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How-To: Replace Spark Plugs

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Old Dec 3, 2010, 06:31 PM   #1
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Lightbulb How-To: Replace Spark Plugs

Replacing spark plugs is a quick and easy task. Looking closely at the old plugs can also be a great indicator of what's going on inside your motor.

Step 1: Gather your tools and new plugs
  • Denso OEM Iridium Spark Plugs (Denso Part# K20PSR-B8; Part # MN163807)
  • Spark plug or 5/8" socket & 10mm socket
  • Socket Extension
  • Anti-Seize Compound
  • Torque Wrench (ideal) and/or regular socket wrench
  • Canned Air
  • 20 - 30 minutes of your time
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 2: Pop the hood and remove the spark plug cover to expose the ignition coils:

To remove the cover you could use either a Philips-head screw driver or a 10mm socket. Once the cover is off, use canned air or some shop towels to remove excess debris from around the ignition coils.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 3: Remove the ignition coils:
It's best to change the plugs one at a time so that you don't get the ignition wires confused and screw up the firing order. So pick a coil and use the 10mm socket to remove it. As you're pulling it out, you'll hear a suction cup sounding "pop". Gently unplug the coil wire harness, remove the ignition coil and set it aside in a clean place.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 4: Out with the old
Use your socket wrench and extension and remove the old may put up a little fight. If you have a spark plug socket, you can simply pull the old plug straight out. If you just have a standard socket, loosen the plug as much as you can and use a length of 1/4" fuel hose to reach down and grab the end of the plug to get it out.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 5: In with the new
NOTE: It is not necessary (or even recommended) to change the gap of Iridium spark plugs since the tip can be damaged quite easily.
Put a very small amount of anti-seize on the threads of the new plug and begin to screw it back in and tighten it to 18 ft./lbs. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE PLUG! Replace the ignition coil & wire harness and screw it back in (gently since it's plastic) and move on to the next plug. .

Step 6: Clean up
Put your spark plug cover back on and make sure you don't leave any tools under the hood! That's're done! Here's a reference chart you can use to check the condition of your used plugs:
"Speed has never killed anyone - suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you."
- Jeremy Clarkson
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