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How to Replace Spark Plugs in a Toyota Camry

by Contributor

Spark plugs are located in the internal combustion engine and produce a spark to ignite the fuel. You should replace platinum-tipped spark plugs in a Camry every 60,000 miles. The back three spark plugs on the V6 are difficult to reach without a socket extension. Buy well-insulated replacement spark plugs to ensure the spark happens at the tip of the electrode.

Removing the Spark Plugs

Unhook the negative battery cable whenever working with metal tools that could come in contact with the battery and cause a spark.

Remove the ignition coil from the Camry's cylinder head with a torque wrench.

Twist the spark plug wire boot loose, and then pull it off the plug. Inspect the boot for damage and replace it if necessary.

Blow into the spark plug well with compressed air to remove harmful contaminants. Alternatively, vacuum out the well or brush away debris with a clean towel.

Grab the recessed plug with a spark plug socket and turn counterclockwise to remove it. A spark plug socket has a special rubber fitting that grabs the plug.

Installing the Spark Plugs

Adjust the gap on the replacement plug with a feeler gauge. The gap on a Camry should be .043 inches.

Thread the plug by hand or use a standard socket. If you try to use a spark plug socket, it will grip the spark plug and you won't be able to get the socket out. If it's not threading smoothly, use a thread chaser to clean the threads in a cylinder head.

Tighten the spark plugs to 11 ft-lbs. if installed into the existing cylinder head. On a a new cylinder head, tighten to 15 ft-lbs.

Push the spark plug boot on the plug until it clicks into place. Pull on it gently to make sure it's securely in place.

Repeat all steps for the other spark plugs. Use an extension on the spark plug socket to reach the back spark plugs on the V6.

Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Tip

  • Always remove one spark plug at a time so the wires don't get mixed up. If you need to remove all the wires at once, number the wires with tape to keep them straight.

Warning

  • Never remove spark plugs on a hot engine. Wait for it to completely cool before beginning or you can damage the cylinder head threads.

Items you will need

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