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Honda Pilot 3.5L V6 Engine Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to check or change the engine spark plugs in a 2nd generation 2009-2015 Honda Pilot with the 3.5L V6 i-VTEC motor.

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2012 Honda Pilot 3.5L V6
Plastic Engine Cover
Release Two Fasteners
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015) Honda Pilot SUV in checking or changing the engine spark plugs in the 3.5 liter i-VTEC SOHC 24V V6 motor.

Owner's of other Honda or Acura vehicles such as the Odyssey, Insight, Ridgeline, CR-V, Fit, Civic, CR-Z, Crosstour, Accord, MDX, RDX, RLX, TL, TSX and ILX may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The OEM spark plugs are NGK brand part number DILZKR7A 11DS or DILZKR7A11DS.

A few other compatible spark plugs are as follows: Bosch Iridium (9619) YR6SII330X, Champion RER8ZWYCB4 (9407), Autolite XP5701 and Honda 12290-R70-A01.

The tools needed to access and replace the spark plugs include a flathead screwdriver, a 10mm socket, 1/4" drive ratchet, a 5/8" spark plug socket, 6" extension bar, a 3/8" drive ratchet and a tube of dielectric grease.

Pull Off Engine Cover
Front 3 Spark Plugs
Rear of Engine
The first step is to open the hood. If the SUV has been driven recently, I'd recommend allowing the engine to cool for at least an hour or two.

The black plastic engine cover is held in place by two plastic fasteners located at the two front corners.

Rotate the black plastic fasteners 1/4 turn counterclockwise with a flathead screwdriver to release them.

Carefully lift the engine cover to release the friction fasteners near the back side and set the cover aside in a safe place.

Back 3 Spark Plugs
Ignition Coil Module
10mm Socket
There are 3 spark plugs situated on the front side of the engine and 3 on the back side.
Loosen 10mm Nut
Spin Off 10mm Nut
10mm Nut Removed
The spark plug ignition coils are held in place by a single nut.

Loosen the nut in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the 10mm nut aside in a safe place.

Press Release Tab
Power Plug Removed
Pull Out Ignition Coil
Press in the tab on the electrical connector before sliding the power plug straight off the ignition coil.

Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to make sure that the rubber dust boot is not stuck or "frozen" to the top of the old spark plugs.

Pull the ignition coil straight out of the spark plug well and set it aside in a safe place.

Spark Plug Well
Insert 5/8" Spark Plug Socket
Loosen Counterclockwise
Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to the 6 inch extension bar and insert it in to the spark plug well.

Push the socket on to the top of the old spark plug.

Attach the 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench to the extension bar and loosen the old spark plug in the counterclockwise direction.

Try to avoid using excessive force to loosen the old spark plug to prevent from cracking the ceramic portion of the plug.

If you have trouble loosening the old spark plug, spray a small amount of penetrating oil such as PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench or Kano Kroil and wait at least 15 to 30 minutes before attempting to loosen it again. If you don't have any penetrating oil, try spraying some WD-40 or warm up the engine for a few minutes to help expand the metal engine block.


Detach Wrench - Spin Out
Remove Old Spark Plug
Inspect Old Spark Plug

Once the old spark plug is loose, detach the ratcheting wrench and spin it out the rest of the way by hand.

Lift the old spark plug out of the well and detach it from the socket.

Carefully inspect both ends of the old spark plug.

If the electrode end of the old spark plug looks ashy white, the plugs may have been exposed to high temperatures due to overheating or they may be the incorrect heat range for your driving conditions or environment.

If the old OEM spark plug is grey or covered in black soot, the engine may be burning oil and should be examined by a professional mechanic.

The OEM spark plugs in this 2012 Pilot were the NGK DILZKR7A11DS laser iridium.

(An optional step is to apply some anti-seize grease to the threads on the spark plug. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you should not use anti-seize grease since it can lead to over tightening. Some mechanics believe that using anti-seize grease on the spark plugs will help prevent them from becoming stuck or "frozen" in to the cylinder head if they are not removed again for another 100,000 miles.)

If you have a spark plug gap gauge, check that the new spark plugs are gapped to the manufacturer's specification listed on the side of the box. They should already be pre-set from the factory.

Lower In New Spark Plug
Spin In Clockwise By Hand
Tighten Clockwise With 5/8"

Push the new spark plug in to the 5/8" socket.

Your spark plug socket should have a rubber insert or a strong magnet to securely hold the new plug in place.

Carefully lower the new spark plug in to the well.

Spin in the new spark plug a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Attach the 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench to the 6" extension bar.

If you are re-installing the old spark plug, tighten it to just a very small fraction of a turn past hand tight.

If you are installing a brand new spark plug, tighten it to just past the point when you feel the new crush washer collapse.

Do not over tighten the spark plug to prevent from cracking the ceramic body or stripping the aluminum threads.

Double check that the new spark plug is tight before moving on to the next step.

Apply Dielectric Grease
Re-Insert Ignition Coil
Spin On 10mm Nut
Apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the opening in the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the ignition coil.

The dielectric grease will keep out any moisture and help prevent corrosion.

Re-insert the ignition coil module in to the spark plug well.

Spin on the 10mm nut in the clockwise direction by hand.

Tighten 10mm Clockwise
Push On Electrical Connector
Friction Fasteners
Tighten the nut with the 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratchet until is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the nut to prevent from cracking the plastic ignition coil housing.

Line up the friction fasteners on the underside of the plastic cover with their corresponding holes on the top of the engine.

1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Secure Two Fasteners
Spark Plugs Replaced
Lower the plastic engine cover back in to place.

Rotate the two black plastic fasteners on the front edge of the engine cover 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Start the engine and listen for any strange sounds that may indicate a disconnected power plug or loose spark plug.

Be sure to record the spark plug change in your SUV's service records.

For more, please check out my other 2009-2015 Honda Pilot DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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