Did the annoying check engine light illuminate on your dash while the engine started vibrating?
Great! You're in the right place. In this ProperMechanic.com guide, you will learn the following:
- The best spark plugs for a 5.3 Silverado engine
- Techniques on how to install spark plugs correctly
- Tips for inspecting the condition of spark plugs
And much more!
So, if you just got a misfire code on the scanner, you could have a failed spark plug!
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and successfully install new spark plugs on your 5.3 Silverado engine.
Our Top Pick
Our Top Pick
ACDelco 41110 Iridium
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NGK TR5IX Iridium IX
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Best High End
Best High End
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Bosch 9602 Double Iridium
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The 5.3L engine that is found in the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe, and Cadillac vehicles is a powerful gas-powered engine that has classic full-size pickup truck performance.
If you have just purchased a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra from a private seller, one of the first things you are going to want to do is inspect the spark plugs to see what condition they are in.
This V8 engine boasts 270 horsepower and is known for lasting up to 300 thousand miles, so you are going to have to change the spark plugs out a few times for the best performance results.
Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated As of 4/7/2019
When working on high-performance engines like the 5.3 Silverado, the best solution in most cases when replacing parts is to use the same part that the vehicle came with straight out of the factory.
You never know what the engineers have changed or left out in the process of making an aftermarket part, and for this reason, you shouldn't trust most aftermarket parts when replacing an essential piece like a spark plug.
As you may have noticed, Iridium is the best solution for resisting heat and sealing off the combustion chamber on the 5.3L.
You can also safely use the ACDelco 41-962 Professional Platinum due to its similar composition, but it's probably a good idea to stick to the manufacturer's recommended options.
Note: If you are in a pinch and need to replace the spark plugs, then any parts on the previous list will be a reliable choice, and you can't go wrong with good Amazon reviews.
ACDelco is the preferred option from experienced technicians and parts specialists, so it's a good idea to use the best option if you are going for the best performance and efficiency results.
Top 5 Best Spark Plugs For a 5.3 Chevy Silverado
Check out our below list for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about your other options!
- ACDelco 41110 Iridium (Top Pick)
- NGK TR5IX Iridium IX (Best Budget)
- Denso Iridium (Best High End)
- Bosch 9602 Double Iridium
- Autolite XP-104
How To Change Spark Plugs For Your Chevy Silverado 5.3L engine?
When removing your spark plug, don't forget to use the correct socket that is made specifically for spark plugs.
You'll know it's the right socket if it has a soft rubber material on the inside where the connector side of the plug is protected during removal and installation.
Your spark plugs aren't the only reason your engine is misfiring. Another common failure is in the ignition coils. So, if you have a misfire code and the associated spark plug is looking exceptionally clean, then you are going to want to then check the ignition coil next to see if it has failed.
The easiest way to check your engine coil function is by trading it with the engine coil from a different cylinder and testing the results.
After removing the spark plug, inspect the threads and electrodes for oil, the condition of the gasket, and the ceramic insulator for cracks. An old spark plug will have excessive corrosion that inhibits the ability to spark, and an oil problem on the threads and electrodes for oil could mean that you've got bigger problems to solve.
Gapping the Spark Plug
Use a feeler gauge to gap the spark plug to the correct measurement. Don't forget that the two electrodes on the tip of the plug have to be at a very precise distance apart from each other for peak performance.
It is even possible to see a check engine light if the electrodes aren't spaced properly, so set the spark plug gap as accurately as you can. If you aren't sure how to gap a spark plug, don't be afraid to ask a professional to help you out in the process.
You can always learn something from an automotive professional who has more experience than you.
You will need a torque wrench when installing the spark plugs; 12-15 ft. lbs. is a safe torque spec, but you should also refer to each specific product.
The first important piece of information you need before you install the spark plug is the torque spec for knowing how tight to go with the threads.
If you are in a pinch without a torque wrench, you can grasp the wrench with your fist closest to where the socket meets the wrench to avoid tightening too tight.
It's a good idea to have an idea beforehand of how tight to go to avoid cracking the ceramic insulator.
If you tighten the plug too tight, you will hear the ceramic top part of the spark plug break, and you will be left with a misfiring engine.
Are There Different Types of Spark Plugs For the 5.3 Silverado engine?
There are always different options when it comes to purchasing spark plugs for your vehicle, and you should always go with a factory-recommended option to ensure the proper function of your engine.
The NGK v-power spark plugs have a v carved into the electrodes to make for a higher performance spark, and there are always brands that are known to last longer than others.
Some brands are generally more trusted and used than other brands.
If the part is made in the USA, Japan, or Germany, then you can trust that it is most likely a functioning part that is not going to fail easily.
Chinese vehicles and parts aren't quite up to par with the standards of the rest of the world(yet), so absolutely under no circumstances should you put a Chinese spark plug into your Chevy 5.3L engine.
How To Choose The Spark Plug Wires For My Chevy or GMC with the 5.3L Engine?
The best spark plug wires are always the factory recommended. The first place to start is by talking to a parts professional at a licensed Chevy, GMC or Cadillac dealer to find out if they have any specific recommendations.
But don't be too quick to purchase from the dealer because you are probably going to find the right spark plug wires on Amazon for a cheaper price, and you aren't going to have to leave your front door with the great delivery services Amazon offers.
Read More >> How to Gap a Spark Plug
How Long Should My Spark Plugs Last In My 5.3 Engine?
If your valve cover is all sealed up, then your spark plugs are probably going to last for at least 100 thousand miles. If you care about maintaining your Chevrolet, General Motors or Cadillac and want it to have a long life(which you should), then you should replace your spark plugs about every 60 thousand miles.
You might not think that a spark plug is an important part of your engine's performance, but consider the fact that it is a high-precision tool that is built to constantly withstand high-voltage electricity.
So think smart when it's time to put the part that supports a lightning bolt going through it at all times. You are going to want the best you can get.
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use these spark plugs for the best all-around performance of your Chevy or GMC vehicle.
Keep in mind that not all aftermarket products are a wise choice, and some provide you with high performance at an extra cost. OEM replacement with the manufacturer recommended part is always the best idea when repairing your vehicle.
Read More >> How to Clean a Spark Plug
Top 5 Best Spark Plugs For the 5.3 Chevy Silverado Engine
The AC Delco brand is a top pick among many sources when it comes to replacing the spark plugs on your 5.3 Chevy engine.
The reason why most dealerships and online resources will tell you to go with AC Delco is that it is the factory recommended part.
Plus, AC Delco is an American brand, so you will be supporting the economy of the US when purchasing AC Delco. Here are some reasons why the 41110 Iridium is such a great choice:
NGK is another trusted brand that is priced high-end because of the performance and reputation that comes with the NGK brand.
If you take pride in your vehicle, then you are going to want to purchase high-quality parts. NGK is a Japanese brand that has a reputation for quality.
So if for some reason the TR5IX is your only option, don't hesitate to use it inside your 5.3 Silverado engine with confidence.
Denso is another aftermarket brand that makes decent parts.
This is a Japanese brand that was originally owned by Toyota, so that's better than throwing some random off-brand spark plugs that are made in some unknown foreign country in your quality American pickup truck.
If you have any doubts about using a Denso Iridium spark plug in your 5.3 Silverado engine but don't have any other options, give your local dealership a call and talk to a parts professional.
You can't go wrong with purchasing anything that's made by Bosch. And just because this isn't the most recommended part for the 5.3L Chevy engine doesn't mean it's not a sound solution.
This German company is one of the largest manufacturers of automobile parts on the market today with an excellent reputation for quality.
Parts like the XP-104 Iridium spark plugs are also a good option when replacing the spark plugs.
As you can tell by now, the 5.3 engine combustion chamber gets super hot, so you are going to want spark plugs made from iridium because of the super heat-resistant capabilities.
If you want to buy American, Autolite is another great choice.
Our Top Pick: ACDelco 41110 Iridium
Iridium plugs by ACDelco is our top choice because they have been recommended on the web more than any other brand for this specific engine.
You can't go wrong with American quality, especially when you are working with American vehicles like the Chevy Silverado. If you are looking for a professional iridium spark plug, the ACDelco iridium going to be the best fit for the job.
Iridium is said to be the second densest metal in existence, so it only makes sense when working with a V8 motor like 5.3 that has the potential for some serious combustion heat.
Read More >> How to Remove a Broken Spark Plug
Final Thoughts for the Best 5.3 Silverado Spark Plugs
You should always replace the full set of spark plugs when you go digging into your motor, however, not all of your spark plugs have to be new. You can get away with replacing a single spark plug.
Another important procedure is that you should spray each cylinder out with the air compressor before installing the new spark plug to make sure the threads are clear of debris.
There are instances where little parts of debris from a broken spark plug fall into the cylinder, and it can potentially cause an alarming noise when first starting up the engine.
Important: If you are replacing your spark plugs because they are covered in oil, be sure to take care of the oil leak first. There is no point in dropping $50+ on a set of new spark plugs to discover that they are caked in oil that is once again coming out of the valve covers.
If there is no oil leaking out of your valve covers, and your spark plugs are still caked in oil, then you should most definitely perform a cylinder compression test to make sure your piston rings are still functioning properly.
If you have bad piston rings that are letting oil into the combustion chamber, then you are going to need to rebuild the engine before replacing the spark plugs.
Read More >> What Does a Bad Spark Plug Look Like?