Automotive

Replace spark plugs & wires on 2002 Camry LE 4cyl

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  • Jul 19th, 2013 9:16 pm
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[OP]
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Jan 23, 2008
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Replace spark plugs & wires on 2002 Camry LE 4cyl

Hi folks,

My 2002 now has about 150K, have had the car since 80K. I believe I should have done this replacement by 120K.

Is replacing spark plugs & spark wires mildly easy to do? Should I replace the spark plug wires at all or just stick with spark plugs? I have quoted $220 for this job for spark plug + wires, including labor.

Thoughts?
15 replies
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May 10, 2005
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Yes, it is a good time to replace the plugs and wires. You can buy the wires in sets. the plugs, well, they come individually LOL.
Do not get sold the super platinum, 4 contact, gold plated, self draining plugs (kidding). There is no practical or beneficiary reason to get anything more than whatever you have on the car now. You will gain nothing.
same goes for the wire set. there are all kinds of manufacturers out there espousing performance gains and so on but for everyday drivers on everyday roads, you do not need any of that.
One mistake often made by shadetree mechanics is that they get the wires mixed up to the cylinders. To be safe, do one cylinder at a time. Pull the wire off, pull the plug out, replace the plug and replace the wire and on to the next one.
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I wouldn't automatically replace the wires on a Camry at 150K and 11 years unless they looked degraded or loose, failed the old night-time visual check (arcing), or seemed to be causing some other problem.

Always a risk that the quality or compatibility of aftermarket replacements will not be as good as the originals. Dealer-supplied ones should be a safe bet.

If needed later, duplication of effort is not much of a factor, and fairly easy to do on a 4-cyl. (compared to the transverse V6).

I think that Asian vehicles have always had numbered factory wires, whereas domestics don't (aftermarket replacement wire sets are always numbered).

With the plugs, observe manufacturer's recommendation on use of anti-seize - NGK says not needed - always a hotly-debated topic.
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One mistake often made by shadetree mechanics is that they get the wires mixed up to the cylinders. To be safe, do one cylinder at a time. Pull the wire off, pull the plug out, replace the plug and replace the wire and on to the next one.
thankfully that's largely changed in the last 10 years :)
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macnut wrote:
Jul 16th, 2013 11:53 pm
I wouldn't automatically replace the wires on a Camry at 150K and 11 years unless they looked degraded or loose, failed the old night-time visual check (arcing), or seemed to be causing some other problem.

Always a risk that the quality or compatibility of aftermarket replacements will not be as good as the originals. Dealer-supplied ones should be a safe bet.

If needed later, duplication of effort is not much of a factor, and fairly easy to do on a 4-cyl. (compared to the transverse V6).
While I agree, 11 years is a long time and enough time depending on original materials and driven/environmental conditions, to have degraded the wires. I would at the very least buy a new set of wires and keep them in the box while doing this job. You may end up ripping a boot or damaging a wire otherwise, when changing the plugs. If you do that, you're gonna be SOL to get back to the store to buy wires unless you have another car or nearby friend/relative to drive you. If you don't need the wires, simply return them to the store (make sure to buy them where you can return them like at CT).

As for "domestics" not having numbered wires, I dunno about that, I've never seen a GM that didn't at least not on V6 models that used wires. However the trick is that aftermarket wires regardless of domestic or import, may not have the numbers marked even if the OE ones did. You say they are always numbered but I've seen plenty that aren't?

Anyway that aside it's very easy on a transverse inline 4 cylinder engine. If one can remove and install bolts, they should be able to do the spark plugs with relative ease barring any unforseen events like seized plugs or plugs that break upon removal :|

While OP likely doesn't need any "special" or fancy plugs as mentioned earlier, a 2002 vehicle with a >100,000km spark plug interval would almost certainly be using platinum plugs (at a minimum) from the factory. So, a set of decent platinum plugs (NGK G-Power should do the job), would be a good idea.

Plugs will probably cost you around $20 and wires maybe $50-70 so you should be able to do this for less than $100 on your own.
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ES_Revenge wrote:
Jul 17th, 2013 2:03 am
As for "domestics" not having numbered wires, I dunno about that, I've never seen a GM that didn't at least not on V6 models that used wires. However the trick is that aftermarket wires regardless of domestic or import, may not have the numbers marked even if the OE ones did. You say they are always numbered but I've seen plenty that aren't?
Yes, my memory may have failed me - I should take that back. Most domestics will have numbered factory wires also, but getting numbered aftermarket replacements is not a sure thing for Asian, European or domestic.

So you may have to just carefully match lengths of wires and the general makeup of the set to make sure you are not about to fire cylinders in the wrong order.

Can vaguely recall friends doing that - not me, of course.
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Ez peezy. Straight plug n play.

$100 in parts will get it done.

NGK wires are maybe $50. NGK plugs maybe another $50.
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sahilz wrote:
Jul 17th, 2013 1:30 am
Looking at YouTube videos for changing spark plugs, doesn't seem hard..

Nighttime arcing, and what else is a check of wires need replacement?
The car is eleven years old, the wires might be ok today but can give trouble tomorrow. Change the plugs and wires now and you are set for the next 150k.
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It's not too hard but you might have to use something like por-15
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sahilz wrote:
Jul 17th, 2013 1:41 pm
My car uses iridium plugs. Any recommendation for part stores?

Rock auto ? NAPA? CT? These store will sell the tool for taking the plugs out?
Iridium plugs in a 2002 Camry 4cyl? Really? Hmm I dunno but if you're sure you typically have two routes.

If you can get Iridium IX plugs (i.e. in a size that fits your car) they should probably be cheaper and found at any local parts store. But if you need the specialty "Laser Iridium" type they're going to be more pricey and I'd recommend you go with RockAuto as they can be cheaper than anywhere else, provided shipping is reasonable.
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OEM is probably Denso for those. I've heard the Bosch aren't as good in comparison but they are much cheaper on Rockauto than Denso.
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ES_Revenge wrote:
Jul 17th, 2013 3:41 pm
Iridium plugs in a 2002 Camry 4cyl? Really? Hmm I dunno but if you're sure you typically have two routes.

If you can get Iridium IX plugs (i.e. in a size that fits your car) they should probably be cheaper and found at any local parts store. But if you need the specialty "Laser Iridium" type they're going to be more pricey and I'd recommend you go with RockAuto as they can be cheaper than anywhere else, provided shipping is reasonable.
+1

NGK IX's typically last only 50,000km. The laser iridium's are well over 100,000km (can't remember exact interval) so they're worth the premium if you plan on driving the car into the ground.
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Jan 12, 2013
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No wires on this camry. Just ignition coils. Use oem plugs only. IMO and from experience
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