In this guide, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to change the spark plugs on most Volkswagen vehicles. 

This guide applies to most Volkswagen equipped with the four-cylinder engine typically found on VW Jetta, Golf, Bettle, EOS, Passat, etc. Spark plugs and ignition coil part numbers may vary between models, but the procedure on how to change VW spark plugs and ignition remains the same. 

Symptoms

Bad VW Spark Plug Symptoms

Spark plugs wear over time and should be replaced at the recommended interval. If the spark plugs are not replaced at the recommended interval you will eventually notice the following symptoms:

  • Check engine light on
  • Engine misfires
  • A decrease in fuel economy
  • Loos of engine performance
  • DTC Fault codes
    • P0300 P0301 P0302 P0303 P0304 up to P0312
  • Check engine light flashing

A faulty ignition coil will almost always cause the check engine light to flash. A worn spark plug may turn on a solid check engine light or cause the check engine light to flash. 

What you will need

what you need to change vw spark plugs ignition coil

Recommended

How to change VW spark plugs and ignition coils

Step-by-step instructions on how to change the spark plugs on most VW four-cylinder engines. 

  1. Park your Volkswagen on level ground and set the parking brakes. 
  2. Allow the engine to cool down if it was recently driven. 
  3. Pull the hood release under the dashboard and open the hood. If you need help with this step, follow our guide on how to open a VW hoodopen volkswagen hood to change spark plugs golf jetta passat

     

  4. Disconnect the negative battery terminal. Disconnect vw battery when replacing spark plugs

     

  5. Remove engine cover or any hoses going over the ignition coils. In this case, we have an air filter hose that must be removed. VW engine

     

  6. Unplug all the electrical connectors from the ignition coils. Press the connector tab then pull it away from the ignition coil. VW Ignition Coil Replacement Disconnect
  7. Remove the 10mm bolts that hold the ignition coil in place. Removing ignition coil bolt
  8. Remove all the ignition coils by pulling the coil up. If the coil does not come out, try twisting it slightly. Remove Ignition Coil VW

     

  9. Use a spark plug socket, extension and ratchet wrench to remove the spark plug. Remove spark plug VW Golf Jetta Passast
  10. Remove all spark plugs one by one. Do not allow any dirt to fall in the spark plug hole. You may have to use a magnetic pickup tool to remove the spark plug. Worn VW spark plug
  11. Install the new spark plugs. The new spark plugs should be already pre-gapped, but it is important to check the spark plug gap to make sure they are all still within range. VW spark plug installation

     

  12. Torque the spark plug to specification. See notes below for the recommended VW spark plug torque. VW Spark Plug Recommended Torque
  13. Install the new ignition coil and secure them by installing the 10mm bolts. Installing vw ignition coil
  14. Connect all the ignition coil wires. Do not switch the ignition coil wires around. Coils themselves can be switched, but not the connectors. If the first connector was to spark plug on cylinder one, it needs to stay on that spark plug. Even if you swaped the ignition coils around. 
  15. Reinstall engine cover and any hoses that you may have removed. 
  16. Reconnect the battery. Start up the engine and turn the steering wheel all the way to the left then right to reset the ABS and traction control lights. 

Now that the spark plugs and ignition coils are new, the check engine light should stop flashing any more. The check engine light will stay on but should reset on its own within two to three days if there are no other problems present. You can reset the check engine light on your own or follow our VW check engine light troubleshooting guide if the light stays on more than a week. 

The pictures you see in this guide are from a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta equipped with the 1.4L turbo engine. 

Torque Specifications

  • Spark plug 14 mm:    25 to 30N·m (2.5 to 3.0 kgm)
  • Spark plug 12 mm:    15 to 20N·m (1.5 to 2.0 kgm)

Values in your owner's manual supersede these torque values. 

How long do VW spark plugs last? 

VW spark plugs can last anywhere from 30,000 miles up to 100,000 miles. The life of the spark plug depends mainly on the spark plug type. Copper spark plugs last longer while platinum or iridium spark plugs last much longer. 

VW Spark Plug Change Recommended Interval

Copper spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Iridium and platinum spark plugs should be replaced between 60,000 and 80,000 miles. Some iridium spark plugs can last well over 100k miles. 

What is the best spark plug for VW? 

The best spark plugs for VW are those that meet the manufactures specifications. The tip material can help with the spark plug last longer, but it is not going to increase performance or horsepower. 

Here are some highly-rated spark plugs for VW: 

  • Bosch 4417 Platinum+4 FGR7DQP Spark Plug 
  • NGK 7092 BKR6EGP G-Power Spark Plug
  • DENSO 5304 IK20 Iridium Power Spark Plug
  • Champion RE14MCC4 (570) Copper Plus
  • Bosch 9652 Double Iridium Spark Plug
  • NGK 5464 BKR5EIX-11 Iridium IX Spark Plug
  • Autolite APP104 Double Platinum Spark Plug

What happens if I don't change the spark plugs on my VW? 

If you don't change your spark plugs at the recommended interval, what will happen is that fuel economy will decrease. The decrease may be small and at first you may not notice it at all. 

If you keep ignoring the spark plugs, the spark plug will wear to the point that it will trigger the check engine light. Engine light will not only stay on but it will flash due to a misfire caused by a bad spark plug. 

How much does it cost to change VW spark plugs? 

Chaning the spark plugs on a Volkswagen especially on models with 1.8 and 2.0 L engine is very easy and some shops will change them for as low as $200. To change VW spark plugs at the deaelr it costs between $350 to $500. 

If you have to change the ignition coils the price goes up significantly and you are looking at over $500 to change both the spark plugs and ignition coils. 

If you decide to change Volkswagen spark plugs and ignition coils yourself then you are looking at spend around $100 on parts assuming you buy the parts online.