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What is My Engine's Firing Order?

Look up your spark plug firing order.


engine wires

Spark plug firing order is crucial to engine performance.


*Skip to the bottom of the page if you just need to look up your vehicle's firing order.

Many backyard mechanics have had the unfortunate experience of confusing their spark plug wiring. It's easy to do this after a turn up. All of the plug wires come off of the spark plugs and the distributor cap, and you're thinking it'll be no problem remembering which wire goes where. After all, they are different lengths, and it should be fairly intuitive, right? Not always. There's no worse feeling than thinking you are at the end of your tune-up, only to have your engine not start, or sound awful, at the first turn of the key. Even worse, you may experience the dreaded firing order backfire, a shot from the tailpipe that sounds like a gunshot and almost guarantees you'll bang your head someplace from fright. If your plug firing order is not correct, the car will run sickly or not at all. Stuttering, spitting, backfiring and no-start can be caused by incorrect spark plug wire placement which results in an incorrect firing order. The firing sequence of your plugs is determined by the distributor, but if the spark plug wires aren't in the right firing order the engine will not run correctly. It's easy to screw this up, but thankfully it is now just as easy to correct!

Quick Tip: If you are installing new spark plugs, new spark plug wires, or a distributor cap, you'll be removing the plug wires. Stop! You don't need to remove all the wires at once. If you're replacing spark plugs, pull off only the wire for the plug you are removing, then put it back onto the new spark plug. Doing this one at a time ensures you won't mix them up. The same logic applies to distributor cap replacement. Remove the cap from the distributor with the wires still in place. Hold the new cap next to the old cap and move the wires over one at a time, plugging them into the same spot on the new cap. This way you are never left looking at a pile of spaghetti with no rhyme or reason. 

Use this firing order reference information to look up the firing order for your engine. Select the year, then the make of your car. You'll need to know what type of engine you have.

To look up the correct firing order for your car or truck, choose the year of your vehicle below:

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