Plug Change Gone Bad

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Mar 19, 2005
Well, I decided it was time to change my spark plugs so I purchased the plugs and went to changing them out on the 97 lx450. As I pulled the wire from the last plug, the inner part of the wire came off and stuck on the old plug. This of course prevented me from removing the plug. Since I didn't have the right pliers to get to the wire piece, I had to drive the truck on five cylinders to about a mile to the hardware store and then a mile back to my house. During this time, th check engine light came on.

I have not changed the wires also and the truck runs well but the check engine light is still on. Is this something I can reset myself or will I have to pay the dealer to do it?


I would have walked the mile. Driving on a dead cylinder puts raw gas through the catalytic converters, which is bad news for them.

In the one occasion where I had a check engine light, it went off by itself after I replaced the vacuum hose that was off of its fitting and then drove the truck a few miles.
You can reset the check engine light yourself. Just pull the EFI fuse for something like 10 minutes. I think that's how you do it. I have a scanner so I forget the low tech way. The light most likely came on since a misfire was detected which isn't so surprising seeing as you only had 5 plug wires working.
Just disconnect the battery for 30 seconds. The misfire would have caused the CE light to go on, though to be thourough you may want to get a scanner to let you know...

another problem is that piston will load up wit fuel rinsing the oil away, you can damage the cylinder and rings in a short period of time.

do not drive it until you get it fixed.

I can tell you are going to be fun to have around (rubbing hands with glee)!

Doug - you are scaring me:)
Should have walked the mile.
Given what you said I would want to do a tune-up.
New wires, new plug, dist cap.
I have replaced all the wires now and will purchase and replace the dist cap. I replaced the plugs last week. Now that everything is properly connected, the truck is running well.

It sounds like I made the wrong decision by driving the truck that short distance. Someone had told me it wouldn't make a difference for that short distance. I'll not take his advice again.

Idaho Doug,

You are scaring me now. Did I likely cause serious unseen damage?:eek: Should I take the truck in now and have the cylinder rings looked at?
Whatever happened happened. Nothing to do at this point. Only point was driving with non firing plug is much extra wear and tear on engine and cat converter. If you wanted, you could test cylinder compression. Still, I don't think anybody is saying that your engine is now trashed, just that operating with a dead cylinder is to be avoided.
Harbor Freight has a code reader that'll display/clear you code for 40 jr. bacon cheeseburgers. Many auto parts will check/clear codes for free.

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