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Dealer cost to replace spark plugs $328?!


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24 replies to this topic

#1 MtnBikerChk

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:36 AM

THey quoted us $328 to change the spark plugs on our 04 outback wagon with 60K miles. Is this normal or gouging? I told them NO THANKS (until I can figure out what's going on).

They said because we have the v6 it takes 3 hours to GET to the plugs.

If that's true, it doesn't sound like something I can change myself :(

thanks.

#2 mikem

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 10:20 AM

Wow! I guess it depends on how much value you put on your time as to whether it is expensive or not. I figure if they can get to the plug then I can get to the plug. Special tools may be another matter if they are required, i don't know if they are for the flat sixes. I've got an 06 3.0R in the garage and now I am curious if I can even see the plugs. Do they need changing at 60K? Someone here will certainly know.
Oh well, I've got another 52k before I get to 60.

#3 friendly_jacek

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 10:48 AM

Interesting.
If this is confirmed, this would be one more reason to stay away from the 3.0.
On the other hand, you save on the timing belt change fee.

#4 Subarian

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 11:02 AM

I'd stay away from any dealer who thinks a Subaru has a V6.

#5 MtnBikerChk

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 12:37 PM

I'd stay away from any dealer who thinks a Subaru has a V6.


well they said 6 cyl - not v6, that was me and I've been corrected.
but thanks so much for your help. :rolleyes:

#6 a97obw

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 01:18 PM

WOW! I'm in the wrong business!

The Phase 1 2.5 4 cam 4 cylinder engines specify NGK "Laser platinum" plugs with a specified replacement interval of 100k miles. Have you checked your owners manual for the specs?

#7 The Dude

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 01:31 PM

The 60,000 mile replacement may tell you something. On the 2.5L DOHC Phase I engine Subaru specified 60K miles for spark plug replacement beause the plugs were so hard to get to. When the 2.5L SOHC Phase II came out the spark plug replacement interval was reduced to 30K miles. I bet the 3.0L is a real bear to work on.

#8 a97obw

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 01:36 PM

Dude, 60k on the Phase 1 2.5? I might stand corrected!

#9 The Dude

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 02:42 PM

Dude, 60k on the Phase 1 2.5? I might stand corrected!



Yeah, I remember the whole thing. I had a 99 Forester, the first year for the 2.5L SOHC. The Owner's Manual specified a 60K mile spark plug interval. That was later revised to 30K miles by SOA. The 2.5L DOHC had platinum plugs installed. But the 2.5L SOHC had plain old Champions installed. By the time SOA made the revision I already had 60K miles on the Champions. They were a little worn, but they looked pretty good.

#10 PAezb

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 02:46 PM

Dude, 60k on the Phase 1 2.5? I might stand corrected!



60K is pretty standard with Platinum Plugs. Copper is typically 30K.

Iridiums are 120K, and the newer Subaru's, especially the newer generation
turbos are going to be very costly to replace spark plugs if done by the dealer.

#11 The Dude

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 02:49 PM

Dude, 60k on the Phase 1 2.5? I might stand corrected!


And another thing with super long spark plug replacement intervals. If you have a brain your head you loosen and tighten all the plugs at least one or twice during the replacement interval. Otherwise, they "become one" with cylinder head. It's almost as much work to loosen and tighten as it is to replace. Super long intervals don't impress me. Does GM still have 100,000 mile spark plug replacement intervals on some of their models?

#12 Slegacy96

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:09 PM

Just paid $220 for platinums but its the EJ25 though. The previous owner put in Bosch non platinums. A no no. Nice power boost now :brow:

#13 daehttub2000

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:26 PM

Wow. You should call the Car Talk guys on NPR about that one! They'd get a good laugh out of it.

Stay away from dealer service if you can. I found a good independent shop that saves me a ton. Word of mouth helps. One of the WRX racing gearheads gave me the contact.

I don't know about the H6 but I do my own plugs & wires. It's fairly easy. However, I remember one plug on my 2.2L Legacy that was a B____ to get off. The first three were a snap but I didn't have enough room to yank off the spark plug wire. I had to jury rig a rube goldberg pulling device. I would imagine that an H6 makes the space problem worse...

#14 PAezb

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:28 PM

60K is pretty standard with Platinum Plugs. Copper is typically 30K.

Iridiums are 120K, and the newer Subaru's, especially the newer generation
turbos are going to be very costly to replace spark plugs if done by the dealer.


Actually, I need a comfirmation on this by the senior/experts on this forum.


I make an assumption that the spark plug replacement on the new turbo and 3.0R engines is going to be a bigger pain and more costly due to the fact that this engine is using a "direct-ignition" system. My understanding of the term "direct-ignition" is that each spark plug has it's own coil sitting on top of it.

1) Is this configuration true on the XT/Turbo 2.5 AND 3.0R engines? (I don't think the newer normal aspirated 2.5's use direct ignition *yet*, do they? The 2005 brouchure simply says they have a distributorless ignition system)

2) Does/will this be a pain/more costly to work on when the time comes to replace the plugs?

Any DIYers and Subie Heads please chime in.

Is this why the $328 price tag MtnBikerChk was quoted?

#15 nipper

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:53 PM

Actually, I need a comfirmation on this by the senior/experts on this forum.


I make an assumption that the spark plug replacement on the new turbo and 3.0R engines is going to be a bigger pain and more costly due to the fact that this engine is using a "direct-ignition" system. My understanding of the term "direct-ignition" is that each spark plug has it's own coil sitting on top of it.

1) Is this configuration true on the XT/Turbo 2.5 AND 3.0R engines? (I don't think the newer normal aspirated 2.5's use direct ignition *yet*, do they? The 2005 brouchure simply says they have a distributorless ignition system)

2) Does/will this be a pain/more costly to work on when the time comes to replace the plugs?

Any DIYers and Subie Heads please chime in.

Is this why the $328 price tag MtnBikerChk was quoted?



Pop your hood and look at the top of the engine. If there is a coil pack there with either 4 or 6 sprak plugs wires coming out of it, its a waste spark system, and should cost no more then any other sooby for plugs (maybe an hour more for extra labor, but id a shop cant change plugs in an hour in a sooby they have a problem). Waste ignition means two plugs fire at once since they share the same coil.
Now if you do have the direct ignition type, then yes it will cost more. But usually DI cars are 100,000 miles plugs. Also knowing how the engine is set up, i really dont see how they can fit the coil on top of the plug on the flat layout. i may be wrong, if so somone please educate me :)

nipper

#16 PAezb

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:01 PM

Pop your hood and look at the top of the engine. If there is a coil pack there with either 4 or 6 sprak plugs wires coming out of it, its a waste spark system, and should cost no more then any other sooby for plugs (maybe an hour more for extra labor, but id a shop cant change plugs in an hour in a sooby they have a problem). Waste ignition means two plugs fire at once since they share the same coil.
Now if you do have the direct ignition type, then yes it will cost more. But usually DI cars are 100,000 miles plugs. Also knowing how the engine is set up, i really dont see how they can fit the coil on top of the plug on the flat layout. i may be wrong, if so somone please educate me :)

nipper


I have to look. But I don't remember seeing a coil pack on top of the engine like the normal aspirated engines. I dug out my 2005 brochure and it does say the 2.5 turbo and 3.0R 6 cyclinder engines used direct ignition. But I'm unsure of the configuration (is there some sort of coil assembly that sits on top of the spark plug itself?). I remember someone at a dealership saying something about this before I bought mine - I just haven't checked/worried about it until this discussion popped up. It's damn cramped in the engine bay, and it's too cold out today to be checking it out (-12 to 5 above with winds).

#17 benebob

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:05 PM

If you wanna bring it down to PA I'll do it for half that price. Honestly why would the 6 be any harder than the 4 aside from 2 more plugs. It isn't any wider just longer. As for the coil packs being on the plugs the SVX has that and it actually makes removing easier as it simply bolts on rather than held in with the tension of the rubber. Its a pain to do on an SVX but not 3 hours worth of work.

#18 MtnBikerChk

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:48 PM

If you wanna bring it down to PA I'll do it for half that price. Honestly why would the 6 be any harder than the 4 aside from 2 more plugs. It isn't any wider just longer. As for the coil packs being on the plugs the SVX has that and it actually makes removing easier as it simply bolts on rather than held in with the tension of the rubber. Its a pain to do on an SVX but not 3 hours worth of work.


:banana: thank you very much for the offer!

If we were a little closer, I'd consider it :)

Thanks all - it sounds like it's on the up and up - for dealer prices. There are no repair shops in CT that I trust to do the work on our Subie so we might end up doing it there (just not today). She had brakes and belts today so now we're cash poor (I know, WAH).

Thanks all :)

#19 PAezb

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 01:17 PM

I did a quick call to a local dealer today on the spark plug service.

This dealer's service rate is $85/hr

Labor only

2.5i normal aspirated engine 1.0 hrs = $85
2.5 Turbo 1.5 hrs = $127.50
3.0R H6 2.25 hrs = $191.25

Iridium Plugs are $25/ea (Nippon/Denso)

Platinums plugs I did not ask about, but given work I had done two years ago I'mgoing to guess they're $15/ea now (NGK). I believe the 3.0R H6 recommendation is Iridiums. The service writer I spoke to did say there is more items to remove on the Turbo and the H6 which justifies the time.

So, based on the above, your $328 is in the ballpark - and given the orientation and tight fit to get at the plugs....

You could buy the plugs elsewhere and learn to do the work yourself - depends on what your time and ambition is worth.

#20 JT95

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 04:03 PM

Wow--surely it can't take that much time to swap out plugs for a dealer? If so, I may never move up to a newer Sube if they are that much more of a hassle to work on for maintenance tasks. On my 95 2.2 I can do a plug swap in my driveway in 30 minutes easy. Oil changes are a snap as well. That's one thing that made me fall in love with Subaru--a car i could actually pop the hood and work on.

#21 grossgary

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 04:10 PM

hopped up firebirds (don't know years/motor, but it's the high end motor early 2000's) run in the $500-$600 range due to severe access issues. i told my friend BS and bring it over for me to do. i called another friend, he said yeah it's like a 6 hour job. i passed. knowing nothing of the 3.0 subaru flat six i can't say anything except that access can be a serious issue.

#22 nipper

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 04:12 PM

Well it happens sooner or later, bigger engine, without changing the car all that much, you look at the maintanece items. When you bury spark plugs, you extend thier service interval to 100K, this way one of twothings happen. The plugs get changed once every 8 years, or the original owner sells the car before that service interval comes up.
yes thats alot of money, but look how often it has to be done.


nipper

#23 firstwagon

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 04:21 PM

Wow--surely it can't take that much time to swap out plugs for a dealer? If so, I may never move up to a newer Sube if they are that much more of a hassle to work on for maintenance tasks. On my 95 2.2 I can do a plug swap in my driveway in 30 minutes easy. Oil changes are a snap as well. That's one thing that made me fall in love with Subaru--a car i could actually pop the hood and work on.


OK, that sounds a little better.:confused: :confused: :burnout:

I changed the plugs on 91 Legacy when I got it last year and I remember it being one the easiest plug changes I have done (and I have had a lot of different cars over the years). 30 minutes sounds right including gapping, anti seize and cleaning up.

I've have to check my sisters Forester to see how much of a difference it is with the 2.5.


91 Legacy LS wagon (daily driver)
95 Grand Cherokee (my ladies ride)
91 Trooper (needs a motor, anyone got one?)
72 Sprite Musketeer (14.5 feet of home-away-from-home)

#24 jamal

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 06:36 PM

hahahaha wow.

I love that from the dealer, an iridium plug is $25. From NGK, it's $12.

It costs me like $10 and 20 min to change my plugs. Does it take them an hour to take the plastic cover off or something? I know it must be harder with DOHC, but still, $300+ just seems absolutely ridiculous.

#25 PAezb

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 06:43 PM

hahahaha wow.

I love that from the dealer, an Iridium plug is $25. From NGK, it's $12.

It costs me like $10 and 20 min to change my plugs. Spending $300+ just seems absolutely ridiculous. Does it take them an hour to take the plastic cover off or something?



Well, they do have to cover the cost of the multipart form the work order is written up on, the paper protector they put down on the driver side carpet,
hazordous waste disposal, shop fees, etc....

Oh wait, those are *additional* charges on top of the actual work/parts charges :rolleyes:

One of the dealers here do vacuum out your car and run it through the car wash after service is completed :-p



Dealers are notorious for overcharging - they probably figure people will pay for peace of mind for *authorized* and *certified* Subaru repairs.




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