Spark Plugs and Engine Cover Removal
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  1. #1
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    Spark Plugs and Engine Cover Removal

    Hi guys,

    I want to replace my spark plugs on my 2000 1.8t Passat with the Pulstar plugs. I have read some good things about them. I have a few questions that I know can be answered here.

    1) How many spark plugs are there?
    2) Is there a DIY manual on this site for this procedure?
    3) Is there a DIY manual that instructs me on how to remove the engine cover?

    I have a Haynes manual, I was able to find the spark plug replacement procedure, but cannot find the area which instructs me on how to remove the engine cover, or how many plugs the car has.

    Thanks a lot!!

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  3. #2
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    a 1.8t, being a 4 cylinder engine, has 4 sparkplugs...
    basically, just take off the plastic cover, (3-4 plastic screws on top of the cover), and from there you will see 4 coil packs... pull out the coil packs and down there you will find the sparkplugs... its probably the next easiest thing to do after putting gas in your car...

  4. #3
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    Hmm, are you sure that you want to start working on your car if you need to ask how many plugs a 4 cylinder car has? I'm not trying to be mean, i've just seen several mechanically challanged members create more problems for themselves than they solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex_d_22 View Post
    a 1.8t, being a 4 cylinder engine, has 4 sparkplugs...
    There are exceptions, of course. 18 years ago when I worked in auto parts, a fella came in asking for spark plugs, cap, and rotor for a late '80s Nissan 200SX with the 4 cylinder engine.

    I come back from the back with 8 spark plugs and a distributor cap with 9 terminals.

    So he says "Uh, it's a 4 cylinder, not an 8."

    I tell him "You have 8 spark plugs, 4 on the intake side, 4 on the exhaust side" The colder ones are on the exhaust side.

    He didn't believe me. Had to show him the parts book (we didn't have computers those days). Sure enough, the Nippondenso catalog clearly showed 4 cylinders, 8 spark plugs.

    As for the original poster, I suppose you have to learn sometime. I suggest finding a competent friend to help you out here- You don't want to botch this job, as botching it has expensive implications. Taking our spark plugs on a hot engine is bad. Overtorquing the spark plugs is bad. Putting in spark plugs other than the OE type (NGK) will yield poor performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greizer View Post
    Hmm, are you sure that you want to start working on your car if you need to ask how many plugs a 4 cylinder car has? I'm not trying to be mean, i've just seen several mechanically challanged members create more problems for themselves than they solved.
    I have changed the brake pads on my car, changed the headlights (the entire headlight not just the bulb), I can change a wheel an have the spare on in under 15 min with the stock tools. Sorry that I didn't know that a car has as many cylinders as spark plugs. But now I do know, and how did you learn that? I am sure someone told you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctobio View Post
    There are exceptions, of course. 18 years ago when I worked in auto parts, a fella came in asking for spark plugs, cap, and rotor for a late '80s Nissan 200SX with the 4 cylinder engine.

    I come back from the back with 8 spark plugs and a distributor cap with 9 terminals.

    So he says "Uh, it's a 4 cylinder, not an 8."

    I tell him "You have 8 spark plugs, 4 on the intake side, 4 on the exhaust side" The colder ones are on the exhaust side.

    He didn't believe me. Had to show him the parts book (we didn't have computers those days). Sure enough, the Nippondenso catalog clearly showed 4 cylinders, 8 spark plugs.

    As for the original poster, I suppose you have to learn sometime. I suggest finding a competent friend to help you out here- You don't want to botch this job, as botching it has expensive implications. Taking our spark plugs on a hot engine is bad. Overtorquing the spark plugs is bad. Putting in spark plugs other than the OE type (NGK) will yield poor performance.
    Have a torque wrench and the specs on how much to torque them. I said I have a Haynes manual which clearly says wait until engine is cold before doing this. I also mentioned that I am replacing them with PulStar plugs which are supposed to INCREASE the performance of my car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex_d_22 View Post
    a 1.8t, being a 4 cylinder engine, has 4 sparkplugs...
    basically, just take off the plastic cover, (3-4 plastic screws on top of the cover), and from there you will see 4 coil packs... pull out the coil packs and down there you will find the sparkplugs... its probably the next easiest thing to do after putting gas in your car...
    Thank you very much, this was exactly the information that I needed. I appreciate you taking time to answer my questions.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pssat27 View Post
    Have a torque wrench and the specs on how much to torque them. I said I have a Haynes manual which clearly says wait until engine is cold before doing this. I also mentioned that I am replacing them with PulStar plugs which are supposed to INCREASE the performance of my car.
    I'm in the skeptic's column on PulStar plugs. I don't really buy the claims.

  10. #9
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    everyone has to start somewhere.
    the more you DIY things the more you know.
    knowledge is everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pssat27 View Post
    I have changed the brake pads on my car, changed the headlights (the entire headlight not just the bulb), I can change a wheel an have the spare on in under 15 min with the stock tools. Sorry that I didn't know that a car has as many cylinders as spark plugs. But now I do know, and how did you learn that? I am sure someone told you.
    pssat27, I really wasn't trying to be mean. It's just that hanging around on here for so long i've seen my share of nightmares caused by people learning. If you've done the brakes then yes you can do the plugs no problemo. Now that I know that I'll say it's quite easy, just don't overtorque the plugs. Two things i'll add that are actually useful is 1. put a bit of copper anti-sieze on a few of the threads on the plug itself towards the top of the engine, use a very small amount as you don't want it getting into the cylinder. 2. Also something that made the job much easier for me was using a bit of spare vacuum hose on the top of the plug to lower it into the cyliner and start threading it. Doing it this way insures that you don't cross thread as the hose will slip if you start cross threading. Good luck and welcome to the club, and please don't take my initial comment to heart as I wasn't trying to "flame" you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctobio View Post
    There are exceptions, of course. 18 years ago when I worked in auto parts, a fella came in asking for spark plugs, cap, and rotor for a late '80s Nissan 200SX with the 4 cylinder engine.

    I come back from the back with 8 spark plugs and a distributor cap with 9 terminals.

    So he says "Uh, it's a 4 cylinder, not an 8."

    I tell him "You have 8 spark plugs, 4 on the intake side, 4 on the exhaust side" The colder ones are on the exhaust side.

    He didn't believe me. Had to show him the parts book (we didn't have computers those days). Sure enough, the Nippondenso catalog clearly showed 4 cylinders, 8 spark plugs.

    As for the original poster, I suppose you have to learn sometime. I suggest finding a competent friend to help you out here- You don't want to botch this job, as botching it has expensive implications. Taking our spark plugs on a hot engine is bad. Overtorquing the spark plugs is bad. Putting in spark plugs other than the OE type (NGK) will yield poor performance.
    I had one of these 200SXs - 1981 model, hemi engine, overhead cams - it HAD to have 2 plugs per cylinder. darned thing ran forever! I didn't/couldn't believe it the first time I popped the hood and looked at that setup...

    as for the OP, just a question, and I'm not trying to be mean, mind you; many of us "backyard mechanics" take the time to figure out how to take stuff apart on our own. the engine covers are incredibly simple to remove.

    so that begs the question - did you try to remove the engine covers before posing the question here? or was it that you couldn't find a procedure in the Haynes, and decided to ask first? (it is so simple that it wouldn't be in the Haynes...)

  13. #12
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    Stay away from the Pulstar plugs. If their website is any indication, they are snake oil. Do a search for details.

    The 1.8T is very picky when it comes to plugs, and there is no need for some gimmicky thing to foul up the works.

    SirWired

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
    Stay away from the Pulstar plugs. If their website is any indication, they are snake oil. Do a search for details.

    The 1.8T is very picky when it comes to plugs, and there is no need for some gimmicky thing to foul up the works.

    SirWired
    I totally agree, i've heard lots of complaints from folks not using NGK or whatever stock is for their car. I'd stick with the OE plugs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
    Stay away from the Pulstar plugs. If their website is any indication, they are snake oil. Do a search for details.

    The 1.8T is very picky when it comes to plugs, and there is no need for some gimmicky thing to foul up the works.

    SirWired
    hmf guess i will save the $100

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTheSnork View Post
    I had one of these 200SXs - 1981 model, hemi engine, overhead cams - it HAD to have 2 plugs per cylinder. darned thing ran forever! I didn't/couldn't believe it the first time I popped the hood and looked at that setup...

    as for the OP, just a question, and I'm not trying to be mean, mind you; many of us "backyard mechanics" take the time to figure out how to take stuff apart on our own. the engine covers are incredibly simple to remove.

    so that begs the question - did you try to remove the engine covers before posing the question here? or was it that you couldn't find a procedure in the Haynes, and decided to ask first? (it is so simple that it wouldn't be in the Haynes...)
    I didn't see it in Haynes and just wanted to make sure, I took a look at it, but figured if I have the resources to answer the question why not use them before touching anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctobio View Post
    There are exceptions, of course. 18 years ago when I worked in auto parts, a fella came in asking for spark plugs, cap, and rotor for a late '80s Nissan 200SX with the 4 cylinder engine.

    I come back from the back with 8 spark plugs and a distributor cap with 9 terminals.

    So he says "Uh, it's a 4 cylinder, not an 8."

    I tell him "You have 8 spark plugs, 4 on the intake side, 4 on the exhaust side" The colder ones are on the exhaust side.

    He didn't believe me. Had to show him the parts book (we didn't have computers those days). Sure enough, the Nippondenso catalog clearly showed 4 cylinders, 8 spark plugs.

    As for the original poster, I suppose you have to learn sometime. I suggest finding a competent friend to help you out here- You don't want to botch this job, as botching it has expensive implications. Taking our spark plugs on a hot engine is bad. Overtorquing the spark plugs is bad. Putting in spark plugs other than the OE type (NGK) will yield poor performance.
    the ford ranger came that way too. those lower plugs are a BITCH to replace!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by corradog60stage4 View Post
    everyone has to start somewhere.
    the more you DIY things the more you know.
    knowledge is everything.
    knowledge is power?
    have you been watching GI-Joe?


    as for the spark plugs to use, unless you have a lot of aftermarket modifications like an ECU reprogram (chip), exhaust or other big upgrades, i would call the dealership and ask what the part number of the NGK plugs they use is. those are the best plugs, and the only plugs you should use on a stock engine. they'll cost 6 or 7 a pop, but that's the price for good plugs.

  18. #17
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    For the OP,

    before you change your plugs you should do a search here for the thread about the guy who snapped off the top of the spark plug, leaving the bottom half stuck in the cylinder head. Thats the kind of headache you could encounter if you aren't careful.

    Having said that, its pretty easy, even I have done it. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYC4ever View Post
    For the OP,

    before you change your plugs you should do a search here for the thread about the guy who snapped off the top of the spark plug, leaving the bottom half stuck in the cylinder head. Thats the kind of headache you could encounter if you aren't careful.

    Having said that, its pretty easy, even I have done it. Good luck.
    Always remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty. Or clockwise to tighten and anti-clockwise to loosen.

  20. #19
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    I had never paid anyone to replace a plug in my life, until I took the cover off my 1.8T and saw the coil packs, and didn't know what I was looking at. Back then, I hadn't found PassatWorld yet. Just unhook the wire, and pull the coil packs firmly, and they will release from the plug. Don't drop a coil pack or a plug -- if you do, don't use the plug, as the ceramic can have a crack and arc over.

    Here's a link -- Audi A4, but procedure is the same:
    http://http://www.a4mods.com/index.php?page=webcontent/pages/copperplugs.html


    As someone else said, if you have the stock engine, stay with the stock plug. They can be purchased online for about $44-$50 per set of four, and should last at least the recommended 40k miles. Copper plugs are cheaper, but if I understand correctly will not last as long. You don't need to gap them, but I suggest measuring the gaps to make sure that they are close to what they are supposed to be.

  21. #20
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    id steer clear of those pulstars, if you want a little better performance try a copper plug instead of platinum, or a k&n drop in filter. most likely youll notice no difference either way, but installing those pulstars prob give you a headache. i've seen many cars not start in winter because of spark plugs that were supposed to increase performance or gas mileage, but arent what the maker had in mind when the engine was designed. welcome and good luck - bob

  22. #21
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    I wouldn't use a K & N drop in for performance reasons. You're not going to get any measurable improvement over what the placebo effect tells you. Also, no spark plug brand is going to give you a significant performance increase, on a stock engine, over what VW recommends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctobio View Post
    I wouldn't use a K & N drop in for performance reasons. You're not going to get any measurable improvement over what the placebo effect tells you. Also, no spark plug brand is going to give you a significant performance increase, on a stock engine, over what VW recommends.
    x2 on the drop-in filter. stock works really well, and you don't take a chance on getting oil all over your MAF sensor.

    I'm using Bosch +4 plugs on my two VAG V6s. at 40K miles on the plugs, I pulled and replaced the last set on my daily driver, and they were the perfect color with no wear - the set I have in my Passat will stay there for 100K now. I drive 120 miles a day to/from work - so, not how most people drive here.

  24. #23
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    I've had Pulstar plugs in for over a year with no issues. My fuel economy went up, but HP and TQ I couldn't tell a difference. I likely will not buy them again, but they were worth a shot.

  25. #24
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    Spark plug replacement is found in the front of your Haynes manual. Seriously, it takes about 10 minutes from the time you pop open the hood until you close it shut.

    30 seconds or less to remove the engine cover; 30 seconds to pull off the coil packs; 6 minutes to remove and replace the plugs (don't forget anti-seize on the plug threads); 30 seconds to reinstall the coil packs and up to 2.5 minutes to get those #&^*%@ plastic engine cover fasteners back in.

  26. #25
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    i have used the autolite, denso iridiums and they have seem to give a slite boost of engine throttle and response. i pick them up at the any parts store such as oreilly's, advance auto, or auto zone, it may be a cheaper alternative to the 100.00 pulstars

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    Ah spark plugs, I've used Autolite (was in a bind and needed plugs bad), NGK, Bosch, Denso, all in multiple temp ranges, and different number of electrodes and the only ones that worked good on my 2000 1.8t where Bosch. but that is due to some modifications that i had


    any who spark plugs are easy, just make sure you use a good high temp anti seize, you don't need a torque wrench you can just put them in hand tight then do a 1/4-1/2 turn with a socket and that gets them very close to torqued right.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by pssat27 View Post
    Thank you very much, this was exactly the information that I needed. I appreciate you taking time to answer my questions.
    On the engine cover - it is really simple - just turn a quarter turn until the retainer pops up (it's not really a screw in/out type of fastener but a spring loaded retainer - just don't make the mistake I did when putting it back on by not getting it lined up perfectly - and turning against the resistance I felt - I cracked the mount off of the cover which eventually led to the back right corner of my cover cracking enough that it fell off... - then my beautiful black passat with only 33k miles (at the time) had this ugly engine bay - I need to get a new cover some time....the moral is if you feel more resistance, like it won't turn, don't force it because the plastic is pretty brittle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTheSnork View Post
    x2 on the drop-in filter. stock works really well, and you don't take a chance on getting oil all over your MAF sensor.

    I'm using Bosch +4 plugs on my two VAG V6s. at 40K miles on the plugs, I pulled and replaced the last set on my daily driver, and they were the perfect color with no wear - the set I have in my Passat will stay there for 100K now. I drive 120 miles a day to/from work - so, not how most people drive here.
    I have the same plugs and they are still beautiful 20k miles later.

  30. #29
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    I thought because we have a 20V system, we need 20 spark plugs... that is why they are $2.25 each from walmart. That would be about $45.00 plug tax to put them in. Sounds about right to me.

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