CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Enerpulse: stand-up company

For many years, I have used Pulstar plugs. I can’t speak to other vehicles, but in my 2006 Ducati M900, back-to-back dyno runs showed about 3% power increase over the whole power band in comparison to the nearest equivalent NGKs. So I put them into my 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid, where indeed they raised the mileage by around 2%, measured over a constant commute and a two-month period. But at just shy of 40K, my check engine light came on, accompanied by vibration and loss of power. I got the car to a dealer I trust, and when they pulled the plugs, one of them showed that the nose of the insulator had cracked and come off. They had to pull the head, at which point they found a damaged valve, and the total repair cost was about $2,300. At this point, I called Enerpulse, who manufactured the plugs. The first person I spoke to said he was customer service, and when I told him what had happened, there was no hesitation at all on his part: they send me a PDF of a return label and asked for the plugs and the invoice, along with pictures of the damage. When they got them, it took one day for them to call the dealer with a credit card. In my experience, any company can have a product failure. What happens then tells the tale, and in my opinion, these are folks on the right side.

Not to be skeptical, but your first post is a glowing review of Enerpulse and their customer service? Admittedly it looks like you had a serious problem, unless the whole thing is fabricated, but this reads like a marketing release.

If you are serious, it’s great that you got some satisfaction with no hassle from the company, and I’m sure we all wish every company we dealt with was like that. But I have to admit that this doesn’t make me want to run out and buy a set of these plugs. I think I’ll stick to Autolite and Champion plugs and file away a warning to avoid a set of these.

If a simple change of plugs could do this, don’t you think manufacturers would already be putting them in our cars? I’m skeptical.

When someone’s first post to this site immediately promotes a company known to sell a snake oil products, I too become skeptical.

You can count me as one more person who believes that this post is just an attempt at marketing those universally-discredited Pulstar plugs.

. I can't speak to other vehicles, but in my 2006 Ducati M900, back-to-back dyno runs showed about 3% power increase over the whole power band in comparison to the nearest equivalent NGKs.

IMPOSSIBLE…This is total bull. Just another idiot trying to make a post sound legitimate…but in actuality just some schmuck who’s paid for by these companies to make these posts. About $1 for every hit they get from the post.

I’m also skeptical. Smells like snake oil to me.

@MikeInNH I agree; OP either has a very rich imagination or has some interest in promoting a questionable product on a website that has great credibility with its followers.

In magazines they call these “advertorials” to warn the reader that the magazine has nothing to do with it other than rent out the space. Since the constitution generally guarantees “freedom of speech” its hard to get rid of these things unless they are blatant lies, defamatory statements, slander or some such thing.

The web police must have difficulty with this since they are not technically qualified to judge.

I can’t speak for Pulstar spark plugs as I am strictly a Champion J-8 man myself. IMHO a spark is a spark and it is either strong enough to ignite the fuel/air mixture or it isn’t. If it doesn’t ignite the fuel air mixture, the engine misses and is easily detected. I doubt that a Pulstar plug can improve the performance of an engine. However, if someone gives me a couple of Pulstar plugs, I’ll test them in my 2 stroke Earthquake rototiller and my 1988 Lawnmower engine which both run on Champion J-8 plugs.
As far as the insulator nose breaking on a spark plug, I did have this happen on a Ford Aerostar I once owned. The problem was traced to a hairline crack in the head which allowed coolant to hit the ceramic tip of the spark plug. Fortunately, the vehicle was under warranty. The Ford dealership said that the coolant had scored the cylinder wall so a new engine was installed.

The other problem with this story: I don’t care if the maker of an overpriced/unnecessary spark plug pays for repairing my engine if they damage it. It’s overpriced/unnecessary, so it shouldn’t be in there in the first place.

It’s just more spam regarding the same worthless, over-hyped product that’s been spammed here many times before.

If the OP is serious, then I challenge them to provide the dealer name along with copies of the entire electronic and paper trail on the entire matter.

You certainly do not “have” to pull a head to determine whether a valve is damaged and I would say a company that blindly, and allegedly, pays for something that could be caused by improper valve lash, abusive driving, dyno runs, and so on is pretty lax in their standards.

If those plugs added 2% to the fuel economy then every gasoline internal combustion engine made would have those plugs in them on the factory assembly line; all courtesy of a Federal mandate.

I agree with OK, there’s no way they aren’t going to investigate and make sure that detonation (or some other engine problem) didn’t damage the plug before they whipped out their credit card to pay for an expensive repair.

The other scary part would be, if they are so quick to pay, they must have a bunch of them failing for it to be considered routine. Oh, our plug fell apart and damaged your engine, no problem who do we pay? Right…

For Somebody Needing Valve Work Or A New Head Gasket On their Car It Would Behoove Them To Consider A Set Of Dulstar Plugs. The Warranty Sounds Great.

Do They Have A Pretty High Rate Of Failure And Breaking Up, Causing Damage ?

CSA

P.S. Do they make it in a J-8 ?

Folks, I strongly recommend that you get the plugs recommended by your car’s manufacturer. There’s more to spark plugs than just a spark. There are physical parameters (seat type, electrode type, threads, length, length of the insullator, length of the electrode), there are operating parameters (such as heat range and resistance), and other criteria that the replacement plugs must meet to avoid problems. Your engine is far less likely to experience an incompatability and subsequent problems if you stick with what the manufacturer recommends.

And to me that includes the brand. I’ve had poor performance from using a brand other than that recommended, even though it technically met the “specs”. I would not do it again.

It’s kind of amusing that someone would sing the praises of a company whose product ruined their engine; any alleged reimbursement or not.
Not a word anywhere about do NOT use this product under any circumstances or you will be toast too. :slight_smile:

I think this story is one more suitable to a pasture or stock trailer with the other bovine incidentals…

I’d also add that I’ll NEVER use any product, even if given away for free, from any company that feels the best advertising is to pester people with unwanted and unsubstantiated SPAM. Invading the sanctity of a private forum to hawk a shady product will not win much love from anyone with half a brain.