Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spark plugs - ZX2

Yes, spark plugs are routine, and especially easy on a DOHC 4-cylinder. But it was a learning experience for Amanda, and it confirmed for me personally the problem with those fancy Bosch 2+ electrode spark plugs.

Amanda did most of this job herself. I replaced the first spark plug to show her, then she did the rest. She is slowly learning everything, as each job comes up. I'm impressed at her tenacity to continue learning this art of grease-monkeying. Also, her willingness to get (somewhat) dirty.

She has yet to bust her knuckles or be elbow-deep in grease and dirt, but those days will come.

About the Bosch plugs:
It's well documented on (the most populated and active ZX2 forum) that the best plugs for Ford's Zetec engine is the OEM Motorcraft platinum plugs. Some members specifically say to avoid the Bosch Platinum +2 or +4 spark plugs, that they work fine initially, but cause misfiring after a while. Me, I replaced the plugs when I first got the car, before I was a member of that forum and aware of this problem. Wanting high-quality plugs, I bought a set of the Bosch +2.

And sure enough, after 60 or 70 thousand miles with those plugs, the computer threw a CEL. The error code? P0303 - misfire on cylinder #3. We replaced them with Motorcraft Platinum.

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