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2nd Generation (2000-2004) Specific discussion of the second generation Toyota Avalon

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Old 05-31-2010, 02:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Spark Plugs- Do it yourself? 00' Avalon

I'm a 25 year old girl. I can change my own oil, replace cabin air filter, air filter, windshield wipers, stuff like that. Is it very difficult to replace spark plugs. How often do you have to replace them? According to this site looks like they last until the light comes on. Dealership/stealership trying to charge me $150. Also how difficult is it to do flushes. I'm probably going to go to them for the timing belt/ water pump. Thanks!

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2000 Avalon XLS
80,000k
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did a search and found this, sounds pretty intense to me.

How to change spark plugs on 1MZ-FE under 1 hour
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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02 Avalon. Service interval for my plugs is 120K miles. I'm an experienced DIY; just did mine and would NOT do it again. Front plugs are a breeze, but rear are awful. Instructions above indicate that you can get rear plugs out from pass side w/o removing intake plenum (as called out in service manual on AllDataDIY). There was no way I could do that; and taking plenum off was a pain due to one nut on pass side rear of plenum up against firewall. I never got that nut back on! Next time, I'll pay my mechanic the $100 he wanted to do it!
Not sure what flushes you are talking about. Get coolant flush when you have timing belt/water pump done (another mechanic job, BTW). Transmission flush requires machine, just draining transmission and replacing filter doesn't get fluid out of clutch packs and torque converter.
Always glad to hear folks wanting to do there own work where possible, so I am NOT trying to discourage you. Just some jobs require more tools/knowledge/experience or are just too big a PITA to mess with. Good luck.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have v6 and I was able to get to the rear plugs from the driver's side by getting on a small ladder and positioning the ratchet and socket into the plugs. I admit one needs long arms to change the plugs this way. It wAs not easy, but can be done. I lost the cover on one of the plugs in the rear since one can really see the plug. You also have to be real careful of cross threading. I took about four or three hours.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Maun - Do you have the "coil over plug" V6? I'm asking because I didn't think that there was enought clearance under the intake plenum to pull the coil/boot combination off the plug and out of the hole. Doesn't matter for me because my hands are too big to fit in there and do anything, but would like to know if a smaller person asks me for advice.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My engine is the V6 1mz-fe and it does have coils over the plugs. I accessed the rear plugs by going under the throttle area. There is another cover under the coil pack that I lost on one of the plugs. My gas mileage did not improve after the plug installation, but the mileage seems to have improved with my new timing belt. I do not understand the reason with the new timing belt.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't see any change in mileage with timing belt (expected) or new plugs (not expected). The old plugs still looked good, so I expect that is the reason. I have tracked my mileage since I bought the Avalon in 2006 with 18K miles on it; have put on about 110K more miles. My overall mileage since I have owned the car is 23.11mpg; I get up in the 25-26mpg range on the interstate at 75MPH.

I salute you for getting those rear plugs out - I could never have done that with the plenum in place.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maun View Post
I have v6 and I was able to get to the rear plugs from the driver's side by getting on a small ladder and positioning the ratchet and socket into the plugs. I admit one needs long arms to change the plugs this way. It wAs not easy, but can be done. I lost the cover on one of the plugs in the rear since one can really see the plug. You also have to be real careful of cross threading. I took about four or three hours.

I just did the plugs this weekend on my 2003 Avalon. I was able to complete the job in 1.5 hours. The front 3 were an absolute breeze! The only special tool I had was a Gear Wrench Item 80546 5/8" which is a swivel extension and has a magnetic tip. The tool is like $15 and worked PERFECTLY!

I did have to remove, the PCV hose - but that was it.. I replaced the valve while I was in there

The back 3 are not too difficult if you have some patients.. there is NO NEED to remove the plenum.... I used a 10mm 1/4" ratchet to remove the coil packs. The Gearwrench extension is the perfect length - it sticks about 1" above the valve cover. I got at the 2 plugs towards the passenger side - from the passenger side. I got at the final plug (closest to drivers side) from the space in the plenum.

I put dielectric grease in the plug packs as well as the upper connector. I also put some anti-seize on the 10mm bolts.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just finished up the spark plugs on my 2001 Avalon. Thanks to CraZySteve's instructions and the Gearwrench tool I also finished the job in 1.5 hours. And after 120,090 miles, the old spark plugs were still within spec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraZySteve View Post



I just did the plugs this weekend on my 2003 Avalon. I was able to complete the job in 1.5 hours. The front 3 were an absolute breeze! The only special tool I had was a Gear Wrench Item 80546 5/8" which is a swivel extension and has a magnetic tip. The tool is like $15 and worked PERFECTLY!

I did have to remove, the PCV hose - but that was it.. I replaced the valve while I was in there

The back 3 are not too difficult if you have some patients.. there is NO NEED to remove the plenum.... I used a 10mm 1/4" ratchet to remove the coil packs. The Gearwrench extension is the perfect length - it sticks about 1" above the valve cover. I got at the 2 plugs towards the passenger side - from the passenger side. I got at the final plug (closest to drivers side) from the space in the plenum.

I put dielectric grease in the plug packs as well as the upper connector. I also put some anti-seize on the 10mm bolts.

Last edited by chino101; 12-01-2010 at 05:05 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks all for the great instructions, did mine in 1 hr, use 1/4 inch with 10mm to remove coil packs, and 6" entension with a spark plug socket with rubber insert. Was able to get number 3 and 5 from under the manifold by drivers side and number 1 from passenger side. like everyone says, patience and agility will get those back ones out.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I hear my techs complain all the time about the rear plugs and how much of a pain it is. I am glad that some of you hav done it with success. i agree with bobfllood, sometimes it just isn't worth the savings and not having the corret tools, etc.

By the way, for those of you who don't know, I do sell OEM parts for 30% off MSRP and I only charge actual shipping costs plus $1.00 - $2.00 for materials, etc. But more than that, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Getting the rear plugs wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Did the front 3, so I could get the feel for disconnecting the coil on plugs. Only thing I removed was the engine cover. I did not mess with removing intake, pvc lines, or vac lines. Might have been easier had I done so, but it also would have created more work & exposure to breaking something else.

Having skinny arms would make it easier but even us big hand/arm guys can do it.

Tools I used:
Craftsman 3/8 flex head ratchet
5" 3/8 extension
5/8 spark plug socket
1/4 ratchet & 10mm socket
10mm wrench
antiseize
electric tape (taped extension to socket, to keep socket from getting stuck on plug down in head. Which I learned on the front 3)

Next went for #5 as it appeared to be the easiest looking & it really wasnt bad. The flex head helped here. Next went to #1, looked like the PVC hose would be in the way along with the a/c lines going into the firewall. However I was able to get the coil off & removed by twisting it & working it back towards the firewall.

Now with #1 & #5 coils removed I had room to reach my left hand across the valve cover (from the pass side)to get to the connector on #3.

To me hardest part was getting connector off of #3. In all cases I put the the extension/socket onto the plug before putting the ratchet on it. Then once I broke loose I removed the ratchet & used my fingers to remove. To put new ones on I put the sparkplug in the socket & use the extension to install. Since using only fingers I could make sure I did not cross thread.

Took about 1.5-2 hours but I think I could do in under an hour on the next go round. Also you want a cool motor you have to put you hand/arm in some tight spots.

So have no fear changing plugs on these motors its not as bad as people think or say.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portsider44 View Post
Getting the rear plugs wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Did the front 3, so I could get the feel for disconnecting the coil on plugs. Only thing I removed was the engine cover. I did not mess with removing intake, pvc lines, or vac lines. Might have been easier had I done so, but it also would have created more work & exposure to breaking something else.

Having skinny arms would make it easier but even us big hand/arm guys can do it.

Tools I used:
Craftsman 3/8 flex head ratchet
5" 3/8 extension
5/8 spark plug socket
1/4 ratchet & 10mm socket
10mm wrench
antiseize
electric tape (taped extension to socket, to keep socket from getting stuck on plug down in head. Which I learned on the front 3)

Next went for #5 as it appeared to be the easiest looking & it really wasnt bad. The flex head helped here. Next went to #1, looked like the PVC hose would be in the way along with the a/c lines going into the firewall. However I was able to get the coil off & removed by twisting it & working it back towards the firewall.

Now with #1 & #5 coils removed I had room to reach my left hand across the valve cover (from the pass side)to get to the connector on #3.

To me hardest part was getting connector off of #3. In all cases I put the the extension/socket onto the plug before putting the ratchet on it. Then once I broke loose I removed the ratchet & used my fingers to remove. To put new ones on I put the sparkplug in the socket & use the extension to install. Since using only fingers I could make sure I did not cross thread.

Took about 1.5-2 hours but I think I could do in under an hour on the next go round. Also you want a cool motor you have to put you hand/arm in some tight spots.

So have no fear changing plugs on these motors its not as bad as people think or say.
Yea these plugs were EASY! Now the plugs I completely and totally FEAR are the plugs in my 2006 Ford F-150 That is another story
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I hear you, why FMC had to put the fuel rail over the coil on plugs is not very smart. However its not that bad to do.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I hear you, why FMC had to put the fuel rail over the coil on plugs is not very smart. However its not that bad to do.
Well it is definitely not the fuel rail I am worried about... It is the stupid plugs breaking off in the head but this is a Toyota Avalon forum - so no need to further discuss this one
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