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Replacing spark plugs is part of regular vehicle maintenance. On gasoline engines, spark plugs provide the spark needed for combustion, generating power, and allowing your vehicle to move. Along with other maintenance items like brake services, coolant flushes, and oil changes, regular spark plug changes are essential to keeping your car or truck running as it should.  

spark plug cutaway

In another blog post, we cover in detail how often spark plugs should be changed. To recap, you should plan on replacing the plugs on your car or truck every 30,000 to 90,000 miles. For the vast majority of vehicles, the interval will be around 50,000 to 60,000. Sports cars and performance vehicles will have shorter intervals. The best way to know for certain is to look at your owner’s manual or speak with a service advisor at your trusted auto repair shop.

How Much Does a Spark Plug Replacement Cost?

There are a few factors that impact the price of a spark plug replacement. Engine size, plug type, and labor time.

More Cylinders Means More Spark Plugs

The number of cylinders in your engine will have a direct impact on the cost of a spark plug replacement. Each cylinder has one spark plug. Replacing the plugs on a V8 pickup truck will, generally, be more expensive than replacing the plugs on a four-cylinder commuter car.

Parts Cost

The price of spark plugs varies significantly. Low-quality plugs can be as cheap as five dollars each, while high-quality ones can run you over $50 per plug. In most cases, spark plugs will cost around $15 – $20 each.

Sometimes, you will need to replace more than just spark plugs. Modern vehicles utilize coil packs, and older vehicles will use distributors or ignition coils with spark plug wires. Depending on the condition of these components, you may need to replace them as well, which will add to the cost.

Labor Cost

With any service, you pay a labor rate for the technician. Labor rates will vary depending on the car. Inline four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines can take an hour or less because the plugs are right on top. V6 and V8 engines take longer, particularly when mounted transversely. A good example of this is the Nissan Murano. The intake manifold will need to be removed to reach the plugs on the back bank. All that extra disassembly adds to the labor time.

Other layouts like flat engines (sometimes called “boxer”), commonly seen on Subaru’s and Porsches, require more time to change the spark plugs. The horizontally opposed layout of the engine leaves very little space to work when compared to inline and V layout motors.

Special Cases

Sometimes a vehicle’s design from the factory can cause issues with spark plug replacement. A good example of this is on Ford Modular V8 and V10 engines produced in the mid-2000s. Removing the spark plugs on the rear of these engines is difficult and can lead to the plugs being broken off in the cylinder head.

In cases like this, the time and cost involved in a spark plug replacement can increase exponentially.

How Much Is a Spark Plug Replacement?

Unless you have a performance vehicle or a car with a unique engine layout like a Subaru, you can expect to pay between $150-and $300. With so many factors impacting the price of a spark plug service, it’s impossible to put an exact price on it. Your service advisor can give you an accurate quote on what the cost will be for your vehicle.

If you need to replace other components like coil packs and spark plug wires, the cost will be more.

Spark Plug Changes at Borst Automotive

Is it time to change your spark plugs? The teams at Borst Automotive have the skills and experience to service your vehicle. We have locations two stores in Tucson, as well as a store in Phoenix and Mesa Arizona. Give us a call or schedule your service online today. We can’t wait to see you!