3. Spark Plugs
- Tools You Need: Ratchet or socket wrench, 12″ socket extension, spark plug socket
- Time to Complete: 20 to 30 minutes
- Estimated Cost: $10 to $15
Most spark plugs need replacing after about 30,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle is any different. While changing spark plugs might sound like intense work, it’s a pretty simple process. You just need to set aside some time and exercise patience. Don’t rush, because you need to install the replacements in a specific order.
- You should be able to locate your spark plugs fairly easily, because they’re attached to thick rubbery wires.
- You’ll find either four, six, or eight plugs, depending on how many cylinders your car has.
- Remove the wire to the first spark plug only. Do not remove all of the wires at once. Your spark plugs are installed in a certain order, which you need to maintain.
- Use your spark plug socket and extension on your ratchet to remove the first spark plug.
- Install the new spark plug, screwing it in by hand at first and then tightening it with a wrench for a snug fit. Do not over-tighten.
- Re-attach the spark plug wire.
Repeat these steps for each spark plug, one at a time. If you buy the right plugs, you won’t have to worry about “gapping” the plugs, because they’ll come pre-gapped.