Honda Accord Tune Up

My little sister called me last week to tell me that her 2000 Honda Accord 4 cylinder coupe is vibrating a little while driving. She mentioned that she never had the car “tuned up” for many years. I told her the vibration from the steering might be something else and not the engine, anyhow, I just wanted to do a little “tune up” to make her happy. Air cleaner $11.00 and spark plugs (4x$1.69). Many times, people take their cars to get serviced, the dealers or shops have many different types of packages to offer with different prices. My sister has an inspection and quotes for things like flush the coolant, flush the brake fluid… etc. Well, I just sold my Audi A8 with 175k miles with the same brake fluid when I got it and the brakes work perfect, stop on a dime. The coolant on my A6 with 146k miles never went down and needed topping up, by the way, all these are sealed system, unless you have leaks, there should not be any air in them. Now, when people take cars to get brake fluid or coolant flushed, if the tech don’t do them correctly, air will get in the system while it’s opened, that’s when you have over heating and brake fading and problems start. Again, if it works, don’t fix it. Her brake fluid is fine and so is the coolant system, the temperature is on the dot and the brake system function quite well as a Honda should (which is not great, none of the Honda brakes are great that’s why I see most accidents involving Honda, they’re the one rear ended someone else).

So my little tune-up for my little sister is replacing the spark plugs, inspect all fluids and replace air cleaner (if necessary – does it sound familiar with the list the dealers or shops would have?).

Honda cars are great to work on, that’s why Honda shops are all over the place, anyone that can hold a wrench can do them. 4 spark plugs are right up front, easy to see and access.

4 cylinder accord

Just pull up the first one and use a 5/8″ sparkplug socket and an extention long enough to go down and remove the spark plug- one by one. Counter clockwise is to remove and clockwise is to install (just in case 🙂 )

first spark plug to be removed

old spark plug in the 5/8" socket when removed

The original spark plugs are made by NGK, I got her the Champion plus resistor type.

Champion plus spark plugs

The gap should be .044″ and I have .040″, so as long as it’s a little loose with the gauge, then it’s fine.

.040" gauge -should be .044"

Put some engine oil on the threads to prevent seizing when hot and it’s easier to remove next time.

some engine oil on the new threads before installation

Snap the new spark plug to the 5/8″ spark plug socket (inside should have a rubber to hold the tip). Slowly and carefully sliding the socket/spark plug and the extension down to the hole, you can’t see it, but as long as it went down, the sparkplug thread should mate with the sparkplug hole. The important thing when we do it ourselves is that we use our fingers, align the sparkplug to the hole correctly, twist the extension slowly and lightly for the threads to mate nicely. Twist and feel by hand until all threads are inside the hole before tighten it with the socket wrench. The head is made of alloy, I’ve seen many cars with aluminum head screwed up by technicians who didn’t pay attention and use force to make new threads on the head and it may cost a fortune to fix the error.

sfeel the spark plug threads and the hole

Use the rachet to finalize by tighten the spark plug with correct torque, I use my feel and I do them enough, not to over tighten and strip the aluminum threads.

finalize the installation

Repeat all 4 of them, slowly but surely, it would take less than 25 minutes. Finish one spark plug at a time.

All done

I asked my sister to start the car, take it for a test drive, she came back, the vibration is gone. Well, looks like she knows her car more than me. What do I know? 🙂 The air cleaner is new, so I didn’t have to replace it, it will go back to Pep Boys.


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