Last updated: August 2023

How to Change Spark Plugs

Time to change your spark plugs? Don’t sweat it! Spark plugs aren’t only inexpensive, they can also be fairly simple to change yourself, provided you have the right tools and feel comfortable behind the hood. An hour of your time could save you around $40 to $350 in labor costs. Plus, you typically only have to change them every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. That’s one car maintenance task you don’t have to worry about too often!

How to change your spark plugs step-by-step:

First, gather your tools and materials. You’ll need the following items.1

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Shop towels
  • Air compressor
  • Ratcheting socket wrench
  • Socket wrench extension bar
  • Spark plug socket
  • Wire brush
  • Spark plug gap tool
  • Torque wrench
  • Spark plugs

Next, park your car on a flat surface. Put on your gloves and safety glasses. When the engine is cool, disconnect the negative battery terminal.2

Step 1: Locate the spark plugs and clean the area around them with shop towels and compressed air.

Step 2: Remove the cables or the boots depending on your vehicle. Then, remove the spark plugs using your ratcheting socket wrench with socket wrench extension bar and spark plug socket.

Step 3: Inspect plugs for wear and clean the wire terminals using the fine wire brush.

Step 4: After you use the spark plug gap tool to adjust the plugs to your vehicle's gap specifications, install the new plugs with the extension bar and spark plug socket.

Step 5: Tighten with the torque wrench.

Be sure to replace the wires if your vehicle has them!

To learn about other ways you could save, call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (877-463-4732), Request a quote online, or visit a  Direct Auto location  near you to talk with a friendly Direct Auto agent about multiple discounts that could save you up to 25% on your car insurance.


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