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Just had our 06 pilot in for a timing belt swap at the dealer and they called to recommend I have the spark plugs changed also. They quoted $460 to change six spark plugs. I feel like I must be missing something. Is there something special and very unexpected about changing spark plugs on the pilot that would cause it to be so expensive? diamond tipped spark plugs or something?

Keith
 

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I’m in the SF Bay Area and was quoted $375 by my local dealer a month ago. Shop rate is $170 at this dealership. Cost of the plugs if you purchase OEM through the dealer is ~$150. The plugs are rated for 105k miles which is why they are so expensive.

This is a relatively easy job to do if you’re slightly mechanically inclined. Not many tools needed. It took me an hour and a half taking my sweet time. Could definitely do it in a hour second time around.
 

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That is INSANE pricing for spark Plugs on the Pilot.
Plugs cost $10 each at the wholesale level, get them at Rockauto.com for less than that price.
book time should be around an hour and nobody writes for less than one hour.
So lets say $120 for plugs (and yes they do last 100k miles)
and one hour labor plus shop supplies.
Go find an indy shop, do not take it to the dealer for plugs. Dealers are for warranty work, independents are for regular maintenance and common repairs
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is INSANE pricing for spark Plugs on the Pilot.
Plugs cost $10 each at the wholesale level, get them at Rockauto.com for less than that price.
book time should be around an hour and nobody writes for less than one hour.
So lets say $120 for plugs (and yes they do last 100k miles)
and one hour labor plus shop supplies.
Go find an indy shop, do not take it to the dealer for plugs. Dealers are for warranty work, independents are for regular maintenance and common repairs
I normally do all our car work but schedule wouldnt let me do the timing belt. Due to that, I was unfamiliar with local reputable shops and pricing. I called a couple independents that have been around for a while. For the timing belt + water pump job, one was 10% less than dealer quote, the other was slightly more. Since I needed to have the airbag recall done anyway, I took it to the dealer.

What really threw me off on this spark plug quote was that the dealer price on the timing belt job was right there with the two independents.
 

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I guess it really depends on the area in which you reside. In major metro areas the shop rates are pretty high, so $160/hr might be normal. I'm still thinking $225/hr is just too high.

I worked in bike shops that had $60/hr rates. That keeps the place open and profitable, and the cost of tools is nowhere near a auto repair center. SHop rate about $100/hr going rate for good mechanics here in AZ.

And it all comes down to what the market is willing to bear. If people are willing to pay more than $400 for an hour labor and $60 in parts, then that is what will be charged.

They should just charge you parts and 20min labor for the plugs when doing the timing belt IMHO.
to do the plugs you need: 6mm allen key, spark plug socket, 3/8 ratchet, 2" extension, 3/8 ujoint and a 3" extension. The back plugs require a shifting of extensions once the plug gets loosened. No its not a special process (like Subaru's or Porsches that have zero clearance - had a Suby that took an HOUR just to get one plug out - contortionist training required).
 

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I guess it really depends on the area in which you reside. In major metro areas the shop rates are pretty high, so $160/hr might be normal. I'm still thinking $225/hr is just too high.

I worked in bike shops that had $60/hr rates. That keeps the place open and profitable, and the cost of tools is nowhere near a auto repair center. SHop rate about $100/hr going rate for good mechanics here in AZ.

And it all comes down to what the market is willing to bear. If people are willing to pay more than $400 for an hour labor and $60 in parts, then that is what will be charged.

They should just charge you parts and 20min labor for the plugs when doing the timing belt IMHO.
to do the plugs you need: 6mm allen key, spark plug socket, 3/8 ratchet, 2" extension, 3/8 ujoint and a 3" extension. The back plugs require a shifting of extensions once the plug gets loosened. No its not a special process (like Subaru's or Porsches that have zero clearance - had a Suby that took an HOUR just to get one plug out - contortionist training required).
i went one step further .. take the 5/8 spark plug socket duct tape the 3/8 ujoint then duct tape the 2" and the 3" all together make it one piece..a lot of times the socket will pop off in the spark plug hole during removal...then toss this tool into the tool bucket once done and reuse when needed..works great on the Gen 2's also contortionist training needed around the front fans ..but workable :)
 

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i went one step further .. take the 5/8 spark plug socket duct tape the 3/8 ujoint then duct tape the 2" and the 3" all together make it one piece..a lot of times the socket will pop off in the spark plug hole during removal...then toss this tool into the tool bucket once done and reuse when needed..works great on the Gen 2's also contortionist training needed around the front fans ..but workable :)

Yep just like what this guy did Honda Pilot Spark Plugs Replacement Guide - 2003 To 2008 Model Years - 3.5L VTEC V6 Engine - Picture Illustrated Automotive Maintenance DIY Instructions
 
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