Spark Plugs and Wires
Toyota Camry

How do you replace spark plugs on a 2004 Toyota Camry LE?

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2014-07-05 23:25:02
2014-07-05 23:25:02

Remove the plastic ignition cover which is located on the valve cover (top of engine). There are two nuts on the ignition cover (right and left side). Remove them. On the top rear (left and right) of the ignition cover are two rubber connectors that help secure the plastic cover to the valve cover. Lift straight up on the plastic cover and it should come off with a just a little resistance.

Removing the plastic ignition cover reveals the four Denso ignition coils. Underneath each ignition coil is a spark pug. Each coil is held in place by a single bolt. Before removing the 4 bolts, remove each wiring connector from the coil by gently squeezing the back of the connector (like a clothes pin) and pulling slightly backwards away from the coil. Each connector should slide off easily. Place the connector group and wiring harness away from the coils and then remove the 4 bolts securing the ignition coils.

At this point it is a good idea to clean any debris, dirt or other foreign matter from the top of the valve cover before removing the ignition coil. I used a combination of rag and compressed air. Gently, lift out one ignition coil from the far left spark plug hole. I prefer doing one spark plug at a time working left to right, therefore replacing each ignition coil to its original location. Once you have the ignition coil out of the top of the engine, the spark plug is located underneath. Using a 16mm deep well socket and a long extension, turn the spark plug counterclockwise until it has completely unthreaded from the cylinder head. Be very careful during this process not to break the spark plug. Unless your deep well socket is equipped with a rubber bushing inside, you probably won't be able to lift the plug out using the socket. No problem, simply reinsert the ignition coil into the hole and it will grab the spark plug and lift it out.

Using needle nose pliers, gently lower the new spark plug into the cylinder hole. Be very careful not to allow any foreign material to enter the spark plug hole as this could damage your engine. Using the long extension attached to the 16mm deep well socket, thread the spark plug clockwise by hand until it stops turning. At this point (very carefully) tighten the spark plug using the ratchet DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN! I strongly recommend using a torque wrench if you are not experienced in tightening spark plugs. They are very easy to break and stripped threads in a cylinder head is NOT an inexpensive fix. Once the spark plug is tight, reinsert the ignition coil and reinstall the bolt to hold it in place.

Repeat the above procedure for the other 3 ignition coils and spark plugs, then reconnect each wiring connector to it's appropriate coil. Carefully line up the plastic ignition cover with the protruding studs on top of the valve cover and reinstall each nut that holds the cover securely in place.

The entire job took me 30 minutes.

Another two things to know about a Toyota 2004 Camry is that the fuel filter is in the gas tank. AND, though my transmission dip stick reads: "no need to change the ATF running under normal conditions", if you do change it, it is supposed to be similar to changing your oil. There is a drain plug for the transmission fluid. You drain it and refill it. Make sure you use the same transmission fluid that is mentioned on your ATF dip stick.

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