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#4608383 - 12/19/17 03:00 PM How do these spark plugs look?
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2229
Loc: The Northeast
Finally got around to doing the plugs and leaking valve cover gaskets on my Infiniti. Here are a couple of the plugs. I presume they are the original ones. What does the white crust mean?

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#4608388 - 12/19/17 03:08 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
rollinpete Offline


Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 453
Loc: West Ma.
looks like running hot, burning oil?...
Then again if there originals that's a lot of miles...


Edited by rollinpete (12/19/17 03:11 PM)
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#4608394 - 12/19/17 03:10 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
JMJNet Offline


Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 934
Loc: TX, USA
The reason it is called "SPARK" plug is because it is sparking fire.
So, the white crust is the carbon ash created because it is essentially burning the tip.
Sort of like you light up a charcoal for bbq, the burnt surface shows white ashes.

Better replace it if you are working on it for something that cost very little in the grand scheme of a car maintenance.
Plus it will save you some gas.
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#4608403 - 12/19/17 03:19 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
hansj3 Offline


Registered: 10/08/14
Posts: 443
Loc: SSP mn
the white ash is par for the course. nothing to worry about. in my aoa the ash can be red in color.

as far as the life of the plug, the pad on the ground strap is still intact, and although the electrode is rounded over, dimensionally its still probably in spec.

id change them as a p.m. item, but I could easily see them racking up more miles

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#4608412 - 12/19/17 03:32 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: hansj3]
krismoriah72 Offline


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1518
Loc: wv
I just peeked at my mothers 2008 honda accord plugs at 50K miles, they looked brand new but were Denso Iridiums. No white ash, just a light discoloration.

I would say you got your moneys worth out of yours but they probably have some life left. If you plan on keeping it I would put another set in..

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#4608427 - 12/19/17 03:47 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
Silk Offline


Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 4560
Loc: New Zealand
It's burning oil.
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#4608443 - 12/19/17 04:02 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1345
Loc: toronto
Agreed. That looks like SAPS ash.

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#4608446 - 12/19/17 04:05 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: hansj3]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: hansj3
the white ash is par for the course. nothing to worry about. in my aoa the ash can be red in color.

as far as the life of the plug, the pad on the ground strap is still intact, and although the electrode is rounded over, dimensionally its still probably in spec.

id change them as a p.m. item, but I could easily see them racking up more miles


The red is from octane booster.

The ash on OP's plugs are from burning oil. Ash is not normal. Those plugs are WAY past due.


Edited by mightymousetech (12/19/17 04:05 PM)
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#4608450 - 12/19/17 04:12 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19805
Loc: CA
Those plugs are super duper worn out!
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#4608532 - 12/19/17 05:34 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: Silk]
bbhero Offline


Registered: 03/20/15
Posts: 4626
Loc: Virginia
Silk is spot on here. It is burning oil.
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#4608547 - 12/19/17 05:47 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
thastinger Offline


Registered: 10/23/17
Posts: 62
Loc: VA
Those things look sad. Whatever the mileage of this change, I would 3rd it.

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#4608637 - 12/19/17 07:07 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
rubberchicken Offline


Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Maryland USA
They have 130k miles on them- I think they are in the condition to be expected. Given the amount of miles, I would not pronounce an oil burning condition just based on the plugs.

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#4608648 - 12/19/17 07:15 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: rubberchicken]
bbhero Offline


Registered: 03/20/15
Posts: 4626
Loc: Virginia
Ahh yeah I would actually. Oil burning creates that type of ash around the used plug. It's obvious that it has been burning oil. I'd bet $20 against your $1 that the other Bank of spark plugs without the valve cover leak look rather good and without the white ash burned on to them.

I've seen others on here post pics of plugs with the same amount of miles with zero Ash burnt on the plugs. Those plugs were clean with zero deposits on them anywhere. In fact some of them looked good enough to run longer in addition to the 125k to 140k miles those plugs had already run.

Ohh and very good story you posted on that other thread about the car story. That was really crazy.


Edited by bbhero (12/19/17 07:19 PM)
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#4608652 - 12/19/17 07:17 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2229
Loc: The Northeast
OP here. Yes, I installed new OEM plugs. So the white crust indicates running hot/burning oil? Interesting. This doesn't surprise me since early VQ35 engines are known oil burners.
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#4608656 - 12/19/17 07:20 PM Re: How do these spark plugs look? [Re: mclasser]
bbhero Offline


Registered: 03/20/15
Posts: 4626
Loc: Virginia
Hey Mclasser we're both valve cover gaskets leaking oil?? Or just one side only??


Edited by bbhero (12/19/17 07:20 PM)
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