Motorcraft spark plugs vs other

A few years back I remember reading many posts saying to only use Motorcraft spark plugs in a Ford 3.8l engine. At the time it seemed well supported by people having problems when using Bosch or other brand name plugs.

I now have a Ford 3.0 duratec. Is the same still advisable? What experiences do people have with plugs in this engine?


What Factory Plugs Came Out? That’s What I’d Put In.

I use what the factory used.

What Factory Plugs Came Out? That’s What I’d Put In.

I use what the factory used.

Same here…when I replaced the OEM plugs on my 4runner…the drivers side plugs were Denso…the passenger plugs were NGK.

Any brand name of plug should work fine in this vehicle. The plugs do not have to be Motorcraft.
The only ones I would advise staying away from are gimmick plugs; Split-Fires, Quad electrodes, etc.

Odds are that those blaming the plugs for a problem are a bit misguided and the problem they have is elsewhere rather than the plug brand.

I pretty much have been a Ford owner for 15 years through hundreds of thousands of miles, and have used Autolites and Bosch about 95% of the time with no plug failures of either brand.
Also used NGKs and even ACs at times with no problems.

(And for what it’s worth, my old Sable had the 3.0 and it lived exclusively on Bosch and Autolites throughout the 420k miles I owned it.)

I have had problems with Bosch plugs (the correct part number for the car in question), and I have since read of many people with Ford’s that have had problems with Bosch plugs.

I had major problems with Champion. The only thing I’ve found them useful for is lawnmowers…J-19LM

Champions Go In Chryslers (Factory Plug). I’ve Never Had Problems Repeating This Installation.

It is important to be certain that the spark plugs are gapped to the specifications called for by the manufacturer of the engine. I have a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass and I put Autolite plugs in the last time because they were on sale at WalMart. I had a 1954 Buick at one time that called for AC 45 plugs and I put in Champion J-8 plugs that were in the cross-reference chart. I had no problems. The only spark plugs that ever gave me trouble were dual electrode spark plugs that I bought at Western Auto and installed in the 1954 Buick. These plugs fouled out badly. Since they supposedly interchanged with the Champion J-8, I cleaned them up and used them in the lawnmower. They didn’t work very well there either.

Autolites = Motorcraft, but are a lot less expensive. Use them, they will do your engine good. You can buy Autolites at many, many mass market stores. Buy the same or better than OE meaning probably, single platinum electrode as OE, but you can use double or iridium.

I’ve been using Bosch plugs in my own cars/motorcycles and other peoples’ cars for almost 40 years and I haven’t run across a defective Bosch plug yet.
No doubt there’s been a few failures here and there but they will be extremely rare.

My Fords (about half dozen of them over the years) have always used Autolites or Bosch Supers with never a hiccup out of any of them and both my Lincoln and Merkur currently have Bosch Supers in them now with no problems.

I fail to see how the badge on the rear of the car affects the firing of the plug.

To ok4450:
Do you ever use those Bosch plugs with the funky design that you don’t gap? I am quite leery of those and have heard bad things, but all of the stories have been second or third hand.

To the OP:
I use whatever came standard with the car. A few dollars difference in price is pretty irrelevant for something that is changed not all that often.

I just use what was in there in the first place. AC in GM, NGK in Acura, Champions in all my lawn equipment. Many many years ago I had put Champions in my 59 Pontiac. I had it in the shop and the mechanic pulled the plugs and showed me how worn the plugs were after only a few thousand miles. He said AC wouldn’t do that because they were the proper heat range. So I’ve been using the factory plugs ever since with no problems for 40 years.

I bought my 1999 Merc Sable in 2000 used with 23k miles on it. It now currently has 338,546 miles on it as I type this. It has the 24 valve Duratec engine. Somewhere around the 150k mile mark I switched from Motorcraft plugs to Bosch platinum +2 plugs. I have nothing but good things to say about the Bosch plugs. The most noticeable improvement is better engine performance, pickup, and smoother idle. My car burns about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles which from what I have researched is not unusual for such a high mileage vehicle. Although the plugs are clearly exposed to oil fouling, the Bosch plugs handle it just fine. Better than the Motorcraft plugs in my opinion.