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Toyota Tacoma Engine Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to change the engine spark plugs in a 2nd generation 2005 to 2015 Toyota Tacoma with the 1GR-FE V6 motor.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2013 Tacoma 4.0L V6
Two Engine Cover Nuts
Loosen Counterclockwise
This automotive maintenance DIY tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015) Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in checking or changing the engine spark plugs in the 1GR-FE 4.0 liter V6 motor.

Owners of other Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles such as the Yaris, Matrix, Prius, Camry, Corolla, Sienna, RAV4, Tundra, FJ Cruiser, Venza, Highlander, Avalon, Sequoia, Hilux, Land Cruiser, IS 250, ES 350, GS 350, tC, xB, xD, iQ and FR-S may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools and other items required to complete this procedure include the following: a 10mm socket, a 12mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench, a standard Phillips head screwdriver, a 5/8" spark plug socket, an extension bar, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench and a tube of dielectric grease.

A few compatible replacement spark plugs with their part numbers are as follows: Denso (3381) K20HR-U11, NGK 6619 LFR6AIX-11, Autolite APP5325, NGK (4904) ILFR6T11, Denso IKH20TT, NGK (7787) LFR6C-11 & Bosch (9613) FR7NII33X.

Two 10mm Nuts Removed
Lift Up Front of Cover
Pull Cover Forward
The first step is to open the hood. If the truck has just been driven, allow the engine to cool off for at least an hour or two.

Loosen the two nuts that hold the engine cover in place by turning them counterclockwise with the 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the two nuts aside in a safe place.

Lift the front edge of the engine cover and then slide it forward to disengage the "C" sockets on the rear edge from the mounting bar.

Set the engine cover aside in a safe place.

If you have access to compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum, clean off the top of the engine to help prevent from having debris fall down in to the cylinder well when you are replacing the spark plugs.

Engine Air Filter Box
Loosen Hose Clamp
Release Two Metal Latches
To access the spark plugs on the passenger side of the engine, you'll have to remove the air filter box.

Loosen the hose clamp by turning it counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Flip open the two metal latches on the front edge of the air box cover.

Disconnect Air Box
Passenger Side Spark Plugs
Press In Release Tab
Carefully pull out the air box cover and disconnect it from the air intake hose.

Set the air box aside in a safe place.

I'd recommend only checking or changing one spark plug at a time to further prevent from having debris fall down in to the engine bay.

Press in the tab on the ignition coil module before sliding the power plug straight out of its socket.

Disconnect Power Plug
Loosen 10mm Bolt
10mm Bolt Removed
Loosen the single bolt that holds the ignition coil in place by turning it counterclockwise with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the 10mm bolt aside in a safe place.

Rotate Back & Forth
Lift Out Ignition Coil
Spark Plug Well
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 plug.

Gently lift out the ignition coil and set it aside in a safe place.

5/8" Spark Plug Socket
Loosen Counterclockwise
Disconnect Socket Wrench
Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to the six inch extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Gently loosen the old spark plug by rotating it counterclockwise.

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.

Once the old spark plug is loose, detach the ratcheting wrench and spin it out the rest of the way by hand.
Lift Out Old Spark Plug
Inspect Old Spark Plug
Lower In New Spark Plug
Lift the old spark plug out of the well and detach it from the socket.

The OEM spark plugs on the passenger side of the engine are Denso (3381) K20HR-U11.

The three OEM spark plugs on the driver side of the engine are NGK part number (7787) LFR6C-11.

If you have a spark plug gap gauge, make sure that the new spark plugs are the correct .044 gap or what the manufacturer specifies on the box.

(An optional step is to apply some anti-seize lubricant to the threads on the new spark plugs. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you should not use anti-seize since it can lead to over tightening. But it might also make it easier to remove the old iridium spark plugs after another 100,000 miles has passed.)

Push the new spark plug in to the socket and lower it down in to the cylinder well.

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

Spin in the new spark plug in the clockwise direction by hand until it makes contact with the cylinder head.

Starting the spark plug by hand will help prevent it from becoming cross threaded.


Tighten Clockwise
Apply Dielectric Grease
Lower In Ignition Coil
If you are re-installing the old spark plug, tighten it to just a 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 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 to prevent corrosion.

Rotate Back & Forth
Spin In 10mm Bolt
Tighten 10mm Clockwise
Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to help evenly spread the dielectric grease.

Spin in the 10mm ignition coil bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the bolt with the 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench in the clockwise direction until it is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the bolt to prevent from cracking the plastic ignition coil module.

Push On Electrical Connector
Driver Side - Metal Brackets
Remove Top 12mm Bolt
Push the power plug straight on to the ignition coil until it clicks securely in to place.

To replace the spark plugs on the driver side of the engine bay, it would be best to remove the two metal bars and disconnect some of the rubber hoses.

Both of the metal brackets are held in place by two 12mm bolts.

Remove Bottom 12mm Bolt
Bottom Bolt Location
Disconnect Hoses
To disconnect the rubber hoses, pinch together the two tabs on the hose clamps.
Pull Off PCV Valve Hose
Line Up Air Box Cover
Air Box Re-Assembled
Once you have completed replacing the spark plugs on the passenger side, re-attach the engine air filter box.
Secure Two Metal Latches
Tighten Hose Clamp Clockwise
Line Up "C" Sockets & Bar
Flip closed the two metal latches on the front edge of the air box.

Tighten the hose clamp by turning the Phillips head screw in the clockwise direction.

Line up the two "C" shaped sockets on the rear edge of the plastic engine cover with the mounting bar and push them back together.

Replace Engine Cover
Spin On 10mm Nuts
Tighten Nuts Clockwise
Lower the engine cover back in to place.

Spin on the two 10mm nuts and tighten them in the clockwise direction.

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

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

For more, check out my other 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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