Unfortunately, the way they build a LOT of these cars with the transverse V6
makes a job like changing spark plugs an absolute bear.
There are a lot of cars anymore where you have to take off the intake
manifold - hence the new gasket. But whether you do or don't, that doesn't
make the job of replacing those three spark plugs on the back of the engine
any easier. Often that is a job only Gumby can do.
I have even seen cars (GM's were notorious for this) where, on FWD V6
models, the only way you could replace those three back plugs was to loosen
the engine mounts, and tip the whole engine forward. FOR SPARK PLUGS, for
crying out loud.
That is what makes you really think twice when it comes time for the 60,000
mile service on their 100,000 mile warranty, especially for cars with a
timing belt. You add the impossible cost of a timing belt AND the
impossible cost of replacing spark plugs on a V6, and well, maybe it's time
to check out the new models on a trade in.
This is one case where a 4-cylinder (with all four plugs on top and looking
at you) definitely has an advantage.
Yes, my minivans are a real pain to access as well. I'll take my Chevy
pickup with the V-6 engine oriented the way that God intended! I can
just about stand between the engine and wheel wells in that truck.
Yes, that is nuts also.
Fortunately, I've not had a vehicle that poorly design, but my Jeep
Comanche required you to remove the AC compressor from its mount in
order to access the front spark plug and that was an inline 4, not even
Well, on the new Hyundai engines, the timing belt is no longer a
concern. I have no idea how hard the spark plugs are to change, but
those on the 4 cylinder didn't look too bad. I think the manual suggest
having the dealer do the plugs on the V-6 so it must be a bear.
True, and that is one reason I buy 4 cylinder vehicles where it is
practical and V-6s where I don't have a choice (my minivan and my
full-size pickup). Fewer parts to replace during maintenance and just
cheaper and easier to work on all way around.
A Hyundai shop in my town says $230.
It can go down when other services come as a package.
I replaced spark plugs by myself. I am no mechanic, so it was
challenging to me.
IMHO, the tune up should be done within 1.5 hour by any competent
mechanic. $350 seems to be little bit high.
Beside, Sonata comes with platinum spark plugs, which you only want to
check and replace @60k miles.
When I replaced spark plugs @60k, the old plugs didn't show little
signs of worn. They could have gone another 20K miles without losing
MPG and such.
I am doing the same on Dodge Caravan V6. I am having difficulties in
reaching rear side plugs, there too. Maybe all V6 are REALLY GOOD for
changing spark plugs. MPG improvement is expected on Caravan, since the
copper tip spark plugs worn out big time.
I saw ads that said '$50 for tune up'. It had a small print "four
cylinder only" :)
What year is your Caravan? My 96 GV had platinum plugs and I ran them
to close to 100K as the manual says and had no problem at all. I
changed them at around 98K as I had the van in for other work, but the
plugs were still in decent shape and the engine ran no better nor got
better gas mileage after than it did before.
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