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One of many false claims to increase power or milage
on August 16, 2008
Over the years I have seen many claims to increase power or milage by inserting something into the ignition system. Usually I am resistant to them. But, reading about the Pulstar plugs I reasoned there just might be something to their claim. After all, the video at their web site illustrates a far hotter, and better spark.
My vehicle is a Jeep Wrangler, with an in-line 6 cylinder engine. At 500 miles I replaced the factory NGKs with Bosch +4. I keep a detailed milage log, out of habit. At 91,000 miles I decided to change the Bosch as I noticed my usually miserable highway mpg (19.2) had decreased to really miserable mpg (17.8).
Amazon is an excellent resource for many items I buy. Plus, I use Prime, so shipping is usually one cost for the entire year. Perusing through Amazon I stumbled upon the Pulse Plug.
Years ago, when there existed coils and distributors, a similar product claimed similar results. Insert this neat little device on the line from the coil to the distributor and said device would ramp up the voltage thus delivering a much hotter spark at the spark plug which will greatly improve your engines performance and your miles to the gallon of fuel. I bought one, and found the claim false.
Yet, the Pulse claims interested me. I bought 3 packs of 2 Pulse plugs. Math will disclose the total cost of my thoughts.
Now when your engine requires fresh spark plugs, any brand (properly matched to your engine) will deliver better performance and better mpg. Why else would you change your plugs?
So I was expecting some improvements in the engine, and increased mpg, from a fresh set of spark plugs. But, I was expecting more from the Pulse Plug. The Pulse plugs arrived and I had my mechanic install them.
One plug was defective and required replacement. Rather than go through Pulse, I returned it to Amazon. Amazon has a great customer service attitude, and easy return policy. (No, I do not work for nor do I have any financial consideration from Amazon). The new Pulse plug arrived promptly.
With a full set of 6 Pulse plugs in, and firing, I took a trip to see if my engine's performance changed.
Yes, my mpg was 19.8, the best I have recorded since before the engine had 20,000 miles on it. There seemed to be an improvement. The engine ran smoothly. There was a static hiss on the radio and CDs that was not there before.
Then, the ECU went out. I do not blame the Pulse plugs for this, but, the mechanic was not as sure.
Prior to replacing the ECU, the mechanic replaced the Pulse plugs on the chance that they were the problem. A fresh set of Bosch +4s went in. No change, so in went a new ECU ($600). The problem resolved.
The mechanic showed me the Pulse plugs. The ends were pitted, the porcelain protecting the electrodes were eroding, and the plug looked worse than the Bosch I had removed with 90,000 miles on them. The mechanic reasoned that the Pulse plugs were either not the correct ones for my engine, or sparked so hot that they would not last very long.
New ECU and fresh Bosch plugs in, I went on the same road trip. Milage was 20.1, engine ran smooth. Better milage with cheaper plugs. No noticeable change in performance between the Pulse plugs and fresh Bosch.
In the end the Pulse plugs delivered nothing extra. So, to answer the real question "is it worth it", from my perspective, no. Their high cost; lack of any mpg increase over cheaper plugs; no discernible power increase provided no reason to spend as much for the Pulse plugs as three sets of the Bosch.
In the end I found that for the same cost, a set of Bosch plugs and a longer visit at my local brew pub, suited my needs better.