How-To/DIY: Inspect/Replace spark plugs

Whenever you purchase a used vehicle, you never really know what the car has been through unless the seller kept records of maintenance and cared for the car. But in most cases, used cars are usually daily work cars, first time driver cars or just a “buckets” and usually have high mileage and lack in proper maintenance for it’s engine. Whenever when dealing with a old, used car, you often hear it needs a “tune-up.”

In a tune-up, there are a list of required actions that needs to be done to have the vehicle running efficient and smooth. Regular vehicle maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your investment and performing a tune up will extend the life of your vehicle. Some of the tune-up maintenance that should be done are:

  • Replace engine oil and oil filter
  • Replace engine coolant
  • Replace thermostat  – Thermostat Replacement
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Inspect/Replace spark plugs and/or spark plug wires
  • Replace air filter
  • Replace timing belt
  • Inspect/Replace water pump
  • Inspect/Replace drive belts or accessory belts (Air Conditioning belt or Power Steering belt)
  • Inspect Idle speed
  • Replace transmission fluid
  • Inspect/Replace front and/or rear brake pads
  • Replace brake fluid
  • Inspect/Adjust valve clearance – Valve Clearance Adjustment
  • Inspect/Replace tires

Do not let this list scare you because you can get away with not doing some right away. I highly advise to do the ones that will extend the engine’s longevity and overall health. So let’s break it down to the ones that will help keep your motor running okay and help in “buying time” to do the later helpful services.

  • Replace engine oil and oil filter
  • Replace transmission fluid
  • Replace engine coolant
  • Replace thermostat  – Thermostat Replacement
  • Replace air filter
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Inspect/Replace spark plugs and/or spark plug wires
  • Inspect/Replace front and/or rear brake pads
  • Inspect/Replace tires

Keep in mind, I am an Amazon affiliate and some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Please understand I have had experience with this product and/or only recommend what I believe will be helpful and useful, not because of the small commission I make if you decide to buy something. Please be wise and do not spend money unless you feel you need them or that it will help you achieve your goals.

Here is a list of signs to figure out if the spark plugs need replacing:

Spark plugs with burned or worn electrodes may be caused by:
  • Advanced ignition  timing
  • Loose spark plug
  • Plug heat range too low
  • Insufficient cooling
Spark plugs that are fouled may be caused by:
  • Retarded ignition timing
  • Oil in combustion chamber
  • Incorrect spark plug gap
  • Plug heat range too high
  • Excessive idling/low speed running
  • Clogged air cleaner element
  • Deteriorated ignition coil or ignition wires

In this How-To/DIY tutorial, I will be showcasing the proper steps to replacing old worn  spark plugs inside the cylinder head. First you want to find the right part number for your specific engine and have the right tools to install them. If you have an Integra LS, GS, or RS trim levels, then the engine code is B18B1. If you have an Integra GSR, the engine code is B18C1. And if you have an Integra Type-R, then the engine code is B18C5.

Below are the part numbers and a link to purchase the necessary parts to replace the spark plugs in your specific Integra engine. The recommended brand for spark plugs from factory standards are from NGK and DENSO. I’ve personally used NGK for every Integra I’ve owned and has work with great reliability, good performance and longevity. The work I do on my car is always by the book and always by proper procedures.

For the LS, GS and RS trims with a B18B1:

NGK V-Power Spark Plugs ZFR5F-11

DENSO Standard Spark Plugs – KJ16CR-L11

For the GS-R trim level with a B18C1:

NGK Spark Plugs PFR6G-13

DENSO Double Platinum Spark Plug PK20PR-L13

For the Type-R trim level with a B18C5:

NGK Laser Platinum Spark Plug PFR6G-11

DENSO Double Platinum Spark Plug PK20PR-L11

Now that you have at least 4 new spark plugs for your trim level, let’s discuss the needed tools to do a good job. I recommend these products whenever you’re replacing old worn spark plugs. Each one are particularly selected due to solid structures,helpful capabilities & high volume of good reviews when replacing old spark plugs. These are the necessary tools needed to replace spark plugs:

  • spark plug socket

    • a socket that has a bending swivel neck and rubber holder piece inside to hold the spark plug

GearWrench 5/8-Inch x 6-Inch Swivel Spark Plug Socket

  • spark plug gap gauge

    • a tiny coin-like tool with measurements to gap and widen the clearance of the spark plug electrode

Performance Tool Spark Plug Gap Gauge

  • spark plug anti-seize lubricant

    • to avoid a spark plug ever seizing inside the cylinder head, a spark plug anti-seize lubricant needs to be added on before installation to allow easier removal in the future

Permatex 81343 Anti-Seize Lubricant

Now let’s get on to the How-To/DIY: Replacing spark plugs. Follow the steps in order and installation of new spark plugs will help in healthy engine longevity.

Step 1:

For engine B18B1 or B18C5, adjust the gap with the Spark Plug Gap Gauge tool to the Standard Electrode Gap: 1.1mm (0.034 in)  or replace the plug if the center electrode is rounded.

For engine B18C1, do not adjust the gap of a platinum tip plug. The plug needs to be replaced if the center electrode is rounded or if the gap is not within specifications.  Standard Electrode Gap: 1.3mm (0.051 in)

Step 2:

With the Permatex Anti-Seize Lubricant, apply a small quantity  of anti-seize compound to the plug threads before installing the plugs.

Step 3:

Screw the spark plugs into the cylinder head finger-tight, then torque them to 18 N∙m (1.8 kgf∙m, 13 lbf∙ft). Repeat this step til all spark plugs have been replaced with new ones.


Leave a Reply