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His spark
plugs are ready to blow!
Do you know what is causing this? hole, which is a little bigger than the since this truck is going on 20 years
old one. Then, we screw this sleeve
This is a well-known problem in in there and epoxy it in place. The
spark plug threads inside that new
this engine, Frank.
sleeve.
Apparently, the aluminum cylinder
head doesn’t have sufficient They work. Your mechanic is right
threads to keep the spark plugs that the insert should not fail again.
in place. Those spark plugs are So, I’m guessing you’ve had three
under tremendous pressure from different plugs blow out.
Thanks. — Frank

BY RAY MAGLIOZZI
Dear Car Talk:
I have a 2001 Ford Expedition
5.4-liter V8. I’m having an odd
problem: This week marks the third
time that a spark plug has been
ejected from my engine.
The first time this happened, my
mechanic said he “tapped” it. The
second time, he assured me that it
would never happen again. I’m not
sure if it’s the same cylinder, but it
just happened for the third time.

the explosions inside the cylinders.
Once they start to get loose, it’s just
a matter of time before they take off
like a North Korean rocket.

old, you might want to take it a
plug at a time. Who knows what else
might go in the truck before you get
through five more inserts.

You might even be able to delay
future problems by checking and
tightening your plugs on a regular
basis. Like once a week. Or twice an
The good news is you only have five hour. Good luck, Frank.
more inserts to pay for! The bad
***
news is that because each spark
plug in this engine has a coil built Got a question about cars? Write to Ray
on top of it, and that coil gets in care of King Features, 628 Virginia
ruined when the spark plug blows Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email
out, each insert is going to cost you by visiting the Car Talk website at
www.cartalk.com.
about $400 a pop.

The solution is what your mechanic
did. You “tap” a new spark plug hole.
There’s a kit we buy that comes with
an insert. It’s a sleeve that’s slightly
bigger than the existing spark plug You can do them prophylactically © 2019 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug
hole and has threads on the outside and replace them all now, so you Berman Distributed by King Features
and the inside. We drill out the new won’t have a problem again. But Syndicate, Inc.

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