How to Change Plugs in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Replacing the spark plugs on your Vehicles is an important task to ensure your Vehicles runs smooth and Vehicles optimum fuel efficiency. The spark plug is the working end of the ignition system. The distributor sends high voltage to the spark plug, which in turns makes a spark. The spark mixes with the fuel and the oxygen is what makes the pistons move. They are done in a specific order to ensure the motor runs smoothly and without hesitation. When the van starts running rough, it will be time to investigate your spark plugs Vehicles corrosion.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change Plugs in Ford Econoline

Removing the Spark Plugs in an Econoline Van

Remove the interior engine cover. The cover is attached with clasping latches to pop open and loosen the hooks that hold the cover in place. Floor bolts also must be removed. Pull the panel off.

Open the engine hood on the exterior to let in light.

If replacing spark plug wires, as is generally done at time of spark plug replacement, do so now. One by one, detach the cable from the distributor cap and then attach the cable to the spark plug, so that you don't lose the firing order.

Loosen and remove the spark plugs with the 5/8-inch socket. A special socket with a rubber grommet in it is used to grip the spark plugs after they are loosened. If a specific socket for spark plug removal isn't available, however, a standard 5/8-inch socket may be used, even though it may make it difficult to grip the plugs to pull them out of the chamber.

Replace each plug as it is removed so that debris doesn't fall into the combustion chamber. Reattach each spark plug wire after screwing in each plug. Plugs should be snug but not overly tight.

Items you will need

  • 5/8-inch socket for spark plugs

  • Socket wrench

  • Replacement spark plugs

  • Socket wrench extension

  • Socket set

 How to Change the Plugs in a Mercury Villager

Lift the hood.

Disconnect the battery; remove the negative ("-") cable from the battery. Never work on a car's engine with the battery still connected.

Create the correct gap in the new spark plugs with the feeler gauge. You can do this by spreading open the metal bands of the feeler gauge into a fan shape and looking at the markings on them. These indicate the width of each gauge. Then align the two bands together that will give you the width measurement needed for the spark plug. This is printed on the box of the spark plug and will show different widths for different vehicles. Insert the gauges between the tip of the spark plug and the electrode.

Locate the spark plugs at the side of the engine. These sit about a quarter of the way down the height of the engine on a Villager. The firing order of a Villager is 1-2-3-4-5-6 and the No. 1 spark plug is located at the right rear of the engine.The rear plugs on a Villager have a nut and metal cover, and you will need a nut and wrench to remove these.

Release the spark plug by turning the spark plug wire in a clockwise direction. This is located at the base of the spark plug and operates the locking mechanism.

Remove the spark plug using the socket wrench and arm.

Check the spark plug wire. If there is debris, clean it up with a wire brush.

Spray or rub the anti-seize compound onto the threads of the new spark plug and into the wire socket.

Insert the new spark plug, and tighten by hand. Difficult access may involve using the socket wrench, but tighten carefully to avoid cross-threading or damaging the plug.

Attach the spark plug wire to the plug and tighten by hand.

Repeat steps 5 through 10 for each spark plug.

Reconnect the battery, and start up the Villager to test it.

Items you will need

  • Spark plug socket

  • Socket wrench with extension arm

  • Wire brush

  • Anti-seize compound

  • Feeler gauge

 How to Change the Plugs on a 1996 Toyota Corolla

Pop up the hood on your Toyota Corolla. Make sure the engine is completely cool before you begin. Find the spark plug wires, which run along both sides of the engine.

Grasp one of the spark plug wires at the end or "boot." Twist left and then right to release the wire. Pull the wire away from to expose the spark plug below. Repeat this for each spark plug wire.

Attach the spark plug socket to the socket wrench and slip it over a spark plug in your Corolla. Unscrew the spark plug, remove and discard. Do this for each spark plug.

Insert a fresh spark plug into a cylinder well and turn it into place by hand. Test the tension with a tension tester and adjust it to the specs listed on the spark plug packaging. Repeat this step to replace each spark plug that you removed.

Reconnect the spark plug wires by clicking one wire onto each spark plug.

Items you will need

  • Spark plug socket

  • Socket wrench

  • New spark plugs

  • Tension tester

 How to Change the Plugs in a 2000 Silverado

Remove the spark plug wire from the number one cylinder (front plug on the driver side) using the spark plug wire pliers and a twisting/pulling motion. Unscrew the spark plug from the cylinder head using the spark plug socket, a three-inch extension and the socket wrench. Repeat for the remaining three plugs on the driver side of the engine.

Coat the threads of a new spark plug with a light coating of anti-seize compound, and screw it into the spark plug hole by hand. Tighten it snugly with the spark plug socket and wrench. Reinstall the plug wire onto the spark plug by pushing until it snaps into place. Repeat for the remaining three plugs on the driver side.

Remove the air-filter housing located on the left (passenger side) of the engine compartment by releasing the latch and loosening the clamp that attaches the air duct to the throttle body. This allows access to the passenger side plugs. Remove and replace the spark plugs in the same manner as the driver side. Reinstall the plug wires, air filter housing and duct. Start the engine and test drive to verify the repair.

Items you will need

  • 5/8-inch spark plug socket

  • 3/8-inch-drive socket wrench

  • 3/8-inch-drive extensions

  • Spark plug wire pliers

  • Spark plugs

  • Anti-seize compound

 How to Change the Plugs in a 300C

Remove the hex screws securing the plastic engine cover. Lift the cover off and set it aside.

Locate the coil plug sets on each side of the engine block. Remove the electrical connector from the plug set closest to you on the passenger's side. To remove the electrical connector, slide the red tab to the left, then depress the center clip and pull up on the connector.

Pull up on the secondary boot wire connected to the second plug of the coil assembly. Set the boot aside.

Locate the two 10mm bolts holding the coil pack to the engine block. Remove these bolts with a ratchet and a 10mm socket. Gently lift up to release the suction and dislodge the coil pack.

Attach a 5/8-inch spark plug socket to an extension bar, and attach the bar to the ratchet. Remove the two spark plugs from the holes in the engine by turning them counter-clockwise.

Gap the new spark plugs to 0.045 inches with a gap tool. Spread anti-seize oil on the threads of the new plugs. Insert the new plugs into the holes and tighten by hand. Further tighten the plugs with a ratchet.

Replace the coil pack and tighten the bolts. Replace the secondary boot wire and press it into place. Position the electrical connector and press down until the center tab locks. Slide the red tab to the right to secure it in place.

Repeat the process with each of the other seven coil packs.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Extension bar

  • Spark plug socket

  • 16 replacement spark plugs

  • Gap tool

  • Anti-seize oil

 How to Change the Plugs on a Ford E350

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. The spark plugs are located along the sides of the motor. They will have a wire running to each of them.

Pull the wire off the plug. Grasp the wire by the bottom of it and pull toward you.

Loosen the spark plug with the socket wrench. Ensure you have a 5/8th size spark plug socket with which to remove the plugs.

Place the new spark plug in the socket with the threaded end pointing out. Start the spark plug to the empty cylinder. Tighten the spark plug till it is snug.

Push the spark plug wire back on to the plug. Push till it makes a clicking sound.

Repeat this step on the remaining cylinders. Depending on the motor you will have to replace 8 to 12 spark plugs.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • 5/8th deep-well spark plug wrench

  • New spark plugs

 How to Change the Plugs on an Altima 3.5

Open the car hood and let the engine cool for one hour if it had been running. Touch the engine head lightly to make sure it is cool enough to work on. Determine the proper size socket to use by measuring them against one of your new spark plugs. Use your eye to see which sockets seem to fit and slip the plug into each one until you find a match. Remove the plastic engine cover by unscrewing the two set screws located on the top using your Philips screwdriver. Pull upward on the cover until the anchor posts release and it comes loose.

Detach the spark plug wire from the spark plug on the front left end of the engine. Place your socket over the plug and apply pressure in an attempt to turn it counterclockwise. The front plugs should be fairly easy to remove unless they are very old. If they do not loosen easily then spray some WD-40 or other lubricant around the threads of the plug and wait for it to work its way in and loosen things up. Use your ratchet and remove the plug. Dispose of the old plug.

Gap a new spark plug using your spark plug gapper. Slide the gapper between the plug filament and the electrode to measure the gap. If the gap is too large turn the plug over and press down on the top filament until it comes in contact with the gapper. If the gap is too small, use a flat head screwdriver to pry it open a bit and then close it over the gapper in the same manner.

Insert the spark plug into the cylinder head and turn it clockwise with your fingers. Turn it as far as you can manually then use your ratchet to tighten it the rest of the way. The fit should be snug but not overly tight. Reattach the spark plug wire and move on to the next plug at the front center of the engine. Continue this process for all six plugs. Reinstall the plastic engine cover.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet set

  • WD-40

  • New spark plugs

  • Spark plug gapper

  • Spark plug socket (optional)

  • Philips screwdriver

  • Flat-head screwdriver

About the Author

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