How To Change Spark Plugs In A 2002 Ford Explorer

Learning how to change spark plugs in a 2002 Ford Explorer is important when you are doing periodic maintenance. Changing the spark plugs is essential to keeping your vehicle running smooth and problem free. Although spark plugs may seem like a complicated task, it can be very simple with a set of hand tools and your owner's manual. Use this guide for how to change spark plugs in a 2002 Ford Explorer.

To change spark plugs in a 2002 Ford Explorer, you will need:

  • Socket wrench
  • Deep well sockets
  • Socket extension
  • 2002 Ford Explorer owner's manual
  • 2002 Ford Explorer repair manual
  • Spark plug gap measurement tool
  • Electrical grease
  • Torque wrench
  1. Pop the hood of the Explorer and determine if your vehicle has a V6 or V8 engine. An easy way to do this is to count the number of plug wires. If you have six plug wires, then you have a V6 and if you have eight then your vehicle has a V8.
  2. Remove the spark plug wire boot from the plug on the back right of the engine compartment. The spark plug boot pulls straight off of the spark plug.
  3. Unbolt the exposed spark plug using a socket wrench. Use a deep well socket and extension. If you cannot reach the plug from the engine compartment, slide up under the hood of the Explorer and unbolt it from there.
  4. Examine your owner's manual or repair manual for the correct spark plug gap. Set the gap in the new spark plug using a spark plug gap measurement tool. This is essential to ensuring that the spark plug fires correctly.
  5. Coat the ceramic portion of the new spark plug in electrical grease. Coat the plug wire boot as well. Place the new spark plug in the chamber and ensure that you line the threads up correctly. If you screw the plug in wrong you can ruin the plug and the threads on the engine–turning routine maintenance into a very expensive problem. Tighten the new plug using a torque wrench to make sure you don't overdo it. Check your vehicle service manual for the required torque value.
  6. Place the spark plug wire boot over the new spark plug. Push it on until you hear a "click" sound. Continue this process on each one of the spark plugs. Only change one plug at a time so you do not confuse the plug wires, which can lead to engine misfire.
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