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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fellas, as you can see it's my first post. I just bought an 02 GTI yesterday and it needs some attention. I have several misfire codes, among other things, and part of the prescription from the guys at a local VW garage is to buy replacement plugs for $15 each...the NGK Laser Platinum Premium, #PFR6Q. My Hayne's manual specifies "NGK PFR6Q or similar" as replacements. Trouble is, I'm on a budget and it's hard for me to believe I need to pay $60 for new plugs when the auto parts store sells them for a range of prices from $2-10 each, including platinum (I think Denso platinums were $10 each). In fact the store told me that "iridium" lasts even longer than platinum.

I'm not planning to do any big upgrades, I just want the car to run well and for the plugs to last for a reasonable length of time. Does anyone have experience with using other brands and price points with spark plugs? Or is it just understood by everyone that you have to have the super-expensive NGK model? ???

Just now checking ebay, I'm seeing sets of 4 of the NGKs for about $11 each. Still, I hope someone can tell me for sure that it's worth the money for a stock GTI. Thanks!
 

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I would stick to the NGKs or BOSCH plugs and nothing else.

What my father always recomended was to stick with the exact same plug. It has a certain firing pattern, and the engine is used to it. I never believed him, but he's been a mechanic longer than i've been alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. Before I read your post, I talked with a friend at work that used to build racing Porsches. His opinion was that even the cheap plugs make a good enough spark that it shouldn't matter performance-wise, they just wouldn't last as long, and that I should only make sure to get the same temperature plug. I returned the NGKs and bought some cheaper Autolites, still "double-platinum" but $40 less, and installed them this morning. The car seems to run fine, but I have a check engine light on now, so either I set the gaps incorrectly or I should have followed your dad's advice. Time to get out the scanner and see what's up.

Just a little venting: why does the Haynes manual give you a maximum gap but not a minimum? :mad: The old plugs I removed had gaps between 25 and 30 1/000's, so I just set my gaps according to that. (BTW, they seemed to be in fine condition so I think they probably weren't responsible for the misfire codes, but since I was in there I might as well replace them)
 

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any kind of platinum plug comes pre gapped. You should never have to gap modern spark plugs. You will damage the coating.

And you coul dnot have picked a cheaper more unreliable plug than an autolite.

The check light might be because it needs to see a certain resistance from the plug...and the autolites do not hae it. Sure...they might fit in there properly...but thats just mechanical. There's more to a spark plug than the length and typle of threads
 
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