How To Change Spark Plugs: A Step-By-Step Guide

When & How To Change Spark Plugs The Family Handyman
When & How To Change Spark Plugs The Family Handyman from


Spark plugs are an essential component of your vehicle’s ignition system. Over time, they can become worn out and require replacement. Changing spark plugs is a relatively simple task that can be done at home with a few basic tools. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to change spark plugs in your vehicle.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin, make sure you have all the tools you will need. These include a socket wrench, spark plug socket, extension, gap gauge, and dielectric grease. It’s also a good idea to have a clean cloth and some anti-seize compound on hand.

Locate the Spark Plugs

The first step is to locate the spark plugs in your vehicle. In most cars, the spark plugs are located on the top of the engine, under a plastic cover. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the exact location.

Remove the Spark Plug Wires

Once you have located the spark plugs, you will need to remove the spark plug wires. Start by pulling off the first wire by firmly grasping the boot that covers the spark plug. Wiggle the boot while pulling it away from the plug. Repeat this process for each wire, making sure to keep them in the correct order.

Remove the Old Spark Plugs

Using a socket wrench and spark plug socket, loosen the old spark plug by turning it counterclockwise. Once it is loose, carefully remove it from the engine. Inspect the old spark plug for signs of wear or damage.

Check and Adjust the Spark Plug Gap

Before installing the new spark plugs, it’s important to check and adjust the spark plug gap. The gap refers to the space between the center and ground electrodes. Use a gap gauge to measure the gap and adjust it if necessary. Refer to your vehicle’s specifications for the correct gap measurement.

Apply Dielectric Grease

Apply a thin layer of dielectric grease to the inside of the spark plug boot. This will help prevent moisture and corrosion. Make sure not to apply too much grease as it can interfere with the electrical connection.

Install the New Spark Plugs

Insert the new spark plug into the spark plug socket and carefully thread it into the engine by hand. Once it is hand-tight, use the socket wrench to tighten it further. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage the threads.

Reattach the Spark Plug Wires

Starting with the first spark plug wire, push the boot onto the new spark plug until you feel it click into place. Repeat this process for each wire, making sure to connect them in the correct order according to the firing order diagram.

Repeat the Process

Once you have installed all the new spark plugs, repeat the process for each remaining spark plug. Make sure to take your time and be careful not to damage any components or wires in the process.


Changing spark plugs is a relatively easy task that can greatly improve your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency. By following this step-by-step guide, you can confidently change the spark plugs in your vehicle and keep it running smoothly. Remember to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for any specific instructions or recommendations. Happy wrenching!

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