Changing spark plugs on a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek

Messages
30
Location
GA
Thread starter
Greetings, Seems like it's a ridiculously tight fit between the fender chassis and plug location, especially the rear driver's side. I'll be replacing the plugs with OEM NGK. I have a combination of different sockets and extensions, but I doubt I can get my torque wrench in there. Am I good with hand-tight and then 1/2 a turn? The spark plugs are 14mm, if that helps. I'm assuming I'm working with aluminum, correct? Thanks! Just realized I posted in wrong forum. Mods, please move me to Mechanical, please. Thanks.
 
Last edited:
Messages
325
Location
Colorado
I just went through similar considerations of torque wrench vs. just tightening a portion of a revolution when I put new NGK plugs in my Maxima. NGK considers their specified amount of revolution past hand-tight an acceptable method of installing plugs. You can look up what they specify on their site. It is always a range and does vary depending on aluminum or not.
 
Messages
7,055
Location
The Midwest
I owned a WRX and put spark plugs in it once. Yes, your working with aluminum. The spark plugs have a long thread length, so you'd have to be a dumb Bubba to over tighten and strip the threads. Make sure the engine is cold when you do it. I tightened the spark plugs by feel. Anyone who's competent can do this by feel. Make sure you keep the ratchet squared while using it.
 
Messages
211
Location
Pennsylvania
Not sure if the engine bay layout is the same as on a WRX. I removed the battery on the drivers side for plug access. Also unbolted and set to the side ECU box on the passenger side. Access is tight I used a few extensions and universal joint with plug socket and 3/8 ratchet. I just snugged hand tight no torque wrench.
 
Messages
1,535
Location
TX, USA
Practice tightening by feeling on the front side first before doing the rear side? I usually just snug by hand using socket wrench and tap it 2x lightly.
 
Messages
1,445
Location
MN
45 minute job, if you know the tricks. Definitely take the battery out, and the air intake tube. My way of doing it is a little fiddly, but it works. I insert the spark plug socket bare, THEN slide the shortest 3/8 extension I can find in after it and get everything attached. Then loosen the plug. When it's free, use a small screwdriver or the like to stick down the spark plug hole and pop the socket free. Remove the extension, and use a flexible magnet to retrieve the socket and plug. Works for me every time.
 
Messages
950
Location
Battle Creek, MI
Just changed the plugs not too long ago on a 16 Crosstrek. Should be able to torque them down if you have the right set of extensions and maybe a wobbly or universal joint. It did take some time I do recall and as 14Accent said some disassembly is required.
 

4WD

Messages
13,527
Location
Texas
Just finished the Fusion Hybrid for the first time … removing/installing the plastic was harder than coils & plugs … LoL
 
Messages
71
Location
NM, USA
Originally Posted by Donald
Mechanic told me plugs are a real bear on Forester. Cannot imagine them any better on Crosstrek.
can confirm that / that's why I put iridiums in my wife's car so I'm hopefully set for the next years /
 
I have a couple older EJs and service a few more. I take out the whole intake tube and airbox on the passenger side, and on a couple models I pull the windshield washer tank to get the rear plug on the drivers side. It takes only about 5-8 extra minutes to pull the stuff off the fenderwells, but saves you 25-30 and a whole bunch of cuss words and scrapes trying to wrestle it with everything in place. I assume the newer ones still maintain bolt sizes, so a 10 & 12mm socket should allow you to disassemble everything for this job, or even about 80% of the entire vehicle. LOL All I ever need to do these plugs is the ratchet, a single straight 6" extension, and a 5/8" spark plug socket with the rubber. 3/8" torque wrench has plenty of room as well for access.
 
Messages
15,226
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
I supposedly have to do the plugs on my wife's car, but I'm going to leave them for another 30K. They are ruthenium-iridium alloy with the fingernail GND electrode. Should be good for 100K easy. So they stay in. Subaru of America should should be prosecuted for a shakedown on this 60Kmi plug replacement scam! There are a couple of good videos on youtube on doing this job This guy used autolites - they looked fine, and he said he noticed no loss in performance or fuel mileage and they are 1/2 to 1/3rd the cost of the ripoff NGK. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L1gSGqYQ6E Subaru has traditionally used Denso or Champion - not NGK. When the dealer used NGK on a tuneup on one of my wifes older subaru, the car ran poor - I had to pull them and put in the proper K20 PRU-11 Nippon Denso and then it ran great again. Not a NGK fan, had FAILS on most everything that used them or that I "downgraded" to NGK aver many decades. -Ken
 
Last edited:
Messages
661
Location
Minnesota
This may sound weird but on my Subaru's I would unbolt the two engine mounts and top mount, jack up the engine so the engine mount studs cleared the cross member and slide it over a few inches each way. It really made a huge difference and I could get my hands and a torque wrench in there.
 
Top