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I asked a local mechanic about changing the spark plugs in my 2012 Traverse and he said it was difficult to do and it would cost $260 including the plugs. Is this reasonable or is he trying to rob me?
 

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That sounds very reasonable for something that is "difficult to do". Watching some videos online, the front 3 are easy but the rear 3 may require removal of some top end engine components and are still challenging to access.
 

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Difficult???? WTH - I was able to change all 6 plugs in 1-2 hours. It's not difficult and if you remove the intake it's much easier and even that is easy peasy. I have to admit, this is one of the easiest cars I've ever changed plugs on.
 
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I think the quoted price is reasonable with today's labor rates. If you have a little experience changing plugs or working on an engine it is not that difficult, but I probably would not want this engine to be my first spark plug change. I think on yours the intake manifold cover needs to come off, and if I recall there is a specific torque and tightening sequence to use when reinstalling. I seem to remember putting a new gasket in as well.
 

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Difficult???? WTH - I was able to change all 6 plugs in 1-2 hours. It's not difficult and if you remove the intake it's much easier and even that is easy peasy. I have to admit, this is one of the easiest cars I've ever changed plugs on.
I'd say it's one of the hardest vs. all of the vehicles I've owned. Chevy Small Block and LS are extremely easy in most vehicles. Inline 4 engines are a piece of cake. A transverse mounted V6 will always be more difficult due to the rear bank. This doesn't mean impossible, it just means difficult compared to other vehicles.
 

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2x transverse V6 in any brand FWD is harder to access rear plugs. Just like having to pull off engine covers to even see anything. Most folks don't realize the covers are there to quiet down injector ticking and not for looks.
 

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Guys, the intake manifold comes off in like 5 mins and the gasket is reusable. It's only 8 bolts and once off the rear plugs are easily changed in 5-10 mins. Don't know what all the fuss is about as it's really not that hard. Try working on my 95' TransAm (older LT1 block) with headers or my E70 BMW X5M (S63 motor) and then tell me about hard. These motors are a piece of cake.
 
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Gasket is only $15, I'd put a new on. My luck trying to track down a hidden vacuum leak under there I'm not taking chances.
Had a 3.0 24v Sable with a upper plenum vacuum leak, wouldn't idle when first started up cold in cold weather, idled fine once warmed up. Upper plenum gasket was leaking and would seal up from expansion once warmed up.
 
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I would definitely just spring for the new gasket to avoid aforementioned vacuum issues reusing the old, cheap insurance. It's not hard per se, if you're a half decent shadetree mechanic but you do need a torque wrench to properly re-install the intake mani and ideally torque the plugs (although I've used the gootentight method quite often), and from memory the rears are doable but tight and knuckle busters.

I haven't done them on a '13+ yet and ours will be due in 25k more miles...anyone know if you have to pull the intake on those too?

$260 isn't awful for a plug change to be honest, I just paid about $240 to have the dealer do a 6L80 fluid flush on the SS since they have the machine to make it easy (it's a bit of a PITA to DYI) and it was already there overnight for warranty work. I'd estimate that was an easier job for the tech then plugs on an LLT Traverse. Seems like you can't get a mechanic to do anything for less than $500 these days.
 
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On a similar note.
Tomorrow- I get my 6 plugs and intake manifold gasket.
This for the 3.6 in my 2013 Equinox.
I Believe the intake does have to come off...... I believe Ive read that with the intake off, its also easier to access the rear O2 sensor.. (which is also arriving tomm). (Nox is approaching 100,000).
 

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RB my 'nox is approaching 80k so that's my plug/O2 replacement mileage so that put that job on the list also.
 

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I guess I'm the only person who doesn't replace these parts until they are failing.
 

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the way I see it--- plugs and O2 sensors are not setting codes by 100K...
but they do wear. Damage to the catalytic converters can occur.
Here in California... we can only replace cats with OEM. Some folks replace with performance aftermarket- but they have to also be California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified. (they will have a license/permit # welded/stamped on).
We cant use universal type CATS.
When it comes time for our Smog Check- the shops inspect the exhaust system.

Not only that- the gas station close to my house is at $3.95 for regular.

So that means that its a no brainer to keep my plugs and cats in good shape. Keeps my MPGs up and Cats working fine.

I did learn a lesson when I was young. Had a 96 Saturn. I never changed the O2 sensors on it.
2002- to sell the car-owners have to smog the car. I failed smog check. Cant sell the car.
Had to replace O2 sensors (lazy) and the CAT. Umm yeah- expensive. Lesson learned.
Once I sold the Saturn. I got a Trailblazer- 2003.
Still in my driveway. I believe 185,000. I changed O2 sensors on it at 100K I believe. Still passes smog checks.
 

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the way I see it--- plugs and O2 sensors are not setting codes by 100K...
but they do wear. Damage to the catalytic converters can occur.
Here in California... we can only replace cats with OEM. Some folks replace with performance aftermarket- but they have to also be California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified. (they will have a license/permit # welded/stamped on).
We cant use universal type CATS.
When it comes time for our Smog Check- the shops inspect the exhaust system.

Not only that- the gas station close to my house is at $3.95 for regular.

So that means that its a no brainer to keep my plugs and cats in good shape. Keeps my MPGs up and Cats working fine.

I did learn a lesson when I was young. Had a 96 Saturn. I never changed the O2 sensors on it.
2002- to sell the car-owners have to smog the car. I failed smog check. Cant sell the car.
Had to replace O2 sensors (lazy) and the CAT. Umm yeah- expensive. Lesson learned.
Once I sold the Saturn. I got a Trailblazer- 2003.
Still in my driveway. I believe 185,000. I changed O2 sensors on it at 100K I believe. Still passes smog checks.
I don't disagree with the logic, or the logic that worn plugs puts more stress on coils and can cause them to fail so I should replace the plugs. But I've been through a lot of cars over the years and haven't had any issues with either. If I had more time on my hands (yay 3 kids under 7 and a wife in full time school!) I'd be on top of those things but right now I'm having trouble finding the time to do the timing belt on the Pilot since it's 7 years old, let alone finish up the turn signal/upper steering column rebuild on my '61 Impala so I can enjoy it now that it's warm.
 

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I hear ya... My 70 Monte Carlo (white walls and fender skirts) has been up against the garage wall... and one of the tires up against the wall- has gone flat.... well see how I get it out. But no use getting it out until I get replacement tires with whitewalls.
 
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I hear ya... My 70 Monte Carlo (white walls and fender skirts) has been up against the garage wall... and one of the tires up against the wall- has gone flat.... well see how I get it out. But no use getting it out until I get replacement tires with whitewalls.
I was running the fender skirts on the factory hubcaps and redline style tires. But I got a set of 17" chrome rallye wheels that I like better without the skirts. But those tires are pretty gross so I need to get them replaced this year too... I should probably start putting together my powerpoint presentation to the wife about why I should spend money on that car right now...
 

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I'm doing O2 sensors now at 80k as my Tahoe slowly started loosing mpg's at 90k. Changed plugs but they were not too oversized on gaps and no change to mpg. . After doing the O2's got 2 mpg back highway. That's a lot when you only get 18 mpg. . No codes or running issues on the old ones. I believe the sensors slowly degrading had it running richer thus putting more stress on it's expensive CA cats and IMO that is a reason for early cat failures in vehicles that do not have oil burning or misfire issues.
I'd rather spend $80 on new sensors than new CA spec. cats as I'm in NJ and we are CA spec. emissions. Universal cats or Fed. spec. ones will set cat efficiency codes on CA spec. vehicles. Went through that on my brothers Impala when he had a shop replace a cat with a cheaper Fed. spec one and it kept erratically setting codes.
 
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I'm doing O2 sensors now at 80k as my Tahoe slowly started loosing mpg's at 90k. Changed plugs but they were not too oversized on gaps and no change to mpg. . After doing the O2's got 2 mpg back highway. That's a lot when you only get 18 mpg. . No codes or running issues on the old ones. I believe the sensors slowly degrading had it running richer thus putting more stress on it's expensive CA cats and IMO that is a reason for early cat failures in vehicles that do not have oil burning or misfire issues.
I'd rather spend $80 on new sensors than new CA spec. cats as I'm in NJ and we are CA spec. emissions. Universal cats or Fed. spec. ones will set cat efficiency codes on CA spec. vehicles. Went through that on my brothers Impala when he had a shop replace a cat with a cheaper Fed. spec one and it kept erratically setting codes.
No arguing with any of that, I just haven't had the issue and the only person I know who's replaced an O2 sensor had the threads strip while removing the old one so he had to take it to a shop to have the threads re-tapped.

My dad has an '11 Yukon XL Denali, the 6.2 in those trucks is mighty impressive.
 

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Difficult???? WTH - I was able to change all 6 plugs in 1-2 hours. It's not difficult and if you remove the intake it's much easier and even that is easy peasy. I have to admit, this is one of the easiest cars I've ever changed plugs on.
😄😄 You haven’t been driving long.
 
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