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Need some recommendations for replacing spark plugs

Howdy folks. I drive a 2005 Honda Accord LX (4-cyl), and am at 102K miles, so I figure it’s time to replace the spark plugs since they haven’t been done before (to my knowledge–I’m the second owner of the car). I’m not so worried about what kind of spark plugs to buy–gonna look at my car’s specs and probably just get what’s already in there.

But, I wanted to know if anyone has any tips or tricks I should know about before I get started. I’m relatively new to doing my own car repairs and maintenance, so anything y’all can offer in the way of advice would be greatly appreciated.

You’re right to buy the exact plugs specified to the car, nothing to be gained by other plugs. As for tips, do you have a torque wrench? You’ll want to tighten them to the correct specs. And you’ll want to gap them correctly, a plug gapping tool is not very expensive.

One other tool I’d recommend is a repair manual. That may help you remove the plastic cover and disconnect the clips that hold the COP wires without breaking anything.

You need a lubricant for the plug thread (anti seize compound). Put a little on the tread and smear it over the treads. If you wear examination gloves (thin rubber gloves), you won’t get your hands messy. Make sure the engine is cold. Doing it first thing in the morning is a good time.

Thanks, y’all, this is all extremely helpful.

If you use NGK plugs you don’t need any anti-seize. Those plugs already have an anti-seize coating.

Another tip: blow out any dirt and debris from around the plugs before removing them so the stuff doesn’t fall into the cylinders.

For what it’s worth, I believe the gap and torque specs for the plugs are in the owner’s manual

My advice is:

-Change the plugs one at a time to you make sure you hook up the wires correctly as you finish each one. This advice is especially handy if you change the spark plug wires at the same time.

-Tighten the plugs by hand before you put a wrench to them, and turn them gently to make sure you don’t cross-thread them. If you encounter resistance at the start of threading them, back them off and start again. You should be able to turn them several turns by hand before encountering resistance if they’re threaded correctly. If the plugs are recessed in deep holes in the valve cover, you can do this by turning a socket extension with your hand, turning it gently between your index finger and your thumb.

-Check your owner’s manual to find the correct torque specification for the plugs.

-Use a torque wrench to make sure the plugs are tightened to the exact torque specification.

-If you buy the plugs at a Honda dealership parts counter, you don’t have to worry about checking the gap on each one. Each plug will have the correct gap unless you take them out of the package and accidentally drop them. If that happens, you’ll need to check the gap on the dropped plug.

If you buy your plugs at a parts store, buy about a foot of hose to fit over the top ends of the plug. The counterman can help you with this. You use the rubber hose over the end of the plug, it will help you when inserting and starting the plug. On a Honda, the plug sits in the bottom of a deep hole.

You can buy a spark plug starting tool instead, but the hose is cheaper. Using a tool or hose decreases the chances of buggering up the tip of the plug when you go to put it in. Another trick I have used is to put a piece of paper towel over the opening of the spark plug socket, then insert the plug into the socket. The paper will hold the plug in the socket. Then with a 6" extension on the socket, it is easy to control the placement of the plug and get it started properly.

As for torquing down the plug, I am getting away from that myself. Run the plug down finger tight, or hand tight in this case. Use your hand only on the socket extension, kind of like a screwdriver until you cant turn it any further. Then put on your ratchet handle or flex handle. Now turn the plug through a specified angle. For plugs without a gasket (tapered seat), turn 1/8th turn (45°). If it has a gasket, then 3/4th turn (270°). If you use a ratchet, turn the handle backwards until it is either parallel or perpendicular to the engine before turning. It gives you a more accurate reference for the angle.

It would be a rare owners manual that even mentions the spark plugs…For technical information, you need a service manual…There is an underhood emissions sticker that lists the spark plug type and gap…

At 100K miles, there is probably a long list of items that require service or inspection, there is more to it than just spark plugs…


All of my owners’ manual have mentioned the spark plugs. They listed Denso and NGK part numbers. I believe they even listed the gap and the torque spec.

Some underhood stickers even list the plug number, I believe.

My Toyotas have always had the valve lash specs on the underhood sticker

My old Mazda even had the head bolt torque and tightening sequence on the underhood sticker.

There’s a lot of free information that comes with the car.

I’ll agree with Caddyman, at 102K miles, there’s probably a list of things to do. Check the service schedule in your owner’s manual. Especially look for the schedule for timing belt replacement (on my 2000 Honda Accord LX, it’s at 105K miles). If you let that go and the belt breaks, it’ll wreck the whole engine.

A 2000 Accord has an interference engine?