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Honda Civic Engine Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to change the engine spark plugs in a ninth generation 2012 to 2015 Honda Civic with the R18Z1 1.8L I4 motor.

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2013 Civic R18Z1 1.8L I4
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Spark Plug Ignition Coil
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Press Release Tab

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and probably also the 2016 model year) Honda Civic in checking or changing the engine spark plugs in the R18Z1 1.8 liter inline four cylinder motor.

Owners of other Honda or Acura vehicles such as the Accord, Crosstour, CR-V, CR-Z, Fit, Insight, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, Stream, ILX, TSX, TLX, TL, RLX, RDX and MDX may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to check or replace the spark plugs include a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench, a 5/8" spark plug socket, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench with a 6" extension bar, dielectric grease and an optional item is anti-seize lubricant (most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you do not use anti-seize since it can lead to over tightening).

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) iridium tipped spark plugs in this 2013 Civic LX sedan are NGK brand part number DILZKR7B11GS (Honda part # 12290-R41-L01).

Other compatible iridium spark plugs with their part numbers are as follows: Denso DXU22HCR-D11S, Autolite # XP5701, and Champion RER8ZWYCB4 (9407).

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Power Plug Disconnected
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Loosen 10mm Bolt
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10mm Bolt Removed
If you have access to compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum, I'd recommend thoroughly cleaning off the top of the engine before continuing to help prevent debris from falling in to the spark plugs well and/or the cylinders.

Then press the release tab on the black plastic electrical connector before sliding the plug off the ignition coil.

Loosen the single bolt holding the ignition coil in place by turning it counterclockwise with the 10mm socket and 1/4" ratcheting wrench.

Set the bolt aside in a safe place.

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Pull Out Ignition Coil
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5/8" Spark Plug Socket
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Attach Socket To Old Plug
Gently rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to make sure that the rubber dust boot at the bottom is not stuck to the tip of the old spark plug.

Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to the six inch extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Lower the socket in to the well and attach it to the top of the old spark plug.

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Detach Wrench - Spin Out
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Lift Out Old Spark Plug
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Spark Plug Well
Loosen the old spark plug by turning the wrench in the counterclockwise ("lefty loosy") direction.

If you can't loosen the old spark plug, do not use excessive force to avoid cracking the ceramic portion of the plug.

Spray a small amount of penetrating oil such as PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench or Kano Kroil and wait at least 15 minutes or more before attempting to loosen it again. If you don't have any penetrating oil, try spraying some WD-40 or warm up the engine for a few minutes to help expand the metal engine block.

Once the old spark plug is loose, detach the ratcheting wrench and spin it out the rest of the way using the extension bar.

Carefully lift the socket out of the spark plug well.



 

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Inspect Old Spark Plug
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Lower In New Spark Plug
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Tighten Clockwise
If the rubber insert comes out of the spark plug socket, pull it off the end of the old spark plug and re-insert it in to the socket.

Inspect the old spark plug to check for abnormalities.

If the electrode end of the old spark plug looks ashy white, the plugs may have been exposed to high temperatures such as overheating or they are the incorrect heat range for your driving conditions or environment.

On the other hand, if the old spark plugs are dark grey or covered in black soot, the engine may be burning oil and should be checked by a professional mechanic.

An optional step is to apply some anti-seize grease to the threads on the spark plug. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you not use anti-seize grease since it can lead to over tightening.

Some mechanics believe that using anti-seize grease on the spark plugs will help prevent them from becoming stuck or "frozen" in to the cylinder head if they are not removed again for 100,000 miles.

If you have a spark plug gap gauge, check that the new spark plugs are gapped to .044" (or whatever the manufacturer has indicated on the box).

I'd recommend buying the NGK DILZKR7B11GS iridium spark plugs since they are the OEM part from the factory and should last up to 100K miles.

Push the new spark plug in to the 5/8" socket. Your spark plug socket should have a rubber insert or a strong magnet to securely hold the plug in place.

Lower the spark plug down in to the well and spin it in by hand in the clockwise direction with the extension bar until it makes contact with the cylinder head.

Attach the 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench to the extension bar and tighten the spark plug in the clockwise direction to just past the point when you feel the new crush washer collapse.

If you are re-installing the old spark plug, tighten it to just barely past hand tight.

Do not over tighten the spark plugs to prevent from cracking the ceramic body or stripping the aluminum threads.

Double check that the new spark plug is tight before moving on to the next steps.

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Apply Dielectric Grease
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Lower In Ignition Coil
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Re-Insert 10mm Bolt
Apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the opening of the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the ignition coil. The dielectric grease will help keep out moisture and debris.

Lower the ignition coil down in to the well and over the new spark plug.

Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to help spread the dielectric grease.

Re-insert the 10mm bolt and spin it in by hand a few turns to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

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Tighten Bolt Clockwise
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Push On Power Plug
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Spark Plugs Replaced
Tighten the bolt in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Push the power plug on to the ignition coil until it clicks securely in to place.

Double check that the ignition coil bolts and the electrical connectors are secure.

Start the engine and listen for any sounds that may indicate a problem.

For more, check out my other 2012-2015 Honda Civic DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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