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Discussion Starter #1
Or something else?

At 100k miles I had my son's 2011 Versa Hatchback's plugs changed out. 20k later he's getting an occasional Service Engine Soon (P0301) indication. Had a local trusted mechanic do it for me last time but this time I figured I'd tackle this myself. Between the many posts I've read here and the YouTube vids... I was ready.

First thing I noticed was how much the electrode was worn out on all 4 plugs. Never seen so much wear in such a short amount of time. Those plugs were replaced in May of 2018, 20k miles ago.

I will admit my mechanic only changed out the plugs. Not his fault. That's what I asked him to do. Coil packs were reused as were the intake manifold and throttle body gaskets. I know better now regarding the gaskets.

This time I replaced everything. New Denso coil packs, the same plugs (bought quantity 8 last year from an eBay seller with excellent feedback) and new gaskets. I even cleaned the crude off the intake manifold and the throttle body (using 90% alcohol).

Put everything back together and the car runs fine. Have yet to take it for a test drive.

After doing this job I'll admit it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sure it's a PITA to have to remove so much crap to get at the plugs, but now that I've done it I won't feel so intimidated next time. And if I ever need to get to an injector, they're right there.

So, as for the previous occasional P0301 issue... thoughts?


Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
 

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As far as the plugs being fake, a lot of todays BRAND named parts are made all over the world. I also belong to a Mercedes diesel forum, and almost every Bosch branded part from glow plugs to injectors are made all over the world, with India and China taking the lead. As far as the P0301 code, below gives a pretty good explanation as to its cause along with some ways to pin it down. Good luck!!!



https://www.700r4transmissionhq.com/p0301-nissan-versa/
 

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Could well be fake. My Chinese motorcycle came new with a fake NGK plug. The resister inside disintegrated which let the center electrode move up into the porcelain which increased the gap to a point that it would stall at low RPM. Never had a problem with real NGK plugs.
 

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Reading the link that pimperell sent, is seems that the code P0301 could also be caused by the vacuum leak from re-used gaskets.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As far as the plugs being fake, a lot of todays BRAND named parts are made all over the world. I also belong to a Mercedes diesel forum, and almost every Bosch branded part from glow plugs to injectors are made all over the world, with India and China taking the lead. As far as the P0301 code, below gives a pretty good explanation as to its cause along with some ways to pin it down. Good luck!!!







https://www.700r4transmissionhq.com/p0301-nissan-versa/
Good info. Thanks for providing the link!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Could well be fake. My Chinese motorcycle came new with a fake NGK plug. The resister inside disintegrated which let the center electrode move up into the porcelain which increased the gap to a point that it would stall at low RPM. Never had a problem with real NGK plugs.
That pic of the used plugs I posted have only been in the car for around 9 months with less than 20k miles on them. That (HUGE) gap you see measures about 0.104 on all of them! One can almost think they're the original plugs with 120k miles on them, but they're not. Unfortunately, I put the remaining 4 plugs in from my eBay purchase last year. Hopefully I won't be replacing them in another 9 months
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Reading the link that pimperell sent, is seems that the code P0301 could also be caused by the vacuum leak from re-used gaskets.
I agree and am hopeful the issue has been addressed... except for my concern about the plugs
 

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Fake plugs? Unlikely although not impossible.

What I DO know is this............see the pic of the new plug above and the small iridium extension that comes on the WIRE electrode, or the one sticking way out in the air. Those super small tips are barely spot welded on and can be a crap job doing it. I've begun to closely inspect all plugs with tips like that, some are missing right out of the box and others can fall off in operation and then the gap opens up super wide. You also look for the tips missing when plugs get pulled out at inspection. The engine then begins to misfire OR if the coil is powerful enough and can fire even that wide a gap then it burns the plugs' other tip off due to being too hot. Coils auto increase voltage to jump gap and the more powerful the spark the more material vaporizes off the end the spark jumps away from, meaning the center one.

If you look at the used plugs there the wire tips likely came off, bad welds. Then the centers burned the tips off as those are not the 'tee' shaped weld on buttons like the other side, the center is often a bigger diameter with the end turned down to make the small tip, at least so far. I suppose they could weld a tip there as well to save more money, iridium is not cheap. Maybe they do but the weld there is better, I don't know. But you can see the bottom base of the tee on those so the entire tip did not come loose. Think of the wire end shape there as like a steel rivet like Bluto throws buckets of at Popeye in the cartoons.

As mentioned above name brand parts are made in so many places now you cannot grasp where they come from, the crap weld job on the tips can be the worker simply dropping amps on the welder to save the company money on power. Or sloppy machine holding of the tips to not locate or feed the tips precisely or even drop them to weld with no tip in place. Look at the parts out of the boxes, you'll see all kinds of errors there. The physical process of gap setting can have some of the tips come right off, BTDT. I've even found loose tips in the boxes.

Misfire codes are usually electrical related as the ECM can commonly see the error in voltage there and in more than one way, but sometimes they can be due to like a vacuum leak. Always treat ignition electrical issues first with that code.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
AMC, thanks for the very informative reply. If I'm at the mercy of a robot or underpaid human spot welding these tips on the grounds for iridium plugs, I may have no choice but to consider Autolite or Champion brand plugs then. In looking at the pics on RockAuto, they don't appear to have extra tips spot welded on the grounds for iridium plugs.

Seeing how all 4 of my used plugs appeared to wear evenly, I'm guessing I didn't have to drop $200 on new Denso coils via RockAuto. Oh well. The Versa had 120k miles on it. Maybe it was due. Peace of mind perhaps?

Haven't driven the car much in the last few days to see P0301 return. I'm hoping this is now a non-issue. I'll post a follow-up if so.

Thanks for the replies guys
 

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Autolite plugs likely have that tip as well, I used them on Fords and the ones that tips came off of.

The wire electrodes only have the tips when the plugs are intended for waste spark ignition systems as 2 of the 4 plugs (or 3 of 6 if a six cylinder) fire backwards on those. Like I said the major erosion occurs on the tip the spark is jumping AWAY from. Separate coils like Nissan have now do not need the welded on tip on the wire side at all, they fire in one direction only, from the center to the wire.

Platinum plugs use that doubled tip both ends too if they are 'double' platinum plugs, and why they are called that. Platinum plugs WILL wear faster than iridium and why iridium were designed, the first truly 100K plug under optimum circumstances. Or so you hope.
 
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