CRV Spark Plugs

honda
cr-v
sparkplugs

#1

I just did a 90k mile maintenance on my 2004 CRV and the garage charged me $205 to replace the spark plugs because Honda uses “special spark plugs”. I think they charged 80 bucks for the plugs, so that would mean $135 plus tax for labor. My question, was I taken for a ride either for the plugs or the labor? My wife picked up the vehicle so these questions weren’t asked.


#2

That’s about what they charge me for my V6 Camry (91). It needs plugs only at 60,000 mile intervals but the platinum plugs are expensive and they back 3 cylinders are very hard to reach. I guess that justifies the cost but I cannot do it myself so I’m stuck. At least it’s only every 60,000.


#3

I paid $200 to have the plugs changed on my 2000 Blazer 4wd. The plugs were $12 apiece and the rest was labor. Normally I change my own spark plugs, but the engine compartment is so tight I let the mechanic do it. Depending on how hard it is to get to the plugs, $205 doesn’t seem too far out of line.

Ed B.


#4

It sounds about right. Odds are the plugs used were Iridium and these are pricy, but unnecessary, in my opinion.


#5

Honda does specify Iridium plugs as OEM for this vehicle, evidently they used them.


#6

They may be specified but that doesn’t mean they’re necessary. An Iridium or Platinum plug will not perform one bit better than a regular copper core plug.

The only thing the Iridiums and Platinums have going for them over the copper core is that, on average, they may last a bit longer. As far as performance and fuel mileage it’s a wash.

Car makers started going to Platinum/Iridium because the Feds required them to cover spark plugs for the first 24k miles as part of the emissions warranty. Since the odds of a copper core misfire are greater than a Plat/Iridium plug misfire in the first 24k miles/2 year warranty they’re not taking any chances on having to replace millions of plugs under warranty.
Pricy out in the real world but on the assembly line those plugs are cheap.


#7

Given the amount of labor involved, it amkes perfect sense to use the longer lasting plugs. 30k vs 90k, long run you’ll save money.


#8

MAYBE…Replacing plugs that have been in a car for 90k miles can cause it’s own VERY EXPENSIVE problems. Not to mention…that plugs can tell you a lot of how the engine is running…


#9

Car makers started going to Platinum/Iridium because the Feds required them to cover spark plugs for the first 24k miles as part of the emissions warranty

Why aren’t all vehicles installed with Platinum or Iridium plugs then??? Just inquiring.


#10

This is why I believe all cars should have flat head engines and use Champion J-8 spark plugs. I could change the spark plugs on my 1947 Pontiac 6 in less than 10 minutes. I could purchase 6 new spark plugs with a $5 bill and have enough change left over for a 6 pack.

I think that the price you paid is not out of line today, and I will reluctantly admit that today’s cars are more reliable. However, they didn’t have the character that cars had fifty and sixty years ago.


#11

This is why I believe all cars should have flat head engines and use Champion J-8 spark plugs. I could change the spark plugs on my 1947 Pontiac 6 in less than 10 minutes

And you must have gotten pretty good at replacing the head gasket too??? About 2 sets of plugs for every head gasket is about the norm for a flat-head.


#12

I changed my own plugs on an '03 Honda Civic. The “special” plugs were $7.00 each. Your CRV is similar to my Civic in that the plugs are easily accessible. It took me about 1/2 hour. An experienced mechanic could change out those plugs easily in 15 min.

They charged you $20 a plug and about 2.5 hours labor. The plugs are a rip, but that is the mark up they charge to make a profit. The OEM Denso plug sells for $11.99 each at Advance Auto Parts stores. The labor of 2+ hours is a rip as far as the plugs are concerned but they’ll tell you that the rest of the labor was all the other stuff they did as part of the 90K service, like check the drive belts etc.


#13

And you must have gotten pretty good at replacing the head gasket too??? About 2 sets of plugs for every head gasket is about the norm for a flat-head.

I don’t remember head gasket problems with the flathead engines. My dad had a couple of Dodges and a DeSoto with the flathead 6 engines. He drove them over 100,000 miles and didn’t blow a head gasket. Back in the 1940’s and early 1950’s, a lot of cars had flathead engines and these engines racked up quite a few trouble free miles.

There is no doubt that the overhead valve engines were more efficient. I guess a compromise was the Willys F-head engine. The intake valve was in the head and the exhaust valve was in the block.


#14

I recall the straight-8 Pontiac having overheating and head gasket problems if pushed too hard but not the sixes.
My first auto repair job was a head gasket on a 1947 Fraizer, I was 16 and borrowed our family car and taken the rpms to levels the maker had never intended. Did the job with box and open end wrenches.


#15

That decision would be way over my pay grade but it’s likely due to the bean counters and cost analysis. Copper core plugs will generally go 24k miles with no problem. Around the 30-40k mark they can be a problem. Plat. and Irid. plugs will generally go 40k and up without a hitch. In either case subtle misfires can develop that may not be noticeable to the driver and there may not be a misfire code set.

My feeling anyway is that the bean counters weigh the price of the plugs against the potential cost of replacing a certain number that may fail and gamble on the cheapest way out.
I have no idea at all what car makers pay for plugs but one can safely assume it’s dirt cheap. The P and I plugs would be more costly than CC but they’re still cheap.

Knowing what it cost to produce a part is something I’ve not been involved with. The bulk of my knowledge has been dealing with warranty claims which involve dealer cost only. Under warranty the dealer is usually reimbursed cost + 25%. The dealer cost though is generally way over what it costs the factory to produce the parts.

The one glaring example I can think of that I stumbled across by accident involved a Subaru part which became part of a campaign, or voluntary recall. The dealer cost was 65 dollars with a customer retail of 98. This meant a warranty claim paid 65 + 25%. After this campaign snowballed quite a bit Subaru decided to shave that dealer cost down to the actual production cost which was a whopping 6.50. This meant the dealers made roughly 1.60 for processing this part; not a huge sum considering the man hours involved in the processing of that claim. Labor was just as bad; .2 hours (12 minutes) at a discounted labor rate.


#16

My Dad use to keep a spare head gasket in he Dodge…

Friend owns a 1940 Chris Craft…Always keeps a spare headgaset…Replaces it about every 3-4 years…


#17

At least replacing a head gasket didn’t require a nod from the loan department at your local bank back in the old days. A head gasket could be replaced in under an hour on most of the old flat head engines. Of course, we did have valve jobs more frequently and at that time the head gasket was replaced.


#18

At least replacing a head gasket didn’t require a nod from the loan department at your local bank back in the old days

That’s true…Head gasket replacement on a flat-head is EASY…


#19
  • I recall the straight-8 Pontiac having overheating and head gasket problems if pushed too hard but not the sixes.*

I don’t remember these problems with the straight 8, but I do remember that there was a problem with the straight engines made in 1950 and later when the displacement was increased. I was riding back to campus with an upper classman in 1960 in his 1950 Pontiac. We were 25 miles from campus and a rod bearing started knocking. We stopped at an all night service station and the mechanic drained the oil and put 90 weight gear lube in the crankcase. We made it back to campus. The next day a wrecker came from a junk yard and hauled the Pontiac away, never to be seen again.