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Pulstar spark plugs?

Any thoughts on these new spark plugs and the claims of increased horsepower, torque and/or better fuel economy from the website link below? They cost $25/each.


How about utter, unequivocal, 100% certified, Grade A BS?
That should pretty much cover it.

Wow. That was just so helpful a comment.

Well, they are utter, unequivocal, 100% certified, Grade A BS.

Maybe you would feel better if I told you to go ahead and get bilked on this scam?
Unless you have a vested interest in posting this link of course.

You will not only save money using OEM plugs, but you will likely get better results.

Spark plugs have one function. Provide a spark to get the ignition of fuel started. Once started that is it.

These plugs are claiming that lighting a forest fire with a match will make a slower or less intense forest file than using a blow torch. I’s just not so.

Normally I would suspect that you were a shill for those selling the junk, but this time I suspect you have just been pulled into the old flim flam buy an internet spiel.

OK–let me try to explain it this way:

Every car manufacturer is attempting to gain a marketing edge over their competitors. If this “new design” spark plug does what the manufacturer claims, don’t you think that one of the major auto manufacturers would have purchased exclusive rights to it? Just imagine if Ford, or GM, or Toyota or… could suddenly market vehicles with better power output and better fuel economy without doing anything more than putting in different spark plugs. That would be a huge marketing advantage for that brand.

Now, imagine that you have invented a miraculous new spark plug design. Do you think that you would make more money selling them at the rate of 4 or 6 at a time via the internet or by selling the rights outright to a major auto company that is looking for a major marketing advantage over their competitors? Rather than going to the trouble of selling direct to the consumer, the inventor could potentially reap a payment of several millions of $$ in one fell swoop by selling the rights to this marvelous new design.

So, why hasn’t this incredible new spark plug design been purchased by a major auto manufacturer? Because it is unmitigated BS designed to hoodwink consumers who are willing to believe what they want to believe.

It’s your money, but I would suggest that you spend it on something more worthwhile than this BS product.

You have to give Pulstar credit for their ability to create such an artistic picturesque website. It will likely snag a few who are gullible enough to buy the plugs.

There have been many discussions in this conference on plugs over the years, all supporting the reality that these specialty plugs add no value. I really like Joseph Meehan’s analogy - you’ll get the same forest fire whether you start it with a match or a blow torch.

Pulstar is trying hard to get you to buy their blow torch. Save your money.

Joe Mario

Anybody with even the most basic training in electricity or electronics knows that all the above are right. Its a load of bs.

But it gets worse. Spark plugs are made in a variety of heat ranges. The heat ranges are how well the spark plug is insulated so that it retains the correct amount of heat. If it retains too much heat, you will have pre ignition issues, too little heat and deposits will form on the tip. These off brand plugs are generally not made in a variety of heat ranges, but only a few ranges. They try to cover three of four heat ranges with one plug. At best, it might be the right one for your vehicle. If its not, your performance will suffer.

I’m not one to stick strictly with OEM plugs, I will use other manufacturer’s designs, as long as the manufacturer provides plugs in the same variety of heat ranges and they are a mainline manufacturer.

I’ve had good luck with Bosch Platinum +4 on one vehicle, that is they did work better than OEM, but on several other vehicles, they didn’t do any better, didn’t do any worse either, except that they cost more. I have tried the Champion Double Platinum too. They don’t work any better, but they are guaranteed for 5 years and unlimited miles, have an anti-sieze plating for easy removal after that time period. They should be worth the premium price if they last that long, haven’t had they for 5 years yet, but so far, ok.

Haven’t had them for five years yet.

How long we gonna hafta wait for the edit feature?

The proof is in the use, or testing, isn’t it? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actually tests and evaluates these kind of products and claims. See their web site. ++++++ A spark plug is much like a gun: it either fires, or, it doesn’t. Your engine computer detects any spark misfires and reports them to you. It can turn the check engine light on, or, you can see the misfire count (on any cylinder) using a scan tool.

If you read through the BS on this plug, it can probably be assumed that this plug works on the same principle as the “Directhits”, the equally worthless plug this company marketed before this one.

What they are doing is essentially providing an extra “gap”. The Directhits was external; the Pulstar is internal. Basically, you have 2 gaps for the spark to jump.
Why is this done? It provides a hotter spark by inducing the coil voltage to build higher before breaking down and firing the plug.

Some of you may be familiar with the old trick of loosening a plug wire to prevent plug fouling on an oil burning engine. The wire is pulled off the plug just enough so that the plug and the metal terminal in the wire will not make contact. This of course means 2 “gaps”, increases the coil voltage, and can help prevent oil fouling and even cure slight plug misfirs.
also, this is a good way of determining if a plug is misfiring.

So rather than pay 25 bucks a plug for this bunk, why not open the plug gap up a bit wider than recommended on your garden variety standard plug. It does the same thing for free.

While I’m not sure on this aspect, the CEO’s name sounds vaguely familiar. I seem to remember a name like this being tied up with a “gas saving chemical” that was mentioned on this site a month or so ago, but I cannot remember what substance it was.
No listing for a “regular” phone number or info in a business search tells me this operation is nothing more than a boiler room deal that won’t be around long; only to be replaced by another scam.

The product and it’s claim are obviously bogus, but their website is extremely well done.

Guys - I am not a shill. Just curious as to if they might have stumbled on something that could prove worthwhile. I agree that if this were proved out, then the auto makers would probably be on, so it is a definite negative that they are selling to the consumer and not to the big guys.

Is there anyone here with a science background who can explain why this stuff doesn’t/can’t work in the real world? So far, the comments here are not very scientific, more like a lot guesses, pseudo logic and innuendo.

btw: I have platinum plugs (standard in my car) now. They seem to be working fine for the last 5 years and 40k miles now. How long do platinum plugs last? How will I know when they need to be replaced?

My comments, while maybe not scientific in nature, are based on about 35 years as a mechanic, both automotive and aircraft.
I do know what makes a spark plug tick and mechanical common sense overrides internet “miracle gas saving” pseudo-scientific claims.
Most people with any mechanical knowledge can read through that website and know that it’s a crock.
The site is looking for those people who have zero mechanical knowledge, are craving a miracle solution, and are willing to jump right in.

Considering the large number of major spark plug companies that exist and considering the fact that many of them have been around for decades, don’t you think if there was a miracle fix for spark plugs they would have found it long ago?
Why should it be left up to some fly-by-night hole in the wall operation who will collect money from the gullible and be gone tomorrow?
This product is no different than a 1000 others that preceded it and are now lost in history.
In 6 months this one will be gone - and replaced by verse no. whatever.

jojoa99 wrote:

Is there anyone here with a science background who can explain why this stuff doesn’t/can’t work in the real world? So far, the comments here are not very scientific, more like a lot guesses, pseudo logic and innuendo.

What is it that you need to hear that hasn’t been addressed in the replies in this thread or in the many similar threads on the old board? When a spark jumps the gap between the center and side electrodes, it will only ignite the fuel molecules that reside between those two points at that instant in time. This plug, as ok4450 explained, raises the voltage a bit by adding a 2nd internal air gap.

Will that higher voltage spark cause any more fuel molecules to be ignited (and increase power and gas mileage)? You can answer that question yourself by opening up the plug gap a bit on your existing plugs. The higher voltage spark you get from the widened gap will duplicate what the Pulstar plugs are giving you.

ok4450 wrote:

Some of you may be familiar with the old trick of loosening a plug wire to prevent plug fouling on an oil burning engine. The wire is pulled off the plug just e nough so that the plug and the metal terminal in the wire will not make contact.

Wow. I forgot all about that trick. I remember doing that on old oil burning engines, more as a debug technique than something we did for customers.


When you think of it, it’s pretty amazing that at 60 mph, at 2500 rpm, each spark plug is sparking 21 TIMES per SECOND!

Holly MOOLLLYY… $25 A PLUG, that is just crazy. What is worse is some people will spend there heard earned money on this crap. I guess they need all of that money to pay for that nice web page.

How much would you want to bet that these are just plane jane plugs from china in a nice box??

Jojoa, you aked for someone with a genuine scientific background. That’s me. And that’s the reason I stayed out of this discussion so far.

This is a gadget that needs to be given a fair chance. It’s not at all like the acetone myth or the Tornado hokum. Maybe they have something. Most likely not.

I have seen too many new products that were ridiculed when they were first intoduced, such as the catalytic converter or bottled water. Look where they are now! I should have gotten in on the ground floor when I had the chance.

I am not going to dismiss this thing out of hand. Nor am I going to rush out and get a set of miracle spark plugs. Sooner or later we will get a report from a competent engineering lab. Until then, I give it the Mythbusters intermediate rating: Plausible but Unconfirmed.

Okay, the science:

The spark plug does one thing only. It adds heat energy to globules of hydrocarbon molecules (gas) in contact with oxygen (22% of the air is oxygen). Once the heat energy is added a chemical reaction takes place wherein the hydrocarbon molecules tear themselves apart and bond to the oxygen atoms (mostly diatomic). The heat from this chemical action results in expansion of the gasses due to the additional space needed to accomodate the molecular activity, pushing the piston down.

The spark plug does this by presenting a gap in a circuit that a 40,000+/- volt spike has to jump across and placing the gap in the gas/air mix where the heat from the arc will begin the chemical reaction. The thousands of volts comes from the collapse of the magnetic field of a coil wound around an iron core, which induces a voltage into the core.

The key: you only need one good strong spark to start the reaction. OEM plugs reliably provide an excellent spark to do so. The engine is designed specifically for that exact spark in that exact spot in the cylinder to provide an excellent explosion. You even have in modern engines a system that monitors the performance of that system and immediately warns you with a check engine light if that spark fails to fire.

The advertised magic plug is hocus pocus bogus.

Yup, I have some science background.

  • mountainbike

Steve, while I agree that controlled tests would be fun, and in fact might prove my skeptacism wrong, I’d have to be convinced.

First, energy is not dissipated as heat in the ignition components prior to the spark. The heat in the components comes from the current flow, which only occurs when the spark happens. Any heat generated in the coil would not change with the new plugs, as the induction process would be exactly the same.

Second, the reaction is in the chemistry rather than the spark and starts the moment heat energy is applied.

Third, the combustion process is designed to be a controlled process that pushes on the piston as the flame front comes down. Too rapid a process results in preignition, too hot a cylinder in a secondary flame front and pinging. If the plug works per the picture than preignition would happen.

Forth, arcs don’t spread, combustion spreads. The website shows the arc spreading.

I know you’re taking the correct scientific approach, which is that we only know when we test, but I suspect bogusity (I made that word up) on this one. I think it’s like the fella who says his process of nicking heads creates more power because turbulance is good (a truth used to sell snake oil). Remember him?

  • mountainbike