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Phrede 11-01-2009 01:08 AM

30k mile plugs?!
Going on day 4 with my new-to-me truck. I thought doing some basic maintenance was in order and got a couple of surprises:

2 different oil filters in the same model year. Of course, I guessed and got the wrong one.

7 qts of oil, I have never had a vehicle take this much. Well OK, There was the school bus with a Ford 460CID.

30,000 mile recommended spark plug change. I'm curious about this. 20 years ago I pulled some plugs on a car at 60k miles expecting to find them shot. Not even close. Now this truck wants new ones at 30,000. I wonder why? It looks like it's going to be a PITA to do on top of it.

Don't get me wrong, I really like this truck. These are just some observations. Some other thoughts about my Laramie includes why there are not auto headlights or auto climate control and where my rear seat heat duct is. I wonder if these can be added.


erm 11-01-2009 01:15 AM

30K seems overly conservative for a plug change in today's vehicles.

I wouldn't do it but I would inspect them at that time to make sure they are all OK.

To add the auto headlight & auto climate controls you'll not only need the switches but you'll need the modules, sensors, wiring harness and a computer flash to make them work. Pretty darn expensive.

Rear floor heat duct should be under the front seats. If you don't see it, you can add it with some factory plastic ducts run from under the front seats, along the transmission tunnel and into the main ducting under the dash.

CajunDodge 11-01-2009 01:38 AM

I agree, 30K does seem aweful soon to be changing plugs by newer standards, but don't feel bad about the 7qts. of oil, my '81 was extraordinarily thirsty and took 9. :)

- Cajun :pepper:

Incognito 11-01-2009 02:09 AM

I have 117,000km on my truck at the moment. I won't be changing the plugs until I hit 160,00km. And when I do I'm going to go with platinum plugs. 30,000km is ridiculous for OEM plugs.

Toms Blue Ram 1500 11-01-2009 09:38 AM

I like the thought of changing plugs at 30,000 miles . Has anyone ever had to pull a spark plug out of a motor thats been in there for 100,000 miles . I have pretty damn scary . You almost have to put a breaker bar on them to get them broken loose . And then once their loose the noises you get from them when backing them out . I quess it wouldn't have been a bad idea if they used anti-seize on them from the factory . I don't recommend it at all . Every spark plug I install , after I gap them gets a shot of anti-seize on them . And don't forget that most motors built today have aluminum heads on them . Try explaining to a customer why the head needs to be be removed to make a repair . Most people don't understand , they know they drove their car in for a simple plug change and now it's not driveable because they think you messed it up and want you to fix it at your expense . I just replaced the plugs on my Cadillac , had 55,000 miles on it . Thought I was gonna break a plug off . Have seen that happen ! I did the conversion and put in regular old 30,000 miles plugs ($2.39 each) in it . Not the $14.00 a piece ones . So take that for what it's worth . You know where I stand now .

Pride0aries 11-01-2009 04:35 PM

I also use a little anti-seize on all my cars' plugs, all but one has aluminum heads. 30k is fine to inspect them but if they are in good shape no point in replacing them. Trying to squeeze 100k out of a set of plugs despite what any manufacturer says, I have yet to see a set last much beyond 60k in any new car I've purchased. High CR, variable timing, very strong spark, it doesn't take much for subtle misfires or other things to slowly wear the gap open further than you want it. Plus you should be checking them anyway as they are a good measure of how well the motor is running. As for platinum plugs that's pretty much a given for me, and I still check the gap, because I have found a few (very) that were off, usually too small. Depending on the style of plug, I'd return it vs. trying to change the gap - it's brittle metal relatively speaking and the risk of creating a stress fracture that later drops a piece of metal into your cylinder, well, not worth it. If the manufacturer says don't gap their plugs then if they are NIB and off spec, you should just be able to exchange then. Other than the 16 plugs and coils I don't see the HEMI 5.7 plugs being all that hard to replace. Just time-consuming...

Pride0aries 11-01-2009 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by Phrede (Post 98588)
7 qts of oil, I have never had a vehicle take this much...

I'll admit it was a surprise when I did my first change and used the better part of two one-gallon containers of oil!

But, be glad it's 7 quarts. I have a '95 Nissan that took 4.5 quarts until I added the oil cooler and lines, fender mount larger filter, that bumped up the total by almost 2 quarts. Runs cooler, less issue about oil TBN breakdown if you are the type to run long intervals for oil changes. Since I put fewer miles than time on my RAM 1500 SLT, I tend to change it every 6 months vs. mileage (just turned 6 years old and has not quite 30k miles, I really use it mostly when I need a truck vs. a car, plus my work used to keep me travelling a lot - none of my cars have much more than 7k a year).

Another 2.0 liter DOHC Nissan that I track regularly only takes about 3.5-4 quarts and is known for cooking its oil if you're not careful to keep it full to the top and most people put a half quart extra for racing use due to oil starvation issues under high g's.

After dealing with that, I am very happy my '03 SLT has plenty of oil. I also usually run Rotella Syn HD oil 5W-40W which I've had very good luck in other motors that run hot or are otherwise hard on their oil. $20 a gallon at Wally-Mart.

Pride0aries 11-01-2009 05:05 PM


Originally Posted by Toms Blue Ram 1500 (Post 98621)
I just replaced the plugs on my Cadillac , had 55,000 miles on it . Thought I was gonna break a plug off . Have seen that happen ! I did the conversion and put in regular old 30,000 miles plugs ($2.39 each) in it . Not the $14.00 a piece ones . So take that for what it's worth . You know where I stand now .

Would you run the same type of basic plug in your truck or do you use something else?

I hear you on not overspending on plugs, that's so common and a complete waste of money on so many cars.

The Nissan 2.0 liter I race I only spend maybe $3 a plug because they get changed out anyway well before any mileage interval. That's more because I run what NGK considers a "COLD" plug, things run pretty hot at 6500-7500 rpm which is where I spend most of my time when on the track. Plugs still get pretty hot and just don't last, like most racing use, you tend to change them based on number of events or hours vs. miles. No point in putting in fancy plugs for that use.

Same for my wife's Caravan, the basic OEM spec Champion Platinum plugs were cheap and I didn't change the first set until about 80k. Wishing I had at least pulled them because I had the same experience, felt like I was going to strip the head or break the plug getting the first set out.:str:

My Infiniti Coupe however I spend a lot on the plugs, partly because the are a PITA to change, and partly because that motor really takes some precise EM to pull 300 hp out of 3.5 liter V6. With 4 cams, 24 valves and VVTL, I'm more careful about going outside the OEM spec. Doesn't mean I like spending $90 for 6 plugs and they still only lasted 50-60k miles, not 100k miles.

30k? I don't know where that comes from, absurd. I don't dispute it may be recommended I just don't see why.:4-dontknow:

Phrede 11-01-2009 09:30 PM

The 30,000 mile interval for plugs comes from the owners manual. I plan on doing it just 'cuz. It does give one a good look at other things going on. Does MDS cause plugs to look different? I too use never-seez on plugs. To do things right I should just replace them and then check them in about 5k mile to see how the look according to my driving. However, i have a long list of mods planned that will effect things. Waiting until after the mods are done makes the most sense. I started the thread to see if people were actually wearing out plugs at 30k interval. It appears not.

The manual did not make any comment about with or without tow package with the oil capacity. I guess the cooler and lines do not make that much of a difference.

Thanks for all the comments. Part of getting a new truck is learning about it. Sure wish I could get a service manual on CD.

Zekery360 11-01-2009 09:48 PM

I ALWAYS use some anti-seize on spark plugs. Makes the next guy to do it much happier! 30,000 seems soon to me, but I would take them out and see if they are still in good shape. Sometimes I hate aluminum heads though, just for the plug changing scare every time I break one loose. But at 107,000 on my 5.9 V8, the plugs just popped right out with no arguments! But, like most are saying, I would take them out, inspect them, and replace as you see fit, just use anti-seize to save a MASSIVE headache and scare later.

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