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How to change spark plugs? 2001 ES 300

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Old 04-10-10, 02:30 PM   #1
Bumbobee
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Question How to change spark plugs? 2001 ES 300

Hey guys,

This is probably one of the most n00b posts ever, but how do you change spark plugs on a 2001 ES 300? I don't think my plugs have ever been changed, and the car has 135,000 km on it. I got a new set of NGK Iridium IX. Do I have to take off the plastic engine hub to get to them?

Any tips appriciated...

Thanks,
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Old 04-10-10, 03:28 PM   #2
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You shouldn't have to change them yet at 135,000 km. But, if you really want to, it's not hard.

You have to take the plastic engine cover off, which reveals the tops of the coils (one for each cylinder). They look like black boxes from above, but they are about 4 inches long (which you'll see when you pull them out). 3 facing you from the front of the car, and 3 on the other side facing the firewall. They come off very easily with one 10mm bolt and un-attaching the wiring clip to them. Then just pull it right off - they are not threaded. You'll need a spark plug socket and an extension for your 1/4" drive, and then just loosen them up very carefully, and replace - one at a time. Be very careful not to over-tighten them when installing the new ones. Then just do the process in reverse. Very simple, very basic.

The front three are very easy to do, and you should be able to do the back three without removing the intake manifold, but it'll take a little bit of wedging and maneuvering the extension down into the hole. I was able to do mine in about 30 minutes without needing to pull off the intake manifold.
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Old 04-10-10, 04:02 PM   #3
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^ Thanks for the info man.

I read the manual and it said that while I didn't hit the specified mileage yet, it's best to replace them every 7 years regardless. I'm pushing 10 years here so I think it's time.

I also noticed poorer fuel economy lately and a bit of a weird idle when stopped at a light. It's not excessive, it's just not as smooth as I remember it being.

I am going to replace the plugs, and I am also going to clean the throttle body and MAF sensor as suggested on another thread I found on here. Do you think that is a good idea?

I picked up a throttle body cleaner and MAF sensor cleaner.
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Old 04-10-10, 05:31 PM   #4
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I gotta get on this shiznit too!

Any recommendations for spark plugs? Or is it just 'subjective'. ??
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Old 04-10-10, 06:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 01LEXPL View Post
I gotta get on this shiznit too!

Any recommendations for spark plugs? Or is it just 'subjective'. ??
NGKs seem to work best with our cars. BKR6EGP is their equivalent of the stock plug. Here's a link:

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...p?keyword=7092

They come pre-gapped. Those are the ones i'm using.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:53 PM   #6
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I got the NGK Iridium IX plugs, they were the best ones at the shop.

Iridium IX BKR6EIX-11 3764 .044

6 plugs ran me 67 bucks with tax here in good old Canada. http://www.partsource.ca/

I changed the plugs today with the help of my dad. The rear middle plug was a *****, and the hardest part probably was getting the ignition wire connectors unplugged in the rear, other than that piece of cake. Having small hands helps too, and another person holding a flash light.

I haven't fired up the car yet, because tomorrow I am going to clean the throttle body and the MAF sensor. I am also popping in a new air filter. Hopefully this little tune up will make my car run nice.

I also found out that my oil fill rubber gasket dissolved into tiny pieces when I took off the plastic Lexus engine cover hub. Anyone know where to get a new one besides the dealer?
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Old 04-10-10, 06:54 PM   #7
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Oh and another random thing, anyone know where exactly the MAF sensor is? I'm sitting here looking at the MAF sensor cleaner I bought and I don't have the slightest idea of where it is lol.
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Old 04-10-10, 07:36 PM   #8
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it's directly up the intake from the filter. First electronic bit you run in to on the tube.
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Old 04-11-10, 01:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info ^

I changed the plugs, and today I cleaned the MAF sensor, along with the throttle body. The throttle body was a bit tricky because the engine would not stay on when the air intake tubes were removed. I had my dad help me again, and we did it in the following steps:

1. Spray in cleaner, turn on engine, rev, rev, turn off
2. Have engine on and just pull back the rubber a little bit enough for the nozzle to get inside, spray/rev. The engine would choke at certain points but higher revs prevented it from shutting down.

Did that process over and over again until about 2/3 rd of the bottle was done. There was a lot of dirt/grime in the throttle bodies.

The MAF sensor was also PLAGUED with black soot. I would recommend cleaning the MAF sensor once a year as it's really easy to do.

After we finished cleaning the throttle body I had the check engine light come on, towards the end of our process. Not sure why?

Anyways, we unplugged the battery (again) and reset the computer, the light went away. Car seems to be running good, hopefully the check engine light doesn't return, because if it does, I have no clue what could be wrong or what we messed up?

Will update in a week or two if the light returns.

All in all, due to me being a mechanical noob, and doing this the first time, the whole process maybe took 2 hours. Next time though, since I know what to do, I think I can get it done in 45 min - 1 hour.
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Old 04-11-10, 01:41 PM   #10
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^^ If it comes back, the CEL, you may be in for a surprise...

I have read countless nightmares regarding certain MAF's being VERY picky with cleaning procedures... IE. they would die shortly after causing the car to go into limp mode.
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Old 04-12-10, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01LEXPL View Post
^^ If it comes back, the CEL, you may be in for a surprise...

I have read countless nightmares regarding certain MAF's being VERY picky with cleaning procedures... IE. they would die shortly after causing the car to go into limp mode.
Perhaps, then, someone who KNOWS can advise just what TO do, and what NOT to do.....?

Thanks.
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Old 04-12-10, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexpedient View Post
Perhaps, then, someone who KNOWS can advise just what TO do, and what NOT to do.....?

Thanks.
Lol, is this some sort of passive agressive rant?
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Old 08-07-11, 02:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostedE21 View Post
You shouldn't have to change them yet at 135,000 km. But, if you really want to, it's not hard.

You have to take the plastic engine cover off, which reveals the tops of the coils (one for each cylinder). They look like black boxes from above, but they are about 4 inches long (which you'll see when you pull them out). 3 facing you from the front of the car, and 3 on the other side facing the firewall. They come off very easily with one 10mm bolt and un-attaching the wiring clip to them. Then just pull it right off - they are not threaded. You'll need a spark plug socket and an extension for your 1/4" drive, and then just loosen them up very carefully, and replace - one at a time. Be very careful not to over-tighten them when installing the new ones. Then just do the process in reverse. Very simple, very basic.

The front three are very easy to do, and you should be able to do the back three without removing the intake manifold, but it'll take a little bit of wedging and maneuvering the extension down into the hole. I was able to do mine in about 30 minutes without needing to pull off the intake manifold.
I just completed changing 6 plugs on my 2001 ES 300. The front bank was easy, but after 100K miles, some of them were really hard to remove. I put a little silicone on the threads of the new Iridiums and they went in by hand turning the socket extension. About three or four rackets was enough to flatten the washer and feel tight. The back bank was a bear! I found removing left and right plug coils first and leaving them out provided more room to get at the middle back bank plug. Also, I used a telescopic magnet to remove the plug from the deep well rather than a socket with a foam insert.
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Old 08-07-11, 02:06 PM
 
 
 
 
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