Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After nearly 3 years of owning the 156 I've yet to change the spark plugs. Purchased 8 Bosch plugs for a good price from a well-known discount car parts outlet. Having read a few things about changing plugs I found i didn't have the correct socket.

So I booked into a local garage, as my usual Alfa specialist is miles away and couldn't justify the travelling for just spark plugs. Anyhow there was good news and bad. Let's start with the negative:

BAD

One of the plugs is seized in (third pot from the left). He asked me what to do and I said "Leave it. Not worth risking snapping the plug..."

Also there's oil seeping into the leads on 3 cylinders, although not misfiring the garage guy said its seals need renewing. Not sure what he means but hope you guys and gals can help with this.

GOOD

He called me over after removing the plugs. Expecting the worse he said "look at those". To my surprise they looked great. A nice grey colour on all 7. TBH, I was expecting to see a sooty coating. But no, they almost looked like they've been cleaned. The garage guy said my 1.8 TS engine is in "fine fettle". No idea how old they are, but they are Champion plugs (blast from the past).

And the engine feels a little more peppy.

Is it worth trying to get my specialist to try and remove the stuck plug or leave it until I have the cam belt changed - much later this year?

Cheers, PP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,693 Posts
Probably should've gone to your specialist in the first place. I find some of these 'local' back lane guys, can cause more problems than they fix :paranoid:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Probably should've gone to your specialist in the first place. I find some of these 'local' back lane guys, can cause more problems than they fix :paranoid:
Shouldnt be too hard on non-specialist garages. I always go to autolusso but there are still some good general mechanics about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pendragonfalls

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,220 Posts
Changing plugs on a TS isn't that specialist, basically the same job as on most modern engines (other than having eight sparkplugs!).
A V6 is a bit more involved though, hence many people find that the rear three have never been changed...

Removing a stuck sparkplug can go badly wrong though, so the guy did the right thing by asking the customer.
As for the oil seeping in: cam cover gasket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,338 Posts
And as you've fitted Bosch, you'll need to replace them in about 20-30k again anyway. The CORRECT plugs are NGK Platinum which last around 60k miles.

Buy cheap, buy twice .. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all. I'm not going to lose sleep over the seized plug. When or if it starts misfiring I'll have to think about it. Firmly believe in 'if it isn't broke...'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,220 Posts
Thanks all. I'm not going to lose sleep over the seized plug. When or if it starts misfiring I'll have to think about it. Firmly believe in 'if it isn't broke...'
Was it a big plug or a little one?
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
46,340 Posts
Thanks all. I'm not going to lose sleep over the seized plug. When or if it starts misfiring I'll have to think about it. Firmly believe in 'if it isn't broke...'
The benefits of being a Twinspark, you've always got a backup sparkplug!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,220 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
And as you've fitted Bosch, you'll need to replace them in about 20-30k again anyway. The CORRECT plugs are NGK Platinum which last around 60k miles.

Buy cheap, buy twice .. :)
Well the Champion plugs were gawd knows how old they were. Not sure how this brand stacks up with NGK or Bosch, but the NGK were nearly three times the cost of the Bosch (based on the prices of the retailer I purchased the plugs from).

If the Bosch last 3 years I won't complain
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,711 Posts
Well the Champion plugs were gawd knows how old they were. Not sure how this brand stacks up with NGK or Bosch, but the NGK were nearly three times the cost of the Bosch (based on the prices of the retailer I purchased the plugs from).

If the Bosch last 3 years I won't complain
NGK Platinum is the official OE plug fitted to this engine.

If it is the small one, great care will be needed on removal. Being the smaller of the two per cylinder, these plugs can fracture, leaving the outer screw casing in the head. This happened to me and it is not a pleasant experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
NGK Platinum is the official OE plug fitted to this engine.

If it is the small one, great care will be needed on removal. Being the smaller of the two per cylinder, these plugs can fracture, leaving the outer screw casing in the head. This happened to me and it is not a pleasant experience.
I totally 'get' what you're saying. I appreciate that certain plugs are recommended, and perhaps you were just unlucky.

But I've had more cars, since 1981, than I care to mention. A lot of them recommended certain makes of plugs, and I've always avoided recommended varieties. I've never had a spark plug issue.

We need to balance out the discussion: I'm not planning on keeping my current car anymore than 18-24 months. So to spend nearly £100 on 8 plugs doesn't make financial logic.

I've owned two 156s since 2007 (no other car make of car), and generally had regular engine services - based on its service history - and I've always gone for the more budget option. Never had a sniff of a problem.

If the stuck plug becomes an issue I'll address the situation. Otherwise, I'll leave well alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
Your thinking is exactly the same as mine.......sometimes the cost of parts isn't worth it if you don't intend to keep it forever. Stuck working plugs are fine too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,220 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I have bad experience with champion plugs, at least on TS.

One of them snapped while i was trying to undo it. It wasn't stuck, it broke on the first attempt without using much force. Luckily, i was able to undo the thread using a screwdriver.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I have bad experience with champion plugs, at least on TS.

One of them snapped while i was trying to undo it. It wasn't stuck, it broke on the first attempt without using much force. Luckily, i was able to undo the thread using a screwdriver.
That looks poorly.

Slightly off track a little, but some people would probably think about selling their 156 because of plugs (cost, seized, accessibility...).

A couple of years ago, someone advertised they were breaking a 156. They only wanted £200 because various mechanical issues etc etc. I was planning on perhaps using it as a donor car. Anyway, on arrival, it looked spanking. The owner said the clutch was knackered, engine was on its way out etc etc.

I started the engine and it sounded beautiful. The only mechanical fault I could find was the clutch pedal was a little high - no leaks from the engine. I walked away disgusted that such a sound example was being sold for scrap.

The bodywork was very good. Obv it was covered dirt, dust and bird droppings. But once I rubbed random parts of the body it had a nice gloss to it.

The only non-mechanical issue was the brakes were seized on. The car hadn't been used for about 6 months.

Why do people sell their Alfas for a few superficial problems?

That gets right up my hooter.

My 2002 SW has genuine 84k miles on the clock. I know this is correct from the MOT certs - and I had a Data check done. Not perfect, my 14-year-old car pulls like a train, reliable, no rust and flies through the MOT every year.

At this stage, you can see why one seized plug doesn't bother me.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top