying i'd appreciate help rather than responses of "it's your gas cap" and "yeah, i'm sure that's what it was."

rob- this is the car that misfired. it has 20k miles on it. i know nothing about the quality of the OE cap, but i've stated before my car is a 2003 2.5RS with 5MT and is completely stock sans K&N filter and Ganzflow-style PVC pipe where the intake silencer/snorkel used to be.

if anyone would like to explain to me (DLC) why bosch platinums are poor quality, or what would have been a better choice, i'd appreciate it.

also if anyone wants to tell me if the distributor rotor or caps have any known flaws, or if the wires would be a good thing to replace with thicker or better wires.

again, i don't mean to be getting mad at you guys but i'd appreciate help along with your insulting/mocking comments as opposed to the 100% grade-a quality crap i'm getting for changing my spark plugs because i got a code for two misfiring cylinders.
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:10 PM   #6
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You don't have a distributor, cap or rotor. It's direct ignition with coil packs.
If you still have problems, take a look at the coil towers where the wires plug onto them. The contact tips of the towers should be clean and shiny, if they are dull and corroded clean them up and also check the condition of the contacts inside the wire boots. You really shouldn't see this happening already on an 03 but anything's possible, it's worth a look.
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:14 PM   #7
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okay, good. i was told that my ignition was distributor by the guy at autozone but i guess this is just another case of autozone employees not knowing anything about our particular cars.

anyway thanks. if i get another CEL i'll let you guys know.
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:34 PM   #8
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You might want to reconsider your choice in plugs too.
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:37 PM   #9
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AGAIN... since now the n00bs are doing it too now...

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CRITICIZE ME, PLEASE ADD SOME INSIGHT OR HELPFUL STATEMENTS AS WELL.

since my friend who actually knows what the hell he's talking about just answered my question regarding plugs...

platinums for my engine are fine. i'm naturally aspirated and i'm not doing anything like nitrous or high revs that would require a cooler spark. american youth- if you'd like to give me any kind of logically sound argument as to why i need better plugs, i'd love to hear it.

Last edited by Handsdown; 10-10-2004 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 10-10-2004, 10:39 PM   #10
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i'd also love to hear how to correctly gap my spark plugs, since i neglected to do so.

actually you know what it looked close and my engine's stock, it can handle it.

Last edited by Handsdown; 10-10-2004 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
american youth- if you'd like to give me any kind of logically sound argument as to why i need better plugs, i'd love to hear it.
D00d - no need to be so defensive. Nothing against you, but there has been lots of discussion on spark plugs here. It's been established only copper plugs (like NGK-V powas) are safe for Subarus.
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:22 PM   #12
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsdown
i'd also love to hear how to correctly gap my spark plugs, since i neglected to do so.

actually you know what it looked close and my engine's stock, it can handle it.

If your engine is stock then you should have had not problem taking it to the dealer....your check engine light "check" AND the spark plugs would have been covered under your 3/36 warranty....check your book.

Also, bosch plugs are NOT good for your engine...eventually, they will misfire too....(it will be just like you never replaced them...)
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:52 PM   #14
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my engine is stock.


my dad bought the car at a dealer in VA before i left for college.

now they've moved to OR.

i'm in NC.

my car has an aftermarket bumper because my old bumper was damaged in a debris accident.

i also have a bright blue RSB.

i also have no experience with the subaru dealership here(bob dunn)

i wanted to get the code read, and when i did and it was a misfire, i decided to go ahead and change my own spark plugs, because while i don't know enough about it, it was 12 bucks and really really easy and shouldn't have caused any problems.

now that i have to get copper plugs so the ECU knows how rich or lean it's running, i feel less happy about not going to the dealership, but that would have turned into another hassle alltogether.

the engine is stock... the intake is a PVC pipe.

still... if i can get NKG coppers for another 12 bucks it will be a $24 fix instead of a potentially very expensive non-warrenty fix. (i have a feeling i'd get a large dose of "you took the intake silencer off and now your engine's getting too much air which is causing the misfire, no warrenty, eat it." at a dealership who doesn't know me)

thanks for the help everyone, i'll try to change to copper plugs before i drive down to florida thursday.
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:57 PM   #15
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by americanyouth
It's been established only copper plugs (like NGK-V powas) are safe for Subarus.
Where did you hear that? Apparently Subaru's engineer's don't agree with you, since the owner's manual car specifies one and only one plug for my EJ25 DOHC - a platinum NGK. 136k miles on platinum plugs (including a few thousand miles of abusive open tracking, and hundreds of auto-x runs) and it seems to be doing just fine. For every guy who says NGK copper plugs are the only way to go you'll find a guy who swears by Bosch Plus 4s and another guy who swears by Champion coppers and another guy who's absolutely positive his engine only runs right on Autolites, etc etc. Spark plugs are like motor oil and oil filters - talk to 10 auto enthusiasts and you'll get 10 different opinions on what's "right" or "better". To each his own...

With that said, I just switched to NGK copper plugs, primarily because the $8 per plug I've paid for the NGK platinums in the past is ridiculous.

Handsdown - Plug gapping is pretty easy, just get some a set of feeler gauges and find the right size. You'll probably need to use a couple of them, since the sets normally don't go as "thick" as the 0.039 - 0.043" you'll need. Although your engine is stock and can probably "handle it", if you're trying to localize the source of a misfire I would recommend making sure the parts you do replace are replaced properly, if that makes any sense.

As for my sarcastic response to your earlier supposition about the cause of your misfire, what can I say, I just found it kind of amusing. Spark plugs are pretty simple devices, they either work or they don't. How hard you drive the car isn't going to change that. I honestly don't know what it is that would cause a misfire on a relatively new, unmodified engine. The suggestion to check all the plug wires and the coil pack terminals is a good one - I'd be more inclined to think one or two of Subaru's plug wires (which numerous people have had problems with) is bad rather than the plugs.

Pat

PS - I can't say I've ever heard of this "the engine senses whether each cylinder is running rich or lean through the spark plug" crap. There are so many variables that would go into that there's just no way the ECU would know. The above-mentioned crappy Subaru plug wires would immediately throw all measurements off. I know I checked my 4 old ones, and then checked 4 brand new ones, and got a significantly different reading for each one - different enough that it wasn't something that could be explained by the slight differences in lengths. I'd love to see some reliable technical proof of this.

Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 10-11-2004 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:03 AM   #16
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thank you pat, that response is a thousand times more helpful. where would i buy some replacement wires if the Bosch's don't fix the problem and my coil pack terminals look clean? MSD doesn't have any subaru wires listed on their website and after all this trouble i don't really trust autozone's 'expertise' anymore.
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen
Where did you hear that? Apparently Subaru's engineer's don't agree with you, since the owner's manual car specifies one and only one plug for my EJ25 DOHC - a platinum NGK. 136k miles on platinum plugs (including a few thousand miles of abusive open tracking, and hundreds of auto-x runs) and it seems to be doing just fine. For every guy who says NGK copper plugs are the only way to go you'll find a guy who swears by Bosch Plus 4s and another guy who swears by Champion coppers and another guy who's absolutely positive his engine only runs right on Autolites, etc etc. Spark plugs are like motor oil and oil filters - talk to 10 auto enthusiasts and you'll get 10 different opinions on what's "right" or "better". To each his own...
Honestly, Pat, you're the first person I've known who's liked Platinums.

I've read many times that the resistance in non-copper plugs is too low, and confuses the ECM. I've been wrong before, but...
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:30 AM   #18
Patrick Olsen
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Magnecor perhaps? Kinda spendy, but they're about the only ones I know of that make kits for Subies.

Pat
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:00 AM   #19
bobko
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Default Platinum plugs

I've always had good luck with Bosch platinum plugs in a variety of cars, although I hear lots of comments that they are not good. I seldom hear about why they are not good, assuming they meet the gap and temperature charactoristics.

Although copper has lower resistance than platinum, both are negligible compared to the resistance of the plug wires and other components in the ignition system. I don't see the resistance of platinum as cause for any poor performance.

I have Bosch platinum plugs in my 1995 Legacy wagon and they work fine. The car has 135k miles and I'm getting the best gas mileage I've ever had in this car: 27 mpg. Perfomance is the same it's always been... meaning it could be better but it's not bad, all things considered.

--Bob

Last edited by bobko; 05-14-2009 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 10-11-2004, 01:00 PM   #20
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oops..see below

Last edited by RexyGirl; 10-11-2004 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 10-11-2004, 01:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsdown
thank you pat, that response is a thousand times more helpful. where would i buy some replacement wires if the Bosch's don't fix the problem and my coil pack terminals look clean? MSD doesn't have any subaru wires listed on their website and after all this trouble i don't really trust autozone's 'expertise' anymore.

Wires too will be covered under your warranty----3/36

Everything you listed in your above post does not give a good reason not to take it to the dealer. They may say that the spark plugs were the problem, they may not.

Subaru has two types of codes that pull when the check engine light comes on

1. Code in memory--means that at ONE time there was a fault....in your case the engine may have misfired at one time (especially if you drive it hard like you say you do)(If this light is reset, it probably won't come back on)

2. Permanent fault-means this component is faulty and needs to be replaced
(example, it light is reset, it will come back on for same code)

There is a chance that the code that was pulled on your car was a memory code and that your spark plugs weren't even bad to begin with
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Old 10-11-2004, 01:09 PM   #22
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BTW--from your owners manual:

Recommended spark plugs
Non-turbo models: RC10YC4 (Champion)
BKR6E-11 (NGK)
BKR5E-11 (NGK)
Turbo models: PFR6G (NGK)
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Old 10-13-2004, 03:34 PM   #23
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BTW Pat... I dug up the link I was thinking of before:
http://bbs.legacycentral.org/viewtopic.php?t=634
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