How to Replace Spark Plugs on a 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5

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If your 2002 Nissan Altima needs new spark plugs, you can perform the change yourself in under an hour. Regularly scheduled spark plug changes will help your engine last much longer. Spark plugs are critical to the proper firing of the engine cylinders and if one of them is dirty or too old, your engine could wear out more quickly that you had planned on.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 mm socket
  • 16 mm spark plug socket
  • Socket wrench
  • Spark plugs
  • Remove the engine cover. This is a large, plastic cover that protects the engine components from dust and debris. There are a few plastic locking nuts that hold the cover in place. Turn them counterclockwise and remove the cover.

  • Remove the ignition coils one at a time. The ignition coils are located on top of each spark plug. Unplug the wiring harness from the back of the ignition coil and then un-bolt the ignition coil from the spark plug with a 10 mm socket.

  • Remove the spark plug from the engine block. Using the 16 mm spark plug socket, carefully remove the spark plug from the engine block. Remove and change only one spark plug at a time.

  • Replace the spark plug. Using the 16 mm spark plug socket, install the new spark plug into the engine block. Replace the ignition coil with a 10 mm socket and replace the plastic engine cover.

  • Repeat the preceding steps for the other spark plugs.

Tips & Warnings

  • Changing only one spark plug at a time will help ensure that you replace the correct ignition coil back on the proper spark plug.
  • If you install the ignition coils over the incorrect spark plugs, the engine will fire in the wrong sequence, hurting your engine's performance and possibly damaging the engine.

References

  • Photo Credit ICHIRO/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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