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Can you/did you replace your own spark plugs?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by natch77, Feb 29, 2012.

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  1. natch77

    natch77 New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    If so, would what would you charge to do mine? :)

    I live in the Dallas area, with an 2007 right at 120k. I know it's an easy process for those with the right tools, skills, and time. Unfortunately I don't really have any of those, and I would rather pay a fair price to a fellow Prius owner than a hefty rate to a local shop. Shoot me what you think is fair and we'll take it from there? Be sure to include roughly where you live, and your spark plug resume. Thanks!
  2. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    there is a walkthough on here somewhere, I have it bookmarked for when i reach 100K, do an advance search under only the gen II maintenance forum. it is very difficult and time consuming as it involves removing a lot of stuff including the wiper arms and motors, a rain collection tray and other things. it is also recommended that you replace your PCV valve when this is done as it only takes a couple extra minutes, is a dirt cheap part and gets clogged easily.

    now if only dealership technicians could anonymously post their "after hours" rates on here without fear of termination . . .
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    It actually is not necessary to remove the wipers, cowl etc. All that is required is to remove the relay box over the engine, for access to the spark igniters and spark plugs.

    The Prius spark plug change is simple and easy compared to many vehicles (for example, V8-equipped SUVs where you need to raise the front on jackstands and remove the front tires for access to the spark plugs via the wheel wells.)
  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Pat I remember you lamenting your Ford spark plug change. I had a 1999 Ranger that was the worst too. Through the fender wells and the last one pass side really pissed me off. Just stupid.
  5. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    2012 Prius Plug-in
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    Plug-in Base


    Just bring your Prius up to Sacto and I will only charge you $10.00 :D
  6. natch77

    natch77 New Member

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    Gee Andy! If only you were just 1,000 miles or so closer!

    I'm looking for someone just like you, but the Texan version!

    If no luck, I'll try doing it myself. Then I'll be posting up an ad for my spark plug replacement services!
  7. tv4fish

    tv4fish Member

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    2010 Prius
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    UMMM - Where did this come from ?? No - it is NOT that difficult - There's only 4 plugs/igniters to deal with. I would suggest that you DIY.

    ("Borrowed" from another recent post)

    Tools needed
    1. Torque wrench 3/8" drive
    2. Medium lenght 3/8" extension or 2 small hooked together
    3. 5/8" sparkplug socket
    4. 10mm socket
    5. 3/8" rachet
    6. spark plug gap tool

    0) Check the gaps on all new plugs and ensure gap is set to .043" (if not, carefully adjust to the proper gap)
    1) Open the hood
    2) Remove the relay box in the center of the engine compt (above the spark plug coils (just below the windshield) and move aside.
    3) Remove the 10mm bolt and unplug the first coil/sparkplug wire (a black cable on the top of the engine secured by a 10mm bolt (there are four of them)). I went from left to right
    4) Using the spark plug socket, and 3/8" extension lower the socket into the hole and turn until it slips over the hex portion of the spark plug
    5) place rachet on end of extension and turn counter cw to remove the spark plug. The spark plug will remain in the socket when completely unscrewed
    6) Insert new sparkplug into socket and lower into the hole using 3/8" extension (rachet removed)
    7) Hand tighten spark plug until it stops
    8) Set torque wrench to 13 ft/lbs, attach to extension and tighten to that setting
    9) Replace coil wire and tighten bolt
    Repeat steps 3-9 for remaining plugs
    10) Replace relay panel
    11) Jump up and down and congratulate yourself for saving $200
  8. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Hi cnschult, I think you've got that confused with the procedure for changing the PCV valve, which does require removing a fair bit of stuff to get access on US model. (On overseas models without the thermos tank however, even the PCV valve is very easy to get to.)
  9. natch77

    natch77 New Member

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    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    Looks like I found two mechanic-school students who do this sort of stuff. Looks like $25 bucks or so, and I'll buy the plugs. Better than $200! I will watch/participate probably, and make sure that the steps mentioned above are followed. Might do the PCV valve too.

    Thanks for the info fellow chatters! Now to go read up on the other links on best plugs to get.
  10. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Location:
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    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Four


    I did set out to replace my plugs but found them to be in such good condition that I just cleaned them up and put them back in. I am confident they will last for another 50,000++++ miles. If you do the research, the plugs are irridium tipped. Irridium is one of the hardest, most corrosion resistant metals known. I would say the best plugs to get are the ones you already have. Just clean them up with a wire brush and some crocus cloth. They will be as good as new.
  11. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Four


    Here is a pic of one of my plugs after I cleaned it up. Looks almost brand new. No noticeable wear on the center or side electrode. I've never seen plugs in this good of shape after 100,000++++ miles. This is true for both my 01 and my 06.

    Attached Files:

  12. mfa-prius

    mfa-prius Old member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I bought a new set of plugs at Amazon a couple of years ago for about $30, and finally got around to putting them in yesterday, at 96,053 miles. I had also seen the take-everything-apart instructions, and put the job off because it seemed so daunting. All that turns out to be BS -- tv4fish's summary above is spot on. I substituted a standard 5/8" deep socket, a magnet, and a 6" piece of 1/4" ID vinyl tubing for the special spark plug socket, and feel it was a much more manageable job in the confined space than it would have been using the special socket.

    My plugs were pretty badly eroded, at the upper limit of gap tolerance, with a lot of buildup on them, so I wouldn't have considered cleaning and reusing them, even as emergency spares. I have a professional spark plug cleaner, and even the manufacturer recommends NOT cleaning platinum or iridium plugs. At only $7 or $8 for the new NGK IFR5T11 plugs, it's cheap insurance for keeping the ICE running smoothly, and the igniter assemblies cool.
  13. PriusCraiggers

    PriusCraiggers New Member

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    You still living in Sacto, Andy? I have a 2005 that needs new plugs and the $200 or so labor charge is not in the budget. If you're willing to give me a hand for some $, let me know.
    Thanks!
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