How to change Spark Plugs and Wires

Spark plugs and spark plug wires are very common and easy fixes on almost any vehicle. Spark plugs are supposed to last close to 100,000 miles, and it's recommended to change the wires with them. Depending on the type of vehicle and motor, this could be a simple 20 minute job, or maybe a little longer. Any spark plug and wire combination can be bought at your local parts store. The information they will need includes: Make, Model, Year, and possibly other information such as: Sub model and Engine.

After buying the correct plugs and wires, you can begin changing them out. This is where things vary from vehicle to vehicle. Always be sure to disconnect the battery for safety reasons. Next, you can start locating the plug wires. They will go from either you coil pack or distributor depending on your vehicle. Since most plug wires are made and packaged according to certain vehicle needs, they really can only go on one way. When removing the old wires from your motor, be sure to pull them off the spark plug by gripping the "L" or thickest part of the wire.

After you have all the wires removed, we can begin removing the spark plugs. This is where things can go smoothly or badly. Patience and attention to detail are important here. First, we need to find the correct size socket. After this, we can secure the socket onto the nut part of the plug. Make sure it's on securely to avoid stripping or breaking the plug. With your socket in place, attach any extensions required to reach it with your ratchet. Attach the ratchet, and turn counterclockwise. They will be on pretty tightly so do not force loose with quick pushes or pulls. Steady pressure is the key.

If you should break of one the plugs, check to see if the nut is still attached to the lower part of the plug. If it is, you're still in business. If it's not, you will require assistance to remove the busted plug.

Now we can begin the gapping process. When you buy your plugs and wires at your local parts store, it's wise to buy a plug gaper. These are little gauges that determine the gap between the firing pin and flint as I call them. If you need assistance the men and women at the parts store can assist you.

Once you have all the plugs removed and gapped, we can start to install the new ones. It's best to start the plugs into their holes by finger, and then tighten them down with the socket and ratchet. Be sure not to tighten too much or you may snap off the plug.

After all the plugs have been reinstalled, you can now start installing the wires. Typically the shortest wires go to the closest plugs and so on. Be sure to run the wires away from any belts, or any major heat source such as exhaust or hoses. Many times there will be guides attached to your motor that the wires snap into. Depending on if your motor uses a distributor or coils; you will need to assign the corresponding wire plugged into the distributor or coil to the proper plug. Your firing order will determine this order. After all the plugs and wires are installed correctly, you can now reconnect your battery.