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When to Change Toyota Spark Plugs

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.

Comments

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.

I inherited mom's 1998 Avalon. It had 42,000 miles 4 years ago, now it has 53,000 miles on it. So I looked at the owners manual and it took me an hour to figure out when to change the plugs. I finally realized the 30,000 miles is for severe service, but the way the owners manual was laid out it is difficult to see the correct service schedule for this car. So I went to the Toyota dealer and they said this car needed the 90919-01194 PK20TR11 platinum plugs. So I got 6 plugs from parts and went to the cashier to pay the bill. I got sticker shock when the bill was $85.00. Also I spent a couple of hours reading about which anti freeze to use. Finally I got the answer from the used car mechanic at the Toyota Dealer. He said all Toyota cars come from the factory with red anti-freeze and when he prepped trade in's he drains the anti freeze and replaces it with Toyota red anti freeze. So I bought a gallon of Toyota concentrate Anti Freeze for the price of only $34.99 plus tax. I wanted to use the correct anti freeze, I will this time. Next time I will use Prestone which I have researched to be just fine in a Toyota. Danny Raw

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.

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.

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.

I HAD A SIMILAR experience. Water pump leak, Transmission needs flushed, and several other items they said need to be addressed. Funny thing, the very next morning I backed out of the drive, shifted to "D" transmission slipped. Car would not move forward, the engine just raced like it was in neutral. After a couple minutes of shifting between drive and neutral the transmission began to slowly engage. Made appointment for the transmission flush and refill. My water pump is still ok, as is all the other things they said need to be done. I no longer have any work done at Toyota. They got me for $165.00, but that's money they will get from me!!!!

When my wife went in for an oil change with 25K miles on our 2006 4Runner, the dealer had a list of $600 worth of items needing repair/replacement. This seemed to continue every other time she went in for a while. I went and told them do not try to sell me all this extra unnecessary service as I only go by the book. Obviously if something is broken then that's a different story. I only go by the maintenance schedule and that is it. So this has been going on an off since I bought the truck nine year ago. Fast forward to today, I am due for spark plugs and was quoted $349 about a year ago but held off since the mileage wasn't 125K yet. Today they quoted me $600. Very strange price difference in a short time. So I decided not to do it. Truck runs fine so I'm not gonna waste my money. I did the oil service and had some other services too. But they tried to jack up the price from $200 to $300 a couple hours after I left. I told them I signed for the service at $200 and expected it to be done. They should know what the price is upfront and not play games. I can understand increasing the price if something else comes up, like getting a brake job and the caliper is frozen. But if you quote me for brakes, they you should know the price upfront and stick to it. In my opinion, its the Service Manager playing games trying to increase revenues and margins. Perhaps his incentive bonus it based on profits. It's a real shame because I like to use OEM parts in my truck and am willing to pay extra for the value I receive, but expect a fair price. Problem is most people are probably clueless what a fair and reasonable price is. I do since I have had a half dozen vehicles that I have several at the dealer over the last 20 year. I guess Caveat Emptor sums it all up!

This helped so much! I just purchased a 2004 Camry with the V6 and saw the maintenance schedule showing changing plugs at 60,000 miles. Just watched You Tube Video on how to do it and thought I can do it but its time consuming and I might put something back on incorrectly since there are so many steps involved to reach the back 3 plugs. Sure seemed awful frequent to be doing this....every 30,000 miles. After finding and reading this post sure enough the schedule has ECHO in parenthesis - I thought that was some kind of plug or something and didn't pay much attention to it. I will probably pull one of the front easy to get to plugs and take a look but everything is running beautifully so will leave well enough alone!!

Thanks Again....

Going 120,000 sounds great but remember that as they age fuel mileage will slow as they wear down as well as start up ease. And also note that after this much time the plugs build up carbon on the inside thread edge and can be hard to get out, with the slight chance of pulling out the threads on these aluminum heads!