ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to change spark plugs on your car

Updated on October 18, 2010

Why replace your own spark plugs?

Replacing your spark plugs can improve your gas mileage and keep your engine running smoothly. You can have this done at an auto repair shop, but why not learn how to do it yourself. It doesn't take long, the spark plugs are cheap, and you'll learn a little more about your car.

What you'll need

Before you pop open the hood and get started, gather the following things:

  • A ratchet wrench with a 12 inch extension
  • A spark plug socket that's appropriate for your car

Find your spark plugs

Now you can open up the hood and find the spark plugs on your engine. There is a spark plug at the top of each cylinder, if that makes it easier for you to find them. They're located at the end of those thick rubber wires. If you have a 4 cylinder engine, chances are (unless you've got a really obscure engine) your cylinders are "inline", meaning they are all in a row and your spark plugs will be at the top of your engine. If you have an 8 cylinder engine, chances are you have a "V8", which means your cylinders are in a V shape, so you'll have 4 spark plugs on each side of the engine. If you have a 6 cylinder engine, it could be either way. There are a lot of both V6 and inline 6 engines out there.

Changing a spark plug

Always pull out and change each individual spark plug completely before moving on to the next one on the engine. Why is this necessary? Because you can screw things up very badly if you were to connect one of those rubber wires to the wrong spark plug. Those spark plugs need to fire in a particular order, and you'll mess that up if you switch up the rubber wires.

You can now wiggle the spark plug off, grabbing it close to the engine block. You'll pull out the entire spark plug socket. Now you can use your socket wrench with the extension to pull the old spark plug out of the socket. There should be a rubber grip on the socket to give you something to grab while loosening the spark plug out of there.

Inspect your old spark plugs. If they are oily or white, you might have other engine problems and you should consult a mechanic. Make sure your new spark plugs look like the old ones just without the crud.

Put the new spark plug back in the socket just as the old one was and put it back in the engine. Tighten it by hand at first to avoid cross threading. Tighten it with your wrench so it's snug. Don't overtighten it. Now you can put the spark plug wire back on. Do this for all your spark plugs and you'll be all set.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)