Spark Plug Wires - 2000 Camry V6

My son has this car at college, 1,400 miles away. The battery was dead twice and the 2nd call for AAA meant a trip to a shop for either a new battery or check of the charging system.

Of course the shop calls while I’m out of the house and the service writer tells my wife the alternator is shot and the car needs some other items which includes new spark plug wires. She gives the OK for the alternator, that’s all.

I come home and she fills me in and asks; what did we spend $1,200 for the car repairs in August? Answer is 90K stuff, new timing belt, water pump, serp belt, an O2 sensor to kill the check engine light, new spark plugs, and rear brakes.

She said the shop in Florida said if we had a “tune up” we were ripped off. I call the shop for clarification. The shop rep tells me the “plug wires” are original and should have been replaced. To do so now is expensive because the wires are routed under the plenum and should have been replaced when the plugs were replaced.

Since the car is 1,400 miles away I can’t go look at the motor. I did pull a front plug to inspect it and I recall this is a coil on plug set up. So what is this guy talking about needing plug wires? Was he just trying to rip us off? Is my memory faulty and does this motor have the old style plug wires? If I’m correct and it is a coil on plug , or are the wires to the coils on the plugs a replacement item? If so, how often?

It’s not automatic to replace wires, so you weren’t ‘ripped off’. It is much easier when doing all that other stuff, because you do need to remove the plenum. What are the car’s symptoms? Why does he say spark plug wires are needed?

The car is running fine. The shop rep said the wires have “2000” marked on them so it is clear they have never been replaced. I believe that Toyotas maintenance schedule calls for replacing plugs every 30K miles. Next time I do the plugs I’ll replace the wires. The car will be back home next summer and it will have to wait until then. I see on the Auto Zone site they do list wires in sets of 3.