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Benefit of changing the Spark Plug wires?

1987 Acura Integra 158k
I believe it still has the original Spark Plug wires - car runs fine.
Wonder what is the benefit of changing it?

Dist cap and rotor were changed about 10yrs ago. Do they need to be changed?

I am also interested in degreasing the engine area. I prefer take it to a shop - any recommendations, tips?

If the car runs smoothly you are getting a good spark, which means that the plugs and wires are doing their job.

Some years ago I changed the spakplugs on my Nissan. The car was 15 years old and the wires original. I agreed with the mechanic that he might as well put new wires in as well.

WHAT IS THE MILEAGE ON THE CAR? Ususally 100,00 miles is about the time to change out the plugs.


You are way overdue if the plugs have not been changed yet! I’m very surprised the engine is running smoothly. Did you buy the car new or what was the mileage when you bought it?

Expect most cars with over 100,000 miles to start running less than smoothly.

You’re due fo plugs and wires.

Spark Plugs were changed.

But not the wires. “Spark Plug wires” is what my question is about?

Plug wires are so inexpensive and easy to change that I’ve never seen any point in waiting around for them to cause a problem. And problems anywhere in the ignition system can cause damage in other parts like the coil. On distributor-less systems where the PCM controls spark its possible to actually damage the drivers in the PCM. That’s not a typical outcome, but it happens. Either way though, I never see much gain in holding out on or guessing about wires.

As for degreasing engine, why not spring for a complete car detailing? For just a little more than the engine degreasing the clean and shiny car will make you feel good.

I’d change them. Your wire set has 27 years of life on them. They will fail, just a question of when. I’m surprised they are not leaking spark right now.

I’m in the camp…the if you clean your plug wires a couple times a year with a damp cloth they’ll last forever. And I have a few cars that have lasted well over 400k miles with original plug wires…and still running GREAT.

But for some reason I had to replace the wires on my wifes 87 Accord after about 6 years. But on a nice set and they kept going til we sold with another 200k+ miles.

Spark plug wires can leak causing a misfire. If you have no misfire then just keep the ones you have. If some day you start skipping you might need to change the wires. Get genuine Honda parts as you can see they last.

I’m a preventive maintenance kind of guy. 27 years is a long time for a set of plug wires! I’d treat the old girl to plug wires, plug, cap and rotor. 10 years is a long time for a cap and rotor, too, corrosion sets in and decreases performance bit by bit. You might not notice it as a “miss” but replacing these old parts might give you a noticeable improvement in mileage and performance. It isn’t critical, just schedule it with another visit or YouTube and find out how to do it yourself.

Ususally 100,00 miles is about the time to change out the plugs.

I always went by: 30k normal plugs; 60k platinum; 100k or more for Iridium or other high-zoot technology. Change wires every 60k, also inspect and cap/rotor; change if cracked, eroded, or carboned up.

Benefits? Less likely to leave you stranded when they fail; better mpg; better performance. BTW . . . don;t degrease the engine, you may screw something up. If you’re looking to clean the engine, get a can of solvent and a rag. Rocketman

Plug wires are so inexpensive…

Not necessarily. A wire set for my Porsche 924S was something like $160 10 years ago.

Plug wires are so inexpensive…

Not necessarily. A wire set for my Porsche 924S was something like $160 10 years ago.

Sorry to hear that. This is a thread about a 1987 Acura Integra. Pretty routine. If it was a thread about a Porsche 924S then I probably would have asked what a set of wires go for.

Hey, your statement sounded pretty generic so I offered a painful exception! Wires for an '87 Integra are practically free by comparison!

My 20+ year 200 K miles Corolla has the same original wires and runs as good as new. But I’m replacing the wires b/c the car recently failed (barely) an emissions test, so I want to rule the wires out as a cause. On the Corolla the cap and wires are a single assembly, so you have to buy both. If there is an emissions improvement, it’s more likely the problem was the cap, not the wires. The OEM replacement set cost $70. An aftermarket version was available for $50.

I’d recommend if you are replacing the wires to replace the cap and ignition rotor at the same time.

Try to get the best ignition wires possible. Avoid the $8 ones if you can.

you seem to be the type of person to be content that if it runs, its probably ok. nothing wrong with that as you are ok if a breakdown occurs. if this is the case, why bother with a change? sparking fine so leave it as is.

if you were the type of person to want to be proactive in regards to breakdowns, then you would have changed them earlier as a preventative measure.

there is nothing wrong with getting every ounce of life from the wires. you just have to be prepared for the breakdowns and inconvenience.

i say be adventurous and see how long those wires will last.

I’d change the wires, cap, and rotor. Bad wires, cap, and rotor generally show up as hard to start in very wet, humid weather conditions. It may run fine, but some misty morning you may not get it started and/or notice very rough running for a bit until it warms up and dries off. The rubber insulators on the boots at both ends can get dry and brittle and break down causing misfires.