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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just replaced the spark plugs on my 2017 Ford Escape, 1.5 liter engine. Apparently I did something wrong, because now the engine is misfiring when I accelerate. It's very smooth if I drive a constant speed or under mild acceleration, but if I try to accelerate rapidly it misfires. The OBD is giving me P300, "random misfires", as well as P302 "cylinder 2" and P303 "cylinder 3".
I'd think that if I had failed to get the coil packs on right or didn't connect the wires right that I'd get misfires at any speed. I pulled all the plugs and re-checked the gaps and they're all at .026 to .027, and the spec says .025 to .029. It seems unlikely that it would be anything other than what I was just messing with, but I don't know what else to check.
Is there a trick to re-attaching the coil packs? You can't see the plugs when you put them on, so I was just pushing them in rather blindly.
 

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Make sure none of the plugs are cracked. I just went through that on a set of new plugs I installed on my truck. Either one was cracked in shipping or I cracked it when installing them.
 

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Is there a trick to re-attaching the coil packs? You can't see the plugs when you put them on, so I was just pushing them in rather blindly.
Nope, that's pretty much the trick. Line 'em up shove 'em down in there. I think the passage is too narrow for it get far enough off course to miss connecting, an dyou can feel them connect together. I've never had a one miss.
If you kept at least one of your old plugs, the next test I might do is swap an old one in for a new one, one at a time, driving it in between each one. If one of the new plugs are bad, you'll find it fairly quick. If after doing that with all four of them, you found it behaved the same no matter which plug you swapped, the plugs are not the problem. Next link up the chain is one of the coil packs. You can remove the plug-end of those, one at a time, and hold the metal tip close to the engine body somewhere that you can see it, while the engine is running. It'll run like crap while the coil is off, but you just want to see if it sparks on-time ever time. If you don't see a spark at all, or see it's going off randomly, or just way out of time, it's probably bad.
If the only codes you have are cylinders 2 & 3, I'd check them first. If you're real unlucky, they could both have an issue, but it's more likely only one, and the second one is just being detected as being out of sequence or not in time due to its neighbor.
 

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What brand plugs and what is the exact plug number you installed? Probably not that but it wouldn't be the first time that the wrong plug application was installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Make sure none of the plugs are cracked. I just went through that on a set of new plugs I installed on my truck. Either one was cracked in shipping or I cracked it when installing them.
Thanks. When I had trouble I tried pulling all the plugs and checking them thinking maybe I had set the gap wrong. I wasn't specifically thinking of cracked but I suppose I can pull the one that's mostly getting the error code, #3, and recheck it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What brand plugs and what is the exact plug number you installed? Probably not that but it wouldn't be the first time that the wrong plug application was installed.
I put in NGK 91924. Mostly because the auto parts store said that was the only brand plug that fit my car that they had in stock. I thought maybe they'd given me the wrong plug, like maybe the clerk misheard me when I said what year or engine size I had, so I went to the NGK web site and checked but no, at least the manufacturer claims this is for my model car. It's not from Ford, it's some Japanese company, so maybe it doesn't quite meet Ford specs. Especially considering it sort of mostly works, that seems at least plausible. I've never had a problem with an off-brand spark plug not working before, but, etc.
I was thinking of getting some real live Ford Motorcraft plugs and trying that. If that works, then I can return the NGK plugs and yell and scream and complain and demand a refund. If it still doesn't work, maybe I did something wrong putting in the plugs. I don't know what, I've changed spark plugs in many cars many times before, but I certainly can't say I'm 100% certain I didn't mess something up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you kept at least one of your old plugs, the next test I might do is swap an old one in for a new one, one at a time, driving it in between each one. If one of the new plugs are bad, you'll find it fairly quick.
I only saved one of the old plugs. (I was just searching my trash for the other 3 and couldn't find them.) But that would be enough for what you're suggesting. I guess it's possible that I got one defective plug out of 4, or maybe I cracked it putting it in or whatever. I might give this a whirl.
Being I'm getting the misfire messages mostly on cylinder 3 and never on 4, I tried swapping the coils on 3 & 4. (I wasn't sure if they were all the same but they appeared to be.) Still getting misfires on 3, which tells me that whatever the problem is, it's not the coil or a damaged connector to the coil or anything like that.
Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Yep, you have the right NGK number they offer..Did you double check the gap, says .028 from box....Like others said ,could you have cracked a plug installing them..The Ford OEM is Denso made, I believe..NGK should work fine, both are top notch plugs..
 

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Yep, you have the right NGK number they offer..Did you double check the gap, says .028 from box....Like others said ,could you have cracked a plug installing them..The Ford OEM is Denso made, I believe..NGK should work fine, both are top notch plugs..
I'll vouch for that, both are good plugs. Not off brand. Used NGK's in my race car. Never had a problem.
 
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