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How to Replace Spark Plugs in a Ford Escape

by Owen Pearson; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Ratchet set with extender bar

  • Screwdriver

  • Spark plug socket

  • Set of six spark plugs for a Ford Escape

  • Anti-seize oil

  • Set of six intake manifold gaskets

If you have noticed that your Ford Escape has lost power, your spark plugs may be the problem. Over time, spark plugs lose their ability to provide a consistent spark, which can make your engine run roughly. Although changing the spark plugs in your Ford Escape is a bit different than in other passenger vehicles, it is still a fairly straightforward process. Most novice mechanics should be able to replace the spark plugs in a Ford Escape in about three to four hours.

Open the hood and locate the nuts holding the plastic appearance cover on top of the engine. On the Ford Escape, there are three 8-mm nuts securing the appearance cover in place. Remove the nuts, lift of the cover and set it aside.

Locate the air intake tube near the windshield. You will see a clamp holding the tube to the throttle body. Turn the screw counterclockwise with a screwdriver to loosen the clamp. Remove the tube from the throttle assembly and set it aside. Pull out the breather hose that is inserted into the end of the air hose.

Remove the throttle and cruise control cables from the throttle body. On the Ford Escape, the throttle cable twists off, while the cruise control cable has release tabs. Set the ends of these cables aside. Remove the screws holding the cable bracket to the intake manifold, and put the bracket and screws in a storage container.

Disconnect the throttle position sensor and idle air control by separating the connectors with your fingers. Locate vacuum and vapor hoses on the vapor management valve. Carefully pry apart the tabs on these hoses to remove them.

Locate the vacuum hose on the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve. Pull off this hose, as well as the two hoses connecting to the EGR solenoid. Press the tab on the solenoid connector to release it. Remove the EGR tube from the valve with a 1 1/8-inch wrench.

Remove the vacuum hoses and unclip the electrical connectors from the manifold. Remove the nut connecting the wiring bracket to the EGR solenoid. Place the bracket in a storage container.

Remove the bolts securing the upper manifold to the lower manifolds. On the Ford Escape, there are eight bolts around the perimeter of the upper manifold. Stuff clean shop rags in the intake ports to prevent debris from entering the engine.

Squeeze the connectors for each Coil on Plug (COP) to disconnect. There is a COP for each cylinder. Remove the bolts holding the COPs in place and set the COPs aside.

Blow out any debris in the spark plug well with a can of compressed air. Slide a spark plug socket on a ratchet. Remove each of the six spark plugs.

Use a gap tool to gap each new spark plug to 0.052 inches. Coat the threads with anti-seize oil. Thread the new spark plugs into the spark plug opening by hand and use the spark plug socket to tighten them.

Turn over the upper manifold and pry off the six gaskets with a small screwdriver. Press new gaskets in place. Replace the COPs and bolts, then attach the connectors. Remove the shop rags from the intake valves. Reassemble the manifold, EGR valve and solenoid and throttle assembly.

Warnings

Be sure to replace valves, connectors, cables and all other parts in the reverse order you used when taking them apart. This will help you keep from forgetting a connection or putting the manifold together incorrectly.

About the Author

Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.

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