How To Change Spark Plugs: Tips and Tricks

Last Updated on 12 May 2023 by Lucas

Changing spark plugs is an important part of regular car maintenance. It helps keep your engine running in top shape and can prevent future problems.

In this article, I’ll be walking you through the process of replacing your spark plugs step-by-step. You’ll need some specific tools and parts to complete the job, but once you have those collected it’s a relatively easy process that anyone can do at home.

I’ll be outlining all the steps involved in changing out your spark plugs including:

  • Locating them
  • Cleaning the area around them
  • Removing and installing new ones
  • Checking for leaks
  • Replacing ignition coils if necessary.

With this guide in hand, you should have no problem getting back on the road with a smooth-running engine in no time!

Gather the Necessary Parts and Tools

To get the job done, you’ll need to make sure you have all the right pieces and tools ready.

When changing spark plugs, it’s important to select a compatible set for your car’s engine. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should provide information on the type of spark plug that is suitable for your car. Additionally, different vehicles may require different types of lubrication techniques when installing new spark plugs. Make sure to check whether any special lubricant needs to be used ahead of time.

When gathering tools, a socket wrench with an extension will be necessary in order to reach and remove old spark plugs from deep within the engine compartment. You may also need pliers or needle-nose pliers if any wires are attached to the old plugs. Finally, depending on the type of plug you purchase, a ratchet may be needed in order to secure them into place once installed.

It’s important to ensure that you have all necessary parts and tools before attempting this project so as not to spend more time than necessary running back and forth between auto stores!

With these items at hand though, you’ll be able to easily complete this task without any hiccups along the way.

Locate the Spark Plugs

First, it’s essential to pinpoint the exact location of the ignition components before attempting any maintenance. The spark plugs are usually located inside a metal housing that can be accessed by removing a cover plate or other components.

It’s important to know what type of spark plug your vehicle uses, as there are several types such as V-6, flathead and roundhead spark plugs. In addition, you should make sure that you have the right tools for loosening and tightening the spark plugs; this may include a ratchet wrench with an appropriate socket size depending on the type of spark plug used.

Once you have determined the type and location of your spark plugs, it’s time to locate them within your engine compartment. Depending on the model and make of your car, they may be located near or under various engine parts like intake manifolds or valve covers.

Once you’ve identified where they are located in relation to other nearby components, use a flashlight to further inspect their whereabouts within any narrow spaces where access is limited. When working with tight spaces, maneuvering around parts can often be difficult so take extra precautions if necessary by using gloves or protective gear when handling sharp edges or hot surfaces in order to avoid injury during installation.

With some patience and attention to detail, locating the spark plugs in your vehicle should not be too daunting a task!

Clean the Area Around the Spark Plugs

Cleaning the area around the spark plugs is a crucial step for successful maintenance; take care to ensure that any debris or obstructions are removed before proceeding.

To do this, you’ll need some basic cleaning supplies such as rags, gloves, and a reliable cleaner like brake cleaner or carburettor cleaner. Take extra safety precautions when using these cleaners to make sure they don’t come into contact with your skin or eyes. Also make sure to work in a well-ventilated area so that you’re not breathing in any fumes from the cleaners.

Once you have your cleaning supplies ready, use the rag to carefully clear away any dirt, grass clippings, oil residue, or other debris from around the spark plug hole. Make sure to get all of it out so that nothing can fall down into the cylinder and interfere with the new spark plug installation.

You may also want to use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner if there are pieces of material stuck in tight spots between cylinder fins. This will help prevent them from getting sucked up when you go to install the new spark plug later on.

Now that everything is nice and clean around the spark plug holes, it’s time to move onto removing and replacing them with new ones. Inspect each old spark plug for signs of wear such as corrosion or discolouration; if they appear damaged then replace them immediately instead of risking further damage by leaving them in place longer than necessary.

Remove the Old Spark Plugs

how to change spark plugs on a car

Carefully examine each existing spark plug for indications of wear and tear, such as rust or discolouration; if they appear compromised, promptly replace them to prevent further damage.

It is important to be aware of the type of spark plugs that are being removed, as the ignition timing may depend on it. Different types of spark plugs have different amounts of heat ranges and can affect how well your vehicle runs. If you’re unsure about which kind you’re removing, consult your car’s manual or a qualified mechanic specialising in spark plug replacements.

Once you have identified the correct type of spark plugs for your vehicle, proceed with their removal. Start by disconnecting the boot from the coil pack wire and then unscrewing it from its slot using an adjustable wrench or a spark plug socket and ratchet set.

Ensure that the old sparks plugs don’t get dropped into any hard-to-reach spots underneath the hood as this could cause further problems later on. Gently place them aside so that they can be inspected for any signs of damage or deposits.

After inspecting each existing spark plug, use a rag to clean off any debris that may have built up around where they were placed before installing new ones into their slots. Use anti-seize compound on both threads when reinstalling them to ensure proper torque readings and optimal performance levels during operation.

Be sure not to over tighten them because this could potentially cause damage to other components in your vehicle’s engine bay!

Install the New Spark Plugs

Now, replace the old spark plugs with new ones and secure them with anti-seize compound to ensure they stay in place and perform optimally.

When following instructions for replacing spark plugs, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct parts for your car’s model, year, and engine size. If you need help troubleshooting any issues during installation or shopping for parts, consult a professional technician who can answer any questions you may have.

To begin installing the new spark plugs, first use a socket wrench to loosen them before removal. Once unscrewed, use a ratchet or flathead screwdriver to remove the plug from its cavity in the engine block. Make sure not to drop it into the cylinder as this could cause damage.

After removing all of your old spark plugs, clean off any debris around each plug hole.

Next, apply a thin layer of anti-seize compound on the threads of each new spark plug before placing them into their respective spots in the engine block. Use an appropriate torque wrench to tighten each one until snug but don’t over-tighten as this can damage both the plug and threads inside of engine block.

Once securely tightened, start up your vehicle and check that your new plugs are functioning correctly by listening for any signs of misfiring or excessive noise coming from under hood.

Check for Leaks

After you’ve installed the new spark plugs, check for any leaks around their respective spots in the engine block to make sure everything is sealed properly. You can examine wear on the spark plug’s seal by looking for signs of cracking or splitting.

If there are any visible signs of wear, replace the seal and check again for leaks. Inspect all seals around the spark plug to ensure that they are tight and secure. Check every angle of each seal to make sure there are no gaps or loose connections.

If you find a leak around any of the spark plugs, disconnect them from the engine block and apply fresh thread sealing compound before resealing them. Make sure that all surfaces are dry before applying more thread sealing compound as this will help ensure a tighter seal when reinstalling the spark plugs.

Additionally, inspect all gaskets between components such as the intake manifold and cylinder head for any signs of damage or leakage. Replace any damaged gaskets with new ones if necessary.

Once everything has been checked and rechecked, start up your car to see if it runs smoothly without any issues from misfiring or other problems related to faulty spark plugs or installation mistakes.

Any further troubleshooting should only be done by experienced mechanics who have access to special diagnostic tools and diagnostics codes that can tell you exactly what is wrong with your car’s engine system.

Replace the Ignition Coils

Replacing the ignition coil(s) can significantly improve engine performance, often resulting in a decrease of fuel consumption up to 20%.

When replacing the spark plug, it’s important to troubleshoot any issues beforehand and check all connections before proceeding. This includes checking for any visible damages such as corrosion or breaks on the wires leading from the coil to the spark plugs.

The process for replacing an ignition coil requires disconnecting both the positive and negative terminals from the battery, then unscrewing and removing both ignition coils from their respective cylinder head. Once removed, inspect each connection and replace any broken or corroded parts before re-installing new coils in reverse order.

When installing new coils, make sure that each one is securely fastened in place with its corresponding wire connected to its designated spark plug. Once secure, connect both battery terminals back into place and start up your vehicle to test out how well your newly installed coils are performing.

If everything works properly, you should be able to feel a difference in power output when accelerating as well as notice better fuel efficiency overall.


I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for changing my spark plugs. It was a great feeling to know that I could do it all on my own, without having to call in the professionals.

The process was much simpler than I thought it would be and now that I know how to do it, I can save some money next time around. With this newfound confidence, there’s nothing stopping me from tackling other repair tasks around the house.

Taking on new responsibilities isn’t always easy but with the right tools and knowledge, anything is possible. And just like a master chef knows their way around their kitchen, so too am I starting to know my way around under the hood of my car.

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