Thursday, October 6, 2011

Something went wrong while changing spark plugs. Help!?

My dad and i were just changing the spark plugs in a 2003 Chrysler Town And Country. This is a 6 cylinder front wheel drive van, so 3 of the cylinders are facing the front, and 3 are facing the back. While we were changing the middle back one, the top half of the spark plug broke off, and from looking at the bottom half, the piece that broke was between 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch long. We were able to get the plug out, however we were not able to locate the top part. We just figured that it fell into the engine compartment somewhere. But when we finished changing all the plugs and started the car, the engine knocked very loudly, and would not stay running. My suspicion is that that part of the spark plug fell into the cylinder. In fact, im almost sure of it. My question is this, is there any way to tell for sure that this is what happened? Could we have just accidentally switched one of the wires? I know this is most likely to not be the case and that there probably is a piece of spark plug in the cylinder, but im just looking for some chance that this is not what happened. anyway, i know quite a bit about engines, and i aware of what could and probably did happen to the piston, cylinder, and valves. but does anyone know about how much a fair mechanic would charge to fix this? I know it wont be cheap, but im just seeing if anyone had some guesses. So, thanks for your help.
Something went wrong while changing spark plugs. Help!?
I did that.I got it out using a vacuum cleaner with a small pipe connected to it.
Something went wrong while changing spark plugs. Help!?
it sounds like you crossed a spark plug wire. after you broke the top off did you look in the socket for the top cuz the socket has a rubber ring to hold the spark plug. but if you did drop it in there it could be anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand to fix
You have a major problem, you will need to remove the cylinder head to remove the offending article, after that you may be ok, or your valves could be damaged.

You may on the other hand be very lucky and you will remove the debris, and the engine will fire up ok. Sell the car ASAP sell it as spares and repairs, sold as seen. If your lucky the engine wont fail for a while.... on the other hand it may start losing compression or it might have interupted the seal of the head gasket...... so it may ovrheat...

At this point learn your lesson always rotate the engine with no plugs first to see if there is any interference before even attempting to crank it. I think this will be a hard lesson if your unlucky. Sorry
Check the firing order first. Cost you nothing to double check.

If it all correct, was the lower half of the spark plug still all in tack, most likely nothing dropped it. If the center electrode was missing, then you may have problem.
Look again for the piece of spark plug that broke off to prove it's not in the cylinder. So your saying that the broken piece could have fallen down in the spark plug well so that when you removed the plug the piece fell through the plug hole into the cylinder? Use a mirror and flashlight to view around the plug to see what you find. Recheck the spark plug wire connections to make sure they're on the right plugs. Recheck the spark plug part number you installed to make sure it was the right plug for your engine.