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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.