One of the most important aspects of vehicle maintenance is ensuring your spark plugs are in good working order. There’s a good chance you will be required to replace your worn out spark plugs several times while you own a a 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio. 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. Similar to most engine components, spark plugs experience wear over time and eventually need to be replaced, but fortunately this is a repair you can do yourself. Chances 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 entire process of changing your spark plugs should take approximately 20-45 minutes. This article will go over everything you’ll need to know about your Volkswagen Cabrio’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 Volkswagen Cabrio
NGK 7090[/caption]For any 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio, you can use NGK 7090 spark plugs. These will be an exact fit and will match the required specifications of your engine. As this 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio features a 4 cylinder engine, ensure you purchase 4 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 in today’s market at a reasonable 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 Volkswagen for the 1998 Cabrio. Of course, if you drive your vehicle more aggressively or own a Cabrio 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 earlier than the recommended schedule, such as:
- Engine misfiring
- Rough idle
- Problems starting your engine
Note that this list is of course not comprehensive, and these problems on their own do not necessarily point to the spark plugs being the solitary culprit. However, the best way to prevent any issues with your vehicle is to take care of it with routine maintenance, and you are definitely doing so with the responsible decision to replace your Volkswagen Cabrio’s spark plugs on a regular basis.
Changing spark plugs on a 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio
This is a process you can 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 probably 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 commonplace tools that you should definitely have in your toolbox if you don’t already.
- A set of spark plug sockets – These come in very handy because many standard sockets are not deep enough for spark plugs. Additionally, 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 increase or decrease it if necessary. Most plugs will come pregapped, but if this is not the case, you should for sure 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 helpful for a decent number of other jobs.
- A torque wrench is a very important tool to have in your toolbox. You will want to check your FSM (factory service manual) to determine the correct torque rating to use when installing the new spark plugs for your 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio to be certain they are installed properly.
- 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 something going wrong. This tool can help you diagnose the exact problem.
Tips for changing spark plugs on your 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio
Be sure to reference the video above before you attempt to repair the spark plugs on your 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio, as well as review your FSM (factory service manual). Additionally, we have some tips below here to help you as you do this repair.
- Before starting, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery. It is wise to disconnect the battery anytime you work on the electrical system of your Volkswagen Cabrio or any other vehicle.
- 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.
- 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 Volkswagen Cabrio
- The most important thing 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 isn’t 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.