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If you’re talking about getting a tune-up, chances are what you really mean is you’re changing spark plugs. Since the combustion engine was invented, these small fuel-air igniters have required routine maintenance. The electrodes wear out, as can be expected after a spark bridges the gap millions of times in thousands of hours of runtime.  

However, prices don’t remain static. Where changing the spark plugs used to be a few dollars, it’s a bigger job that costs more on today’s vehicles. You can expect to pay between $3 and $20 per spark plug, although some unique models can range even higher. And when you need anywhere between four and 16 spark plugs depending on what you drive, there’s a chasm in what you can expect for pricing. 

Here’s what spark plugs cost whether you do the job yourself or have a professional mechanic take care of it. 

Spark plug replacement cost 

There are two components to spark plug replacement cost: parts and labor. Spark plugs vary depending on the vehicle, but more so on the type of technology they use for the center electrode’s core. Here are the different types and a range of prices for each: 

  • Copper spark plugs are the most common and cost-effective with the majority under $4 per spark plug 
  • Platinum spark plugs are more conductive, and most options are under $6 each. 
  • Double Platinum spark plugs use platinum for both the center and ground electrode. They’re more expensive, ranging from around $5 to $20 per spark plug. 
  • Iridium provides more dependable spark, and the price ranges from about $8 to $30 each. 
  • Double Iridium require less energy, and they’re a good price point at around $8 to $15 each. 
  • Ruthenium spark plugs are longer lasting and burn more completely, and command around $15 to $209 each. 

How much does it cost to replace a spark plug yourself? 

If you drive a compact car with a four-cylinder engine, an average set of platinum spark plugs will cost you about $32 or so. A six-cylinder will cost around $48, and a V8 will be around $64 for the parts alone. The exception is for unique models like the 5.7L HEMI engine from Stellantis. With two spark plugs per cylinder, you can expect to pay around $130 in parts alone. 

How much does it cost for a professional spark plug replacement? 

Person reading a spark plug to determine how it has been working

If it’s a task you aren’t comfortable doing on your own, spark plug replacement cost at a repair shop will have labor costs higher than the parts. For instance, a set of four spark plugs in a compact car will likely be around $50 to $80 to install.  

Some vehicles need an intake plenum or other parts removed to access the spark plugs, and the price goes up commensurately.  

What works best for you? 

If you’re a handy person and want to tackle changing spark plugs on your own, you can save on the labor. It will likely take between one and two hours to get the tune-up done and only requires basic tools like a socket set. AutoZone has informative videos to help you change your own spark plugs

But if you’re inexperienced and hesitant to try the job yourself, it could be safer to have a repair shop, like AutoZone’s Preferred Shops, do it for you. Rather than take a chance on damaging something and adding to the repair cost, it’ll get done in a timely fashion by a professional. 

Whether you decide to do it yourself or have a pro take care of your tune-up, buy spark plugs at AutoZone. Our associates can help you find the right parts for your car, or choose the best fit and order online according to year, make, model, and engine size. 

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