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Old 09-16-2012, 12:50 AM
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Snoopy0812 Snoopy0812 is offline
2010 2.0T Base MT, Mirabeau Blue
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Default Review: E3 spark plugs

Well we're all in the pursuit of cheap or easy gains, even if it's only a few HP and can be had for less than $50.

I took it upon my self to see what all the web fuss was about in regards to E3 spark plugs. Went to my local parts store and picked up a set after having a conversation with the folks over at E3. They told me the correct OE replacement for my car was the e3.68 plug, so that's what I got.

Here's some pics of what they look like new;

Looking at them I can see how they could work. Unfortunetly, just not for us.

I decided to give these a fairly decent run unfortunately I could no longer accept the unacceptable performance and fuel cost. Now, when I pulled my OE plugs they had a 0.029 - 0.03 gap across the board. OE specs state 0.038 - 0.041 roughly, I don't have the exact number on hand.

The E3 plug has a fixed gap at 0.04, pretty damn close to OE specs. They're even the same heat rating as the OE Denso FK20HQR8, an interesting sub note, Denso specs the OE plugs at 0.032 not what Hyundai does.

Matching them up physically to the Denso plugs, they're right on the money, an exact replacement so that's not an issue.

Now I tested these for just over 6000km's. Not a lifetime but as I previously said I couldn't take the issues any longer. So I should probably get onto those eh since I keep mentioning them.

At first, they were exactly like the OE's I pulled after over 40,000km's, similar fuel consumption, similar power, well, honestly, didn't feel like I changed my plugs at all. Not so bad though, might have found an inexpensive OE replacement since those Denso plugs are $25 each at the dealer compared to the $8.50 that E3 charges. It was too good to be true.

Eventually fuel consumption started climbing (getting worse, here in Canada, lower number means better, x.xxL/100km), black soot was covering my bumper, horrible exhaust smell and low RPM issues, rough idle, trying to take off I basically had to rev the engine past 2000 rpm's then dump the clutch, if I didn't, it would stall and die.

My highway fuel consumption with the unproperly gapped Denso plugs would average 7.7 to 8.8L/100km, roughly 30 to 26mpg's. That's at 120km/h (~74mph) in 6th gear w/ a manual transmission. With the E3's, using the same road, with near identical weather (I'd even say slightly milder), same cruise controlled speed, I could not get any better than 9.6L/100km (24mpg). So their claim of better fuel economy, busted.

Now I did not go and have my car professionally dyno'd just for spark plugs, however, despite worse fuel economy they appeared to perform exactly the same as my Denso plugs. Now they used to claim x% of performance and x% of fuel savings and x% of environmental savings, however, at the time of this review, those claims are not on their website anymore. The fact is, a 5% gain in performance on my dyno proven 206whp Genesis Coupe, would be a 10whp gain. I'd feel that I'm sure, but it just wasn't there.

Environmental? Again, I did not go have my car professionally air-cared however, due to the rich fuel smell, sooty exhaust that was minimal to absent before and the increased fuel consumption, I believe it's fair to say that they were not doing anything favorable to the environment, least of all my pocketbook with the added car washes and fuel station trips.

To further test to see if something had changed in my car, I swapped the E3 plugs out and put my old Denso plugs back in, this time however, cleaned and re-gapped to 0.037. After letting my car warm up, I took a quick sprint up and down the highway and did a simple reset of my average MPG clock, interestingly enough, it rested on 8.5L/100km (27.6mpg) despite being driven hard at first to get it up to temp. Again however, no difference in performance but my exhaust smell was completely gone, even with a cold catalytic. Also, to note, there was no hesitancy in starting off, I could gently roll off the clutch at 1200rpm and ease into the gas like I used to.

So that is my findings, I hope they help others, if anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

The following are pictures I took of the plugs after usage.

E3's (e3.68) after ~6000km's;

Close up;

Denso's (FK20HQR8) after ~42,000km's and having the cylinders flooded with oil at just over ~31,000km's from failed turbo;

Close up;

Layout of both sets of plugs for comparison;
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