How to Replace a Ford Spark Plug

When one of the spark plugs in your engine goes out, your engine’s performance suffers. The cylinder with the bad spark plug is now dead, meaning the air/fuel mixture is not sparked by it and it goes to waste. As a result:

  • Your engine’s fuel consumption goes up
  • The engine power is decreased
  • The air/fuel mixture is off. Usually it is too lean, because the O2 sensors think the engine is running to rich because of the unburned fuel coming out of one cylinder.

When you diagnose a bad spark plug in your engine, we recommend replacing it right away. Doing so will restore your engine’s performance. The good news is that replacing your spark plugs is a pretty easy task you can do at home with spark plug socket and other basic tools. Depending on which Ford model you have, the project can take anywhere between a half hour and a few hours. For example, it’s a lot longer with the 4.6L and 5.L V8 engine because of the way the engine is designed.

To replace the spark plugs in your Ford, follow the steps outlined here:

1. Order OEM Replacement Spark Plugs

You can just replace the bad spark plug, or you can replace all of the spark plugs in one go. We recommend replacing all of them at once. If one spark plug has failed, the others most likely will fail soon. Either way, you need to get a replacement spark plug (or more) before you can start the replacement job.

We always recommend OEM spark plugs over aftermarket spark plugs because of the reasons listed here. We also recommend ordering OEM spark plugs online instead of buying them at a Ford dealership because they’re so much cheaper online. In fact, we at Jim Vreeland Ford Parts offer wholesale pricing for genuine OEM Ford spark plugs.

Once you have your new spark plugs on hand, follow the rest of the steps. Keep in mind that we based this guide on the V6 engine in older Ford Escapes.

2. Grab All the Necessary Tools

Gather together the following tools:

  • Socket wrench set
  • Torque wrench
  • Spark plug socket
  • Extension

3. Disconnect the Battery

First, make sure your engine is cool to the touch. Next, disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery.

4. Clear Up Some Room

There isn’t a lot of room to work with, but doing the following things will help you get to your spark plugs:

  1. Unbolt the air intake boot and move it out of the way
  2. Remove the throttle wire cover (there’s a bolt on each side)
  3. Loosen up the intake manifold:
    1. Unbolt the intake manifold
    2. Disconnect everything from it
    3. Move it slightly out of the way

5. Remove the Ignition Coil(s)

You do this by unplugging the wiring harness and then removing the bolts holding the ignition coils in place.

6. Take Out the Spark Plug(s)

This is best done with a spark plug socket and an extension. You can compare the old spark plugs to the new ones to make sure that they’re identical.

Keep in mind that spark plugs can be pretty easy to break during removal. This especially rings true for older and rusted ones.

7. Install the New Spark Plug(s) in the Reverse Order of Removal

Basically:

  1. Screw in the new spark plug(s) using the torque specifications outlined in the owner’s manual.
  2. Put the ignition coil(s) back in place.
  3. Put the intake manifold back in place, bolt it in, and then connect everything to it.
  4. Bolt the throttle wire cover back in place.
  5. Bolt the air intake boot back in place.
  6. Connect the battery.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about replacing your spark plugs. We’re always glad to help out!