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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
last night I changed the plugs in my 03 GL and I gapped them to .044 and everything ran fine when I started it up. drove to work in the morning and it was still fine...

at lunch I started up the car because I had been blasting the stereo for 20 minutes and I'm paranoid about killing the battery since my last car, but when it started the CEL came on and stayed on. I tried torquing down the plugs and I got about another 1/4 turn out of all four, but even then the light stayed on through the ride back home.

so now the car is sitting in the parking lot with the battery disconnected in hopes of resetting the ECU.

can anyone tell me how to reset the ECU? I know how to do it in Hondas but I'm not sure f it's the same. also does anyone know the proper gap for spark plugs? when I took the old ones out they were gapped to .050 and I knew that was too much so I gapped the new ones to .044. I looked online and I saw an old post recommending from .039 to .043.

Thanks
 

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how to reset the ECU

if my memory serves me correctly, with the car off, you have to disconnect the negative battery terminal connector, and then press the brake pedal for i think it is something like 30 seconds and then wait 15 minutes. but i might be wrong. and as far as the gap in the spark plugs, it is dependent on what brand and part number, did you start to put the plugs in with a socket wrench or did you do it by hand turning the extension piece with the socket on it and did you feel any kind of resistance when you put the new ones in?
according to the owner's manual there are 2 choices they are are:

Champion RC10YC4 gap them at 0.039 to 0.043 inches and NGK BKR5ES-11 gap them at 1.0 to 1.1 mm

i actually just replaced my plugs yesterday and i used NGK Iridium IX BKR5EIX-11 5464 and they are pre-gaped perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I bought NGK G-Power plugs, I put them in with just the socket and extension until they were finger tight, then torqued them down to about 20lbs.
 

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did you try the reset method?
i only torqued mine down about 10lbs, and did you feel resistance when you put any of them in?
 

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0.44 is the correct gap.

I never use a torque wrench but they don't need much force.

If the car is running okay get the code scanned if it didn't go away. If it's running rough or missing under acceleration you probably either messed up a plug wire when you changed plugs or got a bad plug or cracked a plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
did you try the reset method?
i only torqued mine down about 10lbs, and did you feel resistance when you put any of them in?
no resistance at all, I have the battery disconnected right now, but I'll try pumping the brakes tomorrow as described before hooking it back up.
 

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if you unhooked the battery you should be finem, all the pushing in the brake does is get rid of any left over voltage.

to tell you the truth you cannot overtorque spark plugs its nearly impossible, the tighter the better for a good seal. I've had plugs break in the center but have never seen or heard of theads breaking off in the head. You will break your ratchet before the threads break i've heard some great stories of this from past trainers in the automotive business. Most people that have problems with spark plugs coming out did not torque them down enough the last time. Gasses are allowed to bypass the crush washer and carbon builds up on the backside of the plug seizing it in. You should crank down on your plugs until you can't crank anymore, then you know the washer is fully crushed. Biggest mistake I see people make is not tightening them enough.

For your engine light its going to be hard to diagnose the problem without knowing the code. Go for the most obvious things being what you just did. Maybe you got a bad plug, maybe a spark plug wire didn't click in... If everything checks out then wait until your cel light comes back on and get the code pulled for you. Then we can assess the problem better.
 

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I don't know about that Andy. If you tighten the spark plug to much the exchange of heat won't take place.

Spark Plug Installation Instructions

read the first 2 paragraphs. Just for you knowledge.
 

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simple rule of thumb:

if your plugs use crush washers tighten them suckers down good so you know the crush washers are crushed. This will feel like your really tightening down hard. You feel some resistance when you get to the crush washer another turn or two from that and the plug should be tight.

if your plugs don't use a crush washer then tighten them down till they get tight and go a quarter turn more for good measure.

I've replaced plugs in vehicles 3-4 times a week for the past 3 years and have never had a plug break from overtightening. I have had plugs break at the ceramic before coming out of the vehicle but never have I seen or heard of a plug breaking off in the head of an engine.

I've had plugs come out tight because boneheads have crossthreaded them in but they still didn't break off they just booger up the threads.

One of my training instructors does a demo for people regarding plug changes. He has an all aluminum motor with a plug already tightened in the head. The goal is to try to break the plug off in the head. To this day its never been done. Everytime the ratchet will break before the plug will.

I'm not telling you to grab the biggest breaker bar possible to tighten down your plugs. I use a 3/8 swivel head ratchet and a good swivel or straight spark plug socket with various extensions most of the time depending on available room. Just make sure the crush washer crushes or you will have bigger problems trying to get the plug out.

however I never thought this was dennis' problem I just wanted to shed some light for people not in the know. Its good info i've learned i'm just trying to pass it on.

when or if your check engine light comes back on dennis get the code checked and i'll be able to help you more.
 

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I am not sure, but for all the time I have owned it. I tried alot of different types.

Only the NGK V-power (best) and NGK Iridium (basically same as V-power but longer life) and the OEM Standard NGK works fines.

I had NGK G-power. it caused the same problem as you mentioned. Since being in the trade for long. I know Platnium plugs actually uses MORE power to jump the gap but jsut lasts longer which will cause the ignition timing to be altered.

This does not happen to OEM Platnium plugs because the OEM platnium that comes from factory is FULL 100% platnium (not just the TIP), which does not have this problem. (Examples were newer Hondas and Toyotas).

Domestics do not do that because they have been using high energy ignitions for a long time, which can jump gaps even though the spark plug is worn (because domestic vehicles are not designed to be serviced easily.)
 

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I've had OEM NGK-G power plugs in my car since it was bought back in 2000...
Never had a CEL from them...

Take it somewhere and get the codes read or get a scanner and do it your self, the CEL might not be related to your spark plugs at all...





Cheers
scythe
 

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if the car is made to run on a resistor, copper or a platinum plug it was designed to run on that plug. Same goes for octane ratings.

I have used factory champions, ngks, bosch and autolites and have never had an issue. As long as the plug was not cracked or damaged in any other way, any copper plug will work fine as long as it is the same heat range.

You don't need a platinum, double platinum or iridium plug, the only thing these will help is the service life. For the money of resistor plugs you can buy tons of them for the price of one iridium plug.

I use regular autolites and factory style wires on my x3 autox car and it runs great. Don't waste your money.

I've seen very few cases where using the wrong plug manufacturer has caused a check engine light, as said before, dennis most likely has a different problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
just an update; the CEL went away after resetting the ECU, never came back since. I have a feeling that the computer was just trying to get used to the big chance, since the spark plugs I replaced were the original factory plugs, which were at about 100,000 kms (62K miles)
 
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