Sparkplug query

03 vue has 3.0 Opel motor. Came stock with Bosch triple tip plugs. Bosch also makes a dbl tip plat plug which is sold at Walmart. They are $4.5 at wm. the oem is $8 or so at parts stores. I have no idea why Bosch makes 2 or more plat plugs for this vue. Is it all about money? $4 or $6 really gets buyers attention?

Badging probably. If you know they are the same plugs, get the cheaper ones. If you don’t know for sure, don’t second guess the designers and go with what’s recommended.

Different plugs. Walmart only stocks Stuff they will sell. Since there are few 3.0 vues on the road, I gotta believe these dbl plugs are used in other cars? I go to wm cuz prices are good and it’s convenient. There car stuff selection is usually pretty limited so I was surprised to see plugs in stock for my “rare” car. The oem Bosch plug has a triple ground lug design. The Bosch wm stocks has a double ground lug design. It’s pretty odd to begin with and I just wonder why wm even stocks it?

I doubt the cheaper plugs in this case would be a problem, but in general I prefer to put in the same plug provided as the OEM plug. If the extra $25 is a big deal then get the cheaper plug and see how it works. You need to make sure the replacement plug is gapped as per the OEM spec.
Don’t assume the gap is correct, check it and adjust to spec before you install them.

The plugs are $9 for 2 with a $3 rebate. Woohoo. So they cost $3 each. The book says the $1 auto lite copper plug is spec’d for some 3.0 vue models. Or is it the Saturn L300 of that era? Both 3.0 motors are fuel injected, computer controlled. Why there is a $1 copper plug spec’d for a 2000 car is odd. Book says it will work. Someone printed the book and Bosch or auto lite told them the plug would work? Wm doesn’t just make up stuff. They do what manufacturers tell them.

I Recommend The OEM Plugs.
I Recently Bought $6 each AC Delco Iridium OEM Plugs For A Couple Of My Machines.

My final cost at the local Advance, after online store discount and AC Delco Rebates, was less than $2.50 each or less than 15 bucks total for six plugs !

You can usually save if you’re willing to do a little homework.


the oem plugs are bosch “super” plugs. bosch also make “almost super” plat plugs. maybe bosch contracts with a korean company to make their plugs? one is made in malaysia and one is made in korea?

Save your money. Those fancy plugs don’t do anything. Your car is designed to run fine on OEM, and that’s what the ECM is expecting to see. If you are certain you want to throw some $$ away I can give you my address and you can mail it.

The oem plugs ARE Bosch triple ground lug, platinum.

Almost always the best plugs are the OEM plugs. Consider anything else an experiment, and be willing to go back in and install new OEM plugs if you are not satisfied or have any doubts.

Can you post a picture of this triple ground lug plug, I have never heard of one. Bosch makes a plug with two ground lugs (Bosch Platinum +2) and one with 4 ground lugs (Bosch Platinum +4) but even their web site does not show a three ground lug design in any series plug they make.


Others may disagree with me . . .

You are NOT supposed to gap platinum plugs

Here ya go

I was going to say I think the oem is 3 lug. Might be 4. But I do know the Walmart one is 2 lug.

Others may disagree with me . . .

You are NOT supposed to gap platinum plugs

Definitely disagree. If I NEVER checked and then re-gapped my platinum plugs I’ve installed over the years…I would have had a few very very very poor running engines. They are set at the factory…but they may at times have some problem with manufacturing or shipping.

Today’s engines are fussy about their plugs, and I strongly recommend spending the few extra bucks and getting the correct OEM replacements at the parts store.


This is America and we are free to disagree with each other.

I was taught NEVER to gap platinum plugs

EVERY mechanic I ever worked with had the same thing to say

EVERY textbook I ever opened said to NEVER gap platinum plugs

BTW . . . why are you 100% certain that those engines would have run poorly if you hadn’t gapped the plugs?

Did you install the “ungapped” plugs and the engines ran poorly?

My philosophy is this:

If the new part is unacceptable or just plain wrong, don’t try to make it work. Just return it!

I have to respectfully disagree with db4690 on this. Often, one spark plug has a range of applications with the gap varying. It’s either re-gap the plug or install it out of range.

An example would be my Lincoln. The platinum plugs come out of the box at .044. The factory gap is .054 so I choose to re-gap them.
The trick is using a little finesse rather than pounding them on a table top or whatever.

The cut and paste below is from the NGK website. Their words, not mine, and it’s the way I’ve always done it.

If adjusting the gap on fine wire or precious metal plugs such as platinum or iridium be very careful not to apply any pressure or prying force to the fine wire center electrode or insulator as they can be damaged. The gap should be adjusted by only moving the ground electrode.

The way I think about it, the engineers were well paid to design and test this engine. They found by testing an assortment of plugs, that certain spark plugs produce the best results. Not that they found the perfect plug, but the best compromise. That’s not to say another plug wouldn’t work reasonably well, or maybe even a plug they never tested would work just as good as the ones they recommend. But why re-invent the wheel? Why take the chance that the spark plug will wear out sooner and leave you stranded, will ping, will run too hot or too cold, overheat the engine, or produce incomplete combustion and misfires, will damage other components in the ignition system, etc.? Unless there is a huge cost difference, I think it is common sense to choose from the list of plugs the owner’s manual recommends for the car. Me, I’d say price-out each of those plugs the owner’s manual recommends for the car, and choose the one that costs the least.

On my Corolla, the owner’s manual recommends 4 different OEM plugs. I’ve always used the same NGK plug part number that came w/the car originally. I get them – sometimes I have to order them first – at my big box retail auto parts store for $2-$3 each. And as long as I replace them at the service interval recommended, never had a problem.

BTW . . . why are you 100% certain that those engines would have run poorly if you hadn't gapped the plugs?

Because those engines did run like crp. I too was told NEVER to gap platinum plugs. And so my first set of platinum plugs I didn’t gap them…And the vehicle ran like crp. I pulled the plugs and found one way out of spec. I re-gapped it…and it ran perfectly.