DIY Vehicle Maintenance: A Guide To Changing Spark Plugs

Routine vehicle maintenance is a great way to save money and learn more about your car. Today, we will discuss regarding how to change your spark plugs. This is a simple chore that anyone can do with basic mechanical knowledge.


Changing your spark plugs can improve your car’s performance and fuel economy. It is a task that should be performed every 30,000 miles or so to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! The experts at Arlington Toyota Jacksonville will walk you through the process step-by-step. Let’s get started!


What are Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs are a small but vital component of your car’s ignition system. They create the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the cylinders, which powers your car. When the spark plugs fire, they create a small explosion that forces the piston down. This motion turns the crankshaft, which powers your car’s wheels.


Why is it Important to Change Them?

Spark plugs can become fouled by oil, carbon deposits, or debris over time. When this happens, it can cause the engine to misfire or run less efficiently. In extreme cases, fouled spark plugs can even cause engine damage. That’s why it’s essential to change them regularly as part of your car’s maintenance schedule.


How Do I Change Spark Plugs?

1. Read the Owner’s Manual – The first thing you must do is read your vehicle’s manual, so you are familiar with your car.

2. Buy New Spark Plugs – You’ll need new spark plugs, so purchase the correct type for your vehicle. Ask your local auto store or consult the owner’s manual for more information.

3. Gather the Tools – Before you begin, gather all the necessary tools: a socket wrench, a ratchet, an extension bar, a spark plug socket, a vacuum, a gap gauge, a spark plugs wire puller, and a torque wrench.

4. Remove the Spark Plug Wires – Spark plug wires cover the plugs. The number of spark plugs that your vehicle has depends on the number of cylinders your car has. Grab them from the boot and pull them, or you can use the spark plug puller.

5. Clean Spark Plug Area – Use a vacuum cleaner to clean out any debris in the spark plug area so nothing falls into the cylinders when removing the old plugs.

6. Remove the Spark Plug – Use the ratchet, extension bar and spark plug socket to remove the old plugs. Avoid dropping anything into the cylinders.

7. Check and Adjust Gap – Use a gap gauge to check the gap on the new plugs. It should be as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

8. Install the New Plugs – Install the new plugs, then use the torque wrench to tighten them to the manufacturer’s specified torque.

9. Reconnect the Coil – Reconnect all of the coils or wires you disconnected earlier.


Safety Tips:

  • Make sure your engine is off.
  • Wear the proper safety equipment.
  • Pull one cable and change one spark plug at a time.
  • Loose or overly tight plugs can potentially damage the plug, engine, or vehicle.


Arlington Toyota Jacksonville serving the Middleburg, FL area, has all OEM parts and accessories available for your vehicle. If you feel uncomfortable changing the plugs yourself, contact us and let us help you!

April 20, 2022
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