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

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by Crawdaddy, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

    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:

    IMG_0692.jpg IMG_0693.jpg IMG_0694.jpg
  2. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member

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

    Crawdaddy Moderator

    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. Skippy

    Skippy New Member

    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.

  5. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member

    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??
  6. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator

    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?
  7. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

    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: Mar 25, 2013
  8. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member

    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?
  9. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

    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. Megasaurus

    Megasaurus Member

    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.
  11. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    I agree with Pikey mine were factory with 197,000 miles on them when I removed them and they were close to factory gaps. Of course my Tahoe was one of the first GMs to use stock platinum plugs rated for 100,000 miles before they needed to be checked or changed. One broke when removing but that was because I didn't use enough penetrating oil. Others came out with out a problem at the shop that I then brought the truck too so they could remove the broken plug.
  12. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member

    My wife's Saturn Vue has 95k on it. The only things that have been done to it are oil changes when she tells me it has been 5k miles, flushed tranny,front pads (hurry up and stop driver) and put new tires on it. I know I need to spend some money on it but it seems to run ok.
  13. nickgiacalone

    nickgiacalone New Member

    Saturn's run forever it seems. I keep hearing people with 200-300k and no major issues. It's like the little engines that can.
  14. stchman

    stchman New Member

    I have not replaced plugs on any or my cars since my 1989 Isuzu pickup. Today's platinum tipped plugs are good for at least 100K miles, and I rarely keep a vehicle over 100K (I get sick of looking at it).

    You bought that Ion new and have only replaced the tires once? No way you get 100K+ out of a set of tires.
  15. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

    I have officially run 1 full tank of fuel through it since changing the plugs. I got 32MPG this go-round. That's right in the middle of my average range of fuel mileage, so it looks like it didn't hurt it, but it didn't help it either. The engine definitely seems to run and idle better than before I changed the plugs. I'm not having the slumping when coming from medium RPMs to idle like I used to have where the engine would shake as it ran below the idle speed.

    This weekend I'm going to pick up a can of Seafoam to dump in the tank to try to clean up the injectors and carbon. I'm not expecting any real performance improvements, but anything that will help me get more life out of the car. I'm also going to bite the bullet and change out the front struts this weekend. I'm tired of all the suspension noise and getting beat up from the road.
  16. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member

    What about the cam belt? That is one I am not looking forward to do on the Vue.
  17. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Moderator

    As far as I know based on my research, I am lucky in that this engine has a chain, which are typically more resilient and can go more miles. So, I have not replaced the timing chain yet. Also from my research, this is not an interference motor, which gives me peace of mind.

    I'm I am wrong in these assumptions, PLEASE let me know so I don't have a ticking timebomb on my hands!
  18. Headroom

    Headroom New Member

    Sure others have more on original plugs I have an '06 5.3l and 90,000 miles.

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