E3 plug condition after 45K miles

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My weekend plans went out the window (due to VERY poor weather forecasting) so I had some extra time on my hands and unanticipated awesome weekend weather.

Installed some E3 spark plugs around 125K miles on my '07 Pacifica. Vehicle just turned over 170K, I decided to pull them early (about 45K on the plugs) to assess the condition, mostly out of curiosity. I don't usually buy "fancy" spark plugs but they were on closeout at Rockauto for less than a $1 a piece at the time. Fairly certain they claim a 100K service life.

My initial thought is that they're still in decent shape and would probably go 75K or so, but I'd be quite wary running them to 100K, mostly because of the center electrode being so rounded off. That said, I've seen non platinum/iridium/etc plugs that have gone the distance, like the Champion copper plugs used in many Chrysler Hemi motors-- I've seen them so wore down at 100K that the center electrode had worn beneath the porcelain, and still be firing. So these E3 could likely make it to 100K as the manufacturer claims, but I opted to change them anyways, since I had new plugs already on hand. Used Autolite Iridium XP plugs at about $5 a plug.

Required removing intake, but fortunately it comes off in about 15 minutes on this car-- a hose clamp, half dozen wire connectors, couple vacuum/PCV hoses to pull off, then about 8 bolts and it's out. All in all I think the E3 is a good plug but I can't say it did anything magical that would make a large price premium worth it.

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At only 45k? I would hard pass those plugs in the future. My 17 Subaru 3.6 NGK's at 105k IIRC...they looked great but there was center electrode wear to be seen. I could be wrong but they do not inspire confidence for me. Others may have a professional opinion to offer. Interested to hear the thoughts.
 

92saturnsl2

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At only 45k? I would hard pass those plugs in the future. My 17 Subaru 3.6 NGK's at 105k IIRC...they looked great but there was center electrode wear to be seen. I could be wrong but they do not inspire confidence for me. Others may have a professional opinion to offer. Interested to hear the thoughts.
One has to keep in mind the E3 plug has an ordinary center electrode, no platinum tip or fancy metals. Not sure if that has benefits or not, but certainly not for longevity.
 

FZ1

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At only 45k? I would hard pass those plugs in the future. My 17 Subaru 3.6 NGK's at 105k IIRC...they looked great but there was center electrode wear to be seen. I could be wrong but they do not inspire confidence for me. Others may have a professional opinion to offer. Interested to hear the thoughts.
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^. Those look awful. Best to use an oem spec plug. NGK or Denso. I prefer NGK.
 
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FWIW, the OE plugs for your 2007 Pacifica seem to be NGK Laser Platinum. They'd still look better than that after 45k. Even the Autolites you put in should be good to 100k.
 
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Those look bad.. and thats not even counting the flame shrouding from that massive plate of an electrode.

There is a reason why 99.9% of regular plugs come with a single electrode.
 

92saturnsl2

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FWIW, the OE plugs for your 2007 Pacifica seem to be NGK Laser Platinum. They'd still look better than that after 45k. Even the Autolites you put in should be good to 100k.
Yep, the original NGK plugs came out at 125K when I did the timing belt service and installed the E3 plugs. The NGKs were still in reasonably good shape. I think the moral of the story is E3 and exotic plugs aren't worth the extra $. But at $0.80 a piece I got my money's worth, but nothing more than that.
 

92saturnsl2

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I get that there's a natural reaction to condemn E3 plugs because of their inflated marketing and claims to do magic (like better burn, fuel economy, etc.) But in the interest of discussion, aside from usual wear on the center electrode (rounded off), what is so wrong with them after 45K? I seriously debated putting them back in. If I were to pull the "copper" Denso plugs out of my '96 Maxima that have 30K or so on them, I'd expect to see the same thing.

I get it that you can put a set of double platinums, iridium, ruthenium, etc in and they'll still have a nice sharp point after 100K with a COP ignition system.

But all I see is a worn plug typical of 45K miles use, not a "bad plug" per se. Correct me if I'm wrong? Looks like nice normal deposits also, granted there's much more of it due to the extra ground electrode surface area.

When I think of worn out spark plug, I envision this: (credit given to #tyman, I borrowed his image from another post). I've seen a LOT worse plugs that were still working fine. If it were an older vehicle with say, a distributor ignition system (or older single coil for all plugs style) I'd say the rounded off corners could be an issue because of the higher voltage required to bridge the gap.

bitog.jpeg
 
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I get that there's a natural reaction to condemn E3 plugs because of their inflated marketing and claims to do magic (like better burn, fuel economy, etc.) But in the interest of discussion, aside from usual wear on the center electrode (rounded off), what is so wrong with them after 45K? I seriously debated putting them back in. If I were to pull the "copper" Denso plugs out of my '96 Maxima that have 30K or so on them, I'd expect to see the same thing.

I get it that you can put a set of double platinums, iridium, ruthenium, etc in and they'll still have a nice sharp point after 100K with a COP ignition system.

But all I see is a worn plug typical of 45K miles use, not a "bad plug" per se. Correct me if I'm wrong? Looks like nice normal deposits also, granted there's much more of it due to the extra ground electrode surface area.

When I think of worn out spark plug, I envision this: (credit given to #tyman, I borrowed his image from another post). I've seen a LOT worse plugs that were still working fine. If it were an older vehicle with say, a distributor ignition system (or older single coil for all plugs style) I'd say the rounded off corners could be an issue because of the higher voltage required to bridge the gap.

View attachment 115761

At least Nissan was smart enough to put cutouts in the intake so the spark plugs are easy :D

When I had it, I put Denso iridium in, a nice upgrade over the factory spec NGK Laser Platinum that cost the same price.

But since the job is easy on that maxima, a good compromise between price and longevity is the NGK G-Power (single platinum)
 

92saturnsl2

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At least Nissan was smart enough to put cutouts in the intake so the spark plugs are easy
You're not kidding. But the old VQ30DE had a pretty simple aluminum intake (until you have to take it off haha), long runners, just had to cast an opening in between on the rear bank for the three plugs-- some engineer was using their head.

The plastic intake on the 4.0L Chrysler V6 has a variable intake with manifold tuning valves, which look to me like stepper motors that vary the amount of air that goes straight through vs what goes through a longer runner. Bit more elaborate and likely harder to put holes in the middle of :)

I'm not complaining about the lost time using copper and/or E3 plugs on either. One is a 25 minute job (thanks Nissan for the access holes!), the other maybe 45 minutes plus a $5 intake plenum gasket.

My Kia on the other hand, I'll use 100K plugs every time, I don't care if they cost $20+ a piece. That's an intake and maze of wires / hoses that looks like absolutely no fun to remove.
 
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