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  #1  
Old 03-17-2020, 09:08 PM
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2012 Mini Countryman Spark Plugs

Anybody had any plug breakage thread stripping a la Ford F 150 V8’s 2004-2010 ?
Playin it a little cautious, daughters car, don’t want to take the car out of service, much less have to pull the head, during the virus from Hades attack.
I had some plugs like that on my K1200, got gray hair reading the Bentley
Any insight, experience, or information would be appreciated.
Thanks
Mike
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:16 AM
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Haven't seen any reports of FACTORY plugs having issues. Most of the plug breakage, cracked insulators (The white porcelain tops) and "thread pulling" are installer abuse/wrong torque settings, strong arm tactics, etc. See one too many, In a past life I have been involved in field engineering reports for Champion Spark Plugs 20+ years ago. 99% of these issues is from the installer not following any basic shop processes.
Q: Do you have a broken plug or a known thread damage issue or are you looking to change plugs and want a little reassurance that this application tends NOT to have any inherent issues? If yes, try the mini forums for details.

Tip: Let the engine be cool to the touch, remove the coil on plug, use the right size wrench with a rubber insert, and lightly unscrew the plug. If tight, add a drop or two of WD-40 and let it sit for a while.
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Last edited by StephenVA; 03-18-2020 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:15 AM
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Thanks
Planning on changing plugs and coils due to check engine light. Looking for pitfalls and good guidance.
Thanks so much for your help
Mike
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:33 PM
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With coil on plug application always, check for install issues,water intrusion, bad grounds and add a spot of die-electric grease on install.
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2005 X5 4.8IS
The Blue ones are always FASTER....

Current Garage:
2005 X5 4.8is
2002 M5 TiSilver
2003 525iT
1998 528i
Former Garage Stable Highlights
2004 325XiT Sport
1973 De Tomaso Pantera, L Model
1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 4 sp Alpine White
1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 4 sp GoManGo Green
1971 Dart Sport, “Dart Light” package
1969 Road Runner 383
1968 Ply Barracuda 340S FB Sea-foam Green
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rootripper View Post
Thanks
Planning on changing plugs and coils due to check engine light. Looking for pitfalls and good guidance.
Thanks so much for your help
Mike
If there is a real concern for head/thread damage when changing plugs, and the work is being driven by a CEL, I'll say the safer first thing to do will be to actually read the codes and at least confirm you've got a misfire.

You don't want to be performing a potentially risky operation at an inconvenient time when it may not even be needed. What if the CEL is for some emissions thing?

My data point on this:
2001 3.0i
replaced the *original* plugs at 169.5k miles, shortly after getting the car
No change before vs. after in terms of engine performance, MPG, problems, etc.
Removed plugs looked pretty good. I bet I could still be running them.
Am still on the original coils at 192k+ miles.

Comment / opinion / conjecture - I think that when these high mileage plugs are spec'ed at 100k miles, it may actually be effectively indefinite (comments, StephenVA ?). Changing them at 100k miles may have more to do with preventing thread damage for when they eventually get removed.

When I changed mine, they did not come out very easily, and I was extremely cautious. In addition to following StephenVA's procedure, I:
  • cleaned out the spark plug well with brake cleaner and compressed air
  • put in a generous amount of WD-40, not just a few drops
  • started with the front ones, for easier access as I was figuring things out
  • very slow and careful. If you have thread damage, the torque needed for removal will be pretty constant, as they won't actually be threading out, but after breaking it free (when the threads all strip), you'll be turning the threads against eachother with constant torque. Well that is almost what it felt like while unthreading for me, even though I did not have thread damage. After breaking free, I put some more WD-40 in the well and let it sit a while. The threads were just not especially clean and free, which is not unexpected after 170k miles.
  • I carefully installed the new ones using anti-seize, but using that may not be for everyone.
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