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Infiniti QX60 Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to change the spark plugs in a 1st generation 2013 to 2020 Infiniti QX60 with the VQ35DE 3.5L V6 engine.

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2020 QX60 3.5L V6
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Pull Up Rear of Cover
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Release Right Rear
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020) Infiniti QX60 luxury SUV in checking or changing the spark plugs in the VQ35DE 3.5 liter V6 engine. (The procedure should be similar for the 2.5L I4 engine in the hybrid models.)

Owners of other Infiniti and Nissan vehicles such as the JX35, Q50, Q60, QX50, QX80, Pathfinder, Murano, Rogue, Armada, Kicks, Frontier, Titan, NV, NV200, 370Z, GT-R, Leaf, Maxima, Altima, Sentra and Versa might also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) iridium tipped spark plug part number is Denso FXE22HR11 (also known as FXE22HR-11 or FXE22HR 11 3442).

A few other compatible replacement spark plugs with their part numbers are as follows: AutoLite XP5683, Champion 9412, NGK 93501 and Bosch 9693.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet, a 14mm spark plug socket with an extension bar, a 3/8" drive ratchet and a tube of dielectric grease.

Since this QX60 only has 15K miles, I will just be checking the front three plugs. To access the rear three spark plugs, you'll need to disconnect the air intake hose on the throttle body, remove the 10mm bolts on the top of the intake manifold, detach the vacuum lines and remove the 12mm bolts on the rear of the intake manifold. Then carefully move the intake manifold to the side to access the rear three ignition coils and spark plug wells.

The owner's manual service interval specification for the spark plugs is to change them every 105,000 miles or 126 months.

Open the hood and gently lift up the rear corners of the plastic engine cover to release the friction fasteners.



 

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"C" Socket & Rubber Peg
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Release Front From Pegs
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Front 3 Ignition Coils
There are two plastic "C" shaped sockets on the front edge of the engine cover that are secured to rubber mounting posts on the front of the engine.

Pull the two "C" shaped sockets on the front of the engine cover off their rubber mounting bars.

Set the plastic engine cover aside in a safe place.

If you have access to an air compressor or a wet/dry shop vacuum, clean off the top of the engine to help reduce the risk of having debris fall down into the spark plug wells.

The front three ignition coils are extremely easy to access once the plastic engine cover has been removed.

I'm not looking forward to changing the rear three plugs at 105K miles since the intake manifold has to be removed. It isn't a difficult process, it just takes a lot of time to carefully detach the rubber hoses and remove the 10mm and 12mm bolts. The 12mm bolts on the rear of the intake manifold are a pain to reach.

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Foam Rubber Cover
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Ignition Coil & Connector
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Push In Release Tab
Pull off the foam rubber cover on the left for easier access to the first ignition coil.

Push in the release tab on the gray plastic electrical connector before sliding it straight off the base of the ignition coil (or "coil pack").

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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Ignition Coil Bolt Removed
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Rotate Back & Forth
Loosen the single bolt on the ignition coil by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Spin out the bolt the last few turns to prevent from having it fall down into the engine bay and become lost.

Set the bolt aside in a safe place.

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

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Ignition Coil Removed
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OEM Ignition Coil
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Spark Plug Well
Pull the ignition coil straight out of the spark plug well and set it aside in a safe place.

If you need to replace a faulty ignition coil, the OEM part number is Hitachi Hanshin AIC 2409N 22448 JA11C 9Y07.

If you have an OBD2 scanner (also known as an OBD-II scan tool), some of the DTC (diagnostic trouble codes) you might see include P0351, P0352, P0353, P0354, P0355, P0356, P0357, P0358, P0359, P0360, P0361 and P0362.

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Spark Plug Socket
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Spin Out By Hand
Attach the 14mm spark plug socket to the extension bar and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

I always use a piece of electrical, painter's or Gorilla tape to attach the spark plug socket to the extension bar.

This helps prevent the socket from popping off and becoming stuck down in the bottom of the spark plug well.

Lower the socket down over the the top of the old spark plug.

Carefully loosen the old plug in the counterclockwise direction.

If you have trouble loosening the old plug, try spraying a small amount of penetrating oil down into the spark plug well.

Allow the penetrating oil to seep into the threads for at least five to ten minutes and help loosen any rust or debris.

Once the old spark plug is loose, detach the ratchet and spin it out the rest of the way by hand.

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Lift Out Old Spark Plug
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Empty Spark Plug Well
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Inspect Old Spark Plug
Lift the old plug straight out of the well and detach it from the socket.

Inspect the old spark plug for any damage or unusual wear.

If the electrode tip of the old spark plug is dark grey or black and covered with soot and oily sludge, the engine might be burning oil and should be inspected by a professional mechanic.

If the electrode on the old plug is ashy white, the plug may have been subjected to overheating. It would be a good idea to have the cooling system checked.

The original spark plugs in this 2020 QX60 are the Denso FXE22HR11.

I always recommend buying the OEM plugs if possible. If not, be sure to choose a compatible Iridium tipped spark plug since they are durable enough to last for the 105,000 miles service interval.

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Lower In New Spark Plug
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Tighten Clockwise
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New Spark Plug Installed
If you have a spark plug gap gauge tool, check the gap on the new spark plugs.

The OEM Denso plugs should be gapped to .043". Do not re-gap the iridium plugs. If the gap is not correct, exchange the damaged plug for a new one. It may have been dropped or damaged during shipping.

Push the new spark plug into the socket.

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

Carefully lower the plug down into the well.

Try to avoid banging the electrode tip against the sides of the well or the cylinder head.

Tighten the new spark plug in the clockwise direction with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until it is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the new spark plug to prevent from cracking the ceramic part of the plug or damaging the threads in the aluminum cylinder head.

If you are installing new spark plugs, you may feel the crush washer on the new spark plug collapse.

If you are just re-installing the old plugs after checking them, just tighten them to a small fraction of a turn past finger tight.

(Some home mechanics prefer to use a small amount of anti-seize lubricant grease on the threads of the new spark plugs. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you do NOT use anti-seize since it can easily lead to over tightening.)

If you have a very sensitive torque wrench, the service manual specification for the VQ35DE engine's spark plugs is 14-22 lb-ft of torque.

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Apply Dielectric Grease
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Lower In Ignition Coil
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Spin In Ignition Coil Bolt
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 ensure a reliable electrical connection by helping to keep out moisture and debris.

Lower the ignition coil down into the well and push the rubber dust boot over the top of the new spark plug.

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

Line up the bolt holes in the ignition coil with the corresponding bolt hole in the valve cover.

Spin in the bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

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Tighten Bolt Clockwise
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Push On Power Plug
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Ignition Coil Secured
Tighten the bolt in the clockwise direction until it is snug.

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

Slide the electrical connector straight on to the side of the ignition coil.

You should feel the connector "click" securely into place.

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Intake Manifold - Rear 3
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Replace Foam Cover
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Plastic "C" Sockets
To remove the intake manifold or "plenum", loosen the 10mm bolts on the top front of the assembly.

Remove the 12mm bolts on the rear of the manifold.

You will need to detach the air intake hose from the throttle body and disconnect the hose for the PCV valve.

A good way to remember where the vacuum lines or hoses should be re-installed is to use a variety of colored electrical tape to mark the hoses and their attachment points.

When we get this QX60 up to over 100,000 miles, I will update this guide with the full procedure for the rear three spark plugs.

Replace the foam rubber cover on the front left of the engine.

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Front Rubber Mounts
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Push On Rear Fasteners
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Engine Cover Secured
Re-attach the two "C" shaped sockets on the front of the engine cover to their rubber mounting posts.

Then lower the rear of the cover and push on it to secure the two rubber friction fasteners to their metal pegs.

Double check that the engine is securely attached.

Start the engine and listen closely for any strange sounds. If you do hear a weird noise, immediately turn off the ignition and double check your work for a disconnected electrical connector or a loose spark plug.

Be sure to record the procedure in your vehicle's service records.

Please take a look at all of the 2013-2020 Infiniti QX60 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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