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How do you change the spark plugs on a 1996-2002 Rav4?


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2009-12-15 19:46:25
2009-12-15 19:46:25
Replacing the spark plugs on the Rav4 is a bit harder then on many other vehicles. You start by removing the air filter holder. I have been able to get by removing only the front half of the air filter holder. Once this is done there are 4 holders in the center of the valve cover. Each has a 10 mm screw holding them in. Remove the screws and then pull the plug connectors out of the holes. The spark plugs take a 5/8" spark plug socket to remove them. You will also need a fairly long extension to reach the plugs. I prefer a 6" extension and a swivel head ratchet. If you find oil in the holes that indicates the seal for the valve cover wasn't installed properly. Normally you will have to replace the gasket to stop the leak. This isn't something for the non-mechanically minded people. I have found the spark plugs sold by Toyota are rated to last about 90k miles. They generally also will give you about 1 to 2 miles per gallon better mileage than the auto parts store's version. The auto part store version normally only last 30k. When replacing the screws to hold the holders, don't over tighten them. They can crack and then you will have to replact them. They aren't very cheap. Also start the bolts by hand to make sure you don't cross thread them. They are steel screws and are going into Alum. I hope this helps a bit.


UPDATE: 1998 Rav4/4dr/4wd If you do the above steps you will want to hunt down the person that wrote it and kill them. :)

The spark plugs are located on the top of the engine block, under 4 square rubber covers that have wires running to them from the right side of the engine block. You do have to pull pretty hard to pull up the rubber stopper and it has a long black tube that is attached to the bottom. PLEASE use a 6" or longer socket extension, but if you use one with a rubber 'helper' inside you may have to have a realllllllly good connection or it will make it very hard to get the socket back out after you tighten up the plug. I used a socket with the rubber 'grabber' inside to unscrew them.. and one without to screw them back in. Just a hint.

If you want a picture of what it looks like after you remove the 4 rubber plugs and the tubes attached look at this:

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On my 2002 RAV4 the plugs are recessed into the top of the valve cover. There is a low voltage electical conector to 4 coil units that sit on top of the plugs. Above all of this is the removable portion of the air cleaner. Remove the front half of the air box and the 4 coil units will be easy to see. Use a 10mm wrench to loosen the hold down bold and the coils should slip out easily. Then you can see the top of the plug about 2 inches below.

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Listed in your owner's manual. If you do not have one then you need to get one. I would change them at 100,000 miles unless the engine starts running poorly or your MPG goes down.

you go to a mechanic and change*

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The spark plug setting is the gap you manually set between the electrode and the ground stem of the spark plug. You would need to have a gauge to set the plug gap, app 5.00 dollars at your local auto mart store. If you buy the plugs from their store ask them to set the gap, they will, after all your a good customer. If you have an owner's manual look up spark plug settings, the manual will tell you the setting needed depending on the type of plug your installing. The best spark plug on the market today is called the Pulse plug, go to the internet look under www. , these spark plugs are the best way to improve gas milage and increase horsepower for as little as 120.00 on a rav4...2 litre..gas engine....the site will clue you in , its rocket technology, and they pay for themselves in a short period of time. Best of luck....Phil

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Remove the air filter and remove the three 10mm bolts that fasten the filter box to the valve cover. This will reveal the 4 coil packs that cover the plugs. One doesn't need to remove the hoses from the air filter box to the intake, but rather push it to the driver's side. This will facilitate removal of even the plug nearest the driver's side fender. Remove the coil pack wire connection from the coil by pressing down the grooved tab and wiggling whilst pulling. Remove the 10mm bolt from each coil pack and wiggle-pull these out of the spark plug wells. Remove the spark plugs with a 5/8 socket with an extension. Replace plugs in the opposite order after coating the threads of the new spark plugs with anti-seize compound. Only use enough compound to coat the threads to avoid fouling the plug. Replace the air box and filter. Done.

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Hi, The engine and transmission assembly must be removed from the vehicle to replace the clutch on a RAV4 AWD. It's a 10+ hour job. Good luck.

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