Spark plugs replacment from dealer


#1

I have a 2004 Honda Accord 4cyl. The plugs need to be replaced, 100k plus on the car. I WAS feeling a little lazy and called the dealer to ask how much to replace the plugs. The reply was $220.00 or $55.00 per plug.



Plugs are $12.00 per from the dealer. Does anyone know why it would cost so much to have the dealer replace the plugs? Is there a major challenge to replacing the plugs?



Thank you




#2

Some cars have some plugs that are very difficult to get to. However it is also true that dealers are almost always the most expensive place to get service. Dealers are not better or worse than independent mechanics, but they are more expensive. Get a price from a local independent mechanic. As for recommendations from friends and neighbors or the Mechanx files on this web site.

Whatever you do don’t let any of the quick lube places even touch your car and avoid all other chains.


#3

It is likely that the $220 estimate covers more than four simple spark plugs. At 100k miles, it is prudent for the owner to also replace the spark plug wires as well. Perhaps the service assistant you spoke to assumed you would want this to be done and so he gave you an estimate for the works. If so, this is a fair price.

My advice is to verify exactly what is covered by their estimate. If it is for both plugs and wires, accept their estimate. If only the spark plugs will be replaced, go elsewhere. Any shop can do the job. You can always specify spark plugs only or you can request both plugs and wires to be replaced (recommended).


#4

After that price quote, are you feeling a little less lazy? The plugs on most four cylinder engines are easily accessible.


#5

The plugs on this engine are VERY VERY easy to replace. That price is absurd. You can buy the exact same plug from your local parts store for about $4.


#6

I was just scanning through the postings and ran across this topic. I have a 2002 Mazda MPV minivan. It has about 96k on it. Spark plugs never been changed. I have noticed some light knocking/pinging when accelerating sometimes. I called the dealer and got a quote of something like $320 for a tuneup. Seemed outrageous to me, and decided I wanted to do it myself. I did some digging and discovered that 3 of the plugs are easy to get to. The other 3 require removal of half the engine to get to them. (slight exaggeration). I don’t think I have the skills or tools to do this myself. My question is this: Is this a service that I should have done? I could probably get a slightly better quote from an independent. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


#7

$10. These plugs are irridium.

I’m feelin’ picky today.


#8

Are you SURE they’re iridium? I thought Honda was still using the Platinum.


#9

I didn’t look them up, but 100,000 is typically irridium. Platinum is typically 60,000 miles.


#10

They are iridium. I own an Accord. NGK iridiums are about $12 and Denso are about $16.


#11

Changing plugs in ANY transverse mounted engine is a PITA and minivans are the worst. I know cause I own one.

The cost is labor.


#12

So is $320 reasonable for this service? Or should I just let it go. The knocking/pinging is not that bad. It only does it occasionally.


#13

Changing plugs in ANY transverse mounted engine is a PITA and minivans are the worst. I know cause I own one.

That’s true for 6 cylinders…but this is a 4-cylinder. Changing the plugs on my wifes 4-cylinder Accords were the EASIEST plugs I ever did.

For 6 cylinder cars…Depends on the car. I know Nissan tilts their engine so the rear plugs are accessible. Some manufacturers make it more difficult then others.


#14

For best performance, you need to change them. I have an 01 MPV, and paid the equivalent of two 30K tune up costs to get the plugs replaced at 60K, per Mazda recommendation. As you stated, the issue are the hardest three and the plenum that must be removed to access them. That causes an extra labor charge that I gladly paid. If you are at 100K, get all 6 changed. Price around to get a good/reasonable deal. Since these plugs get changed on a long interval, make sure antiseize is used on the plug threads. Otherwise you may be dealing with a broken plug or two at the next service.


#15

Yes, you should have it done. The pinging, while “not that bad” has the potential, over a period of time, to damage both pistons and valves. Believe me, the cost of this service pales by comparison with the cost of replacing a damaged piston or a bunch of valves.

Incidentally, the term “tuneup” is meaningless nowadays since it is non-specific and can mean different things to different people. I would suggest that you ask the dealership service people to give you a list of what is included in that service. My best guess is that, in addition to the spark plugs, the service also includes an oil change, a new air filter, a new fuel filter, and perhaps also service on your cooling system.

This also raises an important question regarding the maintenance of your vehicle. Are you up to date with the maintenance schedule that was provided by Mazda? I am not referring to a schedule provided by the dealership, but instead, the one that is contained in one of the booklets that came with the car.

Unless you are up to date with maintenance in terms of both your vehicle’s odometer mileage and also elapsed time, then you are drastically shortening the service life of the vehicle and are potentially setting yourself up for more repair costs than if the vehicle was maintained properly.


#16

As far as maintenance, I keep the oil changed every 6000 miles (using synthetic). I check the air filter every few oil changes. I keep the tires properly inflated. I make sure the coolant level is ok. Other than that, I must admit, I don’t really do anything. I guess I should bring it in to have it serviced to do all the other little things that are recommended.


#17

Cabin filters (HEPA) can be costly,check if they are on the list so you wont be suprised.


#18

One of the items Mazda doesn’t mention is condition of ATF fluid. Mine was not good at 65K, when I realized that the ATF fluid service was no where on the maintenance schedule. I had a pan drop and filter change done, did so at 90K, and will keep to a 30K interval schedule. It seems my driving, which includes some use with a 3K gross weight trailer, caused the ATF to turn brown and not stay red. Have yours checked and changed if you haven’t already.

I have had no pinging and have 110K on the car right now. The every 60K plug change out seems to be fine for me. I have to change air filters every 20K miles, due to dust and dirt in my area.

Otherwise, I follow the maintenance schedule for normal service for all other items. The MPV is doing fine, and I am disappointed my next mini-van cannot be the MPV, since the model is off the market today.


#19

Your coolant level may be fine, but the coolant is long overdue for replacement, and your fuel filter is also overdue for replacement. When a fuel filter is kept in place for too long, it eventually weakens the fuel pump and leads to early failure of the fuel pump.

While I can’t say for sure regarding Mazdas, I know that some other Japanese auto manufacturers specify replacement of the brake fluid by 60k–at the most. Old brake fluid frequently contains a lot of water, due to its hygroscopic nature, and brake fluid that contains water will actually BOIL when the brakes get really hot–as on a long downgrade. This is the cause of many cases of brake failure. When your brakes fail, it can really ruin your day, week, month, etc.

It sounds to me like you have not followed the maintenance schedule that came with your vehicle, and this is definitely a situation of “penny wise and dollar foolish”.