If your V6 needed its sparkplugs changed, where would you take it, to a dealer or a private shop?
My 2011 Venza has almost 90K miles. The sparkplugs are original, and though the engine (V-6) is smooth as silk, I know it’s getting time, maybe past time, to change them.
At 71, I can remember when changing spark plugs was an annual event. (Along with a distributor cap, rotor, points, capacitor…good times, huh.)
Almost 20 years ago I had a Ford Taurus with a V6 that required, or so I remember, the plugs to be changed at 30K. Access to the front bank was easy, but the back bank was so close to the firewall that I gave up on doing it myself. (Speaking of back, my own told me not to spend too much time on those plugs if I knew what was good for me.)
The Taurus, though bought used, was the newest car I’d every had, so I took it to the closest Ford dealer for the plug change. I was willing to pay more to have the job done right.
Driving the car home from the dealer, I heard pops on the radio that increased in speed along with the engine RPMs. It didn’t take long to see the gas mileage had dropped badly. I took the car back to the dealer, described the symptoms and said it hadn’t been the case before the plugs were changed. (I thought one of the sparkplug wires or caps had been damaged during the plug change, causing arcing, but didn’t tell the dealer how to do his diagnosis.)
When I picked up the car the next day, the pops were quieter but still there. The gas mileage never got better. I was happy to sell the car a couple years later.
Now it’s time for the Venza to have its plugs changed. No, I won’t do it myself, again to save my back and because I probably won’t have access to the back bank. (Or is it easy on this car?)
But San Antonio is full of small auto repair shops. Should I use one of them, or should I use the much more expensive dealership?
Maybe what I’m really asking is if this is such a simple job for a competent mechanic that I’d be throwing money away by going to a dealer.