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When to Change Toyota Spark Plugs

by Daniel
Wed 08/24/2011 - 13:30

I noticed that my Toyota Maintenance Schedule seemed to indicate that my 2004 Camry should have the spark plugs replaced every 30K miles.
The manual says the spark plugs are iridium which I thought lasts a long time. I was looking in a 2009 Corolla maintenance schedule and it says to change spark plugs at 120K miles. The Corolla has iridium spark plugs also. So I started doing research on the internet.

I read many posts on the internet with people confused about when their 2002-2006 Toyota spark plugs should be changed. And read many posts that the Toyota service people said change the plugs at 30K miles. I found a Toyota spark plug pdf for 2011 that shows late 1990s and newer models of cars, trucks and suvs and about what spark plugs are used. It mentions iridium spark plugs last to 120K miles.

I called Toyota to ask what was the correct spark plug change interval. I told the person about the conflicting information. She just repeated that what was in the Toyota Maintenance Schedule was correct. I said she was not helping and so she transferred me to a higher level support person. I again told the person about the conflicting information. He put me on hold and did some research.

He came back on and said, do you see the "Replace spark plugs (ECHO)" listed in the 30K miles or 36 months page? I said yes, well that means it is just for the Echo car. I said, oh right Toyota made a car called Echo…before when I read ECHO I thought it was some sort of abbreviation. He said see at 120K miles page, that it just says "Replace spark plugs", that is for all cars.

Toyota confused not only the customers, but the dealer service people as they are recommending 30K mile replacement for 120K mile spark plugs because of the poorly written and cryptic statement. Why didn't they write "Replace spark plugs (Echo Only)"? Much more clear. I hope this helps someone, please post a comment if it helped you.

I went in for an oil change and was told my waterpump was leaking, and I should have the system flushed, my drive belt had a few cracks and my fuel injectors were due for cleaning, My cabin and Airfilter should be replaced and my spark plugs should be replaced as they were worn. I went through the list item by item. I told them I changed the cabin and air filter myself, they assume it's never been done. I asked if he could show me the water pump leak since my car is garaged and I have no leaks what so ever. He told me the car was off the lift already. I checked the water pump housing and found no leaks. Th belt had no cracks what so ever and they lied about that. He told me he pulled a plug and checked it that the eletrode was worn. They never pulled the plug. I can tell because checking the plug requires removing the plastic cover which has dust on it and no sign of handling. As soon a i touched the cover you could see that I did.
These dealers are all out to provide unnecessary work at your expense.

Great final summary showing don't need to do it until 120K per manual. I was confused myself with the ECHO statement in the manual.

But the dealer wanted to change them at 75,000, as well as replacing the Drive Belt and lots of other things not on the schedule.

I, too, had the same problem for my 2006 Toyota 4runner (V6 4.0L). Booklet in glove box says 30K miles, several repair shops said, "naw, 100K, but you need platinum plugs." I said, "but it doesn't have platinum plugs in it now..." No answer. Toyota dealer was noncommital but added I did not need platinum plugs. Right now, it's running fine and getting 25 mpg on highway so I'm leaving it alone until I see better info...bln55@netzero.net

I iam driving MY CAMRY 2004 185 K km AND I AM STILL OK . DRIVE BELT IS STILL OK. But the car is 10 years old and i will change them very soon. The dealer wanted to change every thing very early to make more money. They offer me to change my front brakes on 30 K km -I CHANGED ON 185K km The offer me to change cooling fluid on 60 K km. - On the radiator say - initial change on ORIGINAL cooling fluid after 165 K km. So far my TOYOTA RUNNING OK.