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2003 Pontiac Vibe
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I had to shell out $40 for a new distributor cap and wire set today. About 4 years ago when my mom still owned this car (she was original owner, I'm the second owner) she had to have the dist/wires replaced as it was only running on 3 cylinders, one of the wires had burned out or something. She had some guys at a garage put it on for free (it's run by a charity). Apparently they didn't even bother to change the plugs. They are pretty much worn out. So add another $8+tax for those.

Anyhow, I went to check the spark plugs today to see if replacing them might help the slightly rough idle.. and the spark plug wires basically ripped apart when I tried to remove them from the plugs. The metal shaft piece inside came right off from the silicon insulation! 3 out of of 4 did this. I attempted to repair it (just for a temporary fix) but it didn't work well. The car did start and idle, but idled worse than ever. I had to use needle nose pliers to get the metal shaft off of the plugs so I could get the wrench in there to get them out. They were VERY tight on the plugs. I don't know if that's how the wires were made or if the shop did it thinking they were too loose.

So I hopped on my Honda Helix and drove to OReilly and got new NGK plugs and a new dist cap/wires. Came out just under $50 with tax.

I really wish I knew what brand this crappy dist. cap/wire set is that I had to replace today. That is just ridiculous to have them rip to shreds when you try to remove them for the first time to get at the spark plugs since they were put on. The new one I got today has a "lifetime" warranty, assuming I keep the box and receipt, I guess.

By the look of these plugs I removed, I'm amazed the car has driven and gotten as good mileage as it has been getting. The electrodes are so worn down, they have a gap of 0.050. The NGK plugs new have 0.043 (probably how they were installed) but the car's manual calls for 0.031. The plugs are probably 8 years old or more. My mom didn't exactly keep up with all the maintained. But for an 18 year old car with almost 152k miles now (145k when I got it last October), and a trip to Washington DC and back this past January (on the old spark plugs!) and still getting good MPG, I guess I can't complain.

There is noticeable improvement in idle and smoother acceleration. I'm glad it was just the spark plugs. I was fearing the slightly crappy acceleration might have been the transmission.
 

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$40 will only buy the cheapest worst set. You might be sorry in a few short months, as the cheapsets crap put in a few months and the car will run like Shit. When people come here and ask about new plug wires, you will see with a search that people are told about the problems of cheap wires.
:eek:
 

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2003 Pontiac Vibe
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
If that's the case, I will return them to O'Reilly and say they are no good. They certainly can't be any worse than the ones I had to replace that ripped to pieces the first time I attempted to pull them off of the spark plugs. They might be equal and in that case... lifetime warranty. I will keep the box and receipt.

I have the box right here, they are: OmniSpark (O'Reilly brand) Hi Temp Double Silicone Ignition Wire Set
 

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90 Corolla
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134 Posts
I would use NGK if available. I have also had good luck with Autolite wires.
BTW, nice car. Like the color.


If that's the case, I will return them to O'Reilly and say they are no good. They certainly can't be any worse than the ones I had to replace that ripped to pieces the first time I attempted to pull them off of the spark plugs. They might be equal and in that case... lifetime warranty. I will keep the box and receipt.

I have the box right here, they are: OmniSpark (O'Reilly brand) Hi Temp Double Silicone Ignition Wire Set
 

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2003 Pontiac Vibe
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would use NGK if available. I have also had good luck with Autolite wires.
BTW, nice car. Like the color.
I will keep that in mind if these go bad too. I have other modes of transportation I can use to get to the auto parts store (as I did yesterday) so I'm not going to stress over the wires since they have a lifetime warranty. If they go bad, they go back to the store.
 

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Corona is gone.
86 Pickup
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863 Posts
NGK or Toyota plugs and wires. They hold up great.
 

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1,065 Posts
Thousands of owners have continual self-inflicted engine drivability, fuel economy and emission problems because they refuse to use factory parts when replacements are needed; i.e. refuse to use genuine Toyota plug wires, spark plugs, distributor caps, distributor rotors, etc. NGK brand parts are second best, but everything else is Ford/Chevy/Dodge quality or worse.
 

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2003 Pontiac Vibe
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well... if I had thought about this, I suppose I could have tried to buy a name brand part, but all I knew was my current wires were wrecked beyond repair and I needed new ones. I also don't have a great deal of money. I got the quickest and cheapest fix I could (without getting used parts). I highly doubt that O'Reilly will take back now-used wires just because I want a different brand. Therefore, the cheap wires will have to stay on there for now. I suppose I could try to lie and say they went bad already, but then they'd just want to give me another set of the same thing.
 

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Vivir el momento
Corolla
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18,784 Posts
Just chalk it up to experience gained. Buy some NGK blue wires.

They're pretty inexpensive and commonly available.
 

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Homer Lusk Collyer
AE92
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1,144 Posts
Thousands of owners have continual self-inflicted engine drivability, fuel economy and emission problems because they refuse to use factory parts when replacements are needed; i.e. refuse to use genuine Toyota plug wires, spark plugs, distributor caps, distributor rotors, etc. NGK brand parts are second best, but everything else is Ford/Chevy/Dodge quality or worse.
Hi kathyricks, you loveable old coot! Serious question: are you employed by Toyota or one of it's subsidiaries?
 

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The Return of the Red Coupe
2010 RAV4 V6
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19,665 Posts
NGK or OEM Sumitomo wires... not much of a price difference really (for me at least NGK = $85/set, OEM Sumitomo = $94/set) Don't buy the cheap ones... trust me, I did before on an old car I had and regretted it. :disappoin

For plugs, go either NGK or Denso (OEM).
 

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Hi kathyricks, you loveable old coot! Serious question: are you employed by Toyota or one of it's subsidiaries?
No and unlike possibly some others here, I'm not employed by the Weber carburetor company, MSD ignition company, Magnaflow exhaust company, K&N Typhoon air filter company or Royal Purple /Amsoil/Red Line oil companies.
 

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Homer Lusk Collyer
AE92
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1,144 Posts
No and unlike possibly some others here, I'm not employed by the Weber carburetor company, MSD ignition company, Magnaflow exhaust company, K&N Typhoon air filter company or Royal Purple /Amsoil/Red Line oil companies.
LOL, fair enough answer! It's nice to have all different opinions on a public forum.

Reading my posts, you'd think I was employed by eBay and Harbor Freight and sponsored by JB Weld.
 
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