2006 Nissan Altima Spark Plug Gap

If you are a 2006 Nissan Altima car owner, you may have probably come up with this issue. This article is all about the spark plug gap and what you can do about it.


What is a Spark Plug?

Spark plugs are the devices installed in the cylinder head of an internal-combustion engine that create a spark by using electricity from a high-tension ignition system. These sparks ignite the air and fuel mixture within the piston to produce an explosion, which provides power to run our engines.

The electrodes and the insulation must withstand a lot of heat and withstand a great amount of electric stress.

The spark-gap length of an inductor has an effect on the energy of the spark, and the insulator’s shape has an effect on the temperature at which it operates. When too cool, operation leads to carbonization and short-circuiting of the gap; there may be preignition when too hot.

How to Replace and Install a New Spark Plug

The stock plugs are platinum-tipped and should last a very long time. Nissan recommends you see your dealer do the job.

My car was slightly over 18,000 miles on it when I did the job. I believe one or more of my ignition coils were faulty. However, I could not get Nissan to admit the problem or develop a solution. So I documented the entire process with pictures and text for anyone who wanted to do the same. 

The cost of the job was a set of 6 ignition coils from Courtesy Nissan costs around $335. The required gasket is another $18.40. The plugs will run you $11.00 each.

The first step is to remove the 4 Allen bolts securing the engine cover and take it off. If you have a front strut brace, it is probably not necessary to remove it. It only takes a few minutes.

If you are planning on doing some small-scale home repairs, these steps will help you tighten two bolts. To start, you need to find a 12mm socket with a long handle to loosen the bolts. With the help of this article, you can now do it yourself!

I will show you how it can be done without disconnecting so many vacuum lines. 

It is the same idea with the vacuum tank. Take it off to reach the attachment bolts.

When you get these 3 bolts and 2 nuts off, put the VIAS and vacuum tanks back on the collector. You should not take these off.

Two vacuum lines need to come off. Slide the compression clampdown, and twist the hose off.

You also have to release and slide the lower half off their brass fitting.

Loosen the screw that holds the rubber connector to the intake. Leave the other side alone.

The ac Delco spark plug is standard set to.035, but I hear the gapping is supposed to be.045, and I’m getting confused. It’s 0.035. You can double-check here.

What are the suitable Torque specs for spark plugs?

I was changing my torque specs now and noticed that 3 out of 6 of my plugs were very loose. What should I buy?

Try 15-21 ft-lb (180-252 in-lb) or 24.5 N·m (2.5 kg-m, 18 ft-lb)

I just actuated the following to set the turn-screws at 20 ft-lb. You should go back after a few heat cycles to re-tighten them. It can be done. You just have to unclip the coil from the harness.

A 1/4 inch drive will get to all the 10mm bolts holding things down to allow good access to the plug. I also use spark plug anti-seize; you can never be too careful with aluminum.

I’ve never really used a Torque wrench on plugs. I just turn them down hand by hand until they hit bottom, then go another 1/4 to 1/2 turn. You’ll feel the crush washer give a bit; then you know you’re good to go.

I think you don’t need to worry about your tune that much, but do check your a/f just to.

People who have never done it can easily over-tighten them and make a mess. Aluminum will give you plenty of warning/feel back if you know what to look/feel for. I used the anti-seize and torqued them to 20ft-lbs all the way around.

Correct spark plug gap?

An incorrect spark plug gap causes stress to the coil packs.

A mechanic who “knows” about the RB26’s recommended me since 3 years ago to use NGK BKR8EIX spark plugs and told me no need to re-gap them.

The correct gap for a 500BHP RB26DETT engine that uses NGK BKR8EIX should be 0.8mm.

Most car coil packs are designed to run an average of 1.1mm. The most likely cause of failing coils is bad earthing and heat.

The fact that coil packs are probably more than 12 years old is a reason for another failure. You shouldn’t try to change the gap on iridium plugs, by the way.

Heat tends to kill the coil pack, too; seen a lot of people vent or remove their coil covers to reduce this.

The black wire with round connector bolts the head with the rearmost coil pack ladder bolt.

You need to vent the coil cover to prevent the coils packs from overheating and check where the coil ground wire should be connected to make sure the new coil packs won’t get damaged any time soon.

If a plug were gapped so wrong that it wasn’t firing, you’d notice it. The engine would run crappy on less than 6 cycles.

The gap will grow over time as the center electrode erodes. The gap will eventually grow from the normal erosion of the electrodes. High output ignition systems will compensate by producing a higher voltage.

This used to be about .001 per thousand miles with leaded gas. The gap growth is significantly reduced with unleaded. The high-output coil on a distributor will compensate for the wider gap with a high voltage to keep turning and firing your plugs. 

If the gap widens too much, the voltage difference will cause the charge to leak from the spark plug. I replaced a set of wires several years ago because I thought they were breaking down due to exposure to water. It turned out to be the plugs needing to be replaced instead.

You may have experienced some tough cold start problems after installing a new set of spark plugs. This is usually because the plugs are gapped too wide for your engine. Gapping plugs refers to the distance between the electrodes on the plug. If they are too wide, it can cause some serious cold start problems that will end as soon as you gap them properly and install new plug wires. I gapped mine at the proper .27, and when I went to change the last week, the gap had grown to over .35 on most of them. This gap will increase as you drive, and that’s normal. If you use the right plug according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, you won’t need to insert an extension cord.

It is natural to expect that the gap between two vehicles’ axles will increase as they are driven, and this is entirely normal. If you use the right plug according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, you won’t need to insert an extension cord. When you are wiring your house, it is important to understand plug gaps. If you are not careful, this can have consequences that are hard or expensive to fix. 

A wider gap can be good sometimes since it exposes more of the mixture to the spark, which increases the likelihood of combustion. On the other hand, the increased resistance can burn out the ignition if the gap gets too great.

The top horsepower will start to fall at some point after the gap has been gradually increased. Then readjust to the previous gap. I never did this. I only read about it—naturally, the wider the gap, the more load on the ignition.

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