How many spark plugs in a V6 engine?
Is that something you’ve asked yourself, especially when needing to replace your plugs?
The number of spark plugs in your vehicle’s engine usually depends on the number of cylinders. Most V6s have one spark plug per cylinder — so six spark plugs total.
However, that’s not always the case.
There can be more than six of these tiny electrodes in your six cylinder engine. But knowing exactly how many can be tricky.
So, in this article, we’ll discover how to tell the number of spark plugs in your V6 engine. We’ll also answer some FAQs about spark plugs — like how much it costs to replace them, what happens if you don’t replace them, and more.
This Article Contains:
- How Many Spark Plugs In A V6 Engine?
- 5 FAQs About Spark Plugs
How Many Spark Plugs In A V6 Engine?
Whether you have a V6 Mustang, a Dodge Charger, a Nissan, or an Alfa Romeo, the number of spark plugs in your V6 depends on the type of engine. Most V6s have six spark plugs — one for each cylinder.
However, some have a twin spark engine with two spark plugs per cylinder — making it twelve in total.
To confirm, check your owner’s manual to tell the number of spark plugs and type of engine you have. Or just visually inspect your engine bay for an answer.
Here’s how to check for yourself:
- Park your vehicle in a secure spot and pop your hood.
- Ensure that your engine isn’t hot.
- Clear your engine bay of debris.
- Remove your engine cover and plenum and count each spark plug wire located alongside each cylinder head. There’s a single spark plug wire per plug. (These are usually red, blue, or black wires located on the driver and passenger side of the engine block).
Also, remember the spark plug wires could be on the back and front side of the engine if your engine block is mounted sideways. This’ll make the rear plugs harder to see.
- If you don’t see a single spark plug wire, your vehicle’s engine uses coil packs instead.
- Coil packs sit on top of your car’s engine and cover the spark plugs. Count each coil pack on your engine to determine the number of spark plugs. There’s one coil pack per spark plug.
With that said, let’s check out how many spark plugs some specific car models with V6 engines have:
|Car Model||Number Of Spark Plugs In V6|
|Mustang||6 spark plugs|
|Ford Explorer||6 spark plugs|
|Dodge Charger||6 spark plugs|
|Chrysler 300||6 spark plugs|
|Mercedes Benz M Class||12 spark plugs|
|Toyota Tacoma||6 spark plugs|
|Honda Accord||6 spark plugs|
Note: Mercedes Benz and Alfa Romeo, in particular, are known for having twelve spark plugs in their older V6s.
If you still can’t tell how many spark plugs your car model has, it’s best to consult your auto parts dealership or a professional mechanic.
With that in mind, let’s look at some common questions about spark plugs.
5 FAQs About Spark Plugs
Here are some FAQs and their answers about spark plugs:
1. What Is A Twin Spark Engine?
The twin spark engine has a dual ignition system — meaning two spark plugs per cylinder. Alfa Romeo invented the twin spark technology in 1914 to provide a cleaner burn (better fuel economy) in their racing cars.
However, a spark plug replacement in a dual ignition system will be costlier to fix as there are more plugs, and the engine is more complicated.
2. When To Replace Spark Plugs?
The ideal time for a spark plug replacement depends on the type of spark plug your car’s engine has.
- A conventional copper spark plug has a lifespan of 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
- Long life spark plugs like platinum plugs or iridium spark plugs have a 50,000 to 120,000-mile lifespan.
Check your car owner’s manual to see what type of plugs you have.
Large quantities of carbon or oil deposits on your spark plugs are good indicators of a bad spark plug, regardless of mileage. And a bad spark plug is likely to trigger your check engine light — so don’t ignore it!
3. How Much Will It Cost To Replace Spark Plugs In My V6 Engine?
The cost of replacing spark plugs is primarily determined by the type of spark plugs and the auto parts distributor you choose.
A conventional copper spark plug will cost around $6-$10. So, you’ll be looking at about $36-$60 excluding labor costs for a conventional V6 engine.
A platinum spark plug or iridium spark plug will cost around $15-$30, so replacing these long life spark plugs will cost around $75-$180 — excluding labor.
Obviously, if you have a twin spark engine, you’ll have to replace double the amount of spark plugs. So, you’ll pay $72-$120 for copper spark plugs and $150-$360 for a platinum spark plug or iridium spark plug replacement job.
Note: Cheap aftermarket plugs cost more in the long run due to their bad fuel economy. So it’s always recommended you buy Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM plugs.
4. What Happens If I Don’t Replace My Spark Plugs?
Symptoms associated with faulty spark plugs include:
- Difficulty starting your car
- Trouble accelerating
- Increased fuel consumption
- Engine shaking or violent jerks caused by misfires
- Increased exhaust emissions
- Damage to other components related to spark plugs
If these tiny electrodes or any electrical connector linking them to the ignition system are faulty, they may misfire and can’t do their job. As a result, they won’t ignite the air and fuel mixture in each cylinder’s combustion chamber.
Note: If the throttle body in your car needs cleaning, it’s probably causing similar issues.
5. How To Replace Spark Plugs?
Here’s a quick DIY guide to changing spark plugs:
- Open your hood and remove your engine cover and plenum.
- Locate your spark plugs by checking your engine block for the spark plug wires or coil packs.
- Remove the wires or ignition coil packs from each old spark plug.
- Unscrew each old spark plug from your engine using a spark plug socket or torque wrench.
- Clear the plug holes and engine bay of any debris.
- Use the magnetic tip of the spark plug socket to drop your new plug into the hole.
- Tighten your new spark plug using a spark plug socket or torque wrench.
- Add some dielectric grease to the boot of your spark plug wire to prevent moisture from entering the wire end. Don’t add too much dielectric grease.
- Reconnect the spark plug wire or coil pack to your new spark plug.
- Try turning on your engine.
Remember, it’s always better to let a professional mechanic handle any repairs, especially if you don’t have any car repair experience.
There can be 6 or 12 spark plugs in your V6, depending on your engine and car model.
If your spark plugs are damaged, you could experience difficulties starting your car, increased fuel consumption, increased emissions, and damage to other engine components.
Luckily, buying a new plug and changing spark plugs is a relatively easy DIY job — just ensure you use the right tools. And if you require any help with your V6 or V8 engine, reach out to RepairSmith!
RepairSmith is a mobile auto repair and maintenance solution with competitive, upfront pricing for all your vehicle repair needs.
Contact us today to get a cost estimate, and our ASE-certified technicians will be over to lend you a hand.