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How to Change Spark Plugs on an 2001 Pontiac Grand Am

by Tim Petruccio

The 2001 Pontiac Grand Am base model came equipped with a 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine, which produced 150 horsepower. The 2001 Grand Am also offered an optional 3.4-liter V-6 engine. The 2001 Grand Am 2.4-liter engine featured a coil module and coil packs built right into the top of the engine, underneath a special cover. There are no spark plug wires to remove for this project, as everything is tucked neatly beneath the coil module cover.

1

Open the hood on the Grand Am and set the prop rod. Remove the negative battery terminal lead from the battery, using a ratchet and an 8 mm socket. Set the battery lead and negative cable off to the side of the battery, so there is no chance of any contact between the two during this project.

2

Remove the plastic cover on the top center of the engine. This is the ignition coil cover. Use a ratchet and socket to remove the four mounting bolts from the cover. Pull the cover straight upward, exposing the spark plugs below.

3

Remove a spark plug from the engine with a ratchet, extension and 5/8-inch-drive spark plug socket. Turn the plug counterclockwise to remove it from the engine. Once the plug is loose enough, remove the ratchet from the extension. Use the extension and the spark plug socket by hand to remove the plug the rest of the way.

4

Set the gap on your new spark plugs to 0.50 with a spark plug gap gauge. Note that some spark plugs are not adjustable when it comes to gap adjustments. Do not try to alter this type of plug, as it will destroy the plug. Read the instructions on the spark plug box carefully. If any of the spark plug connectors stick to the top of the old plugs at all, use a spark plug boot insulator remover to pull them off. Insert the boot insulator back into the coil that it came out of, by hand.

5

Insert a new spark plug into the spark plug socket. Install the spark plug and socket straight downward into the spark plug hole. Turn the extension attached to the socket by hand, to ensure proper threading of the spark plug. Continue turning the extension until the plug is snug. Tighten the spark plug to 14 foot-pounds by attaching a torque wrench to the extension and spark plug socket, and turning clockwise.

6

Repeat steps 3 through 5 to complete the replacement of the other three spark plugs.

7

Install the coil cover back onto the top of the engine. Install and tighten the four mounting-bolts to 16 foot-pounds, with the torque wrench and a socket. Connect the negative battery lead and cable back onto the battery, and tighten the lead snug with a ratchet and socket.

Tips

  • General Motors used platinum spark plugs for the factory 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. It is recommended to replace the plugs with original equipment or better quality plugs, for optimal performance.
  • Replacing one plug at a time will prevent confusion as to which plugs you have replaced and which ones you still have to replace.

Warning

  • Improper torque of spark plugs can lead to damage to the pistons. Do not over-tighten the spark plugs.

Items you will need

About the Author

Tim Petruccio is a professional writer and automotive mechanic. His writing combines more than 20 years of mechanical experience in automotive service, service management, automotive education and business ownership. He assisted in the automotive beta, which launched March 2011.

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