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Nissan Altima Engine Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to check or change the engine spark plugs in a 5th generation 2013-2015 Altima with the QR25DE 2.5L I4 motor.

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2014 Altima QR25DE Engine
5mm Hex Head Removed
Three Engine Cover Screws
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fifth generation (2013, 2014, 2015 and possibly also the refreshed 2016 model year) Nissan Altima sedan in checking or changing the engine spark plugs in the 2.5 liter inline four cylinder QR25DE motor.

Owners of other Nissan vehicles equipped with the QR25DE engine such as the Sentra, Murano, Frontier, Rogue, Bassara, Serena, X-Trail, Presage and Teana may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a 5mm Allen Key wrench or a 5mm hex head socket, a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet, a 14mm spark plug socket (or a 9/16" spark plug socket), a 6" extension bar, a 3/8" drive ratchet and a small tube of dielectric grease.

A few compatible replacement spark plugs with their part numbers are as follows: Denso (4710) IXEH20ETT, Champion Iridium REC8WYPB4 (9033), Champion REA12WMPB4 (9410), Autolite XP5683 and Pulstar PlasmaCore GG1H10.

Engine Cover Removed
Spark Plug Ignition Coil
Press Release Tab
The first steps are to open the hood and locate the three fasteners on the plastic engine cover.

I'd recommend working on a cold engine or at least allow the engine to cool off for an hour or two after driving.

Loosen the three bolts on the plastic engine cover by turning them counterclockwise with a 5mm Allen Key wrench or a 5mm hex head socket.

Set the three bolts aside in a safe place and pull off the plastic engine cover.

If you have access to a wet/dry shop vacuum or compressed air, thoroughly clean off the top of the engine to help prevent from having debris fall down in to the cylinder head.

I prefer to check or change one spark plug at a time to further reduce the chance of having something fall down in to the engine.

Press the release tab on the grey plastic electrical connector and slide the plug straight off the ignition coil.

Loosen 10mm Bolt
10mm Bolt Removed
Rotate Ignition Coil
Loosen the single bolt that holds the ignition coil in place by turning it counterclockwise with a 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the 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 end is not stuck to the tip of the old spark plug.

Pull Out Ignition Coil
Spark Plug Well
Spark Plug Socket
Pull the ignition coil straight out of the spark plug well.

Attach the 14mm spark plug socket (or a 9/16" spark plug socket would also work) to the 6" extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

Loosen Old Spark Plug
Spin Out Old Spark Plug
Lift Out Old Spark Plug
Attach the spark plug socket to the top of the old spark plug.

Carefully loosen the old spark plug by turning the wrench in the counterclockwise direction.

Try to avoid using excessive force to loosen the old spark plug to prevent from cracking the ceramic portion of the plug.

If you have trouble loosening the old spark plug, spray a small amount of penetrating oil such as PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench or Kano Kroil and wait at least 15-30 minutes 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 by hand.

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


Inspect Old Spark Plug
Empty Spark Plug Socket
Spin In New Spark Plug

Inspect the old spark plug.

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 may be the incorrect heat range for your driving conditions or environment.

On the other hand, if the old spark plug is grey or covered in dark black soot, the engine may be burning oil and should be examined 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 should 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 the manufacturer's specification listed on the side of the box. They should be pre-set from the factory, so don't worry if you don't have a gap gauge.

The OEM spark plugs in this 2014 Altima were the Denso Iridium # FXE20HR11.

Push the new plug in to the socket and lower it down in to the well.

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

Tighten Clockwise
Apply Dielectric Grease
Lower In Ignition Coil
Spin in the new spark plug by hand in the clockwise direction until it makes contact with the top of the cylinder head.

Attach the 3/8" drive ratchet to the extension bar and continue tightening the new spark plug in the clockwise direction.

If you are re-installing the old spark plug, tighten it to just a very small fraction of a turn past hand tight.

If you are installing a brand new spark plug, tighten it to just past the point when you feel the new crush washer collapse.

Do not over tighten the spark plug 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 in the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the ignition coil.

The dielectric grease will help keep out any moisture and prevent corrosion (rust) from forming.

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

Replace 10mm Bolt
Tighten Bolt Clockwise
Push On Power Plug
Spin in the 10mm bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to secure the ignition coil in place.

Continue tightening the bolt with the 10mm socket and ratchet to just past hand tight.

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

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

Start the engine and listen closely for any strange sounds that may indicate a problem such as a disconnected power plug or a loose spark plug.

For more, check out my other 2013-2015 Nissan Altima DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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