How To Change Spark Plugs on a Porsche 911 (1999-2001)

Maintenance Interval 4 Years or 30,000 Miles (48,000 Kilometers)
Estimated Dealer Cost $650
Estimated Independent Mechanic Cost $450
Estimated DIY Cost $50 (if just replacing spark plugs)
Repair Time 2.5 hours
DIY Difficulty Medium

Despite being relatively simple, spark plugs play a significant role in any gasoline engine. Their function is to produce a spark at the required time that ignites the air and fuel mixture. All spark plugs, being exposed to extreme pressures and temperatures that occur during engine operation, wear out with time. This can cause poor engine performance, misfire and drop in fuel economy. Also, a worn spark plug can have a larger electrode gap, which requires higher voltage and can lead to premature ignition coil failure.

While replacing spark plugs on normal cars is a pretty simple task, it is more difficult on the Porsche 911 due to the engine’s horizontally opposed design and placement. We recommend you have some experience working on cars before performing this DIY. For an overview of the procedure, check out the video above from YouTube channel, Dan Tsuchiya. If you would like to do-it-yourself, you can find the parts, tools, and instructions below.

Find a Recommended Mechanic
Torque Specs & Fluid Capacities:

Spark plugs: 22 ft-lbs
Ignition coil screws: 7.5 ft-lbs
Heat shield screws: 7.5 ft-lbs
Wheel bolts: 118 ft-lbs

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle and work area

  • Ensure that your engine is cool so you don’t burn yourself and your car is parked on a flat surface.
  • Gather your parts and tools and wear gloves and safety glasses.

Step 2: Raise the rear of the vehicle

  • To give yourself enough clearance to work, safely raise your vehicle using a lift or jack and jack stands; ensure your car is level.
  • If using jack stands, you just need to raise the rear of the vehicle.
  • NEVER rely on a jack to keep your car up; use jack stands to safely support your vehicle.
  • Also be sure to use wheel chocks to prevent your car from rolling.
  • Once your car is on jack stands, give your car a hard shove to make sure it is secure.
  • To lift your vehicle on jack stands, check out this helpful video from the YouTube channel CarFanatic. While the video is for a 997, the procedure is the same on the 996.

Step 3: Remove the rear wheels

  • With the parking brake engaged, use a 19 mm lug nut socket and breaker bar to loosen the wheel bolts.
  • To prevent damaging your wheels during removal and reinstallation, you can use wheel guide bolts to help slide the wheels off and help you remove your rear wheels without damaging your wheels.
  • As an added safety precaution, place a wheel under your vehicle’s engine block.

Step 4: Starting on one side of the engine, remove the spark plug heat shield

  • Remove the heat shield that covers the ignition coils and spark plugs.
  • Each heat shield is secured by two bolts, which can be removed using an 10 mm socket and ratchet.

Step 5: Remove the ignition coils

  • Start by removing the ignition coil connectors.
  • Depress the plastic tab on the connector, then wiggle the connector off; if you have a hard time getting the connector off, use a flat head screwdriver to gently work the connector loose.
  • Remove the bolts that hold on each ignition coil using a ratchet and 5mm hex bit socket; note: some vehicles used revised bolts, which require an E-Torx socket.
  • Work each ignition coil out.
  • Inspect the ignition coils for cracks. If you see any, it is a good idea to replace them all.

Step 6: Replace the spark plugs with new ones

  • Remove the spark plugs using a magnetic spark plug socket (linked in parts section), appropriate length extension, and ratchet or breaker bar.
  • It may be helpful to use a universal joint or a swivel magnetic spark plug socket to gain access to each of the spark plugs.
  • Insert the new spark plug into your spark plug wrench and remove the cardboard covering the electrode tip; do not touch the tip.
  • Even though the new spark plugs are pre-gapped, it’s a good idea to inspect them in case any got damaged.
  • Insert the new spark plug into the spark plug tube and hand tighten to prevent cross threading. Once the plug is threaded in all the way by hand, torque it to 22 ft-lbs.

Step 7: Reinstall the ignition coils and heat shield

  • Insert the ignition coils back into the spark plug holes by rotating it back and forth slightly to help get it seated properly. Torque the ignition coil bolts to 7.5 ft-lbs or just tighten them snug by hand.
  • Connect the wiring harness connectors to the ignition coils and make sure it clicks in securely.
  • Reinstall the heat shield and torque the screws to 7.5 ft-lbs or just tighten them snug by hand.

Step 8: Repeat the prior steps on the other side of the engine

Step 9: Reinstall everything and lower your car

  • Reinstall the wheels and tighten the wheels in a criss-cross pattern to 118 ft-lbs.
  • Lower your vehicle using the reverse steps you used to raise the vehicle.
  • Remember to remove the wheel chocks.
  • Clean up your work area and you’re all done!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *