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I'm coming up on the 60k mile service with our 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback wagon (5-speed). The maintenance schedule says it's time for air and fuel filters, coolant change (done with water pump and timing belt at 51k), brake fluid change, and spark plugs.

 

I'm gonna wait on the brake fluid until I do brake pads in a couple years, since it is nice and clean and golden now. I'll do the filters, obviously.

 

Regarding the spark plugs, what is the consensus on the best type for the Stage I 2.5L twincam motor? I believe it has the stock NGK plugs in it now. No complaints, though it is certainly time for new ones. The NGK plugs are extremely expensive, more than $10 each. Are there less-expensive alternatives that will do the job? Maybe Bosch platinum plugs, or Platinum +4s? I wouldn't put Champions or Autolites in this fine foreign machine, but $50 for a set of 4 spark plugs is ridiculous.

 

Anything else you guys suggest I look at or perform at this maintenance milestone? I'm planning to check the ECU for codes (don't like the high cold idle, it's too high, over 2000 rpm), and just in case, I will check for HC at the coolant overflow tank because I want to know when those headgaskets are gonna blow. Any other suggestions, let me know.

 

Thanks in advance!

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This probably isn't the answer you're looking for, but I would go with the NGK plugs. Shop around to see if you can get them cheaper, as I don't remember them being that expensive. If you're running plugs for 50k, it's really not that much of an expense when you think about it, and if you get cheap plugs, they probably won't last as long before performance and economy start to degrade.

 

My general rule of thumb (which I picked up from this board) is to use plugs from the same continent as the car came from. Those plugs are most likely the ones that got used during the development of that engine, so the car should be happiest with them. Japanese cars get NGK, European cars get Bosch, and American cars get Autolite because Champion just sucks.

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The NGK are about $15 each list, I got them for $10 each at advance auto, which was cheaper than some of the mail order places on the net wanted not counting shipping. The equal nippondenso are about the same price and probably equally good. My kid put the double platinum autolite in his car and they were $4 a piece. I didn't want to spend $60 for plugs, but once over that shock, decided $40 wasn't too bad. For the record, the autolite looked very high quality and were a perfect fit, car has been working fine for about 10,000 miles on them. They are such a bastard to install, I would hate to have to go back in early to replace them though. You should only use the correct double platinum style, whatever brand you choose

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I'll echo what the others said, go with the NGKs. They used them at the factory, they are good plugs. I paid about $10 each at Advance Auto, expensive, but they work well and last long.

 

DO NOT use Bosch platinum! I don't know why, but they just suck, even in European cars. You'll see the same sentiment in other forums.

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Oh, yeah - do the brake fluid every two years. It aborbs moisture out of the air. There is a vent in the brake fluid cap, and the moisture does get in there. Cheaper and easier than new calipers and master cylinder.

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When you consider how much mileage you get with the plugs it helps the cost average. If they help the gas mileage go up, then think of the gain in fuel savings you get back. If you think about how much you spend on fuel for going 60,000 miles then $50 dollars really isn't so bad.

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I am not sure if all those high priced plugs give you that much more in long life or reliable engine operation. I have never changed the plugs in my OBW with 65,000 miles. The car I owned before the Outback was a 92 Chevy Suburban, at about 110,000 miles it failed it's 2 year emission check, the engie was running fine. The emission tester person suggested replacing the spark plugs with 110,000 miles on them. I bought a set of standard AC plugs and installed them. The original AC plugs I removed were most likely just standard electrodes, no fancy materials like platinum. The condition of these plugs with 110,000 miles were very good, no carbon build up or erosion, they all had the correct gray color to them. With the new AC plugs the car still failed the emission test and ran the same as with the original plugs. The car passed the emission test after the oxygen sensor was replaced. One thing I have noticed about the Subaru is that the engine RPM's on average run higher than a Chevy Suburban, this may warrant replacing them more often but my experience with the Suburban plugs does not convince me the higher priced plugs give you that much more value. $50 dollars for a set of 4 plugs does seem high priced, what kind of materials are in these plugs that make them cost that much?

 

 

 

I'm coming up on the 60k mile service with our 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback wagon (5-speed). The maintenance schedule says it's time for air and fuel filters, coolant change (done with water pump and timing belt at 51k), brake fluid change, and spark plugs.

 

I'm gonna wait on the brake fluid until I do brake pads in a couple years, since it is nice and clean and golden now. I'll do the filters, obviously.

 

Regarding the spark plugs, what is the consensus on the best type for the Stage I 2.5L twincam motor? I believe it has the stock NGK plugs in it now. No complaints, though it is certainly time for new ones. The NGK plugs are extremely expensive, more than $10 each. Are there less-expensive alternatives that will do the job? Maybe Bosch platinum plugs, or Platinum +4s? I wouldn't put Champions or Autolites in this fine foreign machine, but $50 for a set of 4 spark plugs is ridiculous.

 

Anything else you guys suggest I look at or perform at this maintenance milestone? I'm planning to check the ECU for codes (don't like the high cold idle, it's too high, over 2000 rpm), and just in case, I will check for HC at the coolant overflow tank because I want to know when those headgaskets are gonna blow. Any other suggestions, let me know.

 

Thanks in advance!

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When I get NGK plugs they are usualy a little less then $10 for a set of 4. I'm i getting the wrong ones, I usualy change them atleast every 30k mostly just cause it gives me a good reason to go play with the car for an hour. But is there some advantage in terms of gas millage or emmisions or anythign with the more expensive ones.

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I think the high priced ones refered to are either the platinum or iridium models. You can use less expensive plugs Smbol19 without any problem. You will just have to replace them more often than the higher priced ones.

 

Another thing to consider doing a change, is your own time . How much is it worth to you?

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I think a lot of Subarus come with Champions from the factory.

 

I use the inexpensive V Power plugs. Nothing wrong with the, runs good, and you should look at your plugs every 30K anyway for signs of engine wear.

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