Toyota Tacoma: How to Replace Spark Plugs and Wires
Learn how to replace spark plugs and spark plug wires with the help of this article.
This article applies to the Toyota Tacoma (1996-2015).
The spark plugs and spark plug wires play a crucial role in your Tacoma's engine performance. The spark plug wires transport the electrical current necessary to the spark plugs, while the spark plugs use such current to ignite a spark and begin the internal combustion process. Spark plugs can become dirty and clogged over time; and spark plug wires can fray and simply perform weaker than normal. Follow these steps to replace the spark plugs and wires in your Toyota Tacoma.
- Spark plug socket
- Ratchet wrench
- 10mm open wrench
- Spark plug boot grease
- Ratchet long extension
Step 1 – Disconnect the battery
Before you commence any work, it's important to disconnect the battery to prevent any electrical damage to your truck's systems. Follow these steps:
- Open the hood.
- Locate the battery.
- Use 10mm open wrench to undo the negative terminal first (black cover).
- Use 10mm open wrench to undo the positive terminal last (red cover).
Step 2 – Disconnect wires
Once the battery is disconnected, you may locate the spark plug wires and gently unplug them from the spark plugs themselves. Make sure to replace each spark plug end one by one to avoid getting the cylinder firing order mixed up. Follow these steps:
- Locate all the spark plug wires.
- Firmly grab boot connector on the spark plug end and give it a strong tug.
- If the plug does not release, use the help of pliers and gently pull upward.
- Disconnect spark plugs from the opposite end (distributor).
Step 3 – Remove spark plugs
With the spark plug wires out of the way, it's time to use the appropriate tools and remove the spark plugs. Make sure to remove and install each spark plug one by one, in order to prevent mixing up the cylinder firing order. Follow these steps:
- Use the ratcheting wrench, spark plug socket and ratchet extension, and position on the spark plug threaded section.
- Turn counterclockwise to remove spark plugs one by one.
- Turn clockwise to tighten the new spark plugs one by one to 15 ft/lbs, or until snug.
- Make sure to not use excessive force to damage spark plug or engine block threads.
Step 4 – Wrap up
Once the new spark plugs and wires have been installed, simply reconnect your battery by connecting the positive red terminal first and black negative last. Make sure to start the engine and check for performance.