How Often Should I Replace The Spark Plugs (2.2L Honda Accord)

One of the things that I love so much about the 2.2L Honda Accord is how accessible everything is on its engine, especially the spark plugs.

If it's time to replace the spark plugs and you're wondering which spark plugs you should buy, how often you should replace them, then this is the tutorial with the answers.

What Does A Spark Plug Do?

As you're probably already aware, your Honda Accord 2.2L engine has four cylinders. Each cylinder needs three things to create power. These are: air, fuel, and spark.

The humble spark plug is the component tasked with delivering spark to the inside of the cylinder to ignite the air-fuel mixture.

Symptoms Of Worn Out Spark Plugs

A spark plug that is no longer delivering spark to the inside of its cylinder will cause a misfire condition. This misfire in turn will cause your Honda Accord's fuel injection computer to light up the check engine light with a misfire trouble code.

You could see one or more of the following misfire trouble codes:

  1. P0300: Random Cylinder Misfire.
  2. P0301: Cylinder #1 Misfire.
  3. P0302: Cylinder #2 Misfire.
  4. P0303: Cylinder #3 Misfire.
  5. P0304: Cylinder #4 Misfire.

Besides a rough idle condition or a cylinder misfire condition, worn spark plugs will cause your Honda Accord to use more fuel. Not only that, your Honda Accord is not going to feel as peppy as it once did.

And of course your 2.2L Honda Accord's engine is gonna' pollute a whole lot more.

What Causes Spark Plugs To Stop Working?

What causes the spark plugs to wear out is the nature of their job. In other words, it's the spark that jumps from electrode to electrode that will eventually wear out them out.

As the electrodes wear down, the air gap between them increases. Once the air gap has opened beyond a certain point, the spark will cease to jump across it (the air gap) under certain driving conditions.

Wear and tear is not the only thing that causes the spark plug to stop sparking. The other condition is carbon build-up blocking the air gap of the spark plugs. This carbon build-up is due oil being burned within the engine cylinders. This is a very commom problem in high-mileage engines.

Which Spark Plugs Should I Buy?

The original equipment factory spark plugs are the NGK or Denso brand. These are the spark plugs that were installed in your Accord when it rolled-out out of the factory.

Of course, you can buy any brand of spark plug and it will work, but the spark plugs that will work optimally on your 2.2L Honda Accord are the NGK or Denso spark plugs.

You've probably already noticed that even within a certain brand, there are different price points for spark plugs. Some of them can get pretty expensive!

The expensive ones will work too but I'm going to make a suggestion recommendation here. If your Honda Accord's engine is consuming/burning oil, then steer clear of the expensive spark plugs and buy the inexpensive ones.

This is because your engine is going to foul up those spark plugs with carbon build-up just the same as the inexpensive ones. Given enough time and mileage, the air gap of the expensive spark plugs are going to get blocked by carbon buildup and you'll have to replace them at a shorter interval (just like you would the cheapy ones). In the scenario where the engine is burning oil, installing expensive spark plugs does not make sense.

Should I Buy The 100,000 Mile Spark Plugs?

The spark plugs that are advertised to last 100,000 miles are made of platinum or iridium.

On the iridium spark plugs, only the points of the center and side electrode are iridium, since iridium is a rare Earth mineral.

I have used these spark plugs and they do last a very long time.

What negates these spark plugs lasting this long is if the engine in your 2.2L Honda Accord is burning oil.

If your Honda Accord isn't burning oil, then by all means you should consider using this type of spark plug.

Important Suggestions And Tips

As I mentioned before, replacing the spark plugs on the 2.2L Honda Accord is a breeze. Mainly because a spark plugs are so easy to get to.

Even though the job is a breeze, you should keep in mind the following important suggestions and tips:

TIP 1: Replace the spark plugs with a cold engine. It's important that you replace the spark plugs on your 2.2L Honda Accord when the engine is cold or you run the risk of stripping the threads in the spark plug holes.

This is due to the fact that your Honda Accord's cylinder head is made of aluminum (which is a very soft metal). And if the cylinder head is hot, then it's a thousand times easier to strip the threads of the spark plug holes as you're removing the spark plugs.

If the engine is hot, then you can place a box fan or any kind of house fan on top of your Honda Accord's engine to cool down ASAP.

TIP 2: Check the air gap of the new dpark plugs before installing them. There's a good chance that the packaging of the new spark plugs indicate that they are pre gapped (especially if they are iridium tipped spark plugs).

I recommend that you gently check their air gap anyway just to make sure that it's within specification.

I, like many other folks, have found out the hard way that even though the packaging says they are pre-gapped sometimes they are anything but.

Some spark plugs, like the Bosch Platinum+4 spark plugs (which have four side ground electrodes) cannot be checked and don't have to be checked.

TIP 3: Use a torque wrench to tighten the spark plugs. Using a torque wrench and tightening the spark plugs to their torque specification will make the job a successful and long-lasting repair.

If you don't use a torque wrench, you run the risk of over tightening the spark plugs and stripping the threads of the spark plug holes of the cylinder head.

Or you could under-tighten them, causing the spark plugs to work themselves out (while you're driving down the road). This to could possibly damage the threads in the spark plug holes.

The cool thing is, that because the spark plugs are so accessible on the 2.2L Honda Accord, using a torque wrench is an easy thing.

More 2.2L Honda Accord Tutorials

You can find a complete list of 2.2L Honda in these 2 indexes:

  1. Honda 2.2L, 2.3L Index of Articles.
  2. Honda 2.2L Index of Articles.

Here's a sample of the tutorials you'll find there:

  1. How To Test The Igniter, Ignition Coil Accord, Civic, CRV, and Odyssey.
  2. How To Test The Igniter, Ignition Coil Accord, Prelude (1992-2001).
  3. How To Find A BAD Fuel Injector (Case Study) (at: troubleshootmyvehicle.com).
  4. How To Test For A Blown Head Gasket (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L) (at: troubleshootmyvehicle.com).
  5. How To Test For A Broken Timing Belt (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L) (at: troubleshootmyvehicle.com).
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