Are you wondering what’s a fair dealer price to get your spark plug replaced. Have you been qouted an astounding labor charges and want to check the right price before proceeding. Then you have come to the right place. This article would expand and educate you to not get ripped off by the mechanic or a dealer. Please note this guide on spark plug replacement cost is updated as per July 2022 costings, adjust for inflation and other factors if you are reading it in the later months. Before we jump into the cost part if you are still wondering what a spark plug does – well Spark plugs are required for gas-powered internal combustion engines. Its spark triggers combustion at the optimal time to maximize output.
To give you a rough idea on costing, Spark plug replacement will cost you between $30 and $60 in parts and $50 to $200 in labor unless you do it yourself. A mechanic can charge between $50 and $200 to do the work while doing it yourself can cost between $50 and $100. However, read further to get a better idea, as there are so many factors that can influence the costing.
It’s more challenging to estimate the cost of a replacement now because there are so many different spark plug types and brands available. We’re here to detail the costs of labor and materials.
How Much It Really Costs to Replace a Spark Plug?
Several factors influence how much it will cost to replace spark plugs.
It’s easy to guess that spark plugs will be high on the list, but there are still a variety of makes and models to consider, not to mention the quantity required.
The second factor is how much it will cost to have the work done by a professional mechanic or to buy the necessary equipment and do it yourself.
We’ll lay out all the details for you, pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision.
Components of a Spark Plug Replacement Cost
The cost would have two main components, parts cost and labor cost.
If we assume only spark plugs are to be replaced. For most models, unless you have an European make, a pack of four spark plugs would cost anywhere between $5 to $50. A v6 engine requires 6 spark plug, but there are engine configurations with two spak plugs per cylinder too. Check your make and manual to get to know the exact spark plugs needed.
Please note a high end car like BMW , Mercedez etc, would require spending $100-$300 on the just for a pack of four spark plugs. Also check the type of spark plug section below, as it can affect the cost.
Next and the most major component is usually the labour cost. If you are a handy person, you can do it yourself, there are a few videos available on youtube, that can safe you a several hundred bucks. However, if for any reason you want the experts to do it for you, from mechanic to mechanic you would get a qoute varying from $200 to $500.
Without calling ahead, it’s nearly impossible to guess how much a repair shop will charge to swap out your spark plugs.
If you are driving an european make, or something exquisite, you can get charged in the range of $500-$1000 as well. These are over all job completion labor costs, and not an hourly charges. It is suggested to lock the labor costs rather than deciding the hourly charges with the dealer or the mechanic.
Apart from how expensive or exquisite your car is that would push the labor charges towards the high side. There is one more reason that can push the labor charges on the higher side, and that is how much time and effort would it require to reach out to the places where spark plugs are installed. Scenarios where mechanic has to to take off the motor mounts to rock the engine. In some makes raisng an engine might required to replace the plugs. Also the time it takes to replace the spark plugs is dependent on the number of plugs.
The Cost of Spark Plugs
You need to know 3 things before purchasing spark plugs:
- the brand,
- the type,
- the quantity.
However, your car’s many cylinders dictate how many sparks plugs it needs. Most automobiles use a single spark plug per cylinder, but exceptions exist, such as the Hemi engine, which uses a pair of spark plugs per cylinder.
If you’ve bought a small car and don’t care much about the engine’s technical specifications, the number of cylinders may not be immediately apparent. Sometimes, the number of cylinders under the hood can’t be determined just by listening.
Checking the vehicle identification number (VIN) or performing a generic search for the vehicle’s make and model will reveal the correct number of spark plugs. Now that we have that fixed, we can examine the various spark plugs available.
1. Copper Spark Plug Cost
Recent updates in spark plug designs have essentially rendered copper spark plugs obsolete. Although their lifespan is the shortest and they are not suitable for high-pressure engines, they are helpful for vintage cars.
The cost of a spark plug ranges from $2.50 to $10.
2. Platinum spark plugs’ cost
After finding that the copper-nickel alloy at the spark plug’s tip was the weak point, platinum was used instead. They last a long time and don’t dress up out quickly, but modern models may not be able to use them.
The cost of a spark plug ranges from $5 to $10.
3. Dual Platinum Ignition Coils
Dual platinum spark plugs are more long-lasting than regular plugs because of the improved platinum coating. They are sometimes recommended as an update over standard platinum plugs in wasted spark systems.
The cost of a spark plug ranges from $6 to $15.
4. Electric spark plugs are made of Iridium.
Iridium-coated spark plugs are the most long-lasting option, with a lifespan of over 100,000 miles. Once, their high cost was the only drawback of iridium plugs, but their price has dropped these days significantly.
Cost range per spark plug: $6.25 to $25.
In the next section we would explain further on the types of Spark plugs and dealer versus mechanic point of view in costing.
What decides the replacement cost ?
Dealer vs Independent Mechanic
A dealer would usually be atleast a $100 pricey in compare to a mechanic. Its worth it to research and find a good mechanic as it can save you some cost. If no well recommended mechanics are available or you want to keep your warranty intact, its recommended to stick with a dealer, even if they charge sligthly higher.
Type of Spark Plug
Go for the manual recommended spark plug for your vehicle. Your mechanic or dealer would be able to specify what type of spark plug would suit you best. There are three main types of spark plug
- Copper – They are used in the older cars, and are cheaper than the other spark plugs. Please note new cars do not use these types of spark plugs any more and are usually going to use a superior technology. Reason being these copper, or nickel based spark plugs will get you under 25,000 miles and afterward will require a replacement.
- Platinum – A more durable version of a spark plug and is charged almost thrice the price of a copper spark plugs, and data shows that it is more than likely to last for around 75,000 miles or more. These are now the commonly used spark plugs in modern vehcles.
- Iridium – The are long lasting, and require less current to start the car. They have a longer life, and will last you for around 90,000 miles or more.
- Dual Platinum – Dual platinum spark plugs are more long-lasting than regular plugs because of the improved platinum coating. They are sometimes recommended as an update over standard platinum plugs in wasted spark systems.
In terms of costing, you might be hearing that iridium costs more than copper spark plugs, in my expereince thats wrong, if you know the right places you will be able to source any type of these spark plugs at around $7 to $10, buying in packs of 4 would get you a better deal in most cases as well. I would also suggest don’t go for unknown manufacturers for saving a few bucks, go for reputable brands only.
Will DIY save cost ?
The major chunk of the spark plug replacement cost is labor cost, and if you are handy, and have tools available with some time over the weekend you might be able to save labor cost by doing it your self. Before you indulge in this adventure, check on youtube if a detailed walkthrough video for replacing spark plug is available. Check out that video and see how helpful it is. Ask yourself the following question:-
- Is it detailed enough for me to follow each and every step
- Does it guide you on how to reassemble after disassembling
- Do you have all the required tools to get the job done
- Are all spark plugs at reachable positions or will require engine lifting or disassembling certain mounts.
- Do you have the car’s manual to refer for any questions that might arise
Based on how you answer the above questions you will be able to gauge how confident you are to DIY. If you are searching for spark plug manuals or your vehicle’s manual, search for emanuals online like on emanual website. They have a repository of emanuals. They charge a few bucks for the manual, but with DIY you will be able to save cost so its a healthy investment for now and future reference. Also most manuals get destroyed in DIY projects by geting oiled or greased, emanuals are safer that way as you can havee them in the laptop and refer as per need. If you receive the wrong manual by the company, reach out to their support, and if that doesnt work, surely charge back your credit card, that will definitely get their attention.
When to see a mechanic:
- While the time remaining on the warranty has not yet expired.
- When spark plug seizing is a common issue with the engine.
When to change your spark plugs yourself:
- If you want to save money on towing and mechanic services.
- When it comes to saving time.
Rough Spark Plug Replacement Cost by Vehicle
Depending on the vehicle, spark plug replacement cost would vary. To give you an idea we have compiled how the cost would like for some of the major vehicles to give you an idea.
- Ford Expedition 2008 Model , around $600
- Mercedez Benz s600, around $800
- Infiniti FX 2011, around $550
- Nisan Maxima, around $400
If you have a Ford, with a blown spark plug, check out this article that expands on the spark plug replacement cost specifically for Ford.
If you have a Subaru, check out this article, for a specific guide for your vehicle’s spark plug replacement cost.
How long do spark plugs last?
The spark plug’s life span is determined mainly by the components it’s made from. Mismatched spark plugs and engines with a propensity for spark plug fouling can also have an adverse effect.
- 20,000-25,000-mile lifespan for copper spark plugs.
- Spark plugs made of platinum can be used for up to 60,000 miles without failing.
- The double-platinum spark plugs can be used for 100,000 miles without failing.
- Spark plugs, Iridium has a much longer lifespan, up to 125,000 miles.
How Do You Replace Spark Plugs?
To change spark plugs, you only need a spark plug wrench. The most basic option is a metal pipe wrench, but a T-handle wrench with sockets is also available.
A standard ratchet and socket extension could be used to reach the spark plugs.
- Turn off the battery first.
- The engine’s ignition coils can be found on its top. They’re the black caps with the wires attached.
- You can disconnect the spark plugs by gently pulling them up.
- Take out the old spark plugs by unscrewing them with the wrench. You’ll need to exert some effort, but not too much, to complete this.
- Replace the spark plugs and securely tighten them.
- Bring the battery backup and reconnect the ignition coils.
How much do 4 new spark plugs cost?
You’ll need to spend about $30 to get started, which is the price of a set of four spark plugs. The next step is to decide whether you want to replace the spark plugs yourself, which requires a small investment in tools or hire a professional to set you back between $40 and $80.
Is it worth replacing my spark plugs?
Regardless of the situation, you should always change your spark plugs. The spark plugs in your car are an integral part of the engine, so if you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, it’s time to get a new set.
Why is Spark plug replacement costly?
Spark plug replacement isn’t hard, but getting to them can be. To access spark plugs, overdesigned motors require extensive disassembly, including the intake manifold.
Since most mechanics charge by the hour, the replacement will cost more the longer it takes.
What will it Cost me for My Vehicle Model?
I have listed some cost estimates for few vehicles in this article, however, if you do not find your particular vehicle model and make year, check out the price for spark plug cost replacement, by vehicle type, car make, model year and state on this link.