1999 corolla spark plug replacement gone bad - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Corolla 8th Generation (1998-2002) Specific discussion of the 8th generation

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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1999 corolla spark plug replacement gone bad

it's not the first time i replace spark plugs for a vehicle in this kind of configurations.
and btw, nothing wrong with the car, but i put the current plugs in more than 70k miles (at about 30k) and 10 years ago. so i'm doing this as a preventative maintenance.

replacement of the 1st plug went very smoothly. when trying to fit the socket to remove the second old plug, it didn't seem to be able to get in place. then i realized that the rubber ring piece of that wire boot came off and got stuck in the well with the spark plug.

searched online but couldn't find any effective hint. valve cover gaskets are actually leaking very gradually. so i was thinking to get a set of valve cover gaskets and hopefully when the valve cover is removed, it'll be much easier to get the stuck rubber piece out.

then i went ahead and plugged the wires back in place with 1 new plug and 3 old plugs.

worst part comes now: tried to start the car, it wouldn't fire up. i could tell that starter kicks in and spins the engine, but engine was running very tough before i let go the ignition key; and as soon as i let go the ignition, it just dies.

i thought it might be because the one single-ground DENSO (new plug) is not working well together with the other 3 double-ground BOSCH (old plugs).
so i put the old one back in to have all four old plugs just like before.
tried to start the engine again. exactly the same symptom.

it really sucks when this happens when the car was running perfect and i'm just doing something that's supposed to be very simple.


what could it be?
i'm guessing that it's the wire set that has gone bad.
but i haven't done anything special to it really. just pulled them out and put them back in. the contacts still look good to me.
what else can that be? it makes me worrying now.

Last edited by mugenpaolo; 02-03-2013 at 08:25 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 08:28 PM
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Get new wires, use a long long nosed pliers to get the rubber out of down there and change all the plugs to Denso or NGK since if you keep the Bosch Platinum in you'll be making a thread in few thousand miles about it misfiring.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for your quick response.

i've heard bad things about BOSCH for our cars in this forum and other places on the web.
well, of course i heard those recently, which is way after i put those BOSCH in 10 years ago. in my case though, these four BOSCH plugs have been working just fine for the past 10 years.
but still i got DENSO last week just because they are recommended by many members here along with NGK.

it now just worries me because i didn't seem to have done any real damage to the wires nor the old plugs, but car is not firing up.
another thought is, maybe i have damaged the second old plug while i was trying to get the stuck rubber out.

Last edited by mugenpaolo; 02-03-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 09:33 PM
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Are the plug wires on in the correct order?
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bitter View Post
Are the plug wires on in the correct order?
yes, they are in correct order, i only unplugged them one at a time
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-03-2013, 11:34 PM
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Just take a deep breath and look around for anything you might have bumped loose like a wiring connector on the coil or injection harness, if nothing start from scratch, crank the motor a couple seconds and pull a plug, is it wet or dry??

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Originally Posted by fredk View Post
Just take a deep breath and look around for anything you might have bumped loose like a wiring connector on the coil or injection harness, if nothing start from scratch, crank the motor a couple seconds and pull a plug, is it wet or dry??
thanks!

the only things that i have disconnected are the connections between the plugs and the plug wires. i've double checked by unplugging and plugging them back on.
i've cranked the motor for a few seconds for a few times.

what did you mean is it wet or dry?

in fact, i just went to take a look under the hood again in order to familiarize myself with the plug wire set replacement job that i will perform soon. while i was doing that, i noticed that there were a couple of connectors (the other end of the spark plug wires) that are somewhat soaked with oil. the word "soaked" is probably exaggerating, but there definitely signs of oil getting there. it must be from by the leaky valve cover gaskets. those are for cylinders 2 and 3.
is that what you refer to about wet or dry?
and by "pull a plug," did you mean unplug and plug back on?


edit: oh, sorry. by wet or dry, you must be referring to the plugs themselves. they are dry.

Last edited by mugenpaolo; 02-04-2013 at 12:06 AM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-04-2013, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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forgot to mention: i read somewhere on the web that the reason why the rubber piece got stuck inside the spark plug well was due to the fact that i didn't apply dielectric grease to the inside of the boots before i put those plugs in the last time.

Last edited by mugenpaolo; 02-04-2013 at 03:41 AM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-05-2013, 03:59 PM
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Dielectric is mainly there to keep moisture out, few actually help keep the rubber/silicone material supple. If the rubber/silicone portion of the plugs wires have hardened or otherwise show some damage - just replace them.

Most of the post here are trying to see if you have fuel or fire - in other words, are you getting gasoline sprayed in there correctly, and if you are getting spark or ignition.

Plugs were dry? That means that fuel is not getting sprayed in there. Cranking long enough, without an ignition source, the plugs will eventually foul with gasoline. Since there is no fuel - I'd suspect an issue with the fuel delivery system. Could be anything from a blown EFI relay/fuse to a cracked fuel line, faulty fuel pump, or even no gas / bad gas in the tank.

Second part - the fire, need to see if you are getting sparks. The easiest way to do this is to remove a plug, insert it back into the plug and then ground the plug to chassis ground (lots of info on this online, just search for a DIY). See if you can see sparks jump between the electrode to the ground strap on the plugs as you crank the engine - if it does, then that wire/plug checks out. Go onto the next plug and repeat. Any combination that doesn't fire, will be your problem set - all that is left is to diagnose that wire/plug more closely.

Oil soaked connections could be a serious issue. Depending on what wiring they are fouling, they could be causing the connector to short to ground. If this on the plug wires - that could be stealing power that could causing misfiring or no fire. If this is on the injector harnesses - that could cause the injectors to misfire or fail to fire (no fuel). Definitely need to look into that - as that will not improve over time, just get worse.

The car also uses a returnless fuel system - so only supplies fuel on demand. Some hard to start cases (water in the fuel lines, fuel contamination) - sometimes just getting the engine to catch and turn over will "fix" the problem. Might have to go old school on this and use starting fluid to help the engine out. Again, there are DIYs online - just be careful and get starting fluid that is O2 sensor safe and watch where you spray it - applied incorrectly, could cause more damage than good. If unsure, take it to a pro - only so much can be done with online help.

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