Since replacing the plugs is no longer an annual service, most vehicle manufacturers stopped making them accessible. Today, replacing the plugs may require removing the intake manifold and a lot of other work to reach them.

Back in your parents’ day — or yours if you’re really old — a tuneup was an annual event for maintaining your car. The mechanic replaced the spark plugs, points and condenser, and checked or replaced the rest of the ignition system, all for $19.95 (really old). And, because it was such a regular occurrence, the spark plugs were pretty easy to reach. In most cases, you could get to them just by opening the hood. In fact, one manufacturer got a lot of bad publicity when they built a car that required jacking the engine up to reach one of the spark plugs.

But in the last 20 years or so, the tuneup has changed. The spark plugs in most cars shouldn’t need to be replaced for about 50,000 miles… or even longer. And the manufacturers are no longer concerned with making it easy to reach those spark plugs. On many cars, you need to remove the intake manifold and carefully disconnect and remove the individual ignition coils from each cylinder before you can get to the spark plugs. It’s a big job, and one that requires a lot of time and experience.

The good news is it’s one you shouldn’t have to worry about too often; in fact, for many people it won’t come up at all. The better news is, if you need your car’s spark plugs replaced, you don’t need to look any further than your nearby Cottman Transmission and Total Car Care center.

The technicians at your local Cottman center have all the tools and experience necessary to replace your car’s spark plugs, and get your car running like new. And, at the same time, they’ll let you know if there’s anything else that’s due for service, and offer to take care of that at the same time. So you’ll get your car back quickly, without the hassle of bringing it back again and again.

Yes, spark plugs are an expensive proposition. But the folks at your local Cottman center will take care of it for you properly, without spending any more than necessary.