Spark Plug Change Tutorial: Volvo 850, S70, V70, XC70, C70

Spark Plug Change Overview

Volvo’s 5 cylinder engines take 5 spark plugs, and the debate rages as always as to whether Bosch Platinums are better than Champion or NGK. The safe route is OEM Volvo turbo 5-cylindernon-turbo 5-cylinder or Champion RC8PYP.

” …have special cameras and radar that are calibrated to work in harmony with safety features like adaptive cruise control, stay-in-lane systems and high-beam control. Recalibration has to be done whenever the windshield is replaced.”

The tools you are going to need

  • 5 new spark plugs (I bought OEM Plugs ordered from FCP Groton (
  • 5/8 socket – specifically for spark plug use – so it is long enough to fit the plugs. I got one for $3.99 from AutoZone and it goes with a standard ratchet.
  • The OEM plugs come gapped to the right amount. The right gap is 0.028″. A gapping tool might be required if you use other plugs. It is good to have a gapping tool anyway – they go for about $0.99 at the local auto store.
  • T30 Torx head.
  • anti-seize thread lubricant. Make sure that it is formulated for high temperature use – It should say so on the back of the tube.
  • pliers and some WD40 (optional)

Spark Plug Change Step 1

Get the various tools and spark plugs assembled and make sure you’ve got everything you need laid out. There is nothing time sensitive about this, so take your time.

Spark Plug Change Step 2

Use the Torx bit to remove the six bolts as shown below. Then remove the black cover.

Spark Plug Change Step 3

This is what the head looks like with the black cover off. You can see the five plugs.

Spark Plug Change Step 4

Disconnect one of the boots. The pictures below show #3 boot disconnected and the plug inside.

Spark Plug Change Step 5

Remove the plug. Following picture shows the old plug.

Spark Plug Change Step 6

Apply a dab of anti-seize to the thread. Be careful not to get any of that grease between the electrodes. Another suggestion I heard was using a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust before installing the new plug.

Spark Plug Change Step 7

Install the new plug. You need to feel your way here to make sure you’re not cross-threading! Be careful on this step; stripping the threads here is one of the worst places to do it on a car. One trick is to cut a length of surgical tubing, about a foot, and pop one end over the spark plug tip, then use that to grab the initial turn or two, the theory being is that the tubing isn’t strong enough to cross-thread the spark plug onto the aluminum engine block.

Hand tighten it until you feel the Crush Washer collapse, then stop.

Spark Plug Change Step 8

Reconnect the boot. Check to make sure that the boot is all the way down.

Spark Plug Change Step 9

I found it easier to do one plug at a time – i.e., disconnect boot, remove old plug, install new plug and connect boot. I started with the #5 plug which is by far the hardest to reach and pull out. Unless you have very slender and dexterous fingers – I had to use a pliers to pull #5 out.

Spark Plug Change Step 10

Put the black cover back on. I used some WD40 to clean the rust off the torx screws before reinstalling.

Spark Plug Change Step 11

Start the engine, sit back and appreciate your handiwork. That’s all folks !!

Spark Plug Change Tutorial By Ajay, May 21, 2004

Comment here: Volvo Forum: Spark Plug Change Discussion

36 Replies to “Spark Plug Change Tutorial: Volvo 850, S70, V70, XC70, C70”

  1. First off this was a great help. I did it with a friend of mine and had no trouble at all.

    But as for that 5th plug i suggest getting one of those magnets that you can extend and reach down into tight places with. My friend had one available and it worked like a charm!

    Unfortunately I’m not sure where to get one. I’d try an auto store because that would seem logical. But if it’s not there then maybe walmart. Those are just my guesses.

  2. The spark plugs will be easier to put in and take out if the spark plug socket has a foam rubber liner that grips the plugs by the insulator. No slim fingers needed. :>)


  3. Thanks so much for this post. I used it for my 2001 S60 T5 and it worked like a charm! I agree that the photographs make all the difference and I appreciate the fact that you took the time to put this together.

  4. An old timers trick for re-threading plugs with no possible chance to cross thread:

    Use a piece of suitable size rubber vacuum hosing (50 cents at a parts store) about 8″ long or so and push it over the top end of the spark plug then put the spark plug down in there and turn the rubber hose to re thread. The idea is the rubber hose will slip on the top of the plug before it will strip your valve cover. I have done this a 100 times on several cars and it works like a charm every time.

  5. I’ve been getting oil on top of the valve cover. Also light smoke coming out of dipstick. I’m assuming I need to replace or clean the PCV. I left the black cover off of the valve cover to monitor the oil (easy access to plugs). Plugs were recently changed and gapped accordingly. Car is running rough in low gear and check engine light is on. Misfire in cylinder 1. Cleaned oil off of the plug threads in cylinders 1, 2 and 3. Any suggestions as to what is causing my misfire in cylinder 1?

    4-5-1 Misfire Cylinder 1
    5-4-3 Misfire At Least One Cylinder
    5-5-1 Misfire Cylinder 1 / Three-Way Cat Damage
    5-4-5 Misfire At One Cylinder / Three-Way Cat Damage

    Just did Seafoam treatment today. Didn’t seem to help. Hopefully you can, Matt 😉

  6. Excellent tutorial!. Just did a tune up on my 98 V70XC. One comment – on turbo engines, take off the turbo to intercooler pipe that runs over the top of the head by the No. 5 plug and distributor , makes for much easier access to the No. 5 plug, distributor cap and the wires if you are changing them as well. Easy to remove and install, just hose clamps on the rubber hoses on each end, plus the 10 mm bolt on the bracket above the engine. Put a rag in the exposed turbo outlet port with the hose off to prevent dropping anything in there.

    No problems getting the new plugs to thread down in the wells, just put them into the rubber insert plug socket with two short shaft extensions and lowered away.

  7. Hi Guys, Great tutorial and the photos makes things so much easier, I’ve just done mine but after finishing the (engine electronic system) light on the dash has come on..!! engine seems to be running smooth, no misfiring, but cant work out why this light has come on, has this happened to anyone here??

  8. Your site helped out alot. Changed the plugs, wires today and it runs good. The only problem I had was the rubber part that goes over the plug seperated from the plug when I pulled the wire off. In turn I tore it to pieces as I had to use a needle nose to pull that rubber part off the plug.

  9. Way to go! This article just saved me $100.00 bucks!
    Easy to do and follow; be cautious, I broke one of the small clips that holds the wires on to the coil :-/. Easy to repair with a couple of zip ties

  10. I have a 2000 volvo s70 GLT that need a tune up and I wanted to know at what lbs. to torque the top bolts back down and the spark plugs and at sequence do I put the new plugs in?

  11. Please help out my spark plugs are completely frozen in place. Husband a mechanic and replaced coil in cyl 1 & 3 but spark plug will not budge. Ideas please.

  12. 18.4 ft/lbs is a “sufficient amount” if you have a torque wrench. I like to blow out the dust in the plug wells with a n air hose or you can just blow thru a straw but it will get in your face. It keeps any abrasive sand or rust particles out of your cylinders (and then your oil).

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