How many spark plugs does my car engine have? This is a pretty common question we are getting from our readers.
The answer to this can both be simple and advanced, but in the most cases there is a simple answer to this. Check out our topics and information about the different engines down below.
Amount of spark plugs
The first easiest solution to find out how many spark plugs is counting how many cylinders your car has. If you have an inline 4 or V4 engine, you have 4 cylinders and one spark plug per cylinder so the total amount of spark plugs would be 4. But the answer to this question is not really always that simple, because some car’s do have a dual spark system which means that it has two spark plugs on each cylinder.
This can be hard to recognize, but the easiest solution to this is to open your hood and search if you can find your ignition cables (Older cars) or ignition coils(Newer cars). This is often fitted directly on the top of the engine, in some cases, you have to remove a cover to see how many cylinders you have. By checking the picture down below, we can figure out that this inline 4 cylinders have four ignition cables, which means that there are 4 cylinders and 4 spark plugs on the engine.
Having two spark plugs per cylinder is not common, but in case you have it on your car, it can be worth to check it out. There is mostly older japan car’s that is using Dual Ignition. If you want to find out more about the dual ignition, check it out here on Wikipedia: Dual Ignition
Spark plug Amount Table
|Engine Type||Amount (Single Spark)||Price|
|Inline 4||4||Check Price|
|Inline 5||5||Check Price|
|Inline 6||6||Check Price|
Inline vs V-Engine
The terms “inline” and “V-engine” is based on the structure of the engine. An inline engine does have all engines fitted in a line. V-Engine has the cylinders fitted in a “V”, that’s where the term comes from. A V-engine can look like there are two inline engines fitted into one engine. The benefit with a V-engine is that you can build the engine much shorter, but wider to create more space and fit better in the hood if you have a lot of cylinders.
An inline engine is often much more balanced and creates fewer vibrations than a V engine. But this can be discussed in ages because there are a lot of V-engine fans out there which will discuss which engine is the best in overall. Really Split opinions about this.
There are also car’s with boxer engines, like Subaru. These engines are having the cylinder heads straight to the side and you can say that the cylinders lies down.
Where is my spark plugs located?
The spark plugs can be located on a lot of different places on a car engine, the only thing we can know overall is that the spark plugs are located in the cylinder head above the cylinder combustion chamber. This differs a bit on the car engine manufacturer and the type of engine. These instructions are just general and the information may not be accurate for your car engine.
V-Engines have the cylinders in a V and the spark plugs are often located on the “outside” of the cylinder head or on the top of the valve covers. If you have a straight fitted V-engine, check at the outer place of the cylinder head and at the top of the valve cover.
If you have a sidewise fitted V-engine, the front spark plugs may be easy to replace, while the rear plugs are pitted against the firewall and there could be the really limited amount of space to replace these.
If you have an inline 4,5 or 6 engine you will most likely find your spark plugs at the top of the valve cover. It can also be fitted on the side of the cylinder head (Mostly on older cars). In some cars, you have to remove a cover above the valve cover to remove and replace the spark plugs.
How much does a Spark plug replacement cost?
To answer this question, we have to take some things in mind. The first thing is of course, how many sparks plugs you need for your engine. You can find spark plugs here on Amazon to check for a price. Spark Plugs. Just make sure that you choose the right spark plugs for your car engine. The next thing we have to consider in what types of spark plugs you need for your engine. The best way to know this is often to call your authorized dealer and ask them which spark plugs you need for your engine. You can also check in your repair service manual.
Another way is to remove the spark plugs from your car first and check if you have platinum plugs or not and check the part number on them. By ordering the same part number, you are sure that you will get the right spark plugs when you are ordering it.
The difference between normal, platinum and iridium spark plugs is the type. Check the electrode at the bottom of the spark plug, if it’s formed like a box/cylinder you do most likely have normal spark plugs and if it’s sharp V-shaped, you do most likely have platinum or iridium plugs. Platinum and iridium plugs are more expensive than regular spark plugs, but they are having a longer lifetime. Normal spark plugs do normally having a replacement within 50000km’s while platinum or iridium have a replacement maintenance of 90000-120000km’s.
Consider that you have a normal spark plug and the price is 10$ each and are running a V6 engine, the price of the spark plugs are going to be 60$. The labour cost differs a lot in different car models. In some cars, you can replace the spark plugs within 10 minutes and some does require a couple of hours to do the job. But the most common labour cost of a spark plug replacement is around 50-150$ for the most cars.
Which Spark plugs are the best?
This is a question with a lot of different opinions. If you read the paragraph before, I said that the platinum and iridium spark plugs do have a longer lifetime than regular spark plugs. These plugs do normally have a stronger spark also and are better in the most ways. I work as a mechanic and I have not seen any really bad spark plugs on the market actually, but from my conclusion, I can tell you that you should choose platinum or iridium spark plugs if there are any available for your car engine. You will get better spark, lifetime and it will probably also be cheaper in the long run.
Bad spark plugs can damage other things in the ignition system like ignition coils and ignition cables in the long run, so make sure that you are not choosing the cheapest plugs just for the price. I have also seen cases where the spark plug split and damaged the pistons and valves, which means that you can expect a repair of thousands of dollars.
My opinion is that you should go for Bosch or NGK spark plugs. These are well tested and fitted in a lot of different cars from the factory, which means that they are producing quality and spark plugs that you can rely on.
Now there is a lot of information in your head, so we will take a small summary of this article.
- There are two types of car engines Inline or V-engine. It doesn’t matter if you have an inline 4 or V4 engine, both have 4 spark plugs (If not dual ignition).
- Choose NGK or Bosch spark plugs to be sure you get some high-quality spark plugs
- Choose platinum or iridium spark plugs if there is any available for your car.
- The best way is to remove the spark plugs to make sure you order plugs with the same part number as before
- A replacement cost of a spark plug replacement can differ between 90-500 dollars. Even more in some car engines where the plugs are difficult to replace.
If you have anything you want to add to the article or tell your own story about when you replaced your spark plugs, comment down below. If you have any other car questions, you can use our search function and probably find the answers you need from a real mechanic!