Spark plugs are one of the most critical components inside your engine that need to be maintained. There’s a good probability you will need to replace your worn out spark plugs several times while you own a a 1998 Cadillac Catera. Spark plugs are one of the most important parts inside your engine as they begin the entire combustion process that starts and keeps your engine running for many thousands of miles. Like most engine parts and components, spark plugs experience wear over time and eventually need to be swapped out for new replacements, but fortunately this is a repair you can do yourself. Odds are, if you’ve found yourself here, you have no idea how to do that, or perhaps you’d just like to know what kind of spark plugs you need to buy. The complete process of changing your spark plugs should take about 20-45 minutes. This article will go over everything you will need to know about your Cadillac Catera’s spark plugs, whether you need some baseline information or a full, step-by-step guide to performing a spark plug change.
Correct spark plugs on a 1998 Cadillac Catera
AUTOLITE 5224[/caption]For any 1998 Cadillac Catera, you can use AUTOLITE 5224 spark plugs. These will be an exact fit and will match the required specifications of your engine. As this 1998 Cadillac Catera features a 6 cylinder engine, ensure you purchase 6 spark plugs. We always try to recommend the best possible spark plugs for the money, and these spark plugs are either a factory recomendation or an equivalent replacement available now at an affordable price.
How often should I change my spark plugs?
As a general recommendation, it is advised that you replace spark plugs once every 20,000 to 40,000 miles. Of course, please make sure to check your owner’s manual to determine the exact interval determined by Cadillac for the 1998 Catera. Of course, if you drive your vehicle more aggressively or own a Catera with some modifications, you may want to consider changing your spark plugs closer to the 20,000 miles end of that spectrum.
However, there are also classic signs of a car that may potentially need a spark plug replacement prematurely, such as:
- Problems starting your engine
- Rough idle
- Engine misfiring
As a quick note, keep in mind that this list is of course not comprehensive, and these problems on their own do not definitively point to the spark plugs being the standalone culprit. However, the best way to prevent any issues with your vehicle is to take care of it with organized maintenance, and you are definitely doing so with the responsible decision to replace your Cadillac Catera’s spark plugs on a regular basis.
Changing spark plugs on a 1998 Cadillac Catera
This is a process you should be able to do on your own with some commonplace garage tools. Of course, consult your owner’s manual, as well as a factory service manual (FSM for short) or an equivalent Haynes or Chiltons manual. The video shown below does a good job of outlining the process.
As noted before, you should be able to accomplish a spark plug change with some ordinary tools you likely already have. However, there are a few tools that are specific to this job that you may not have, and we also want to recommend some general tools that you should for sure have in your toolbox if you don’t already.
- A spark plug tester – this is definitely a niche tool, but it can save you lots of time. Although we’ve discussed spark plug replacement being a good thing to replace regularly and not just when issues occur, you may also be replacing your spark plugs because of a problem. This tool can help you diagnose the exact problem.
- A torque wrench is a essential tool to have in your arsenal. You will want to check your factory service manual to determine the correct torque rating to use when installing the new spark plugs for your 1998 Cadillac Catera to be sure they are installed properly.
- A set of spark plug sockets – These come in extremely handy because many standard sockets are not deep enough for spark plugs. Also, some spark plug holes are a bit smaller, so it requires a thinner wall like the one featured in the product here to fit. The linked product also features a magnet to keep a good hold of the spark plug so you do not drop it into your engine bay!
- A spark plug gap tool. This allows you to check the gap of your spark plugs and modify it if necessary. Most plugs will come pregapped, but if not, you should absolutely have one of these.
- I also highly recommend you have a feeler gauge as it makes it a bit more straightforward to check the exact gap, and it is useful for a decent number of other jobs.
Tips for changing spark plugs on your 1998 Cadillac Catera
Ensure you review the video above before you attempt to repair the spark plugs on your 1998 Cadillac Catera, as well as review your factory service manual. Be sure to check the tips shown here to help you as you complete this repair.
- One of the most important things to remember is to avoid overtightening the plugs or worse, cracking them due to overtightenting. Use a torque wrench capable of lower, more precise torque ratings to be sure that you don’t make this mistake.
- It’s not a bad idea to use dielectric grease when installing new spark plugs. You can apply a a very light coating to the inside of the boot and the ceramic part of your spark plugs. It lessens the chance of voltage leak and helps avoid the misfortune of the boot fusing to the spark plug over time.
- Take this (unofficial advice) lightly as many spark plug manufacturers advise against the use of anti-seize. However, I have heard from numerous old-school mechanics that they always apply a light coating of anti-seize to the threads of their spark plugs, especially on older vehicles.
- Before beginning, remove the negative terminal of your battery. It’s a good idea to disconnect the battery anytime you work on the electrical system of your Cadillac Catera or any other vehicle.
- Your engine should be completely cold before you replace your spark plugs. You should wait at least 30 minutes after any kind of operation before attempting to replace the spark plugs on your 1998 Cadillac Catera