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Recommended spark plugs for best engine performance

Hello everyone,
I’m looking for recommendations from 2000 4Runner owners on what might be the best spark plugs based on your experience.

Thank you!

Whatever was in the engine originally. We get a lot of posts on here about people changing the sparkplugs then subsequently developing engine issues.


The ones recommended by the carmaker and spec’d in the underhood sticker and owners manual. Nothing works better and is more trouble-free.


Agreed on going with OEM, whatever is listed in the owners manual.

It’s been my experience that the main thing “performance” spark plugs provide is emptying your wallet faster.

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Most Japanese mfrs specify either an NGK plug or a Denso plug–sometimes they list both as being acceptable.

Not only that, but there is the fact that we have had a lot of people reporting performance problems after installing aftermarket “multi-electrode” plugs. IIRC, the Bosch multi-electrode plugs have resulted in several complaints of degraded engine performance.

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What is spec’d for opel? Ngk is what I went with.

In my experience it’s easy to find the original owner’s manual for any vehicle by asking Google for something like “2000 Toyota 4Runner owner’s manual”. You usually get the factory website support section reference on the first page of the Google result, go there and download the manual, free and complete.

My 4runner came from the factory with Denso in one bank and NGK in the other bank. I wasn’t the only 4runner owner that it happened to. Denso and NGK make great plugs.

We have a 2003 4Runner and I have always installed the spark plugs recommended in the owner’s manual.
Years ago, I tried a dual electrode spark plugs I bought at Western Auto in my 1954 Buick. These plugs gave me all kinds of problems by fouling up. I finally went back to the recommended AC 44 plugs. I cleaned the dual electrode plugs up to use in my 2 stroke LawnBoy mower. The AC 44, the Champion J8 and the dual electrode plugs were supposedly interchangeable. These special plugs didn’t even work in the lawnmower. I finally threw them away.

Sometimes your car COMES WITH BOTH, right from the factory.! The first time I changed the plugs on my 1995 Avalon, I noticed Denso plugs on one bank of cylinders, and NGK on the other. (1MZFE engine)

Thought my plugs were Bosch +4 but they are gm’s version. Or wereimage

In the old days before electronic ignition and ECU, we often selected spark plugs based on engine and driving conditions. The big consideration was the heat range of the spark plugs. A hottee plug transferred its heat more slowly to the cylinder head while a cold plug transferred heat to the cylinder head more rapidly.
On an engine with good compression where the car was used mainly for open road driving, the colder spark plug was used. The colder plug was less apt to cause pre-ignition with the resulting spark knock. A hot plug was used in engines of cars used around town. With carburetors that just dumped the fuel in the engine, the hotter plug helped prevent carbon build-up on the firing tip. These hotter plugs were often used in engines that burned oil to burn away the deposits on the plugs.
With today’s cars, the fuel injection more precisely delivers the fuel/air mixture to the cylinders. The ECU adjusts the timing more precisely than the mechanical and vacuum spark advance systems if the old days. For these reasons, no spark plug wil improve the engine performance over the spark plugs specified in the owner’s manual.
The only place I have used a spark plug different than that specified by the manufacturer is in my one lawnmower engine that really burns oil. I moved up to a hotter plug.

My Ford Ranger was that way, Motorcraft both sides,
platinum tip on one side
platinum electrode other side.

Replaced them with double platinum

I switched to Tiffany solid platinum 17-jewel plugs, doubled my engine’s power and gas mileage, eliminated emissions. They cost $1,000 each, look great.


Okay . . . ?!


I liked the good old days of the Champion J 8 spark plugs. On the 1954 Buick my dad owned. the AC 44 would interchange with the Champion J 8. The 1952 Dodge we had ran on the Champion J 8, as did our LawnBoy two stroke mower, our rototiller with its Lauson engine and our Evinrude Lightwin 3 horse boat mower. We would gap the plugs to the specifications for each engine and we were good to go.

Back around 1965, my brother’s girl friend bought a '55 Chevy. As soon as she bought it home, my brother noticed that the engine was idling very roughly, and it had very little power. It turned out that instead of the correct spark plugs (R43? R45?), the previous owner had installed plugs from–IIRC–a forklift engine.

+1 to NGK and Denso.
But beware: there are counterfeit junk plugs being sold on Ebay and some other online vendors.
A Google search will reveal tutorials on how to spot them.


My first job at 16, in the sixties, was pump jockey/grease monkey. So I could change points and plugs. We always used Champion of the specified size for the vehicle. One day though had a customer bring in their own plugs for installation. He brought in MOPAR brand plugs for his Chevy Stovebolt 6. I thought that was strange, but I installed them.

I remember back in the 1960s there was a lot of hype about brands of spark plugs as to what brand was best. There was all kinds of advertising by the spark plug manufacturers. When I did my own maintenance, I switched brands all the time depending on what was on sale. I used AC, Autolite and Champion in my 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass and the make of spark plug didn’t make a difference in the performance or gas mileage.
Today, I don’t see the advertisements for spark plugs. With the transversely mounted V-6 engines in my present vehicles and the long intervals between changes, I go with the manufacturer’s specifications for brand.
My only experience where the brand made a difference was on a two stroke rototiller I used to own. The manual specified either an NKG plug or a Champion CJ-8. The engine started easier with the Champion CJ-8 plug.

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