There’s a good chance you will need to replace your old and worn spark plugs several times over the course of owning a 2001-2005 Honda Civic. Spark plugs are one of the most critical parts inside your engine as they trigger the entire combustion process that starts and keeps your engine running. Like most engine components, spark plugs experience wear over time and eventually need to be replaced, but fortunately this is a repair you can do yourself. Odds are, if you’ve found yourself here, you have no idea how to do that, or perhaps you’d just like to know what kind of spark plugs you need to buy. The entire process of changing your spark plugs should take approximately 20-30 minutes. This article will go over everything you’ll need to know about your Honda Civic’s spark plugs, whether you need some general information or a full, step-by-step guide to performing a spark plug change.
Correct Spark Plugs
For the LX, EX, GX, DX, and HX models of the 2001-2005 Honda Civic, you should use NGK ZFR6F-11 V-Power Spark Plugs. These spark plugs are an exact fit and will match the required specifications for your engine. You can also purchase all four spark plugs as one package.
If instead, your Civic is a 2.0L Si Model, you will need to use Denso PK20TT Platinum Spark Plugs. There are certainly all different kinds of spark plugs out there that will correctly fit a vehicle as prolific and popular as the Honda Civic, however the spark plugs we recommended are made by reputable manufacturers and offer a great price point.
How often should I change my spark plugs?
In general, you should replace your spark plugs every 20,000 to 40,000 miles. I personally try to change spark plugs every 30,000 miles on most conventional vehicles like a Honda Civic. Of course, if you drive your vehicle more aggressively or own a Honda civic with some performance modifications, you may want to consider changing your spark plugs closer to the 20,000 miles end of that spectrum.
However, there are also classic signs of a car that needs a spark plug replacement early, such as:
- Engine misfiring
- Rough idle
- Problems starting your engine
Additionally, if you are simply unsure of the last time the spark plugs were changed, it’s worth it just to go ahead and change them now. Do yourself (or the next owner) a favor and keep a notebook in the glove-box to serve as a record of spark plug changes , or oil changes, etc.
Changing your spark plugs
To change your 2001-2005 Honda Civic’s spark plugs, you will need the following tools:
- Flat-blade screwdriver
- Socket wrench with a matching 10mm attachment
- Spark plug gap tool – The spark plugs recommended in this guide come pre-gapped, but it is always a good idea to make sure your spark plugs are correct.
- 5/8″ spark plug ‘deep socket’ – This will allow you to actually get a solid grip on the spark plug, as opposed to regular sockets which may not be able to reach over the top of the plug.
- Torque wrench – We will need to torque our new spark plugs down to the correct specification. If you are also purchasing the deep socket listed above, the torque wrench set linked here is directly compatible with it.
The process for changing your spark plugs is relatively simple. Just take your time and pay attention to all instructions. Make sure that your engine is completely cool before doing this repair or you may damage your engine or spark plugs.
- Pop the hood to gain access to the engine bay.
- Remove the negative terminal from your battery. It’s a good idea to disconnect the battery anytime you work on the electrical system of your Civic.
- We’re going to start by removing the engine block cover. You will notice two large slotted screws on either side of the ‘Honda’ logo. Take your flat-blade screwdriver and remove those. After, you can remove that engine block cover.’
- Next, simply unhook the spark plug wire connectors.
- Each spark plug coil is held down by some 10mm nuts. Simply loosen them enough to pull the spark plug coils out of the engine.
- Slide each spark plug coil out of the engine.
- Take your spark plug deep socket and loosen each spark plug completely. Removing the actual spark plugs can be slightly difficult as they are recessed into the engine, but pull them up carefully with the deep socket.
- Now we’re going to prepare the new spark plugs. These plugs should be gapped to 1.1 mm, or 0.044 in. Use your spark plug gap tool to check that each plug is gapped that much. If not, you can use your gap tool to adjust the gap. Just don’t go back and forth too much or you could damage the plug!
- Lightly apply some anti-seize to the spark plug threads.
- Start turning the new spark plugs in by hand. You will need to use the socket wrench extension. If you do not turn them by hand initially, you run the risk of stripping the threads. Simply turn the plugs by hand and if you meet any significant resistance, back them out and start again.
- Use your torque wrench to torque the spark plugs down to 13 ft./lbs.
- Re-insert the spark plug coils.
- Reconnect the spark plug wire connectors.
- Tighten the 10mm nuts again to secure the spark plug coils.
- Put the engine block cover back on and screw the slotted screws back in to secure it in place.
- Reconnect your battery.
- Start up your engine and verify that everything still works!