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VW Jetta 2.5L I5 Engine Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to change the engine spark plugs in the 2.5L I5 motor of a sixth generation MK6 2011 to 2014 Volkswagen Jetta.

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2012 VW Jetta 2.5L I5
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Air Intake Hose Clamp
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Squeeze Together Tabs

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 6th generation MK6 (2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) Volkswagen Jetta sedan or Jetta SportWagen in checking or changing the engine spark plugs in the 2.5 liter inline five cylinder motor.

Owners of other VW Group vehicles equipped with the 2.5L L5 engine such as the previous generation MK5 (2005-2010) Jetta, Vento, Bora, Passat, Rabbit, Beetle, Golf, Eurovan and Seat Toledo may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement spark plugs with their part numbers include the following: Bosch 101905601F, Autolite Platinum AP5224, Autolite Double Platinum # APP5224, Autolite Iridium XP5224 and Pulstar Iridium be1i.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a pair of pliers, a Torx T20 screwdriver, a small flathead screwdriver, a 5/8" spark plug socket, a 6" extension bar, a ratcheting wrench, anti-seize lubricant (optional), a spark plug gap gauge, a packet of dielectric grease and 5 new spark plugs.

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Slide Clamp Off Hose
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Front of Air Intake
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Loosen Torx T20 Screw
In order to access the five spark plugs, you'll first need to remove the plastic engine cover.

The first step is to use a pair of pliers to pinch together the two metal tabs on the air intake hose clamp and slide it back towards the rear of the vehicle.

Then loosen the two screws near the front of the air intake assembly by turning them counter clockwise with the Torx T20 screwdriver.

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Remove 2nd Torx T20
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2 Torx T20 Screws
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Pull Up Plastic Clip
Set the two screws aside in a safe place.

Pry up the plastic clips on either side of the rectangular plastic cover and lift it off the top of the air intake.

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Pull Up 2nd Plastic Clip
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Lift Off Plastic Cover
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Pull Out Air Intake
Set the rectangular plastic cover aside in a safe place.

Pull the front end of the hose out of the air intake.

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Lift Off Engine Cover
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Pull Off Other Side
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Engine Cover Removed
Lift the plastic engine cover straight off the top of the motor.

It is held in place by four rubber friction fasteners attached to plastic pegs on the top of the engine.

Set the cover aside in a safe place.

(The cover contains the air filter. For more, check out my VW Jetta 2.5L I5 Engine Air Filter Replacement Guide.)

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VW 2.5L L5 Motor
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Pry Up Plastic Release Tab
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Slide Off Power Plug
If you have access to compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum, thoroughly clean off the top of the engine to help prevent from having debris fall in to the spark plug wells.

I'd also recommend checking or changing one spark plug at a top to further reduce the chance of having something drop down in to the cylinder.

Gently pull back the plastic retaining clip on the spark plug's electrical connector with your finger tip or a small flathead screwdriver before sliding the power plug straight off the ignition coil.

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Pliers On Ignition Coil
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Lift Out Ignition Coil
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5/8" Socket & Extension
Pull the ignition coil straight up and out of the spark plug well.

If you have trouble loosening the ignition coil, use a large pair of pliers and try gently wiggling the coils while pulling them straight up.

You may choose to cover the coil with a thin cloth to prevent the pliers from scratching the plastic surfaces.

Set the ignition coil aside in a safe place.



 

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Loosen Counter Clockwise
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Detach Wrench - Spin Out
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Lift Out Old Spark Plug
Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to a 6 inch extension bar and a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Carefully lower the socket down and attach it to the top of the old spark plug.

Gently loosen the old spark plug by rotating the wrench in the counter clockwise 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 spark plug is loose, disconnect the ratcheting wrench and continue to spin it out with the extension bar.

Carefully lift the old spark plug out of the well and detach it from the socket. If the rubber insert from the spark plug socket is still attached to the old plug, pull it off and re-insert it in to the socket.

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.

I recommend buying the genuine OEM Volkswagen (by Bosch) spark plugs which are part number VW 101-905-601-F.

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 40k miles. Do not get any of the anti-seize on the electrode tip at the bottom of the new spark plug. Some spark plug manufacturers recommend against using anti-seize 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.

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OEM Bosch Spark Plug
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Empty Spark Plug Well
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Lower In New Spark Plug
The platinum tipped OEM spark plugs in this 2012 VW Jetta were Bosch part number 101905601F.

Double check that the gap on the new spark plug matches the manufacturer's specifications with a spark plug gap gauge.

If the gap is incorrect, the plug may have been dropped or it is defective and should be exchanged for a new one.

Push a new spark plug in to the spark plug socket and check that it is held firmly in place.

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

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Spin In Clockwise By Hand
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Tighten New Spark Plug
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Apply Dielectric Grease
Carefully lower the new spark plug attached to the socket and extension bar down in to the well.

Avoid hitting the electrode tip at the bottom of the spark plug against the cylinder head.

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

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

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.

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 create a better electrical contact.

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Lower Ignition Coil
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Coil In Spark Plug Well
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Push On Power Plug

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

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Click In To Place
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New Spark Plugs Installed
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Underside of Engine Cover
Push the electrical connector on to the ignition coil until it clicks securely in to place.

Double check that the power plug is locked in place before moving on to the next steps.

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Push Down Friction Fasteners
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Re-Insert Front of Intake
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Attach Air Intake Tube
Line up the rubber friction fasteners on the underside of the plastic cover with the plastic pegs on the top of the engine.

Firmly push the engine cover down in to place.

Re-insert the front part of the air intake hose in to place.

Attach the rear of the air intake tube in to place on the engine cover.

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Slide Down Metal Hose Clamp
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Lower Plastic Cover
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Replace Air Intake Cover
Use a pair of pliers to squeeze together the tabs on the metal hose clamp and slide it forward to secure the air intake hose to the engine cover.

Replace the rectangular plastic cover over the front of the air intake assembly.

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Tighten Torx T20 Screw
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Tighten 2nd T20 Screw
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Engine Cover Replaced
Re-insert the two screws and tighten them in the clockwise direction with the Torx T20 screwdriver.

Start up the engine and listen for any strange sounds that may indicate a loose electrical connector or another issue.

Be sure to record the spark plug change in your Jetta's service records.

For more, check out my other VW Jetta DIY Repair Guides.
 

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