How to Change Spark Plugs on a 2001 Toyota Rav4by Justin Cupler
The Toyota RAV4 first arrived on the U.S. automotive scene in the 1996 model year, though Japan had it a year earlier. The initial RAV4 came fitted with a 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine that produced 120 horsepower. Toyota redesigned the RAV4 for the 2001 model year, giving it sleeker lines and an aerodynamic appearance. The 2001 RAV4 came fitted with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 148 horsepower. Toyota recommends changing the spark plugs on the 2001 RAV4 every 120,000 miles.
Check the gap at the base of the new spark plugs with a spark plug gap tool. If the gap on any plug is not between 0.039 and 0.043, exchange the plug for a new one. Do not attempt to adjust the gap on the plugs.
Open the two latches on the passenger's side of the air-filter box. Pull the front half of the air box toward the front of the engine and push it to the side. Remove the air filter from inside the air-filter box. This allows you access to the ignition coil packs.
Unplug the wiring harness from the top of one coil pack. Remove the bolt securing the coil pack with a ratchet and socket, and pull the coil up from the engine.
Remove the spark plug using a ratchet, 6-inch extension and a spark plug socket.
Hand-tighten the new spark plug into the RAV4's engine and torque it to 14 foot-pounds with a torque wrench, 6-inch extension and a spark plug socket.
Squeeze a small amount of dielectric grease into the rubber boot at the bottom of the ignition coil pack. Push the coil pack onto the new spark plug until it clicks into place. Tighten the coil pack bolt to 6 to 7 foot-pounds with a torque wrench, 6-inch extension and a spark plug socket. Reconnect the wiring harness on the top of the coil pack.
Replace all four spark plugs, by repeating Steps 4 through 7 on all four plugs.
Sit the air filter back into the air-filter box. Reinstall the front half of the air-filter box and close the latches to lock it in place.
Things You'll Need
- Spark plug gap tool
- Phillips screwdriver
- Socket set
- 6-inch extension
- Spark plug socket
- Dielectric grease
- Torque wrench
Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Autos.com. Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.