Saturn Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1991-1998 Repair Guide

Spark Plug Wires



See Figure 1

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Fig. Fig. 1: Checking individual plug wire resistance with a digital ohmmeter

At every tune-up/inspection, visually check the spark plug cables for burns, cuts, or breaks in the insulation. Check the boots and the nipples on the coil. Replace any damaged wiring.

Every 50,000 miles (80,000 km) or 60 months, the resistance of the wires should be checked with an ohmmeter. Wires with excessive resistance will cause misfiring, and may make the engine difficult to start in damp weather.

To check resistance, disengage the spark plug wire from the spark plug end and the ignition coil terminal at the opposite end. Connect one lead of an ohmmeter to one end of the wire and the other lead to the opposite end. Wire resistance should read below 12,000 ohms.


When you're removing spark plug wires, remove and install one at a time. Don't start by removing the plug wires all at once, because, unless you number them, they may become mixed up. Take a minute before you begin and number the wires with tape.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and, if the vehicle has been run recently, allow the engine to thoroughly cool.
  3. Carefully twist the spark plug wire boot to loosen it, then pull upward and remove the boot from the plug. Be sure to pull on the boot and not on the wire, otherwise the connector located inside the boot may become separated.

To install:
  1. Apply a small amount of silicone dielectric compound to the end of the spark plug lead and inside the spark plug boot to prevent sticking, then install the boot to the spark plug and push until it clicks into place. The click may be felt or heard, then gently pull back on the boot to assure proper contact.
  3. Connect the negative battery cable.