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Maintenance and Upkeep Discussion HHR maintenance tips ranging from oil change intervals to brake pads and everything in between.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:45 AM   #1
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Question Spark Plug GAPPING

I recently replaced the plugs on an '06 2.4 with the factory AC DELCO 41103's and they came out of the box at 0.041" gap.

As per the service manual they should be at 0.042" gap.

I know your not suppose to (EXTEND) the gap with a "coin style" gapper but I used it to (LIGHTLY) check the gap of the plugs. I DIDN'T jam it into the gap to check them.

I then used a needle nose to extend the gaps to 0.042" and again LIGHTLY check the gap.



QUESTION: Would lightly checking the gap with a coin gauge hurt the iridium tip in any way? I can't stress enough that I did it so lightly.



Fiance claims the car feels a little more sluggish when accelerating onto the freeway.

The old plugs looked OK "burn" wise but the gaps were all over the board...most being 0.045 and the 4th cyl. being 0.048!! All the iridium tips were well worn down.

The air filter needs to be changed, and I was going to spray off the MAF with some MAF cleaner.



ONE thing I didn't do was unplug the battery when changing them out so i'm thinking maybe the computer didn't calibrate to it actually running better and it was still compensating timing for the old plugs. ALTHOUGH its been 2 weeks since install.


Thanks for the input

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Old 04-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #2
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I don't think a light touch adjustment as you discibe would chip off the Iridium , if you changed all the plugs and air filter 2 weeks ago the computor should have recalibarated by now but , disconnect the battery for 1/2 hour or so to see if the resolves the sluggish running
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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If you did it gently, that small tweak shouldn't have damaged the plugs. After having the battery disconnected, the vehicle has to relearn your driving style, and they can feel a bit "off" for a couple hundred miles. I'll occasionally disconnect the battery on rental HHR's just so that they can "learn" my driving style and react like my personal ones, on a 1,600 to 2,000 mile drive, its no fun having a vehicle that feels brain dead when you want some power like "right now".
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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You should never really try to gap iridium spark plugs. The center electrode is very thin and very easily damaged. .041 to .042 gap is nothing to worry about, the ignition systems on modern cars are way more powerful then old systems where gap was more critical. And if you look at your old plugs, the gap is probably much bigger and the car still ran fine. In the future, don't gap iridium plugs. You are probably okay with the current plugs, if your acceleration problems continue you may want to look at the plugs more carefully again and make sure you did not damage any of them.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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I agree that this should not cause any problems. You should not need to disconnect the battery and reset the computer. It will figure out things and make adjustments on its own. As far as sluggishness, I learned many moons ago not to take what my wife says about "noises" and such verbatim. Drive it yourself and see what you think.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
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I only checked the gap with the coin, I didn't adjust the gap with it. I used a needle nose to adjust it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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FWIW. Next time you change plugs in ,if the pre-set on the new plugs is that close,let it be. For all you know,you're gauge could be off that
.001 inches.
That small of a difference won't matter unless your working with a very hi-pro or exotic engine that is sensitive to very small changes.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemangeorge View Post
FWIW. Next time you change plugs in ,if the pre-set on the new plugs is that close,let it be. For all you know,you're gauge could be off that
.001 inches.
That small of a difference won't matter unless your working with a very hi-pro or exotic engine that is sensitive to very small changes.



Odds are, you damaged the plug if it's not running right.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solman98 View Post


Odds are, you damaged the plug if it's not running right.
She said its running better now that the tanks full.

Anybody run funny under a HALF tank?

My cobalt kinda runs funny under a half.



THAT or there changing the blend of gas from winter to summer.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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If you filled it up for her, then of course it's running better!
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:25 PM
 
 
 
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