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  1. #1

    Default What spark plugs with 234k look like! (Photos)

    Today I replaced the spark plugs on my 2005 Saturn Ion. They are original to the car with 234,000 miles on them. Well, they definitely look like they needed to be changed. The electrodes on 1 and 3 are worn down to the porcelain. The OEM plugs were double platinum AC Delco but Autozone only had the iridiums, so I now have AC Delco iridium plugs. Here's some pictures of them:

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    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 265K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

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  2. #2


    How is the gas mileage before/after? I need to replace the plugs on my wife's Vue.

    2011 GMC Sierra SLE - 5.3 - 4X4 - Z71 - King Shock Level Kit - Body Color GMC grill emblem - 2 Tone Engine Cover, Rad Cover and Battery Box - Volant CAI - Tru Cool 40K tranny cooler - Sylvania ZXE bulbs Hi/Low -TriFold Hard Tonneau Cover- CoverCraft Seat Covers - Diablo inTune - GoRecon LED under rail lights - GoRecon LED White Lightning Tailgate Light Bar - Windows tinted to 45%- Kenwood DNX6990 - JL Audio C5-650 &650X- JL Audio Amp- Interco Truxus M/T 33x12.50x18

  3. #3


    Before I was making 31-33 mpg easily. I'm hoping I can now make 35, but that was a struggle even when the car was new. The only reason I decided to give changing the plugs a try was because on light to medium acceleration the engine would seem like it was missing or bucking. It wouldn't do it all the time, but some of the time. I haven't changed the plugs because I was dreading them being seized in the head and either breaking off or stripping the threads in the head, so I kept putting it off. I think it was either the plugs or low transmission fluid. Changed the plugs, and checked the level of the transmission fluid (which seemed fine). I changed them yesterday afternoon so in a day or two I'll report back new mpg numbers.

  4. #4


    That's insane that you didn't get misfires before. Only thing I can figure is that you had a strong electrical current. Hopefully, you changed out your plug wires, too. Those will degrade with time as well.

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  5. #5
    TRPLXL2's Avatar
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    I'm not calling you a liar, but that is hard to believe!!! I don't think I've ever gotten over 50,000 on a set of AC Delco plugs EVER. Your engine must be just perfect, you are very lucky they actually came out. What type of engine, and was it aluminum head??
    2004 Chevy Colorado
    LS1 5.7 swap/TBSS rear axle swap

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by TRPLXL2 View Post
    I'm not calling you a liar, but that is hard to believe!!! I don't think I've ever gotten over 50,000 on a set of AC Delco plugs EVER. Your engine must be just perfect, you are very lucky they actually came out. What type of engine, and was it aluminum head??
    Really?? Multiple times I have seen AC delco plugs with 75,000 miles or more that still look new. They are actually still within the gap spec most the time. Are you talking about vehicles with major mods?

    1995 Silverado 4x4
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    2005 Yukon XL Jet Power Programmer, Bilstein Shocks, Bilstein rear springs, Helwig Anti-sway bars, EGR Window Visors, EGR Hood Shield, Denali Headlights, Headlight harness upgrade, GE NightHawk Bulbs, White Night Rear lighting system, Russell Braided SS brake lines, PowerStop Brake pads, PowerStop cross drilled and Slotted Rotors,
    2002 Silverado ext cab 2wd (Sold)
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  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by TRPLXL2 View Post
    I'm not calling you a liar, but that is hard to believe!!! I don't think I've ever gotten over 50,000 on a set of AC Delco plugs EVER. Your engine must be just perfect, you are very lucky they actually came out. What type of engine, and was it aluminum head??
    Believe it or not, it's true. Other than oil changes every 3-5k, brakes at 160k, and now spark plugs at 234k, I have done NO work to this car. Oh, and I changed the tires once... That's it. It has the 2.2L Ecotec motor, which is also found in several other GM and Pontiac vehicles. The block and head are aluminum. I do need some front suspension parts, but considering the age, it's been a spectacular car reliability-wise. Most of my miles are highway miles with some traffic jams, so it gets a lot of cruising time. I don't drive it hard, tow only occasionally, and generally feed it Exxon fuel.

    I did change the "plug wires" if you want to call them that when I did the plugs. It's coil-on-plug, so the wires looked just like 4 inch extensions and nothing more. Next I may run a bottle of injector cleaner through since I've never done that yet. The suspension definitely needs some love, but with struts being $133 each, that's going to have to wait a while longer.
    Last edited by Crawdaddy; 03-25-2013 at 12:26 PM.

  8. #8


    I'm actually surprised that they look as good as they do for that many miles. Are you sure they're factory original, maybe someone replaced them with OEM plugs before you bought it (unless you're the first owner)?

    In any case, I'm looking forward to hearing your report on MPG, engine performance, etc. That's a big change for that engine to get some more life into it. That's the 2.2 L4 engine in that thing or is it something different?

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  9. #9


    I purchased the car new from Saturn, so they're definitely the original plugs it rolled off the factory production line with. I have noticed that the engine seems to not have as rough of an idle as it has had for a long time, even as old as when it had 20k on it. The bucking issue also seems to have gone away, though I am giving it another few days to officially declare the issue gone. By the end of the week I will also have some pretty good MPG numbers.

    The engine is the 2.2L Ecotec motor, though I am not 100% sure what transmission I have. I think it's the 4T45E, though Saturn used 3 or 4 different automatic transmissions in the ION over the lifetime of the line.

  10. #10
    Jr. Engineer Megasaurus's Avatar
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    Dallas, Texas, United States
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    that's a win! that's a saturn ion spark plug win! I'm guessing that you'll have to clean out some carbon from that thing, get some seaform or something like RXP and run it through there to burn that carbon up and you might get another 5% of your hp and maybe that much more mpg back out of it.
    Rockwall, Texas

    2008 Suburban 4WD BEAST! plus a couple of other Chevy rides!

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