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I've got real old spark plugs and I'm worried they'll break. How worried should I be?

I have an '01 Focus sedan, manual, with 120,000 miles on it. 2.0 L Split Port. Not sure when the last time the spark plugs were replaced, but I think it's been a long time (like 60,000 miles or more). Possible the plugs have never been changed.

Engine's running a little rough and I think it's high time to change them. Unfortunately, as I read about it, its starting to sound like waiting for so long means I'll have problems.

I've got a buddy who's replaced his spark plugs before helping me out, but neither of us are experienced at all.

What should I do?

Also, I'm assuming there's nothing special to my '01 focus. It's gonna be about the same process as on this youtube video, right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxTMszZjfWk

btw, I'm a complete noobie, so sorry if I ask dumb questions. Great website. Ya'll seem real nice.
 

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Yes very straight forward , MAKE SURE you put anti-seize on the threads of the plugs and a little on the threads in the head , use a straw , long screwdriver to get it in the heads threads , dont need much this helps so they dont lock up in the head for when you change them next , just snug on tightening them not tight

Tom
 

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Good call on the DIY job--even the best mechanics started out doing something they'd never done before. We're all newbies at some point.

Change them when the engine is warm, not cold. That'll make them easier to remove. Just watch out for the exhaust manifold...

As Tom says, when you put the new ones in, use a bit of anti-seize on the threads so they'll be easier to get out next time. I use a chunk of plastic tubing over the narrow end to start screwing each plug in, to make sure it doesn't get cross-threaded, then finish with a socket. If you feel a lot of resistance, unscrew it and start again. It's way better to be overly cautious than to cross-thread a plug.

Good luck!
 

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Change them when the engine is warm, not cold.
Key here is WARM, not hot. After the engine reaches operating temp give the engine plenty of time to cool down. Working on hot/warm aluminum scares the hell out of me when it's on something like a head and since its softer as it gets warmer I lean more toward the cool side to feel safer.
 
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