Changing Spark Plugs


2000 Integra, 55k miles, Bought in 2004 at 38k miles

I am considering changing the Spark Plugs - not sure the history and unsure if I still need to change? It starts fine - my other car had new plugs in 2003 and it seems a bit more crisper than this one - that is why I thought of changing it.

I never done it before:

0) SHould I buy it from Dealer? Last time mechanic had me buy it from the Dealer.

1) Should I also change the rubber washers? The mechanic had me buy it too for the other car.

2) Is there some sort of grease I need to apply to the plugs’ thread to avoid freeze? What is it called?

3) What about the gap? Should I check or just put it in?

Pls advice me. Thanks.


First, locate the plugs and remove one of them carefully. Pull the wire boots off by grasping the boot, not the wire. Identify the plug. The brand and number will be printed in the porcelain. Go to a parts store and buy a set of these plugs and a tube of anti-seize compound to lubricate the threads. Also, you might buy an inexpensive gapping tool. Ask the counterman what the correct gap is for your car and check the plug gap before installation. Before you can even find the plugs, you may have to remove some plastic trim/cover first…


Sounds like your mechanic, that you mentioned twice, wanted you to get the correct plugs before. I usually buy my plugs from O’Rielly auto parts. If you have an owners manual, use it. Most cars have a sticker under the hood with some info… Auto parts Stors will ask you what kind of plugs you want, use what it has in itif its been working up til now. Don’t know about “rubber” gaskets on spark plugs…


You need a small dab of antisieze on the threads. When removing the old plugs, use a few blasts of compressed air to remove the debris from around the plug before the plug comes out to remove debris that could fall into the engine.

Yes, you must gap your new plugs. Buy the same brand and type is best but not from a car dealer; too expensive there.

Use a torque wrench to tighten your new plugs. You need the torque spec.


Since the anti-seize, parts procurement issues have already been addressed, I will add this.

You may not have a torque wrench; many don’t.
Since the vehicle has aluminum heads and the torque specs are comparatively low, using a ratchet in the proper manner will get you around any plug torque problems.
Many torque wrenches are 1/2" (about what everybody buys) and can be a bit inaccurate at specs below 20 ft. lbs.

If you use a regular 3/8 ratchet try wrapping your fingers around the ratchet head on both sides. This will remove almost all of your leverage and will snug the plugs up just right. Even better is one of those 3/8 stubby ratches about 3-4" long.

Do not use the socket to reinstall the plugs. Use an 8" long piece of vacuum hose.
Plug the hose onto the spark plug end and use the hose to start the plug into the threads. It saves you the headache of possibly stripping plug threads out.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile: