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BMW Spark Plug Replacement Guide

Updated: Jan 18

Why is it important to change your BMW spark plugs?


Spark plugs are an essential component of a vehicle's ignition system, as they provide the spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the engine's combustion chamber. BMW spark plugs are installed in the cylinder head underneath the ignition coils.


Without functioning spark plugs, a vehicle will not be able to start or run properly.

Regular spark plug replacement is important for several reasons. First and foremost, worn or damaged spark plugs can cause engine misfires, which can lead to decreased performance and fuel efficiency. In severe cases, engine misfires can even cause damage to other parts of the vehicle.


In addition to preventing engine misfires, regular spark plug replacement can also help to improve a vehicle's overall performance. Over time, spark plugs can become fouled or covered in deposits, which can hinder their ability to produce a strong spark. By replacing the spark plugs on a regular basis, you can ensure that your vehicle's ignition system is functioning at its best, resulting in better performance and fuel efficiency.


Another reason to regularly replace your spark plugs is to prevent costly repairs down the road. As mentioned earlier, engine misfires can cause damage to other parts of the vehicle, including the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors. By replacing your spark plugs before they become worn or damaged, you can avoid these costly repairs and save yourself money in the long run.



A used BMW N55 spark plug replaced in San Diego


How do you know when your BMW needs spark plugs?


There are a few different ways to determine when your BMW needs new spark plugs. One of the most obvious signs is if your vehicle is experiencing engine misfires or reduced performance. If you notice that your BMW is running rough or losing power, it may be a sign that the spark plugs need to be replaced.


Another way to determine if your BMW needs new spark plugs is to check the vehicle's owner's manual. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing spark plugs at specific intervals, such as every 30,000 miles or every two years. By following the manufacturer's recommended replacement schedule, you can ensure that your spark plugs are replaced before they become worn or damaged.


In addition to the vehicle's owner's manual, you can also consult with a professional mechanic to determine if your BMW needs new spark plugs. A mechanic will be able to inspect the spark plugs and determine if they need to be replaced based on their condition and wear.


In general, it's a good idea to replace your spark plugs on a regular basis to ensure that your vehicle's ignition system is functioning properly. By replacing the spark plugs before they become worn or damaged, you can prevent engine misfires and other issues that can affect the performance of your BMW.


Here are some common BMW recommended spark plug replacement interval mileages


  1. 2012 BMW 328i replace spark plugs every 60,000 miles

  2. 2015 BMW X5 replace spark plugs every 60,000 miles

  3. 2015 BMW X5M replace spark plugs every 30,000 miles

  4. 2019 BMW X1 replace spark plugs every 60,000 miles

  5. 2005 BMW 325i replace spark plugs every 100,000 miles

  6. 2017 BMW 540i replace spark plugs every 60,000 miles



A new BMW N55 spark plug ready to be installed at DrivenSD in San Diego

How much does it cost to replace BMW spark plugs?


The cost of replacing spark plugs on a BMW will vary depending on a number of factors, including the specific model of BMW, the type of spark plugs used, and the location where the service is performed. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $240 to $800 for spark plug replacement on a BMW.


It's important to note that the cost of replacing spark plugs on a BMW will be higher if the vehicle has a more powerful engine or if it uses high-performance spark plugs. Additionally, the cost of the service may be higher at a dealership.


How long does it take to change spark plugs in a BMW?


The amount of time it takes to change spark plugs in a BMW will vary depending on a number of factors, including the specific model of BMW and the experience level of the person performing the service. In general, you can expect the process to take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.


If you have some experience with automotive repair and are familiar with the specific model of BMW you are working on, you may be able to change the spark plugs in 30 minutes to an hour. However, if you are not familiar with the vehicle or are not experienced with automotive repair, it may take several hours to complete the job.


In addition to the time it takes to actually replace the spark plugs, you may also need to allow for additional time to locate the spark plugs and gather the necessary tools and supplies. It's a good idea to consult with a professional mechanic or refer to a repair manual for the specific model of BMW you are working on to get a more accurate estimate of the time it will take to change the spark plugs.



New and used BMW N55 spark plugs side by side in San Diego, CA


What spark plugs does BMW use?


The specific type of spark plugs that a BMW uses will vary depending on the model and year of the vehicle. In general, BMW vehicles use iridium or platinum spark plugs, which are known for their durability and long lifespan. These spark plugs are designed to withstand the high temperatures and pressures of a BMW engine, and they are able to provide a strong spark for efficient combustion.


In addition to using iridium or platinum spark plugs, BMW also uses spark plugs with specific heat ranges and electrode configurations, such as a double platinum spark plug, where both the center electrode and ground electrode are made from platinum to extend the life of the plug. The heat range of a spark plug refers to its ability to dissipate heat, and it is an important factor in preventing pre-ignition and engine knock. The electrode configuration, which includes the shape and size of the electrode, is also designed to provide optimal spark performance and durability.


BMW spark plugs are usually either Bosch spark plugs or NGK spark plugs.


It's important to use the correct type of spark plugs in your BMW to ensure that they will function properly and provide the best possible performance. If you are unsure about which spark plugs to use, it's best to consult with a professional mechanic or refer to the vehicle's owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations.


Speaking of qualified mechanics and BMW maintenance check out our articles about the difference between a BMW Autohaus and a BMW Werkstatt and the importance of using the right engine oil in your BMW and where to get suspension repairs in San Diego.



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