How To Replace Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are an integral part of your car's ignition system. Broken or improperly functioning spark plugs can pose a number of problems to the operation of your vehicle, ranging from lower fuel efficiency to being unable to start your car at all. If you notice that you are having issues with starting your vehicle and suspect that your spark plugs are to blame, you can change them with the right tools and a little bit of elbow grease.

Before You Begin

Before you start, you should gather all the materials and tools that you'll need. You'll need a set of replacement spark plugs, an adjustable socket wrench (or a specialized spark plug socket wrench), a wire brush, safety gloves, and safety goggles. All of these items can be found at most hardware and automotive stores if you don't already have them lying around your home. You should also have your owner's manual at hand.

Replacing Spark Plugs

First, open your car's hood. Allow the car to sit for at least an hour after running before working on it to ensure that the components aren't too hot to the touch.

Locate the spark plugs on your engine by referring to the owner's manual. They are usually located on the top or the side of the engine block.

Remove the wires from the plug by gripping low to the base of the wire, and pulling off slowly and gently. This will uncover the spark plug. You may want to do this process one at a time, or to mark the wires, to ensure that you can replace them on the same terminals you removed them from.

 Fit the socket wrench over the spark plug, adjusting or changing the head if necessary, and remove slowly by turning the wrench in a leftward direction.

Next, clean around the threads and terminals that hold the spark plug with the wire brush to remove any dirt or chemical buildup.

Then, insert the new spark plugs into the terminals and tighten them using the adjustable wrench, turning in a rightward direction. Take care to not tighten the spark plugs too much, as this can cause damage to the terminal or cause the plugs to crack.

You can then reattach the wires the cables to the replaced plugs, taken care to ensure that they are being installed on replaced spark plugs in the same terminals they were initially installed on. Once this is done for each spark plug, you can close the hood and start your vehicle. For assistance, talk to a professional like Gordie's.