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Summary
  • The location of the spark plugs varies depending on the number of cylinders in the engine. In a four-cylinder engine, the plugs are usually on top of the engine or its side in a row.
  • Spark plugs are electrical devices that ignite the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder’s combustion chamber.
  • When accessing the spark plug, you must unbolt the ignition coil pack to reveal the plug’s top. If the plug has a wire, carefully tug the wire.

Q: Where Is the Spark Plug Typically Located?

A: The location of the spark plugs can vary depending on the number of cylinders in the engine. In a four-cylinder engine, the plugs are found on either the engine’s top or the side in a row. If we’re talking about an inline six-cylinder engine, the plugs are on the top or the side of the engine head. Finally, the spark plugs of V6 and V8-cylinder engines  are usually divided evenly across either side and will either be in the center of the head or down on the side near the exhaust.

image showing the location of a spark plug
In a four-cylinder engine, the spark plugs are found on either the engine’s top or the side in a row.

Many Subaru models position their spark plugs on the side of their engine. This also applies to Porsche models equipped with a flat-four or a flat-six engine.

, Where Is the Spark Plug Located?

Pro Tips are nuggets of information direct from ASE-certified automobile technicians working with CarParts.com, which may include unique, personal insights based on their years of experience working in the automotive industry. These can help you make more informed decisions about your car.

Pro Tip: If you can find the coils or follow the spark plug wires from the distributor cap to the spark plugs, you’ve found them.

Spark plugs are a key part of the ignition system. They’re electrical devices that ignite the air-fuel mixture inside the cylinder’s combustion chamber. Because they use high voltage and generate hot electrical sparks, they wear out quickly and require replacement.

Tips On How to Access the Spark Plug

When you open the hood, look for the spark plugs on the engine. Each spark plug has either an ignition coil or a wire leading to the coil. Modern vehicles usually have an ignition coil pack for each cylinder, while older vehicles have only a single coil pack shared between its cylinders. If the spark plug has an ignition coil pack, unbolt the coil pack to reveal the plug’s top. But if the plug has a wire, carefully tug the wire.

Use a clean rag or compressed air to clean the spark plug. Next, loosen the spark plug with a socket. If the plug stays stuck, use a ratchet to loosen it.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Ignition System , DIY Tagged With :
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