How to Replace Spark Plugs in a Saturn Ion

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The Saturn automobile company suggests that the spark plugs in an Ion be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Inspect Saturn Ion spark plugs for wear and corrosion every 30,000 to 35,000 miles to retain fuel efficiency. An Ion that is sluggish or not getting good gas mileage probably needs new spark plugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Spark plug socket
  • Socket wrench and extension
  • Canned air
  • Anti-seize compound
  • New spark plug
  • Tension tester
  • Turn off the engine and allow it to cool. Changing spark plugs in warm aluminum engines causes damage to the cylinders.

  • Grab the boot of one spark plug wire and twist it to the right and left 180 degrees. Pull up on the boot to remove it. The spark plug wires are located across the top of the engine. Always grab a spark plug wire by the boot so you don't damage the wire. Change each spark plug and return the wire before removing the next wire. If a spark plug wire is placed on the wrong plug, it damages the engine.

  • Lock the socket, extension and wrench together and drop it into the cylinder well, sliding the socket over the spark plug. Turn the wrench counter clockwise to unscrew the spark plug and pull it out of the well.

  • Clean the well with canned air to remove any debris. Apply a few drops of anti-seize compound to the threads of the new spark plug to keep it from adhering to the well.

  • Thread the new spark plug into the well. Use the socket and extension to thread the plug. Do not use the wrench. The force of the wrench may cause the plug to cross-thread or break off in the well.

  • Tighten the spark plug 90 degrees if the spark plug has a crush washer on it. When installing a tapered spark plug, use a tension tester to check the tension and tighten or loosen according to the information provided by the plug manufacturer.

  • Place the wire on top of the spark plug and lock it into position on the engine.

  • Repeat Steps 1 through 7 for the remaining plugs.

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