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Toyota RAV4 2.5L Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to check or replace the spark plugs of a 2006 to 2012 Toyota RAV4 with the 2AR-FE 2.5L I4 engine with pictures.

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RAV4 2AR-FE Engine
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Lift Off Engine Cover
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Tops of 4 Ignition Coils

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) Toyota RAV4 in checking or replacing the four spark plugs in the 2.5L 2AR-FE L4 engine.

Owners of other Toyota or Scion vehicles equipped with the 2.5 liter 2AR-FE engine such as the Camry and tC or other models with similar motors such as the Yaris, Corolla, Prius, Sienna, Avalon, Venza, and Matrix, Tacoma, Highlander, and 4Runner, may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench, a 5/8" spark plug socket with a 6" extension bar, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, dielectric "tune-up" grease, anti-seize lubricant and a spark plug gap gauge.

The OEM iridium long life spark plug is Denso part # SK16HR11 (3417).

Other compatible spark plugs include the following with their art numbers: Bosch (9609) FR8MII33X, Denso (5343) IKH16, Champion REC12WMPB5 (9055), NGK LFR5AIX-11 (4469) or 5018, Bosch 9909 or 4516, and the Pulstar dg1i.

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Press Release Tab
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Slide Off Power Connector
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Loosen 10mm Screw
Allow the engine to cool down for at least an hour after driving to avoid burning yourself while replacing the spark plugs.

Pop open the hood and pull off the black plastic engine cover.

If you have access to compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum, clean off the top of the engine to reduce the chance of having debris fall in to the spark plug well.

Press the release tab on the ignition coil's power connector and pull it straight off.

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Ignition Coil Bolt Removed
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Gently Twist Ignition Coil
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Pull Out Ignition Coil
Remove the single screw that holds the ignition coil in place by turning it counter clockwise with a 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Set the 10mm bolt aside in a safe place.

I'd recommend checking or replacing one spark plug at a time to help prevent from dropping something in to the cylinder head.

Gently rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to make sure that the rubber boot is not stuck to the spark plug.

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

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5/8" Spark Plug Socket
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6" Extension Bar Attached
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Spark Plug Well
Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to the 6 inch extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Carefully lower the spark plug socket down over the tip of the spark plug.

Loosen the spark plug by gently turning it counter clockwise.

(The spark plug socket should have a rubber insert or magnet to securely hold the plug when it is removed.)

If the spark plug won't turn, spray in some penetrating oil such as PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench or Kano Kroil and wait 15-30 minutes or more before trying again. If you don't have any penetrating oil, try spraying some WD-40 or just warm up the engine for a few minutes to expand the metal engine block.



 

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Loosen Old Spark Plugs
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Spin Out Plug By Hand
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Spark Plug Removed
Once the spark plug is loose, detach the ratcheting wrench and spin it out the rest of the way by manually turning the extension and socket.

Lift the old spark plug straight out of the well and inspect it.

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

If the old spark plugs are dark grey or covered in black soot, the engine may be burning oil and should be checked out by a professional.

I recommend buying the Bosch (9609) FR8MII33X iridium spark plugs since they have excellent reviews on Amazon.

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Check Condition of Plug
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Denso # SK16HR11
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Lower In New Spark Plug
The new iridium tipped spark plugs should be pre-gapped at 0.044" from the factory.

It is still a good idea to check that the gap is correct using a spark plug gap gauge disc. If the gap is not very close to 0.044", exchange the plug for a new one.

Pull the old spark plug out of the 5/8" socket and push in the new one until the rubber insert or magnet securely holds it in place.

An optional step is to apply a tiny amount of anti-seize lubricant to the upper threads of the new spark plug. This will make the plugs easier to remove if they are not replaced again for another 100,000 miles. Do not get any anti-seize on the electrode at the bottom of the new spark plug. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you should not use anti-seize since it lead to over tightening.

Carefully lower the new spark plug attached to the socket and extension bar down in to the well.

Try to avoid hitting the electrode at the bottom of the plug against the engine block.

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Spin In Plug By Hand
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Tighten - Collapse Washer
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Apply Dielectric Grease
Tighten the new spark plug by hand until it makes contact with the engine block.

Then attach the ratcheting wrench and carefully continue tightening the new plug until just past the point when you feel the crush washer at the top of the threads collapse.

If you applied anti-seize lubricant to the threads, less force will be necessary to tighten the plugs.

Do not over tighten the plugs to avoid cracking the ceramic part of the plug or stripping the aluminum threads in the cylinder head.

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Lower Ignition Coil
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Insert 10mm Screw
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Tighten 10mm Screw
Double check that the spark plug is tight before continuing on to the next steps.

Apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the opening of the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the ignition coil.

This will help prevent it from becoming stuck to the tip of the new spark plug and keep out moisture.

Lower the ignition coil down over the tip of the new spark plug and twist it a few times to distribute the dielectric grease.

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Re-Connect Power Plug
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Push On Engine Cover
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Spark Plugs Replaced
Insert the ignition coil screw and thread it in a few turns by hand to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

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

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

Slide the power connector straight on to the ignition coil until it snaps in place.

Start the engine and listen for any strange sounds.

If all goes well, replace the engine cover and close the hood to complete the job.

For more, check out my other Toyota RAV4 Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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