Changing Spark plug wires

Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
88
Location
Charleston, South Carolina
Gents, I am a bit tight on cash right now but need to change the spark plugs on my wife's car. Being tight on cash, should I change the wires too? Or should I save 50 bucks now and change them some time in the future?
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
3,061
Location
usa
What car? How many miles? I din;t really think it's necessary, but those blue NGK wires do look snazzy
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
19,223
Location
Silicon Valley
If you have no ignition or misfire related problem, change them later. If you are that tight on cash and have to change them because you have problems, buy aftermarket wires for now and see if it works out, and change to OEM wires later if you have problems.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,931
Location
ME
If you break them you will. Sometimes the boots fuse to the plugs. If they don't pop right off, twist them like crazy to break the seal. I assume you have a backup ride to the parts store if you need wires.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
26,548
Location
Upstate NY
I had a 1994 Camry with the 6" boots that went into spark plug wells in the valve cover. When I tried to pull off the spark plug wires, some of the boots left a piece of the boot still stuck to the spark plug. And you cannot get your fingers or much else down the spark plug wells. But with the piece stuck you could not remove the spark plug either. I used a long screw driver to rip apart the stuck piece and blew it out with compressed air. But the spark plug wires had to be replaced.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
3,159
Location
Boston, MA
If you are right on cash I would take the plugs out, check to see if they are clean and just give them a quick clean and regap (if needed) them for now. Save up and buy some nice iridium plugs and OEM wires.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
3,159
Location
Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Bgallagher
If you are right on cash I would take the plugs out, check to see if they are clean and just give them a quick clean and regap (if needed) them for now. Save up and buy some nice iridium plugs and OEM wires.
tight not right on cash :P
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,981
Location
Greatest Earth on Show, UT
One other thing not asked: are they the original plugs and wires? If yes, I would wait on wires until you have the spare cash or a problem pops up. If you have replaced the wires in the past, then they should be fine.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
26,999
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
IME the wires are almost always damaged when the plugs are changed, be cautious...
Same here, the chances are good something will break or get damaged and it might not be visible.
 

dan765

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
88
Location
Charleston, South Carolina
Originally Posted By: NMBurb02
One other thing not asked: are they the original plugs and wires? If yes, I would wait on wires until you have the spare cash or a problem pops up. If you have replaced the wires in the past, then they should be fine.
Yeah, they're the original plugs and wires.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
2,408
Location
CA
if you're that tight up on money, and car is working fine, don't change ANYTHING until you have the $ to afford possible complications. As noted above, possibly other stuff breaks during the change too.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
16
Location
mn
++ for raytseng. I've been caught up in the "fixing" caused more troubles. (i.e. replacing a window wiper transmission, when it was much easier/cheaper/faster to pull one from a junkyard) Now my wife bases all car repairs that I do based off this one hiccup, but I keep telling her it's a big learning experience. I wish I read the "things I've learned from wrenching" thread a long time ago, but I digress.. Anecdotal evidence. When you do plan on replacing them. I'd buy ngk regular platinum plugs, and wires as backup. Try to not destroy the boots/wires, install the plugs, and reinstall the wires. Return the wires if you don't need them. I (my wife's car, she obtained it before we dated) have the same car with 175K miles. The original wires were replaced at around 140k, and the plugs the first time @ around 115K. I noticed more of a difference changing the plugs than changing the wires, but that doesn't mean yours is the same case. It is really accessible; the easiest car I've every done them on. There is plenty of room to grab the boot and wiggle and pull. I stuck with the regular platinums, I believe the OEM plugs are platinums, but not sure if they are the double platinums. I've used the ngk regular platinum's (BKR5EGP) every time and they seem to work well with this car. I've been changing them at about every 30-35k, which may be overkill. Regular plugs would probably work as well, but you'll have to keep an eye on the gap more often. For cars that are a little more difficult to access or more powerful, I would opt for the more fancy spark plugs and replace them less often. ++ for the dielectric grease, but I've never put antiseize on the ngk plugs. I did torque them with a torque wrench, but I don't know the torque values off the top of my head. Good luck! Also, I don't advise this as well either, but the original timing belt/idlers was done at 122k, well over the recommended 60k. I might stretch this one to 185-190k.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
1,848
Location
FEMA Region 4
I would just save up until you have the extra cash to do the job right. Save up and then go to Rock Auto and pick up some good plugs and wires, then change them at the same time.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
Do you know if your valve cover gasket developed a leak? That can prematurely end the life of spark plug wires, plus you would need to replace the gasket at the same time. This happens often to 4V engine heads.
 
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
6,765
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Said it before, I'll say it again: *check resistance *check spec *check condition If you don't find any problems, stick them back in, unless this is solely preventive maintenance. I just did a Mitsuchrysler with the wrapover manifold. I didn't even bother checking them. When you have to do THAT much to get at plug wires, just change them. frown
 
Top