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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Would be interesting to see someone with a Cobb tune post their used spark plug pic along with someone who doesn’t have the tune. I’d volunteer but I’m still on the fence about the tune and only at 35850 miles so I won’t be changing them for a while
 

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looking ahead...

For the few of us who are up there in mileage (@Robert.Mauro), spark plugs are due for replacement at 60k miles. So, do you plan on doing it yourself or taking it in?

For the DIYers, how difficult is it to accomplish on this engine? I've only ever worked on V-6/8's, I-4/6's which all have plugs that are much easier to reach. My dealer lists the service as $298 on a 4cyl turbo so I'd be willing to turn some wrenches to save a good portion of that when the time comes, if practical.
looking ahead...

For the few of us who are up there in mileage (@Robert.Mauro), spark plugs are due for replacement at 60k miles. So, do you plan on doing it yourself or taking it in?

For the DIYers, how difficult is it to accomplish on this engine? I've only ever worked on V-6/8's, I-4/6's which all have plugs that are much easier to reach. My dealer lists the service as $298 on a 4cyl turbo so I'd be willing to turn some wrenches to save a good portion of that when the time comes, if practical.
looking ahead...

For the few of us who are up there in mileage (@Robert.Mauro), spark plugs are due for replacement at 60k miles. So, do you plan on doing it yourself or taking it in?

For the DIYers, how difficult is it to accomplish on this engine? I've only ever worked on V-6/8's, I-4/6's which all have plugs that are much easier to reach. My dealer lists the service as $298 on a 4cyl turbo so I'd be willing to turn some wrenches to save a good portion of that when the time comes, if practical.
looking ahead...

For the few of us who are up there in mileage (@Robert.Mauro), spark plugs are due for replacement at 60k miles. So, do you plan on doing it yourself or taking it in?

For the DIYers, how difficult is it to accomplish on this engine? I've only ever worked on V-6/8's, I-4/6's which all have plugs that are much easier to reach. My dealer lists the service as $298 on a 4cyl turbo so I'd be willing to turn some wrenches to save a good portion of that when the time comes, if practical.
Just had mine changed out at 68900. My dealer had to order the plugs. They said no one had brought their Ascent in for this service. It was $300, but since I had an appointment and they did not know they did not have the plugs he knocked off $100. They look in pretty good shape.
 

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Top and bottom plugs look like they are burning relatively clean. The 2 middle plugs look like they are running rich or as if there is oil on the plug...carbon buildup...something doesn't look right on them. Wear-wise they don't look too bad but a lot of the "sharp" edges which help propagate the spark are rounded off. Not too bad though. It'd be interesting to know which cylinders each plug came from to try and trace if certain cylinders have a tendency to run rich/lean because of various reasons...PCV system, intake manifold differences, etc.
 

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Does the Ascent use coil on plug? If yes, it might make sense to replace coil at the same time since labor wouldn't increase, just more parts. The only electronics I've replaced on any cars other than plugs in the last 20 years are coils.
 

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It just gets lifted a little. There's a post somewhere showing the mount point for the work lift connection.
 

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If I understand correctly, yes. The engine gets supported by the maintenance mounting location on the top, then the mounts get disconnected, then the engine gets tilted upwards enough so the coil packs and spark plugs (and requisite tools) can clear the frame rails of the car. Book labor charge is about 2.5 hours, so prices vary across the country since labor rates seem to go from $70-150/hour. The plugs aren't cheap, btw - about $30 a piece.

I finally had mine done yesterday. Rolling in at 71,780 miles, I was 11,780 miles overdue (plus, I abuse the heck out of mine, so, I should probably have had them changed at 50K, instead of the 60k interval I very much missed).

  • My gas mileage to @Liberty Subaru was 17.2 mpg with zero tracffic (it was 6:30am on a Saturday)
  • My gas mileage back from Liberty Subaru, in traffic that added 35 minutes to the commute was 24.5 mpg.

Yes, really, a 7.3 mpg difference, even though I was in a lot of traffic on the way back. I think I would have done 26-28 mpg if there wasn't traffic (without really trying).

I am obviously pleased with the improvement, and expect I can hypermile myself to 28-29 mpg on highway commutes near me, even with my all terrains and roof rack eating gas (Metro NYC speed limit is 55 mph, and upstate NY is 65 mph).

A REALLY big thank you to Liberty Subaru, for, always being on top of appointment times. It's nice rolling in a few minutes before my appointment time, and them starting right on time.
 

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Does the Ascent use coil on plug? If yes, it might make sense to replace coil at the same time since labor wouldn't increase, just more parts. The only electronics I've replaced on any cars other than plugs in the last 20 years are coils.
I think the whole point of buying a new car these day is so you don't have to do any significant repair like that for like 5yrs (or 100K mi). I think tranny and diff oil change should be a priority, more so than sparkplugs, and certainly more than the COP.
 

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Oh, yeah, I meant to get back to that. Anyone concerned about the coil packs (coil on plug) should get them changed with the plugs, because they too require the same labor (tilting up the engine) to remove. I did not get mine changed.

BUT... the coil packs on my 2010 Outback were fine at the 221,990 mile mark, so, I wasn't very concerned about the 71,785 mile mark on the Ascent. Next time, I may consider changing them with the plugs. I will be doing a 50,000 mile interval on my plugs, because most of my driving is very abusive - especially nowadays, when (other than going to buy groceries) my driving is almost entirely for off-road adventures or towing.
 

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I think the whole point of buying a new car these day is so you don't have to do any significant repair like that for like 5yrs (or 100K mi). I think tranny and diff oil change should be a priority, more so than sparkplugs, and certainly more than the COP.
Forced induction, direct injection, high compression (for forced induction) really does eat up spark plugs. Granted, my F150 Ecoboost was producing nearly 500hp at the crank (it was modified) but that thing ate plugs every 15k to 20k miles. Stock, i wouldn't expect them to last longer than 40k to 50k. The "quirk" about the H4 layout is that changing them out become a pain. I only have 19k miles so I have plenty of time to contemplate whether I do it myself or not, but fresh plugs make a HUGE difference in combustion efficiency.
 

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OMG do they. I just did a 60 mile drive, on my KO2 Light Truck tires, after I just extended my Rola roof rack another foot and a half (it now covers almost the entire roof - it was empty during the trip), during rush hour traffic.
11810


It was a one hour drive. There was almost 35 minutes in delays.

I got 25.3 mpg - in NYC Metro Area traffic!!! Very happy!
11809
 

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Did you replace with the OEM plugs or something different?
 

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OEM plugs.
 
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