How to Replace a Spark Plug in a Mazda Tribute


The Tribute is a small, front-wheel drive SUV sold by Mazda. The Tribute was developed partially by Ford Motor Company and is built alongside the very similar Ford Escape. For this reason, replacing the spark plugs in a Ford Escape will be very similar, if not identical. Learn what to do--and what not to--when replacing your Tribute spark plugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Socket wrench
  • Spark plug socket
  • Replacement spark plug(s)
  • Anti-seize lubricant
  • Torque wrench
  • Disconnect your negative battery cable. 2001 to 2006 models have a plastic engine cover you must remove to access the spark plugs. Pull this cover off, if equipped.

  • Label the spark plug wires per their position before removing them. If replacing multiple spark plugs, it's best to change one at a time to avoid getting the wires cross-connected. If your Mazda Tribute is equipped with the 2.3 L or the 3.0 L engine, please see the Tips section.

  • Twist and remove the spark plug boot to access the spark plug. Use the socket wrench with the spark plug socket to remove the spark plug. Removing the spark plug without this tool is possible, but will increase the chances of damaging or stripping the head.

  • Apply a small amount of anti-seize compound to the three lowest threads on the new spark plug. Do not get the compound on either tip of the spark plug.

  • Loosely tighten the spark plug by hand, and then use the torque wrench with the spark plug socket to tighten the spark plug to 15 foot-pounds of torque. This level is acceptable for all model years and all engines.

  • Replace the spark plug boot and reconnect the negative battery cable. Replace the engine cover, if equipped.

Tips & Warnings

  • The 2.3 and 3.0 L engines use ignition coils rather than spark plug boots. To remove, simply disconnect the bolt or screws for the entire panel and set aside.
  • Do not install the new spark plugs without loosely tightening them by hand first. Using a tool to tighten them initially will increase the chances of damage or stripping.


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