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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone:

I've already searched through the existing threads, and haven't found anything that specifically answers this question. Background first: My 2012 Base has 73,000 km (45,000 mi) and prior to a camping trip last week I decided to do some prep maintenance of filling/charging the battery (still good after 5 years!), cleaning the terminals and some grounds (due to corrosion) new air filter, oil change, etc, and checking the plugs. Knowing that they are rated good for >100,000 miles (160,000 km) I only expected to check and confirm the gap if anything.

I have to admit that I was surprised to see the gap had increased from 0.043" to 0.051" with the small number of KM on this engine. I gently reset the gap back to 0.043" and cleaned the plugs off, but was left wondering about the effective range of the plugs, especially if they are intended to be left in place for that long (in my case, it will take until about 2024 before I approach 160,000 km). In other posts, I've seen that at time of changing on a V6, one member's plug gap was around 0.070", which seems WAY too much. Does anyone with specific knowledge of these (types) of plugs know what an effective gap will be? Also, a PDF on this site (which appears to be an extract from the owner's manual) says not to adjust the gap - I read this AFTER I did it of course... Is there a specific reason for this, or is it at least sufficient that I had the battery disconnected while doing it, so the computer cleared its learned conditions?

As to performance after the tune-up, the truck did quite well with the drive, while towing a light cargo trailer (<1000 lbs) over the trip. Through a 300 km trip at +/- 100 km/h with a load and the AC on, we still averaged 8.8 L/100 (26.3 mpg) and the truck had plenty of power to spare for passing or driving up steep hills (NOT passing on steep hills!) so I was very impressed! Last time I took a longer trip with a trailer was with my 4.6L Exploder, so I was really happy with how the 2.5 carried everything. Gotta say the V6 would be great, but the 2.5 did everything I asked of it and never gave me trouble.

Thanks for any input!
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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According to Denso, you should not attempt to adjust the gap because they come set from the factory and the iridium tips are quite brittle and easy to break. Also my opinion is that on modern cars the engine computer is constantly monitoring and regulating engine parameters (including ignition) so plug gap is not as critical as it once was.
 

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If using a gap-feeler to check gap, it can be enough to damage the sensitive tips of iridium plugs. There is potential damage in checking the gap and very high risk in cleaning them, From what you describe, probably best to replace them so you can start fresh. Then leave them alone to do their thing for 100k-miles /160k-km per change. There is some value in pulling them to visually check and prevent them from corroding in place, but not to clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Folks. I'll monitor for now and see what happens, how it drives, etc.
 
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