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Judd944 08-12-2008 08:47 PM

Spark plug DIY at 100k 745i
Changed the oil and did the spark plugs last weekend. Did not find a good writeup so I made one. I have a work document with photos. can I attach that?

Spark Plug change 2003 BMW 745i (E65)

I changed the oil first but taking the car off the ramps will make for better access. All the work is done from the top.

Tools needed:
Torx T30
Torx T25
Spark plug socket
10mm extended socket
2 3/8 drive extensions
Tape (trust me on this)
Torque Wrench

Parts Needed:
8 new NGK spark plugs ($28 each at dealer, or under $2 each at Advance Auto)

Using the T30 torx screwdriver remove the four screws that hold the plastic engine cover to the top of the engine.

I also removed the plastic guards above the radiator fan for better access (T25)

I took this opportunity to vacuum the top of the engine and then used some compressed air to clean the dust and dirt off the engine. (do not do this with the spark plugs out!!!)

The next part that comes off is the “BMW” side covers. They will just pull straight out. They are held in by friction. No tools are needed for removal.

Now you will be looking at the coils on the spark plugs.

The coils should be removed one at a time. I started at the front and worked my way back to the firewall.
Below is a coil that has been removed.

Some of these are difficult to remove and will require some serious pulling. Rotate them back and forth to loosen the coils. Do not use any tools to pry the coils out. You do not want to break the harness clip.

The rear plugs (closest to the firewall) are a serious PITA. I needed to tape a few shorter 3/8 extensions together as I put them into the spark plug hole. Removing them I needed to cut the tape and remove each piece one at a time.

Below is the “tool” I made

Be sure to apply anti-seize on the threads before installing the new sparkplugs.
Torque the new sparkplugs in to 19 ft-lbs (or whatever the plugs state)

Push on the coil and be sure it “pops” back on. It will kind of click when it is on all the way. Clip on the harness and you are back in business.

Be sure to start the car before putting the covers back on the engine and take this time to reset the spark plug counter to 100k.
• Put the key in, do not put your foot on the brake
• Hit the start button
• Hold down the trip reset for 10 sec.
• Page through until you get to spark plugs and reset the value

My wife noticed MPG went from 24mpg to 25.6 mpg. Looks like the spark plugs were due! I changed them at 95k.

Din 08-13-2008 09:05 AM

good deal , usaid u have pics?

wepasi 10-21-2008 08:38 PM

big up the intel...will do mine this weekend ..thanx...
where are the pics?

Judd944 10-22-2008 08:52 AM

I have them on my computer at home. I will work on getting them up for you guys.

starioncorrado 10-22-2008 03:03 PM

Thanks fro this post, I did it with in 45 minutes. It is as easy as 1,2,3 !!!!:thumbup:

STRTWYZ 10-22-2008 03:42 PM

Nice write up Judd! Pics would be really nice since I'm 'toopid' and I'm better at reading pictures. ie: pron.

Lastly. What did you gap your plugs at?

Judd944 10-23-2008 10:05 AM

doh, forgot the pics last night. I did not adjust the gap on the spark plugs.

Judd944 10-23-2008 07:50 PM

6 Attachment(s)
for some reason I could not edit my first post. I hope these photos help.

Din 10-24-2008 08:32 AM

spark plugs should come pregapped but it is always best to double check.

Call Me Daddy 10-24-2008 09:38 AM

Nice write up - how much would this have cost to have done??

Judd944 10-27-2008 07:37 AM

not sure, has anyone paid to have the spark plugs changed on the board?

imgammara 10-27-2008 10:42 AM

Do you remember the spark plug number you used? The NGK number?

starioncorrado 10-27-2008 12:10 PM

Dealer price was on y 7 was gonna be 320 with labor and parts. doing it yourself about 75 dollars or so. Not bad and really easy to do. The only ones to give you hell are the back of the backs. LOL!!!!:thumbup:

Judd944 10-28-2008 08:10 AM

I do not recall the NGK part # sorry. Autozone had it listed when I told them the car was a 2003 745i

AZIPOD 10-28-2008 08:31 AM

$2 for Platinum spark plugs???? Are you sure you got the right ones?

diznik007 10-28-2008 10:15 AM

platinum spark plugs are not $2. they should have been at least $10 each. sorry, i think you got the wrong plugs

diznik007 10-28-2008 03:50 PM


Originally Posted by imgammara (Post 3654411)
Do you remember the spark plug number you used? The NGK number?

Spark Plug - NGK BKR6EQUP

or go to

Judd944 10-29-2008 10:25 AM

I did not get the platnum ones. they are not the 4 prong ones. I heard bad things about the Bosch 4 prong ones from the E39 4.4L engine. I always ran one prong on that engine and changed them every 100k.

blk45 10-29-2008 02:45 PM

Should have got the NGKs.

AZIPOD 11-02-2008 12:21 PM

Somehow running $2 spark-plugs for 100,000 miles on a BMW 7, or any other car for that matter just doesn't sound right.....

fwd4g63 11-02-2008 01:35 PM

thanks for the writeup and directions. i did my plugs today. switched out for ngk iridium plugs. smoother idle and i will see about gas mileage. I didnt have to use the tap but did use 2 extensions for the back to plugs and just seperated them as they came out. Made life much easier.

teejaylentz 11-02-2008 06:17 PM

I just finished changing my plugs today. Took me almost 3 hours... first time on a BMW, although I have done it on several other vehicles including a Ford V8. (can't imagine finishing this in 45 min!!!) The pain points were the back plugs which are difficult to maneuver and a problem where a couple of coil boots got stuck inside the spark plug hole and persistent effort inserting and removing the coil would not get enough friction to pull them out. I was able to solve this by sticking a latex glove over the end of the coil, insert it into the hole and pull the rubber boot out with it. This worked on both of the coils where the boots got stuck inside.

It's apparent also that I have a valve cover leak as I found some oil on the spark plugs and coil boots (which I think is what made the coil boots get stuck!). This doesn't appear to be severe as I see no oil on the bottom of the engine block itself.

I used NGK Iridium (BKR6EIX) plugs (Schuck's has them for $6.99 and gave me a 10% discount to boot!).

Maybe it's my imagination, but I noticed the car seems more responsive after changing the plugs.

tpk1969 12-13-2008 04:08 PM

Thank you
Thank you for the directions and the pics. Could have been done in an hour if one of the ratchet extension didn't drop to the heat/protection shield below. Extra twenty minutes there jacking up the car, etc.

biggswole53 06-21-2009 11:52 PM

This helped big time. I will write more, but it is 3am.

pgammon1789 06-22-2009 03:36 PM

NGK Iridium Plugs are GREAT - 745Li
I recently had some problems with 2 spark plug coils so I upgraded to the BAV AUTO hi performance coils and changed out my spark plugs while I was at it.

I first replaced the plugs with Bosch 4+ platinum and was NOT satisfied with performance (lost 1-2 MPG). I did some research on the forum and learned about the NGK Iridium plugs. I bought these at Advance Auto for $6.99 (NGK #BKR6EIX) and noticed a BIG difference. I have never been able to tell a difference between plugs before but this is amazing. I've increased performance (2-4+ MPG), response, idle is smooth, and overall engine is much improved. I have since changed plugs in all my cars to the NGK Iridium and noticed improvement in all of them (no I don't work for NGK ):thumbup:

Cost at the dealership would have been $200 for plugs ($25 each) plus 2-3 hours labor so cost for plugs alone would have been $400 easily. Plugs cost me $60 with tax.

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