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1995 Toyota Corolla
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Discussion Starter #1
Rather than make an infinite number of threads about every tiny thing, it's probably best to collate everything into one so readers can understand the conversation in context like others have done here.

Last week, I noticed a puff of steam from under the hood. Of course, the 3 year old radiator failed and spewed coolant everywhere. There seemed to be enough to drive home so I did. I replaced the radiator and everything is good now.

If there was not enough coolant to get home, what should have been done? I do not carry coolant in the car. I want to start doing that. Do I get another container, fill half of it with distilled water and the other half with the concentrate coolant then just add it if the need ever arises?

I've heard of people temporarily using water, but I've also heard water promotes corrosion.
 

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1995 Toyota Corolla
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1,387 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Here is a question for you guys. My spark plugs have been in the engine for about 60k miles. The manual recommends changing them every 30k. The engine still runs fine, so I assume they are also fine. Should I go ahead and change them anyway? If so, should I also change the wires? They are ok too.
 

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Moderator
1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Spark plugs are cheap, change them. If they're copper, 60k is too long. It runs fine, yeah, but I think you'll feel a definite difference with new plugs. Check Rock Auto. I forget if you have a 1.6 or 1.8, I can give you a spark plug part number if you'd like.

As for wires, how old are those? If 60k, I wouldn't bother changing them.
 

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1995 Toyota Corolla
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Discussion Starter #8
I'll change them then. I have a 1.6. Would the dealer stock them?

Yeah, the wires are also 60k, so I will leave them.

One thing I don't understand about changing them is where the Haynes manual says to use a rubber hose to install them. I haven't seen that in any videos online.
 

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Premium Member
1994 Corolla DX
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4,153 Posts
Doesn't have to be rubber but the idea is to have a soft extension between your fingers and the top of the plug. Since you're threading it by feel having that soft extension will prevent cross threading since the hose will start spinning or twisting if you cross thread. If you just use a socket extension you could arguably risk cross threading since you can't feel or notice as well if it happens.

That being said I've never bothered using a hose myself and I've been fine. But threading spark plugs is always a bit frightening until you've confirmed you did it right. As simple as it is it always raises my pulse a bit when I do it.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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I use a spark plug socket with the rubber insert. Keeps the plug in the socket and I thread it in using an extension by hand. Don't use a torque wrench until the plug stops rotating by hand, threaded all the way down. The point is to just not cross thread it, or you'll have a bad day.

Don't buy dealer plugs from now on. Denso K16RU copper plugs for your car are $1.33 on RockAuto.
 

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1997 Corolla
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5,051 Posts
The rubber hose trick is for plugs which can't be reached with your fingers, but I've still used it on OHV engines which had more access to the plugs.
I've also used it to pull the plugs out of my Toyota, once they were unthreaded.

I find that when starting and threading-in a plug, that the metal extension and socket offer more feel to my fingers, as to what's happening, than does rubber hose. The hose will stop turning the plug before threads are damaged, so it's safer. But it will also stop, when the threads are properly engaged.
 

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1995 Toyota Corolla
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Just changed the plugs. Everything went exactly like the Haynes manual described it, although I waited until the engine was cold. I put anti-seize on the new plugs and they were already gapped correctly (0.031"). I used my finger though, a brush would probably be better.

I had to buy a torque wrench for the job, which coincided well with the sale at Sears for a $40 10-75 ft-lbs. click wrench.

The old plugs were Denso Japan, but unfortunately the dealer plugs were just Denso, made in Indonesia. It would be interesting to know if the ones Halo recommended are Denso Japan.

Cylinder 1 had a strange circular pattern for the plug threads as they went in. I thought I was cross threading until I got the same results 8 separate times. I torqued each plug to 13 ft-lbs. as Haynes requires.

The rubber hose is useless. You have much more precise and gentle control with an extension and a rubber glove. The hard part is getting the socket back, it keeps popping off the extension and staying on the spark plug.



One of the plugs (cylinder 2) had some deposits. Perhaps that cylinder is burning a little oil. All of the plugs were whitish. They are probably white because of the very advanced ignition timing a shop set when changing the timing belt that I had to correct earlier this year.





Thanks for the excellent advice all.

As I was poking around, I noticed this under the car. Anyone know what this is?





EDIT: Looks like RockAuto sells the Denso Japan plugs. I'll be buying there from now on. Denso wires are $23.79, which is definitely better than the dealer's $110.
 

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1995 Toyota Corolla
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Discussion Starter #20
About 7 years ago, someone rear-ended the car and ran off. It was a very slight impact, so the years passed without doing anything. Here's a recent photo. There was also a hole in the bumper cover from the other car's license plate bolt.



So I went to the body shop last week to finally have it taken care of. When I got the car back, the cover didn't sit very well on the right side, where the impact happened. The rightmost clip wouldn't go in. After I went back, they finally jammed it in there but I said I'd be willing to pay to bend everything back to spec.

When I got the car back today, the owner told me that they had inadvertently scratched the new bumper cover.



And even though the tail light is now closer to where it needs to be, it is now not flush with the body on the right side and you can see how the brace under the bumper cover is still closer to the body on the right side than the left side. Is it impossible to get all the panels to line up perfectly after such a slight impact? I have some out of place panels on the front end, but that is ok because the impact was relatively large.

They offered to repaint the cover for free since they damaged it, but would repainting it be enough? I feel like a new bumper cover is necessary. I'm surprised at such subpar work after the excellent job they did on the front-end when that guy scraped my front end.
 
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