1st timer changing spark plugs and I'm changing out a set from a 212k mi 2005 Honda Pilot EX. I figure I write this post as a personal how-to journal for future reference while this experience is still fresh in my head.
I did a lot of research and watching Youtube videos just to prep the work. As it turns out I didn't think it was that difficult at all. The right tools and watching enough videos really helped.
Items I purchased based on research on this site and watching various youtube video:
- A good set of spark plugs, I picked a pack of 6 NGK Iridium IZFR5K11 which are pre-gapped and ready to be installed.
- Here is what I bought and you can find them online or auto parks store for about $10/each and they should last another 80-100k mi.
- A set of 6 coil packs that had good ratings and they are used and shared on many other cars so can't hurt to replace them all at once.
- Tube of Anti-seize compound to apply to new spark plug to prevent corrosion and rust.
Allen key set.
Spark plug socket with swivel, this one is the exact one I used and works great below:
Ratchet with attachments and other sockets.
Park your Pilot somewhere with good lighting and let it sit because you don't want to do this with the engine hot or warm.
Remove the Engine cover, twist the 3 small plastic screw-knobs at the bottom portion of the cover and it comes off easily.
There are 6 cylinder on the Pilot's engine, of course you knew that. We need to remove the 3 coil packs in the front and then the 3 coil packs in the back.
(Note: After completing the job, I realize the ones in the front is actually more difficult to work on than the ones in the back!)
Ok, the 3 front Cylinders from left to right. Cylinder 4-5-6.
Start by using an Allen Key set and remove the bolts that's holding the coil packs in place on all 3 coil packs in the front and put the bolts away for now.
After that starting on cylinder #4 or left-most, I squeezed the tab at the end of the connector that is attached to the coil pack then just wiggle a bit and it comes off.
Pulled the Coil pack out, then slowly insert the spark plug socket once I feel a bite I just attach the ratchet to the end of the socket and start my counter-clock turn and it loosens the spark plug and just kept going until I can use my fingers to unwind and slowly pull out the spark plug.
With the new NGK Spark plug, I applied the Anti-seize paste around to cover all threads then insert it into the spark plug socket and then guide it into the hole and begin threading it with the fingers until I can't turn or grip anymore then I attach the ratchet and torque it gently. I know there are torque specs on it but I went with the pro way of doing it simply doing a 1/4 clock turn 3x and you can feel it's got enough tension that it's not super tight to break the thread on the spark plug.
Cylinder #5 turns out to be the hardest because it is too close to the radiator hose and fan. It took me awhile to wiggle and bend just to get the Coil pack out and then a lot of different tries to get the proper angle to get the spark plug socket into the hole and then there's barely much clearance to get the ratchet in and un-torque the spark plug. Once it is out, same thing as previous direction to get the spark plug in and then angle and bend to get the new coil pack in there.
CYlinder #6 was also tricky as it there is another metal bracket and tubes in the way but not as difficult as #5.
Once fronts all done I started on the back. Thought I might need a mirror, it turns out once I climbed over the engine a bit I was able to see the coil packs just visible. There was so much space in the back of the engine it was pretty easy to work there. The only challenge really was getting the allen key through all the wires back there and unscrew the bolts locking the Coil packs.
Same thing, remove each coil pack slowly and the ones in the back are so easy to remove I was able to do the entire back section cylinder #1-3 in under 10mins. Provided I had a good spark plug socket, the standard 8" ratchet was enough to remove and install the new spark plugs in the back quickly.
Overall, it was a 35min job if you had all the tools ready and parts near you. Working quickly by doing the removal of the coil pack bolt altogether speed things up. Another tip is having a flat head or small plier to help you pull the connector off the coil pack too.
In about a bit more than 1/2 hours worth of work, the cost of the job with parts and components is about $120 but you probably saved yourself $400-600 that a dealership charges for parts and labor. They'll likely hit you another $100-200 on small items like cleaning the socket and degreasing engine cover BS.