How to Replace the Spark Plugs in a 2001 Toyota Tacomaby Kevin Mclain
The spark plugs on the 2001 Toyota Tacoma motor are designed to supply the spark needed to the combustion chamber during the combustion process. The spark ignites the gas fumes and causes the combustion which in return causes the piston to move up and down. When the engine is running, the coil sends the electrical current to the spark plugs that causes the plugs to spark. Over time the spark plus will begin to corrode around the spark base causing the plugs to misfire. Once this happens, change the spark plugs out immediately for maximum engine performance.
Open the hood and locate the row of spark plugs on the driver side and passenger side of the engine. The 2001 Toyota Tacoma comes with basic spark plug wires on the driver side of the engine and ignition coil plugs on the passenger side of the engine. Start replacing the spark plugs on the driver side of the engine.
Pull the first spark plug wire off of the driver side spark plug closest to the front of the vehicle. Insert the deep-well socket and the six-inch extension onto the spark plug. Lock the ratchet onto the extension and turn the ratchet counter clockwise to loosen the spark plug. Remove the ratchet and finish unscrewing the plug with your fingers. Pull the spark plug out of the hole and discard it.
Screw the new spark plug into the hole with your hand until it stops turning. Continue to tighten the spark plug another half-turn with the ratchet, extension and socket to properly tighten the plug. Push the spark plug wire over the new spark plug until it locks on to the end of the plug. Move to the other driver side spark plugs and repeat the same process for replacing the plugs one plug at a time.
Move to the passenger side of the engine and unscrew the top of the ignition coil wire from the first spark plug closest to the front of the vehicle with your hand. Pull the wire off of the spark plug and insert the spark plug socket, extension and ratchet onto the plug. Turn the ratchet counter clockwise to loosen the plug. Remove the ratchet from the plug and finish unscrewing the plug with your hand. Pull the plug out of the hole and discard it.
Screw the new spark plug into the hole until it stops turning. Finish tightening the plug by turning the plug another half-turn with the ratchet, extension and socket. Push the ignition coil wire back onto the top of the spark plug wire and screw the top of the coil wire onto the spark plug clockwise until the end of the coil wire is tightened to the top of the spark plug. Move to the other passenger side spark plugs and repeat the same process for replacing the spark plugs one plug at a time.
Inspect all of the plugs and plug wires to ensure that all of the plug wires are securely attached to each spark plug. Crank the vehicle for about thirty seconds to test the operation of the new spark plugs. The engine should be running smoothly with the new spark plugs in place.
- " Toyota Tacoma, 4 Runner & T100 Haynes Repair Manual covering Tacoma (1995 thru 2004), 4 Runner (1996 thru 2002), and T100 (1993 thru 1998)"; John Haynes; 2005
- * Replacing the spark plugs one at a time will prevent any of the plug wires from being crossed.
- *The passenger side spark plug wires are the ignition coil wires. The end of the coil wire is threaded onto the top of the spark plug. The wires have to be removed from the plugs by first unscrewing the ends before pulling the wires off.
- The deep well spark plug socket can be purchased at any auto parts store that also sells the spark plugs. Be sure to get the spark lug socket that has the rubber seal inside of it. The rubber seal prevents the spark plug from being damaged when loosening and tightening the spark plug.
Things You'll Need
- 1/2-inch drive ratchet
- 1/2-inch drive 6-inch extension
- 1/2-inch drive deep-well spark plug socket
- Never touch a spark plug or a spark plug wire when the engine is running. This can result in a serious shock.
Kevin Mclain has more than 20 years of automotive, home improvement and landscaping experience. He has been writing for various online publications since 2002. Mclain has U.S. Army certification in automotive maintenance and repair, among more than 15 additional certifications related to the automotive field.