Simple as they might seem, spark plugs are absolutely essential for your Honda. As all OE parts though, they have a certain lifetime.
So what’s next when you need to replace them? What would be the best spark plugs for Honda Accord, Civic or Pilot?
The best option would be sticking to OEM specifications, honestly. With Honda cars, this means NGK spark plugs. As an alternative, you can use Denso parts.
Here are a few recommendations I have for you on the best spark plugs:
For Honda Civic: This NGK V-Power is great for older 2001-2005 Civics with 1.7L engine. That’s a copper spark plug so you’ll need to change it faster (~30k miles or so) than newer platinum or iridium ones.
If you prefer a platinum option, these Denso TT plugs cover 2000-2011 Civic models.
For Honda Accord & Honda Pilot: I’d recommend you get the NGK IX Iridium. This set of NGK plugs fits 2008-2017 Accord models perfectly. It also fits 2009-2017 Honda Pilot vehicles.
The IX is NGK’s premium spark plug line. You can expect outstanding longevity (easily more than 80-90k miles), so the higher price tag is generally worth it.
Important note: The proper spark plug gap on Honda cars is .043” (or 1.1mm). All of the plugs I recommended above fit that specification.
If you decide to go for platinum or iridium plugs, do not touch or try to adjust them. There’s a high chance that you’ll break the more delicate tip. They come pregapped, so just check whether everything’s alright.
And another additional note – especially with IX iridium, there’s trivalent plating on the spark plug threads. Don’t put anti-seize on them. This will affect the torque values and you might mess things up.
Always double-check your vehicle fit! For NGK, you can do that on their site.
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What does Honda use for OEM plugs? Which material is the best?
As I mentioned, most of Honda vehicles come with NGK spark plugs installed with them. Some select models have Densos inside. This doesn’t correlate to VTEC or not, 1.7L or 3L and other technical specifications.
I know a lot of people choose to put Bosch spark plugs in their Honda cars. I don’t really recommend it – there’s a reason why Honda as a manufacturer put Japanese plugs in everything from Accord to Civic, Element or Pilot etc.
As for the material…
Obviously, copper is the cheapest. However, its mileage clocks at anywhere between 20k and 40k miles, on average around 30k. Platinum spark plugs double that; iridium can more than triple the mileage – on a triple price, though.
Performance-wise, the material doesn’t matter much. There’s only one exception: iridium spark plugs are the best choice if you’re running boost. For standard setups, though, performance is the same.
Best Spark Plugs for Honda Civic:
NGK V Power or Denso Platinum TT
Civics are a bit of a special case because I believe either brand works fine for that specific model. It’s a close battle without a clear winner.
As I mentioned, 2001-2005 Civic models can grab a few V Power spark plugs. If you have a ’02 Civic with a 1.7L engine etc., you’ll get an OEM-like fit. Straight plug and play.
For newer Civic models, V Power’s copper technology might be less optimal than skipping to Denso’s Platinum TT spark plugs.
These are a direct competitor of NGK G Power and count as platinum spark plug kings as I wrote in a previous review.
If you’re looking for better conductivity, you’ll love the copper performance of V Power. If you want something more long-lasting in terms of mileage, the TT will be just fine.
Alternatively, you can look at fitting IX Iridium spark plugs. However, for older Honda Civic models that might not be an option at all. In any case, for this particular model, I wouldn’t steer away from NGK or Denso. Other people have also recommended this on online communities – with a reason.
Anything else will not damage your car in any way, but it will affect the smooth performance and OE style fit…As this isn’t what Honda intended for your vehicle.
Best Spark Plugs for Honda Accord & Pilot:
There are several advantages of NGK’s IX line, which is probably the best iridium spark plug product.
First, as I mentioned, these last a few times longer than any older tech copper plug, and outlast platinums too. This is enabled by the iridium alloy inside – with its heat resistance, it jives well with high performance modern engines.
Design-wise, two important features are the corrugated ribs and the triple sealing system. The former takes care of flashover prevention, the latter keeps the plugs from leaking out.
This is a very good video outlining NGK’s different plug types and the beauty of the IX iridium:
The biggest drawback of these is the price. However, if you consider the extended lifetime due to their construction…Well, it evens out in the end. Plus, you won’t waste a few hours changing your sparks every 20-30k miles.
How to replace the spark plugs on a Honda?
Similar to replacing Honda brake pads, DIYing this can save you quite a few bucks. I’ve heard of people getting quoted ridiculous sums by dealers.
Here’s a very good video that outlines the process. It’s for a 2003-2007 Honda Accord, but the procedure is similar for other models too.
Just remember – don’t put anti-seize on the threads! This guy did it, but it’s a mistake as it affects torque calculations:
The toughest part would be the 3 back spark plugs (depends on your engine too). Apart from that, this is a 3/10 DIY project that will save you a pretty penny. It’s not as hard as changing your Honda’s shocks or struts, for example.
Alright, I guess it’s time to wrap it up! Bottom line is, as long as you stay close to Japanese manufacture, your Honda – as a Japanese vehicle itself, will be smooth and ready for the streets. Just as it should be, right?