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How to Replace the Spark Plugs on a 2005 Altima 3.5 SE

by Lee Newberry

The Nissan Altima is considered by the automotive community to be a mid-sized sedan. Regarding size and ambiance, the 2005 SE model is no different. The engine compartment is located at the front of the vehicle, under the hood. Engine access is needed to perform this procedure. Spark-plug replacement can be performed with common tools and little to no experience. Refer to the 2005 Nissan Altima Owner's Manual for the factory recommended parts, parts numbers and torque levels required to complete the procedure.

Step 1

Automobile Engine Compartment with the Hood in the Raised Position

Locate the engine compartment and raise the hood. Secure the hood with the prop-rod.

Step 2

Locate the battery in the engine compartment.

Step 3

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal.

Step 4

Remove the engine cover. Be careful not to damage the engine cover.

Step 5

Locate the ignition coil packs. There are six ignition coil packs on the 3.5 engine, one for each spark plug. They can be located on the top of the spark plug and spark plug boot.

Step 6

Locate the wiring harness connector that is connected to each ignition coil pack.

Step 7

Flat Head Screwdriver

Pry upward with a flat head screwdriver on the connector tab to release the wiring harness.

Step 8

Pull outward on the wiring harness connector by hand until the wiring harness is removed.

Step 9

Remove the ignition coil pack bolt with a socket and socket-wrench by turning the bolt counterclockwise.

Step 10

Remove the ignition coil pack and spark-plug boot by pulling upward until it releases.

Step 11

Typical Spark-Plug Socket and Socket-Wrench

Remove the spark plug by placing a spark-plug socket down on the spark plug and turning counterclockwise with a socket wrench until removed. Be careful not to damage the ceramic spark-plug insulator.

Step 12

Place the new spark plug down into the spark plug compartment and turn clockwise by hand until the spark plug is hand tightened.

Step 13

Spark Plug's with the Typical White Ceramic Insulator

Turn the spark-plug clockwise with the spark-plug socket and wrench until the manufactures recommended torque is reached. Be careful not to damage the spark-plug ceramic insulator during this procedure.

Step 14

Place the ignition coil pack and spark-plug boot assembly on top of the new spark plug and push downward by hand until you hear a snap.

Step 15

Insert the ignition coil pack bolt into the ignition coil pack and turn clockwise with a socket and socket wrench until the manufactures recommended torque is reached.

Step 16

Push the wiring harness connector onto the ignition coil pack by hand until you hear the connector tab snap.

Step 17

Install the engine cover.

Connect the negative battery cable.


  • The battery can be located by referring to the owner's manual. Spark-plug replacement should be performed on a cold engine. Spark-plug replacement should be performed one cylinder at a time. Refer to the owner's manual for specific bolt tightening torque levels. Read all of the steps required to complete this procedure before beginning.


  • Always disconnect the negative battery cable when performing any automotive repairs.

Items you will need

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Spark-plug socket
  • Socket wrench
  • Torque wrench

About the Author

Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Lee Newberry began writing in 1988 as a junior high school student. Newberry went on to write for his high school paper and landed a spot as an adaptive script writer for a local Southern Illinois theatre group. Newberry went on to receive his master's degree in English and bachelor's degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University.

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