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Replace Spark Plugs in a Nissan Pathfinder

Written By Neno on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | 5:34 AM

Spark plug replacement might seem a trivial aspect of auto maintenance, but it’s one of the necessary activities in keeping an engine running properly, particularly on gasoline engine variants. In a Nissan Pathfinder, this will be necessary on variants that run on gas, such as inline-4 and V6 models. Meanwhile, diesel-fed variants will not require a change in spark plugs, simply because these do not require spark plugs to ignite the fuel-air mixture.

Spark plugs ignite fuel upon delivery of adequate charge by the high-tension spark plug wires, thereby causing the fuel and air mixture in the engine’s cylinders to combust. Given this important role, dirty, busted or broken spark plugs will result in rough idling, weak pull, poor fuel efficiency and even engine stalling in extreme cases.

Spark plug replacement on a Nissan Pathfinder is recommended every 100,000 miles, although this might vary depending on how the SUV is used. This can be done at the service center, although you can easily change the spark plugs as long as you have some engine maintenance know-how and the right tools.

Instructions Replace Spark Plugs in a Nissan Pathfinder

  1. Allow the Pathfinder engine to cool completely. Do not work on a warm engine, especially if it is made of aluminum.
  2. Gain access to the spark plug wires. For a 3.5 L engine, remove the engine cover and take off the air duct with air cleaner assembly. Disconnect the harness connectors and harness brackets around the ignition coil. Remove the electric throttle control actuator and disconnect ignition the coil harness connectors. Once these are disconnected, unscrew ignition coil bolts and remove the coil. On a 4.0 L engine, simply remove the ignition coil.
  3. Grasp the boot of one spark plug wire. Twist it gently from right to left and pull it outward.
  4. Unscrew and remove the old Pathfinder spark plug. Remove and replace each wire before moving on to the next wire.
  5. Apply anti-seize lubricant to the threads of the spark plug and the wire boot. Insert the spark plug into the cylinder well and tighten it in place by hand.
  6. Use a tension tester tool to find the exact tension of the spark plug. Adjust the tension to the specifications of the spark plug manufacturer, which is located on the spark plug's packaging.
  7. Reconnect the wire and turn it until you hear it click and lock into place.
  8. Repeat Steps 3 through 7 with the remainder of the spark plugs.
  9. Replace all the items that were removed in Step 2 for access to the spark plugs. Start with the last thing removed and work your way back to the first thing removed.

Then, apply a coat of anti-seize lubricant to the contact and threads of the new spark plug. Attach the spark plug to the socket for easy installation. Then, making sure the new spark plug’s thread matches the one on the spark plug socket, tighten it with your hand using a clockwise motion. You can then tighten it a bit more with a torque wrench, using the correct torque specification found on the spark plug packaging or your Pathfinder’s user manual. Then, click the spark plug wire boot back in place. Repeat the procedure with the other spark plugs. When you have finished, you can replace the engine block cover and the negative battery terminal.

Replacing your spark plugs will ensure better fuel efficiency and a more reliable ride. Be sure to include this in your regular service checkup.
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