The fuel and oxygen rushing into your engine's cylinders would be completely useless if it weren't for your spark plugs. The arc of electricity generated by spark plugs ignights the fuel in your cylinders, making the pistons, and your vehicle, go. After a while, your plugs can get worn out and put out a weaker spark, which diminishes your performance and fuel economy. Luckily, spark plugs are relatively inexpensive and they're easy to replace. Read on and see how you can do it yourself.
Replacing Your Spark Plugs
Here are the tools you need to replace your spark plugs:
- Ratchet Wrench
- Spark Plug Socket (these are specially designed for spark plugs - pick one up at your local auto parts store)
- 12-Inch Socket Extender
And now, on to the installation:
- Perform these steps for one spark plug at a time! The wiring order of your spark plugs is critical to your engine's function and performance. Disconnecting all the spark plugs at once can lead to mix-ups when rewiring, which can cause a loss of power, problems starting, or nasty backfires, so avoid that problem by replacing each plug individually.
- Find your spark plugs. They're connected to the distributor cap with thick, rubbery wires, so if you follow these wires to the engine you'll find where they connect.
- Remove the wire from the spark plug by gripping the base by the engine and pulling up. You may have to wiggle the connection a bit.
- Mount the extension and socket onto your ratchet wrench, and slide it over the old plug. Loosen the plug and pull it out.
- Examine the old plug. Used spark plugs should have a little bit of soot on the end. If the plug is oily or white on the end, that may be indicative of a problem in your engine.
- Place the new plug in the socket, guide it into the hole, and hand-tighten it into by holding the extension. Be very careful not to hit the plug or ram it into anything, as this can bend the pole and change the finely-tuned spark gap.
- Once the plug is hand-tightened, apply the wrench to tighten it snugly. Excessive torque is not necessary, and can actually damage the plug or your engine, so go easy with the wrench.
- Repeat these steps for each spark plug, fire up your engine, and enjoy your renewed performance!
If you have any other questions about installing new spark plugs, feel free to call us at 800-663-1570 and our experts will help you out. Also, check out our spark plugs reviews while you shop to find the best spark plugs for your particular vehicle. Good luck!