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      11-16-2018, 06:12 PM   #1
blackberryq10android
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When to change spark plugs

Hi all,

So I thought in a previous thread I wrote about (4K average rpm) that the smell I had was with the engine not being properly heated up or something. However it is due to a bad coil (found out this morning) when my car went into engine service soon limp mode with the engine rattling (this is a symptom of a bad coil this happened to me a year ago)

I am changing all of my coils (car is at 30k miles) at a local trusted guy . I had one coil go bad about a year ago and bmw replaced the one spark plug as well coil for that cylinder.

When is the recommended interval to replace spark plugs? The local guy adviced against it because only the coils were recalled.

Thanks.
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      11-16-2018, 06:40 PM   #2
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BMW says for a 128i that the spark plugs should last 100K miles.
For a 135i they say 45K miles.
For a 1M they say 30K miles.

I think that most people should change their spark plugs at ~30K or so. Basically if your car is tuned... change the plugs.

The problem with long life spark plugs is, sure they might last 100K miles(in a NA motor) but who wants to risk removing those seized out plugs at that mileage.

IF your into performance driving, you like a snappy throttle response... and power... change your spark plugs more frequently. Just like engine oil. BMW wants you to buy a new car every few years just like a cell phone. I prefer to hold onto my cars longer than two years.

Dackel
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      11-16-2018, 07:19 PM   #3
blackberryq10android
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Thanks for the detailed response. Do people here think that are throttle lag has to do anything with spark plugs? My basic research online is showing that lack of acceleration when hitting the gas pedal maybe a sign of a faulty spark plug.

What do you all think? I never got a code for a spark plug, am I over worried about this? Like the previous posted menionted they are recommended for 100k miles. I only have 30k miles on my 09 128i vert
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      11-16-2018, 08:23 PM   #4
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For the most part, my rule of thumb is to cut in half any current BMW recommended service interval. I do the plugs on my 128i every 50k. FWIW, driving harder will keep them cleaner.
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      12-10-2018, 09:54 AM   #5
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60K miles. Changed spark plugs. No real challenge, just took time to remove the cabin air filter assembly below the windshield. Need to do this to expose the rear 2 cylinders. Videos on line showed how to use a screwdriver to pry up on the coil and they popped out. Did not have to remove the strut brace/bar. Also shows how to remove the wire looms and cabin air filter assembly. Had no codes, but had a misfire/hesitation when trying to accelerate at about 2k RPM in 6th gear at about 70mph. Old plugs had noticeable wear on the center electrode. Gap was .050-.055 while new plugs were .040. Hesitation seems to be gone now. Plugs are recommended at 60k miles, but seeing the wear, and if it is linear at about .002 every 10k miles, I think they should be replaced every 40k miles. I'll try that interval next time or when/if the hesitation comes back. NGK plugs, with bright plating on the threads that is supposed to have lubricity so they recommend no anti-seize. Finger tight, then 90 degrees, easy. From FCP Euro, NGK 95712 at $65 for 6.

Had a teaspoon of oil in the last cylinder next to the firewall. Valve cover gasket? Mopped it up before putting in the new plug. Front valve cover bolts did not move with reasonable effort, back ones did move a few degrees tighter. Bolt heads needed a torx socket. Glad I bought a torx socket set, a cheapie set at Autozone for $20. Looks like many other bolts in the engine bay have positive torx heads that require a socket.

(N52 in a 2013 128i)

Last edited by 1 Bimmer; 12-12-2018 at 11:18 AM.
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      12-10-2018, 09:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
BMW says for a 128i that the spark plugs should last 100K miles.
For a 135i they say 45K miles.
For a 1M they say 30K miles.

I think that most people should change their spark plugs at ~30K or so. Basically if your car is tuned... change the plugs.

The problem with long life spark plugs is, sure they might last 100K miles(in a NA motor) but who wants to risk removing those seized out plugs at that mileage.

IF your into performance driving, you like a snappy throttle response... and power... change your spark plugs more frequently. Just like engine oil. BMW wants you to buy a new car every few years just like a cell phone. I prefer to hold onto my cars longer than two years.

Dackel
I believe it's actually 60k for a stock N55 & 45k for an N54. If PPK or other tune shorten that to 45 & 30k
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      12-11-2018, 01:09 PM   #7
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Change them more frequently than what BMW recommends, for sure. I don't have enough experience to call a specific mileage, but 02Pilot is probably on the mark for the 128i at 50k miles between changes.

I just changed mine (no idea what mileage was on them, but the gap was roughly 1.5x the size of the new plugs, my dad was thinking that they were never changed at 182k miles) and the car drives SO much better. I'm blown away by how it is performing now. It pulls harder than ever, all the way to redline like an N/A motor should, it does so in the smoothest way I've ever felt, and the throttle response is way better.

Change your plugs.
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      12-11-2018, 01:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangplank View Post
I believe it's actually 60k for a stock N55 & 45k for an N54. If PPK or other tune shorten that to 45 & 30k
Nope.

BMW NA(in the USA) recommends a 45K miles spark plug change for all 135i's(n54 and n55). Or at the third oil change(back when BMW was doing oil changes every 15K miles, now they say every 10K - but I would say change your oil every 5K!).

For 1M's(n54T) BMW NA says to change spark plugs at 35K miles.

For the 128i(N52 & N51) BMW NA says every 100K. But I feel that is WAY too long.

One reason why you don't want to wait too long to change your plugs... is bc they will freeze or seize in place. And IF that happens... you will probably need to pull the cylinder head to repair that!


Here is what BMW AG says for 135i's with the PPK installed...
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My old plugs(N54) at 30K miles...
Name:  spark plugs mine N54.jpg
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Name:  spark plugs.png
Views: 275
Size:  1.43 MB
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      12-11-2018, 09:42 PM   #9
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Interesting. The US sticker that is put on with the n55 PPK says 45,000 miles. (Photo compliments of @zx10guy from a spark plug thread.

Seems strange it would be no change with a tune?
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      12-13-2018, 12:35 AM   #10
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At 48,000 miles my plugs were very difficult to remove. It felt like something that had been torqued to 40 or 50 ft-lbs. Also, the gap had grown to nearly 0.060" !!
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      01-02-2019, 11:16 AM   #11
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My gap was noticably bigger at about 70K miles when I changed them but the car ran fine. My originals and replacements were NGKs which are supposed to have an anti-seeze material in the threads. The old ones came out fine. I had no oil in the cavity surrounding them.
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      01-04-2019, 11:35 AM   #12
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My N52 had 68k miles when I changed them and the electrodes had noticeable degradation. No way should they go 60k miles! Even on the N52, I would change them probably every 30k miles. Why not? It's relatively cheap and easy.
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      01-04-2019, 12:59 PM   #13
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I do mine 1x a year minimum . So roughly every 20k miles . This is with more boost and e85. I don’t get wait to get misfires or issues though.
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      01-28-2019, 12:48 PM   #14
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Good information on this post.

The dealer replace one coil (#4) due that I had a insurance claim and due to the accident the light came on and the cylinder was misfiring.

I have few questions:
The dealer says that soon I had to replace the coils are they were getting weak.

The spark plugs and fuel injectors were replace two years ago. I paid for the spark plugs and the injector were done in warranty.

Now that I have no light, if I replace the coils and spark plugs, I should not get any SES light, correct?

Where did you buy the special socket for the spark plugs?

Which one is cylinder #4?

Thanks a bunch!
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      01-28-2019, 09:47 PM   #15
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Just Joined. Great info tho.
Just traded my 2010 128ica for a 2017 M240 Conv, so I won't be changing the plugs for a while.
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      01-28-2019, 10:05 PM   #16
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You guys changing plugs and coils at those Intervals, or just plugs?
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      01-29-2019, 12:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary_william View Post
You guys changing plugs and coils at those Intervals, or just plugs?
Just plugs for me. From what I've read fresher plugs prolongs coil life.
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      01-29-2019, 01:56 PM   #18
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I did all six coils and plugs at 90k, it was about ~$140 and took half an hour. Piece of cake.
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