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'03 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter #1
My son just had spark plugs changed on his '09 Tacoma that he bought new...after 182,000 miles, believe it or not. There was never any indication of any problem yet when the old plugs were pulled the electrodes were virtually gone, yet it ran fine. The kicker is that it doesn't run any differently with the new plugs, but he has noticed a drop in mileage. How is that possible? Did the trucks computer make adjustments for the plugs as they wore out over time, an adjustment that is not paired with the new plugs? I'm just grabbing into thin air here...any ideas? I watched a couple videos and at least two people changing their plugs mention that the passenger side and driver's side had two different types of plugs in their trucks. What's with that? Not just different types but different manufacturers also.
 

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The different plugs has been noted for a while. Someone conjectured that they were trying to keep both suppliers happy and ready in case the other had issues.
 

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'03 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter #4
Reset main ECU. It's still running engine based on old habits.
After waiting a couple weeks and wasting gas we just found out that the mechanic put the wrong plugs in my son's '09 Tacoma. He called the dealership who strongly suggested that he put in OEM (copper?) plugs from Denso in place of the platinum (unknown brand) plugs that were erroneously installed. With 182,000 on the original plugs why go with anything else? But they did. Fortunately the drop in mileage was so drastic that there was no doubt that something was wrong.
 

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Well, go figure. OEM should be iridium. Denso or NGK.
Still, reset ECM after ne wplugs in. You should do this after any major component replacement or, any sensor.
 

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'03 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter #6
Well, go figure. OEM should be iridium. Denso or NGK.
Still, reset ECM after ne wplugs in. You should do this after any major component replacement or, any sensor.

I called a second dealership and gave the VIN this time. I was again told that OEM for this truck are the 30,000 mile copper plugs and that they wouldn't even sell us anything other than that. With 180,000 miles on 30,000 mile plugs who am I to disagree? It's little things like this that make me want to have a garage sale, get rid of all my tools, and lease from now on. Not only is it getting harder for me to do things it's getting easier to make mistakes because old school logic doesn't cut it with new school technology. I passed this info and your recommendation about resetting the ECM on to my son...thanks for the input.
 

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Right

5.“Copper spark plugs”

“Copper spark plugs” is a term mistakenly used for a standard material spark plug. A standard material spark plug traditionally uses a nickel-alloy outer material fused to a copper core. Almost all spark plugs use a copper core center to conduct the electricity, jump the gap, and promote heat dissipation. However, as an outer electrode material, copper would not be a good choice, as it is soft and has a low melting point (resulting in a plug that would last minutes, not miles). Nearly all NGK spark plugs, including precious metals iridium and platinum, have a copper core. When one talks in terms of nickel alloys, platinum and iridium, one is referring to its durability, or how long a spark plug will last before it needs to be replaced. However, when one talks about copper, he or she is referring to its ability to conduct electricity that is needed to fire across the gap and ignite the air-fuel mixture.
 

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'03 Camry XLE
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Discussion Starter #9
Just makes you wonder about level of professional knowledge at dealerships.
I know what you are saying about professional knowledge but upgrading to platinum plugs was followed by a drastic drop in mileage. He's getting the OEM plugs installed Monday; that is what we are told was on the truck originally and I did give them the VIN. Two dealerships are wrong? 180,000 miles on the originals along with better mileage tells me that they are not. I am more inclined to believe that the platinum and iridium coated plugs that you describe are nothing but hype at higher prices...like my old engineering teacher used to say, "The proof is in the pudding." And higher gas mileage and long wear is proof enough for me. Like they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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Not what I am saying. What I am saying is that there is no such thing as "copper" plugs. That's it. Copper is by far not a suitable material for plug abusive environment. So OEM plugs will be copper core coated in whatever is they are coated with. Iridium, platinum, nickel, whatever. That is why they are called what they are called, not because they are made out of copper.
I'm a word stickler. Professional habit.
 

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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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Yeah, you should never run iridium or any of those other high mileage spark plugs in the V6. These engines complain 99 percent of the time when those are installed (kind of like people using synthetic in the rear diff with the mechanical LSD which 99 percent of the time causes problems). Put in the OEM and change them every 30K miles as called for in the manual. (Many of us have gone much farther on them than just 30K miles)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, you should never run iridium or any of those other high mileage spark plugs in the V6. These engines complain 99 percent of the time when those are installed (kind of like people using synthetic in the rear diff with the mechanical LSD which 99 percent of the time causes problems). Put in the OEM and change them every 30K miles as called for in the manual. (Many of us have gone much farther on them than just 30K miles)
You're right; Like I mentioned earlier the proof is in the pudding, and since switching back to the basic plugs my son says that for the same amount of gas he went from 25 miles to 50 miles. He won't be waiting for another 182,000 miles to change them this time; he hasn't seen this kind of mileage in a long time.
 
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