This is my first post to this forum but I thought I would share my experience in changing spark plugs on my 2009 Ford F-150 XLT with 4.6 L V3 engine.
My truck has just over 135,000 kilometres (83885 miles) and I recently noticed it would make a jingling noise while accelerting. I began to use a higher octane fuel and the jingling stopped however these trucks are meant to run on 87 octane fuel which I'd rather use due to the price of premium fuel being so high.
Yesterday I took my truck into a Ford Dealership (Quick Lane) for a lube, oil and filter and inquired what service should be done at 130,000 km as I bought my truck used last year and didn't get a service manual. I also have no idea of the trucks service history prior to my owning it.
The Ford service person recommended that I get a tune up (which according to the service person was only changing spark plugs), a transmission service (drop the pan, change the filter and replace fluid) and a coolant flush.
Ford quoted me $325.96 plus tax to change the spark plugs (apparently Ford takes two hours for this). They also quoted me $141.00 plus tax for the coolant flush and $196.55 plus tax for the transmission service.
I'm the kind of person that would rather try to save some money by doing it myself. I began to research how to change the spark plugs on this vehicle and came up with lots about spark plugs breaking in the head as it was a two piece design. I also learned that this problem was corrrected after 2008 so the plug removal should not be that difficult.
I ventured to my local Ford dealership and purchased 8 MotorCraft Platinum Spark Plugs (Part # SP509 / HJFS-24-FP) which are priced at $15.12 each for a total of $136.68 with tax. I spoke to the parts persons and was told that if I went looking for a cheaper aftermarket plug that I would likely be back as the Motocraft plugs a specially designed for this vehicle. I was also told to set the plug gap to 0.41. He also suggested that I change the plugs after the engine was warmed up (but allowed to cool sufficiently so as not to burn myself).
Changing all 8 plugs took me about an hour and I had no isses at all removing the old plugs. The biggest issue I had was locating a 14mm spark plug socket (which I never did find at Canadian Tire). I ended up using a 14mm deep socket and a piece of rubber tubing to pull the plugs out of the head. (Apparently Candian Tire only have 5/8 and 11/16 spark plug sockets).
In changing the plugs, the only thing I had to remove beyond the plug wires was the air intake filter on the drivers side which was basically loosing two screws removing both ends and laying it on the top of the engine with everything still attached. I put a cloth into the exposed air intake valve (can't recall what it's actual name is).
After the plugs were changed and everything was put back together, I test drove the truck. It seemed to be a tad more responsive and the jingle that I had been noticing was not present. Hopefully this was my issue all along but it will take some more road testing to be sure however I'm encouraged by the early results.
Ford Cost to Do: $325.96 plus tax ($368.33)
My Cost to Do: $136.68 and 1 hour of my time
Savings of: $231.65
This was not a difficult job to do and would encourage anyone to consider doing it themselves.
I know this was a bit long winded and may seem like a novice task to many but it it's helpful to even one person then it was worth the time to type up.
Last edited by Rongor; 09-01-2012 at 05:09 PM.
Reason: Correct spelling mistake
If I purchased a used truck I may consider having the transmission fluid changed as well. But, if you know anything about it's history and can determine that it hasn't towed heavy then your transmission shouldn't require service, "not to exceed" 150K miles or the metric equivalent.
There should be an owners guide that came with the truck. This will breakdown all the maintenance intervals for you.
Thanks for the warm welcome. The truck has an after market electric trailer brake control under the dash so I'm pretty certain it was used to tow so I think I will get the transmission serviced just to be safe. I have to say as a first time Ford F-150 owner... I love it! Cheers.... Ron