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Discussion Starter #1
When is it recommended to swap out the Spark Plugs? What is the bigger factor, age or milage?
What is the preferred brand & gap?
 

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mileage is more,, stick with the stock toyota plugs only,, they are outstanding, no gapping needed, and typically when we see coil failures, it has aftermarket plugs...
 

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Age shouldn't make a bit of difference. I changed mine at about 65,000 miles. I can tell you that the OEM plugs were like brand new at that mileage. I had already bought replacement plugs (NGK 4589 iridium's) so I installed them. My next plug change will be somewhere around 200,000 miles and I'll bet that the "new" spark plugs will still look good then. Iridium simply doesn't wear. And I personally wouldn't install a spark plug without checking it's gap.
 

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I'm one of those OCD types who tracks fuel economy at every fill up. I have no intention of changing plugs till I note a decrease in either idle quality or fuel economy.

As noted above modern plugs last FOREVER! I've seen many late model vehicles with 200K on the original plugs that still ran great.
 

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I remove my plugs at every 30,000 miles, put anti seize on and re-install them. If you wait till 100,000 miles the threads in the head are probably going to come out with the plugs. doug
 

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As previously mentioned the stock plugs are very good quality and last forever. Not sure what toyota used on the 2003 models, but on the 05 and 06 models they used the Denso Iridium Long life plugs. I changed mine at 45,000 because I wanted to try a different plug, and the originals still looked brand new. I put the Denso Iridium Power plugs in my truck, they supposedly burn cleaner and are more efficient than the Denso long life plugs. Although I feel like I may have wasted some money putting the new expensive plugs in, my gas mileage did increase about 1-2 mpg after putting in the Iridium Power plugs (but who knows how long that will last).
 

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doin some high end NGK's today... i was also lookin to improve burn efficiency.. do lots of towing and the truck has 142K on it so I figure the time is right...

hope all goes well! for me and you both hahah
 

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I remove my plugs at every 30,000 miles, put anti seize on and re-install them. If you wait till 100,000 miles the threads in the head are probably going to come out with the plugs. doug
I do the same but I install new plugs. (2001) I mark the box for each plug as to which cylinder it came out of and store
them for as long as I own the car. If you start seeing a trend from a particular cylinder it
can save you a lot of diagnostic headaches later on and maybe spot a problem developing
before it does damage.
 

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I just changed mine out again yesterday. I had previously put in NGK plugs(not sure what PN), and I kept thinking I need to check them. My truck just hadn't seemed as responsive as it was when I got it.... could just be my compulsive modding behavior acting up. So I went to Toyota and got some Denso plugs. I noticed right away the little black tip on the NGK plugs was tiny compared to the Denso's. I'd assume either the NGK plugs are prematurely worn out or just aren't quite what I needed in the first place. Truck runs a bit better now, feels almost like it did when I got it.(minus the 33s)
 

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My 2003 loves NGK iridium plugs, they looked brand new after 100K. Just changed them (at 200K). I drive a lot and need a long lasting reliable plug. Just put some anti sieze on Bthem berfore installation and do not over tighten them. By the way my mileage is just getting better, last week I went to Texas from CT and got 21 mpg on the way down (55-65 mph) and 18 on the way back (65-75 mph). That is on a truck which is weighting in over 5400lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So, you are saying because of the new plugs your getting better MPG?
 

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I have never had a toyota pull the threads out of the head when removing the plugs,, thats a load of crap... unless somebody cross threaded them in, or used some crappy non oem plugs .... toyotas plug design is mint, there are no issues....

as far as gaining fuel mileage,, never seen a mpg gain with plugs, unless you old ones were completely crap and over ran,
 

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So, you are saying because of the new plugs your getting better MPG?
Many will say I am full of crap, but I think I do. I had decent mpg with copers, ran bad with platinum, but runs great with iridium plugs.

There are many variables, the way I drive I still have almost half a thread life left on my Firestone Destination A/T after 50K miles. I use Mobil 1, drain and refill 4 qts of tranny fluid every 10K miles (with oil change). Looks like the older and more mileage the truck gets it runs better. My blackstone wear report shows no difference between my 60K and my 150K oil analysis. My truck never been garaged and I have no frame rust.

Either I am doing things right or very lucky :D
 

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http://www.toyotaownersonline.com/pub-share/pdf/09-10_SparkPlugs0809.pdf
I know that they say the plugs will go for a specific period of time as in 60K or 100K but why would anyone wait that long to change a spark plug? I just do not have the same warm fuzzy that the manufacturers have on change intervals? i just did my iridiums at 50K and who cares what they looked like, feels to me the truck runs/idles smoother?
 

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Definitely NGK or Denso. As far as a mileage improvement it is more of a restoration than an increase when replacing old or worn plugs. You need to cover all the bases when it comes to maintaining good MPG's and unfortunately it only take s few things not being up to par to really can your numbers.

Still the best truck I have ever owned and I run the dog piss out of my trucks.
 

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The manual says to ONLY use twin ground electrode spark plugs for better engine performance. Well i removed my OEM plugs at 67k and they weren't twin ground electrode spark plugs, i guess all these years I havent been getting the best performance.

Also, at 67k the OEM plug gap was worn to .055 from the recommended gap of .031.


I like the way my truck feels now since today I just changed plugs and air filter and cleaned the throttle body. Nice cheap improvement.
 

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I've been changing my plugs out at every 30,000, or is it 60,000, only because it is in the maintenance schedule that came with the truck.

Every time I've taken my plugs out, the gaps end up being much larger and I've been using the OEM Denso plugs.

I have heard that the issues with leaving plugs in for too long is that the insulators can snap/break from all the heating/cooling cycles, that and the electrodes wearing away.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Spark Plug Swap TRICKS or the TRADE

Need some help, what size Spark plug Wrench do I need and what is the trick to get them out & back in? Is a rubber hose part of the tools needed?
 

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Your 03 calls for a plug change at 30k. After that, it depends on what type plug you put in.
 

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Looks like they used a whole bunch of different plugs on our trucks. The 05-06 vvt-i used iridium plugs which are supposed to have a service life of 100k.
 
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