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Changing Spark Plugs- How Difficult?


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Hello-

I would like to ask anyone with experience if changing the spark plugs on an '02 Rx-300 is a difficult task or does it require any special tools? my local (non-lexus) shop wants almost $400 to do the job! says it takes 2.3 hrs to do (labor) plus 6 Platinum NGK plugs at $28.60 per plug. this sounds ridiculous to me, what is the general consensus about doing this job yourself? thanks.

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The front 3 are easy. The back three are a bit harder. I had to get 2 "wobble extensions", a plug socket and a ratchet to do the job. Without removing the entire intake, it can be done but is a bit of a job. You have to reach your arms in under the intake and feed each peice one by one into the hole, starting with the plug socket / wobble 3'' extension first. Obviously you have to remove the coils first. I would reccomend changing the middle coil as this one commonly goes out after about 150K.

It can be done but is a bit tricky.

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Well, it's not a fun job, but it's not rocket science... it's just a really tight fit. There are some write ups on the job here.

For me, I got a little stubby socket wrench with a pivot point, a spark plug socket with a built-in pivot joint, and a couple different length extensions. The front three plugs are like 3 minute jobs each, and once you get a rear one completed and get a feel for what needs to be done, the rest aren't that bad. If you've got really big hands, you'll have a tough time. I've got little girl-sized hands so it wasn't too bad for me to get back there and work around.

Another thing, I would use Iridium plugs over Platinum plugs... you can get Iridium plugs (factory recommended) for around $7/each.

Here are a couple links on the job: http://clublexus.com/forums/rx-first-gener...eplacement.html

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...showtopic=31597

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Hello-

I would like to ask anyone with experience if changing the spark plugs on an '02 Rx-300 is a difficult task or does it require any special tools? my local (non-lexus) shop wants almost $400 to do the job! says it takes 2.3 hrs to do (labor) plus 6 Platinum NGK plugs at $28.60 per plug. this sounds ridiculous to me, what is the general consensus about doing this job yourself? thanks.

Just curious- how many miles do you have on the plugs? The original equipment plugs are Iridium and last forever, I would say you can get 150-175k miles out of them, they just don't wear out. $28.60 per plug? for platinum? that's absurd! You can get the iridium in either NGK or Denso for about $8. and change on the net and they are outstanding plugs. I wouldn't use anything but IRIDIUM.

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Follow the advice here to use only iridium plugs. They will do 120,000 miles easy and 150,000 miles is not unusual. Use either Denso or NGK. Accept no substitutes. You can usually order them online for about $8 each or you can find them in your local auto parts stores for slightly more than that. Your local shop is sticking you big-time. If you can't do this yourself with some assistance from a friend, keep shopping around. Try your local Toyota service department - I'll bet they'll be cheaper than the shop you're talking to, especially if you supply the new plugs yourself....

I have huge hands and had to enlist the help of my small-handed neighbor to get to that rear middle plug when I changed the plugs at 120,000 miles in our previous 2000 RX300 back in October 2006. Without his help, I would have been stuck in the driveway for at least another hour trying to get my mitts and tools into that very confined space. Be sure you have an assortment of socket wrench extensions and universals before you start on the rear plugs. As has already been pointed out, the three front plugs are child's play....

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Follow the advice here to use only iridium plugs. They will do 120,000 miles easy and 150,000 miles is not unusual. Use either Denso or NGK. Accept no substitutes. You can usually order them online for about $8 each or you can find them in your local auto parts stores for slightly more than that. Your local shop is sticking you big-time. If you can't do this yourself with some assistance from a friend, keep shopping around. Try your local Toyota service department - I'll bet they'll be cheaper than the shop you're talking to, especially if you supply the new plugs yourself....

I have huge hands and had to enlist the help of my small-handed neighbor to get to that rear middle plug when I changed the plugs at 120,000 miles in our previous 2000 RX300 back in October 2006. Without his help, I would have been stuck in the driveway for at least another hour trying to get my mitts and tools into that very confined space. Be sure you have an assortment of socket wrench extensions and universals before you start on the rear plugs. As has already been pointed out, the three front plugs are child's play....

I had the throttle body off but believe I already had it back on when I decided to change the plugs and had to do it all by feel on the rear plugs. It wasn't fun but I was able to reach all 3 and take the COP's off and change the plugs with a little "rubber man" impression. Knowing how long it would be before they would likely have to be changed again (never) I didn't mind too much. My son and DIL usually keep their cars for about 150-180k mi. and with 97k on it when I changed them I don't anticipate ever changing them again on this car. Had I known what they looked like when I bought the new plugs I wouldn't have considered changing them, just checking and cleaning. I still have the plugs and am amazed at the Iridium plugs!

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Obviously you have to remove the coils first. I would reccomend changing the middle coil as this one commonly goes out after about 150K.

I'm curious how you came to the conclusion that its the #3 coil is one that commonly goes out? It certainly is the most difficult one to get at but I'm wondering if there's something that causes this one to go before the others? I've replaced all of mine (3 failed at different times so I just replaced the rest as well).

I'd caution though that coil failure seems to be yet another issue more common on 99-00 models. It could be the age and mileage of the older vehicles but I just don't see folks reporting it on 01's and later. The coil part number changed after 01 so there may have been a problem with the originals.

Back on topic though, I'd concur with the rest that the back three can be done but its a pain. I can see it being a 2 hr job but if you don't DIY at least buy the iridium plugs yourself and take them to your mechanic, that should cut the job down to about $250. Personally I find that a bit high, I don't know your area at all but I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to find a shop to do this type of job for less.

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Obviously you have to remove the coils first. I would reccomend changing the middle coil as this one commonly goes out after about 150K.

I'm curious how you came to the conclusion that its the #3 coil is one that commonly goes out? It certainly is the most difficult one to get at but I'm wondering if there's something that causes this one to go before the others? I've replaced all of mine (3 failed at different times so I just replaced the rest as well).

I'd caution though that coil failure seems to be yet another issue more common on 99-00 models. It could be the age and mileage of the older vehicles but I just don't see folks reporting it on 01's and later. The coil part number changed after 01 so there may have been a problem with the originals.

Back on topic though, I'd concur with the rest that the back three can be done but its a pain. I can see it being a 2 hr job but if you don't DIY at least buy the iridium plugs yourself and take them to your mechanic, that should cut the job down to about $250. Personally I find that a bit high, I don't know your area at all but I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to find a shop to do this type of job for less.

I think I'm going to replace the two knock-sensors on my wife's 2000 RX300 [ 70,000 miles ] this summer when she's out of town. The engine gets a gas knock periodically [ has since new ] and it's really irritating. I usually just pull the ECU fuse for a minute or so and that solves it. Back to the topic, I guess since I'll have the intake manifold off I may as well replace the spark plugs too. The NAPA store has the Denso iridium plugs for about $8.00. Should the job take longer than a couple of hours?

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Obviously you have to remove the coils first. I would reccomend changing the middle coil as this one commonly goes out after about 150K.

I'm curious how you came to the conclusion that its the #3 coil is one that commonly goes out? It certainly is the most difficult one to get at but I'm wondering if there's something that causes this one to go before the others? I've replaced all of mine (3 failed at different times so I just replaced the rest as well).

I'd caution though that coil failure seems to be yet another issue more common on 99-00 models. It could be the age and mileage of the older vehicles but I just don't see folks reporting it on 01's and later. The coil part number changed after 01 so there may have been a problem with the originals.

Back on topic though, I'd concur with the rest that the back three can be done but its a pain. I can see it being a 2 hr job but if you don't DIY at least buy the iridium plugs yourself and take them to your mechanic, that should cut the job down to about $250. Personally I find that a bit high, I don't know your area at all but I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to find a shop to do this type of job for less.

The #3 coil is in my opinion effected by the heat of the engine more so than others. The coils are a regular problem. The coils only have a certain amount of milage they can withstand, which is lessened by the heat in that area. If you tak a temp gun, #3 cylindar will always be a bit warmer in that engine (relatively). The heat simply cannot escape as well as the other cylindars.

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I think I'm going to replace the two knock-sensors on my wife's 2000 RX300 [ 70,000 miles ] this summer when she's out of town. The engine gets a gas knock periodically [ has since new ] and it's really irritating. I usually just pull the ECU fuse for a minute or so and that solves it. Back to the topic, I guess since I'll have the intake manifold off I may as well replace the spark plugs too. The NAPA store has the Denso iridium plugs for about $8.00. Should the job take longer than a couple of hours?

Bowtie- Are you SURE the plugs are Iridium? The reason I ask is the iridium plugs list for about $22.-$24. each. I was able to find them (Denso Iridium) online for about $8.+ and since the seller was local was able to pick them up. That was the BEST price that I found. I can't imagine Napa selling them for that. Are you sure they aren't PLATINUM? Sounds more like the price for platinum. There is a huge difference in the quality of the 2 plugs.

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I think I'm going to replace the two knock-sensors on my wife's 2000 RX300 [ 70,000 miles ] this summer when she's out of town. The engine gets a gas knock periodically [ has since new ] and it's really irritating. I usually just pull the ECU fuse for a minute or so and that solves it. Back to the topic, I guess since I'll have the intake manifold off I may as well replace the spark plugs too. The NAPA store has the Denso iridium plugs for about $8.00. Should the job take longer than a couple of hours?

Bowtie- Are you SURE the plugs are Iridium? The reason I ask is the iridium plugs list for about $22.-$24. each. I was able to find them (Denso Iridium) online for about $8.+ and since the seller was local was able to pick them up. That was the BEST price that I found. I can't imagine Napa selling them for that. Are you sure they aren't PLATINUM? Sounds more like the price for platinum. There is a huge difference in the quality of the 2 plugs.

even on the denso website they're less that $12 a plug... who the heck is selling them for $22?

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