How To Change Your Spark Plugs

Changing your spark plugs is a very important part of vehicle maintenance. Depending on where they are located in your vehicle, they can be rather easy to do. Spark plugs deliver the park that ignites the fuel and air mixture in your engine. Over time, these can get fouled and degrade. If they don’t deliver the spark that your engine needs, your engine may begin to misfire, and that’s not good.

If you have OEM (standard/stock) spark plugs in your car, then consult your manual or dealer to determine when they should be changed. If they are aftermarket ones, check with the manufacturer.

When it comes to actually changing them, if you have a very compact engine bay, they may be challenging to get to. If you can’t get to all of them, I would suggest taking your car to a mechanic. You don’t want to run the risk of potentially damaging the threads of your engine block if you try to yank one out the wrong way. 

All that aside, if you can reach them all, it’s simple. Here is what you need:
  • Ratchet
  • Spark plug socket 

The most important thing to remember is going one by one. Your car has a very specific firing order (the order which the spark plugs get their spark). That may not be in sequential order. You can do a quick Google search to find out your car’s firing order is. 

Start with a plug located at one side/end, and work your way down if it’s an inline engine, or down and around if it’s a “V” engine (V6, V8, etc.) This just helps keep things in order. 

Grab the boot of your spark plug wire (the end attached to the spark plug), and pull it. You may need to wiggle it a little. It will “pop” off. This will expose the plug. Fit your socket around the plug, and begin loosening it. It may be firm at first, but it will free up. Depending on how much room you have to move the ratchet, it may take quite a few turns. 

Once it is out, discard it, and get your new plug. You should start threading it into the engine block by hand. This will help prevent cross-threading, which can cause some serious damage. After a couple turns, use your socket to finish the job. DO NOT over-tighten it. Get it firm, but not wrenched down. Take the boot of your previously disconnected spark plug wire, and push it down on the spark plug. It should “pop” into place. 

Repeat this for the rest of your plugs. Again, go one by one to not mess up the order. Once you are done, start up your car. It should run like normal. If it is rough, turn off the car and push down on all the wires to make sure they are firmly seated on the plugs. Confirm that the wires are running to the correct spark plug by checking are firing order diagram. 

There you have it! You’re done. See? I told you it wasn’t that bad. If you are more of a visual learner, check out the video below. What to see more stuff like this? Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by.