When to replace spark plugs? (2013 base 1.6L auto)

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Thread: When to replace spark plugs? (2013 base 1.6L auto)

  1. #1
    Intermediate Soul
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    When to replace spark plugs? (2013 base 1.6L auto)

    I'll be approaching 30k miles soon, and I've read on various forums to replace the cheap-o copper spark plugs that are used in the base 1.6L Soul. Not sure if that's true or not, I searched the manual online and couldn't find anything regarding spark plugs, only to replace them more frequently if driving under severe conditions.

    The reason I ask is because my engine has been feeling underpowered and has been making a little more noise. Might just be me, or the changes in the weather.

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    Elder Soul dmwagner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewerzinator View Post
    I'll be approaching 30k miles soon, and I've read on various forums to replace the cheap-o copper spark plugs that are used in the base 1.6L Soul. Not sure if that's true or not, I searched the manual online and couldn't find anything regarding spark plugs, only to replace them more frequently if driving under severe conditions.

    The reason I ask is because my engine has been feeling underpowered and has been making a little more noise. Might just be me, or the changes in the weather.
    Pretty sure it's spelled out on the manual at like 105,000 or something. They are not "cheap-o copper" copper spark plugs, but instead NGK iridium coated plugs.

  4. #3
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    The maintenance schedule I have for the 2012 Soul specifies a 30,000-mile / 24-month replacement interval for the plugs on the 1.6. I don't know whether it's the same for the 2013. I currently have NGK Iridium plugs installed, but I bought the car off-lease, so they could have been replaced already.

    The 30K interval seems a bit odd to me. If the schedule was written assuming copper plugs, then 30,000 miles actually seems a bit on the long side. With regard to cars in general (not Soul-specific), I don't think I've ever gotten more than 18,000 miles out of copper plugs before the cars started suffering performance and MPG loss, so I generally just replaced them annually on a DD and biennially on a rat or a spare vehicle. They're certainly cheap enough.

    If the schedule assumed iridium, then 30K is extremely short. Iridium-coated plugs in a well-maintained engine can easily last 100,000 miles or more. Considering how easy it is to check the plugs in a Soul, I would have specified 30,000 mile inspections and a 90,000 mile replacement for iridium if I were writing the specs, just because most owners tend to "stretch out" maintenance. They really should last about 100,000 miles.

    If you're experiencing performance and/or MPG loss, then you need to look at other possible causes as well as pull the plugs and inspect them. It's not hard to do on a 1.6. Just make sure you have a torque wrench and are careful not to contaminate the cylinder or cross-thread the plugs when reinstalling them. If they're copper, then change them (using copper or Iridium -- your choice). If they're iridium, then it may be a warranty consideration if the 2013 specs call for replacement; but otherwise I'd only replace them if actually needed.

    As for copper plugs in general, I wouldn't go dissing them. They were my plugs of choice until iridium plugs became available. Copper is a much better conductor than platinum, and I've never owned a car that didn't run better and get much better MPG (as in 5 to 10 percent better) using cheap copper plugs than expensive platinum-coated ones. The trade-off, of course, was lifespan; so if a car's plugs were a royal pain in the ass to get to, then I'd go with platinum. Otherwise, I always went with copper.

    Now that we have iridium, however, I can't think of a good reason to use copper in most engines unless you're either really broke, or you're a fanatic hypermiler and want to squeeze out whatever MPG advantage copper might theoretically offer over iridium-coated.

    I say "theoretically" because copper is also a better conductor than iridium; so theoretically, all-copper plugs might have an advantage over iridium-coated ones. In the real world, however, I've never achieved measurably better MPG in any car using all-copper as opposed to iridium-coated plugs. Even my old Saturns, whose waste-spark ignition systems vomited on platinum and expressed their displeasure in MPG losses in the 3 - 5 MPG range, liked iridium just fine.

    I suspect the reason why all-copper plugs provide no advantage over iridium is because even if copper's better conductivity produces a slightly "better" or "hotter" spark than iridium, that doesn't necessarily mean that they provide better combustion. There's a threshold above which a hotter spark won't improve combustion efficiency. Iridium plugs seems to perform at or above that threshold. Platinum plugs, in my experience, have not.

    Rich
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails When to replace spark plugs? (2013 base 1.6L auto)-2012-ss.jpg  
    Last edited by GeekOnTheHill; 02-10-2016 at 11:01 AM. Reason: added screenshot of maint schedule

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    Elder Soul conwelpic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeekOnTheHill View Post
    The maintenance schedule I have for the 2012 Soul specifies a 30,000-mile / 24-month replacement interval for the plugs on the 1.6. I don't know whether it's the same for the 2013. I currently have NGK Iridium plugs installed, but I bought the car off-lease, so they could have been replaced already.

    The 30K interval seems a bit odd to me. If the schedule was written assuming copper plugs, then 30,000 miles actually seems a bit on the long side. With regard to cars in general (not Soul-specific), I don't think I've ever gotten more than 18,000 miles out of copper plugs before the cars started suffering performance and MPG loss, so I generally just replaced them annually on a DD and biennially on a rat or a spare vehicle. They're certainly cheap enough.

    If the schedule assumed iridium, then 30K is extremely short. Iridium-coated plugs in a well-maintained engine can easily last 100,000 miles or more. Considering how easy it is to check the plugs in a Soul, I would have specified 30,000 mile inspections and a 90,000 mile replacement for iridium if I were writing the specs, just because most owners tend to "stretch out" maintenance. They really should last about 100,000 miles.
    that schedule your using is not the official 2012 Soul maintenance, you should compare that to the one that is in the owners manual. In the owners manual under normal maintenance there is no mention of replacing the spark plugs (which are iridium coated) till 105,000 miles or 84 months. The only deviation from this is if your conditions fall under the severe usage then it just says to replace "more frequently" but no time or mileage is given.
    GeoSoul likes this.
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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by conwelpic View Post
    that schedule your using is not the official 2012 Soul maintenance, you should compare that to the one that is in the owners manual. In the owners manual under normal maintenance there is no mention of replacing the spark plugs (which are iridium coated) till 105,000 miles or 84 months. The only deviation from this is if your conditions fall under the severe usage then it just says to replace "more frequently" but no time or mileage is given.
    You may be right about it not being "official." I scanned it from a handout I picked up at a dealership (not the one I ultimately bought the car from) that I didn't have that good a feeling about. It has a Kia logo on it, but anyone can do that. Possibly the dealership "enhanced" things a bit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails When to replace spark plugs? (2013 base 1.6L auto)-2012-ss-top.jpg  

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    Elder Soul The Sradiator's Avatar
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    In the end...let the F.G.F. (Feel Good Factor) be your guide.
    If a new set of plugs, easy to purchase, easy to replace, will make you feel better about the performance of your car, go for it.
    While probably not necessary, some things just make us feel good when we do them regardless if they are necessary or not.
    Twinkies, shoe shopping and my own oil changes come to mind...
    wile_e likes this.
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    Elder Soul TechnoMage's Avatar
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    I have basically the same car as the OP, and at 43,000 miles and four years, my engine is just as strong as the day I bought her....if not better.

    NGK plugs are certainly NOT el'cheapo by any stretch of the imagination.

    One thing that won't cost you a dime, just a little time, is to pull a plug or two and see how they look.
    Caution! Do not touch or try to re-gap the business end of the plug. They CAN be damaged and are expensive to replace.

    When I had my Suzuki Grand Vitara, I bought new plugs for it at 100,000 miles, and when I changed them, I found that the old plugs were in as good condition as the new ones. Had I not already bought the new plugs, I could have put the old ones back in and drove the car for another 50k or more.

    Spark plugs today, are a world apart from the old plugs we used to put in our Detroit Iron.
    I've had cars in the past that could eat a set of plugs in 15k to 20k miles.
    But in those days, you could buy plugs for $.95 each.

    Here's a little basic information about the NGK Iridium plug. This info is not specific to the Kia Soul.
    PLUG STUDIO / NGK

    I looked up several brands of plugs that fit the Kia Soul, and they can run up as high as $15 each.
    I think I'd rather just look at my plugs to see how they're doing, before I even think about spending $60 for a new set of plugs.

    Like I said before.... at 43K miles I have no indication that my plugs might need changing. My Gertrude still runs like a scalded cat!!!

    Cheers Mates!
    TechnoMage
    Last edited by TechnoMage; 02-10-2016 at 10:15 PM.
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  10. #8
    Elder Soul dmwagner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeekOnTheHill View Post
    You may be right about it not being "official." I scanned it from a handout I picked up at a dealership (not the one I ultimately bought the car from) that I didn't have that good a feeling about. It has a Kia logo on it, but anyone can do that. Possibly the dealership "enhanced" things a bit.
    I have a copy of that same schedule, I got mine from the website my dealership hooked me up that tracked my maintenance on my car. It was some 3rd party company hosted the site and branded it according to the car you have. It's junk, simply designed to get you to go to your dealership and spend more money on maintenance that what is actually required.

    The thing that caught my attention and made me question that schedule was the transmission service interval.

    Back to the spark plugs....

  11. #9
    Elder Soul TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Point of order:

    Isn't the "Manual Transaxle" in reference to a MANUAL Transmission? And not an Automatic Transmission?

    And that relates to "When to change Spark Plugs", HOW?

    Just curious,

    PS: Got snow in SD?
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  12. #10
    Senior Soul SOUTH SOUL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoMage View Post
    I have basically the same car as the OP, and at 43,000 miles and four years, my engine is just as strong as the day I bought her....if not better.

    NGK plugs are certainly NOT el'cheapo by any stretch of the imagination.

    One thing that won't cost you a dime, just a little time, is to pull a plug or two and see how they look.
    Caution! Do not touch or try to re-gap the business end of the plug. They CAN be damaged and are expensive to replace.

    When I had my Suzuki Grand Vitara, I bought new plugs for it at 100,000 miles, and when I changed them, I found that the old plugs were in as good condition as the new ones. Had I not already bought the new plugs, I could have put the old ones back in and drove the car for another 50k or more.

    Spark plugs today, are a world apart from the old plugs we used to put in our Detroit Iron.
    I've had cars in the past that could eat a set of plugs in 15k to 20k miles.
    But in those days, you could buy plugs for $.95 each.

    Here's a little basic information about the NGK Iridium plug. This info is not specific to the Kia Soul.
    PLUG STUDIO / NGK

    I looked up several brands of plugs that fit the Kia Soul, and they can run up as high as $15 each.
    I think I'd rather just look at my plugs to see how they're doing, before I even think about spending $60 for a new set of plugs.

    Like I said before.... at 43K miles I have no indication that my plugs might need changing. My Gertrude still runs like a scalded cat!!!

    Cheers Mates!
    TechnoMage
    I am with you on your comments about plugs.

    Think the feeling is still around about changing plugs(and points...)
    almost when you do an oil change.

    For the most part,today's engines have plugs that are good for 100k miles or more.
    For sure,they cost more. But,there is little fouling and regapping.
    Hey,most of today's driver/owners don't have the knowledge to change a set of plugs much
    less know how to gap one.
    Am I right?
    I've found the only need to change plugs "before their time" is if you modify the engine
    with go fast stuff. I did this on another car I have. Installing a plug that is one step colder
    is part of the recipe to make the other parts that emptied your wallet work to maximum
    efficiency.
    TechnoMage likes this.

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