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Toyota Corolla Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to replace the spark plugs in a 9th gen (2003 to 2008) Toyota Corolla equipped with the 1ZZ-FE 1.8L I4 engine

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Toyota 1ZZ-FE 1.8L Engine
Remove 10mm Bolts
Ignition Coils 10mm Bolts

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation (2003 to 2008) Toyota Corolla equipped with the 1ZZ-FE 1.8L I4 engine in replacing the spark plugs.

Owners of other vehicles equipped with the 1ZZ-FE engine such as the Toyota Matrix, Celica, RAV4, Allion, Premio, Vista, Will, Caldina, Avensis, Opa, Isis, Wish, Chevrolet Prizm, Pontiac Vibe, and Lotus Elise should also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket with ratcheting wrench, a 5/8" spark plug socket with an extension, anti-seize lubricant, dielectric "tune-up" grease, and a spark plug gap gauge.

A few compatible spark plugs include the following with their respective part numbers: NGK IFR5T11 (4996), Denso SK16R11 (5303), Denso 3324, Autolite XP3924, NGK 5464 or 7090, Bosch 4002 / 4501 / 9600, NGK IFR5A11, & E3 # E3.48.

Remove Power Connector
Pull Out Ignition Coil
Wiring Harness Strip 10mm
The first step is to remove the black plastic engine cover using a 10mm socket with a ratcheting wrench.

If you have compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum available, thoroughly clean off the top of the engine to remove any dust, dirt or other debris.

Then remove the 10mm bolt on each of the ignition coils by turning them counter clockwise. Put them in a safe place such as a plastic container.

Remove the power connectors from the ignition coils by pressing down on the release tab and pulling them straight off.

The two ignition coils on the passenger side of the vehicle can easily be lifted out. If you encounter any resistance, try rotating them a bit first to break free the rubber boot from the top of the spark plugs.

Remove Two 10mm Bolts
Pulling Out Wiring Harness
Wiring Harness Removed
The ignition wiring harness strip will need to be removed in order to pull out the two ignition coils on the driver's side.

Remove the two 10mm bolts on the ignition harness by turning them counter clockwise with the ratcheting wrench.

Once the wiring harness is out of the way, you can gently lift out the last two ignition coils on the driver's side.

Pull Out Last Two Coils
Insert 5/8" Spark Plug Socket
Old Denso Spark Plug
Carefully insert the 5/8" spark plug socket with extension bar down into the top of the engine and over the old spark plug.

Turn the ratcheting wrench counter clockwise to loosen and remove the old spark plug. Your spark plug wrench should either have a rubber insert or a magnet to securely hold the old spark plug as you lift it out of the cylinder head.

Be sure to only remove and replace one spark plug at a time to help prevent any debris from dropping down into the cylinder.

New NGK 4996 Plugs
Install One At A Time
The OEM plugs in a 2003 to 2008 Toyota Corolla are the Denso SK16R11 (3324) iridium tipped spark plugs.

Other iridium spark plugs recommended for the 1.8L L4 1ZZ-FE engine include the Denso IK16 (5303), NGK IFR5T11 (4996) and the NGK BKR5EIX-11 (5464).

All of these new spark plugs will come pre-gapped to .044" but they should still be checked with a spark plug gap gauge.


Check Gap - .044"
Apply Anti-Seize To Threads
New Plug Ready To Install
Apply a tiny amount of anti-seize lube to the upper threads of the new spark plugs. This will help make them easier to remove if they aren't replaced for another 100,000 miles.

Insert the new plug into the spark plug socket and lower it down into the engine cylinder.

Lower New Plug Into Engine
Tighten Spark Plugs
Feel For Crush Washer
Rotate the spark plug socket clockwise until the new spark plug makes contact with the cylinder head. Then continue slowly tightening it until you feel the crush washer give way and the spark plug is just past hand tight.

This should be about 1/2 to 2/3 turn after the spark plug has been seated against the cylinder head.

If you have a torque wrench, the spark plugs should be tightened to 11 ft lbs if you applied anti-seize to the threads or 18 ft lbs if you did not apply anti-seize.

Be careful to not over tighten the spark plugs, especially if you have applied anti-seize lubricant.

Dielectric Grease On Boot
Replace Spark Plug Coil
Then apply a small amount of dielectric grease around the opening of the rubber boots at the bottom of the ignition coils.

This will help prevent the rubber boots from becoming stuck to the top of the spark plugs and also keep out any moisture.

Slide the four ignition coils down over the new spark plugs until they are fully seated.

Tighten 10mm Bolts
Replace Wiring Harness
Tighten Two 10mm Bolts
Replace the 10mm bolts over the ignition coils and tighten them to just past hand tight.

Replace the ignition wiring harness strip and secure it with the two 10mm bolts.

Snap On Power Connectors
Toyota-Corolla-1ZZ-FE-Engine-Spark-Plugs-Replacement-Guide-029 Toyota-Corolla-1ZZ-FE-Engine-Spark-Plugs-Replacement-Guide-030
Spark Plug Change Finished
Carefully snap on the four power connectors to the ignition coils.

If desired, replace the engine cover and tighten the 10mm fasteners.

For more, please check out my other Toyota Corolla Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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