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#2338196 - 08/05/11 11:41 AM What to do with used spark plugs?
rationull Offline


Registered: 04/28/07
Posts: 2789
Loc: California, USA
I recently replaced some spark plugs that probably had plenty of life left in them, and am now racked with guilt about wasting these precision manufactured devices coated with rare, precious iridium. OK, I might be exaggerating a bit but I'm still wondering what I'm supposed to do with them and throwing them away seems like a waste. I can think of three options:

- Put them back in the car and save the new ones for another 20-30k miles (if I even still have this car by then).
- Put them in a box in the garage with a bunch of other old stuff I don't need.
- Recycle them?


I don't think I've ever heard of taking spark plugs somewhere to recycle them but it seems logical that we'd want to do that given new plugs have electrodes made of platinum and iridium.

What do you all do w/ used plugs?

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#2338208 - 08/05/11 11:55 AM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
John_K Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 2625
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
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#2338219 - 08/05/11 12:02 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: John_K]
Malo83 Offline


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1810
Loc: Cali
Deep six them crackmeup

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#2338229 - 08/05/11 12:11 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 14505
Loc: Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: rationull
- Put them in a box in the garage with a bunch of other old stuff I don't need.


This is what I would have done five years ago. I'm much less of a pack rat these days. I used to look with satisfaction at all of the automotive parts in my garage, like I was Advance Auto or something. Now I look with satisfaction at a clean garage, free of stuff I know I'll never use anyway. <G>

Originally Posted By: rationull
- Recycle them?


This would be the best solution if it's available to you. I don't think you'd want to put them into a scrap metal bin, though the amount of ceramic on the plugs is likely negligible. The amount of precious metal on a plug is likely not enough to make reclamation financially viable.

Originally Posted By: rationull
What do you all do w/ used plugs?


Short of recycling them as scrap metal, I think trashing them is really your only choice (unless you want to get visited by American Pickers one day).

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#2338235 - 08/05/11 12:17 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: CA
The hoodies do this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCu278LMtJ0

then take whatever's inside.

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#2338237 - 08/05/11 12:21 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
Oregoonian Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 2747
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Originally Posted By: rationull
- Put them in a box in the garage with a bunch of other old stuff I don't need.

This is how 'hoarding' gets started.....

As suggested before.....deep six them.

What do you all do w/ used plugs?

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#2338254 - 08/05/11 12:42 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
Spazdog Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 5941
Loc: Arlington
Originally Posted By: rationull

- Put them in a box in the garage with a bunch of other old stuff I don't need.


Step 1: Place them in the box the new plugs came in and put them on the shelf in the garage
Step 2: See them on the shelf a month later. Think to yourself, "Why in the [heck] did I keep those?" Throw them away.
Step 3: Read post on Champion Spark Plugs. Think to yourself, "Hey! I've got a perfect example of how much gap erosion occurs on Champions in a high-boost turbo Chrysler engine in a short amount of time in comparison to Motorcraft plugs in an MZI/Duratec30." Realize that you threw those away a long time ago.
Step 4: Repeat as necessary
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#2338261 - 08/05/11 12:49 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
ahoier Offline


Registered: 02/03/10
Posts: 1724
Loc: Cocoa, FL
I have a feeling your only option would be to throw them away....or put them into a burn barrel/fire pit if you're into that, and just let the heat process them wink

As a kid, living up north, we'd have all sorts of fun throwing random [censored] into the fire pit...lol. From glass beer bottles, to aluminum cans.....the glass ususally didn't burn too well, but one time, we somehow got the pit super hot, and the glass started melting smile



This falls in line with old Bic/Gillette Razors.....nothing left for them after they are spent, but to throw them away frown

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#2338314 - 08/05/11 01:54 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 13766
Loc: Silicon Valley
That's why I reuse them after gaping them, or just keep using them till it is worn out.
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#2338315 - 08/05/11 01:54 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 8752
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
I recycle mine. smile
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#2338339 - 08/05/11 02:20 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
meep Offline


Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 3341
Loc: Southeast
save 2 for the lawn mower
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#2338369 - 08/05/11 03:00 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 7180
Loc: CT
Just do what my grandfather did:
Run them until you get a misfire, than clean and re gap them. If the misfire is still present replace just that plug.

He grew up during the depression, nothing was wasted.


Edited by hattaresguy (08/05/11 03:00 PM)

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#2338381 - 08/05/11 03:12 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
rainman49 Offline


Registered: 11/04/03
Posts: 435
Loc: Alabama
Fishing weights! See it all the time. Makes the eco-crazies happy because there's no lead.


Edited by rainman49 (08/05/11 03:13 PM)
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#2338476 - 08/05/11 04:54 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
morris Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 3681
Loc: ks, wichita
i used to cut them open to if the seal held up.

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#2338529 - 08/05/11 05:46 PM Re: What to do with used spark plugs? [Re: rationull]
Patman Offline



Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 19719
Loc: Oakville, Ontario
I think most of us are changing our plugs far too often, there is a guy on the 8th gen Civic forum who has almost 600,000 miles on the same set of NGK Laser Iridium plugs!!!

http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/mechanica...-strong-57.html
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