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Hyundai Santa Fe Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to check or change the Theta II 2.4L I4 engine spark plugs in a 3rd generation 2013 to 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe.

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2014 Santa Fe 2.4L Motor
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Pull Off Plastic Cover
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Engine Cover Removed

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and probably also the face lifted 2017 model year) Hyundai Santa Fe in checking or changing the iridium tipped spark plugs in the Theta II 2.4 liter inline four cylinder GDI engine.

Owners of other Hyundai or Kia vehicles such as the Optima, Cadenza, K900, Sorento, Sportage, Sedona, Soul, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Tucson, Forte, Genesis, Cerato, Spectra, Accent, Sephia, i20, i30, ix35, i40 and Equus may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The OEM iridium tipped spark plugs in this 2014 Santa Fe Sport are the Denso FXU16HR11 (3478).

Two other compatible replacement spark plugs with their part numbers are the Autolite XP6203 and Hyundai 18847-11160.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket, a 1/4" drive ratchet, 5/8" spark plug socket, a 6" extension bar, a 3/8" drive ratchet and dielectric grease.

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Ignition Coils - Top of Engine
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Far Left Ignition Coil
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Slide Back Locking Tab
The first few steps are to park the SUV on a level surface, turn off the engine and engage the emergency / parking brake to prevent the car from moving.

Open the hood and allow the engine to cool off for at least an hour.

Gently pull off the plastic engine cover and set it aside in a safe place.

If you have access to compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum, thoroughly clean off the top of the engine.

I recommend only checking or changing one spark plug at a time to further reduce the chance of having something fall down in to the cylinder.

Slide back the grey plastic lock tab on the ignition coil's power plug.

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Press In Release Tab
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Pull Off Power Plug
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Loosen Counterclockwise
Push down the black plastic release tab before sliding the electrical connector straight off the end of the ignition coil.

Loosen the single bolt that holds the ignition coil to the top of the engine by turning it counterclockwise with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

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10mm Bolt Removed
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Rotate Back & Forth
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Lift Out Ignition Coil
Set the 10mm bolt aside in a safe place.

Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to make sure that the rubber dust boot at the bottom is not stuck or "frozen" to the top of the old spark plug.

Lift the ignition coil housing straight out of the spark plug well and set it aside in a safe place.

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Spark Plug In Well
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Attach Socket & Extension Bar
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Loosen Old Spark Plug
Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to a six inch extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

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

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



 

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Spin Out By Hand
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Lift Out Old Spark Plug
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Inspect Old Spark Plug
Once the spark plug is loose, detach the ratcheting wrench and spin it out by hand using the extension bar.

Lift the old spark plug out of the well and pull it out of the socket.

The OEM spark plugs in this 2014 Santa Fe are Denso part number FXU16HR11, which are also known as part # 3478.

Inspect both ends of the old spark plug.

If the 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 a tiny amount of anti-seize lubricant to the upper metal threads of the new spark plug. This will make the plugs easier to take out if they are not changed again for another 100k miles. Do not get any of the anti-seize on the electrode tip at the bottom of the new spark plug. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you not use anti-seize grease since it can lead to over tightening.

If you do apply anti-seize to the threads of the new spark plug, less force will be necessary to tighten them.

If you have a spark plug gap gauge, check that the gap on the new spark plugs matches the manufacturer's specification, which should be .044". If a new spark plug's gap is not correct, it may have been dropped or damaged in shipment and should be returned or exchanged for a new one.

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Lower In New Spark Plug
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Tighten Clockwise
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New Spark Plug Installed
Push a new spark plug in to the socket and carefully lower it down in to the spark plug well.

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

Spin in the new spark plug by hand in the clockwise direction until it makes contact with the cylinder head.

Attach the ratchet to the extension bar and the spark plug socket.

If you are installing a new spark plug, continue tightening the plug in the clockwise direction until just barely past the point when you feel the crush washer collapse.

If you were just checking the existing OEM plugs, tighten the old spark plug to just a small fraction of a turn past finger tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the spark plugs to prevent from cracking the ceramic part of the plugs.

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Apply Dielectric Grease
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Lower In Ignition Coil
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Rotate Back & Forth
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 any dust or moisture.

Gently lower the ignition coil down over the spark plug.

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

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Spin In 10mm Bolt
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Tighten Clockwise
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Push On Power Plug
Spin in the 10mm bolt by hand in the clockwise direction.

Tighten the bolt by turning it clockwise with the 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the 10mm bolt to prevent from cracking the plastic ignition coil housing.

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

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Slide In Grey Lock Tab
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Push On Plastic Cover
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Spark Plugs Replaced
Slide in the grey lock tab on the electrical connector to secure it in place.

Line up the four rubber friction fasteners on the underside of the plastic engine cover and firmly push it back in to place.

Start the engine and listen for any strange sounds which may indicate a loose electrical connector or a loose spark plug.

If you replaced the old spark plugs, be sure to record the change in your SUV's service records.

For more, check out all of my 2013-2016 Hyundai Santa Fe DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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