How to Change Spark Plugs

The humble spark plug has changed very little over the years—and changing them is as simple as ever.

You will need

  • A vehicle owner's manual
  • New spark plugs
  • A socket wrench
  • A spark plug socket
  • A socket wrench swivel joint
  • And a socket wrench extension
  • A spark plug wire puller
  • A cleaning rag
  • And rubbing alcohol

Step 1 Let car cool down Park your car and wait for it to cool down. This may take a few hours, since the spark plugs are among the hottest parts of your engine.

Step 2 Locate spark plugs Pop open the hood and locate your spark plugs by referring to your owner’s manual.

Step 3 Remove one spark plug Remove one spark plug wire from the end of the row by pulling its boot, or the little cap where it connects to the engine — not by yanking on the wire itself.

Step 4 Attach spark plug to socket wrench Attach the spark plug socket to the socket wrench. You may need to use a swivel joint and/or a socket wrench extension to reach the spark plug.

Step 5 Remove spark plug Remove the spark plug by turning the socket wrench counterclockwise.

Step 6 Make sure hole's clean Make sure that the spark plug hole is clean. If necessary, use a rag and rubbing alcohol or compressed air to clean the spark plug hole.

Step 7 Install new spark plug Carefully install a new spark plug into the empty hole and tighten it by hand.

Step 8 Secure new spark plug Use the socket wrench to secure the new spark plug in place.

Step 9 Reconnect spark plug wire Reconnect the spark plug wire onto the new spark plug.

Step 10 Move on to next spark plug When you have successfully changed a spark plug, move on to the next one until you have finished installing all new plugs.