Can a broken spark plug damage the engine?
The most common engines that have the problem are Ford 4.6, 5.4 & 6.8-liter engines. Spark plugs being blown out of the cylinders due to the aluminum threads failing. So the spark plugs need to be tight enough to avoid vibrates.
If loose then you will hear slight ticking sound/noise. Thus The coil keeps the plug from backing out completely. And breaks the coil on the way out. And, your car faces the verge of ruin, and replacement is often a must.
A broken plug piece guarantees catastrophic engine failure. Driving with a broken spark plug means an accident for sure.
Ford blown spark plug repair cost – [Complete Cost Guide]
Cost depends on making year, make model, size engine and outside diameter of the failed insert.
If you prefer to change the entire engine just to remove the foul spark plug, then go for it. Changing the engine of this Ford model would cost between $6,000 – $12,000.
Changing the cylinder heads only costs a little less than the previous one. Most probably $2,000 to $4,000 would cost for the head replacement.
But the bitter truth is, neither you nor any common one agrees to spend this heavy amount. Replacing the heads is not a small task to do. Again, you will get a new weak head when you replace the old one, which does not make any sense.
So what is the solution then? Threaded insert can be a wise decision. Insert kit for this task varies in price. Cheap thread insert kits cost $40 to $60, mid-range insert kits cost $130 to $200, and “high end” kits cost not more than $400.
- CalVan Tools 38900 Two Valve Ford Triton Tool Kit
- Can repair 2 Valve Ford Modular Cylinders Heads.
- High quality oversized steel alloy inserts will repair other inserts that fail.
- Total labor time as short as 25 mins, For use on 4.6L, 5.4L, and 6.8 V-10 Ford Triton Two Valve Engines.
- For use on years 1996 to 2003, Part No. 389-100 Replacement Inserts
- Insert size: m14-1.25, Patented
F0RD TRIPLE OVERSIZED SPARK PLUG REPAIR kit will repair holes as large as .730 inches . Check price and details.
Now threaded inserts have problems too. People have two different opinions about it. If you go for “over the fender” insert option, then a professional mechanic would charge $1000 maximum.
Let’s say you do not like this option either. Then do it yourself. For your Ford, insert kits like Time Sert or Cal-Van do good. Time Sert kits are the best for foul Triton plugs. The bigger one Time Sert kit contains 5 inserts and costs $400.
Blown spark plug symptoms
Symptoms of a blown spark plug are evident when your car engine suffers to start or perform. Not only that, you will get to hear engine knocks too.
You will find starting the car hard suddenly. And when needed, your car will not respond when you press the accelerator pedal hard to speed up. Faulty spark plug makes the car engine depressed and rougher. No need to mention the decreased performance individually.
Even if you are running the car at idle speed, increasing vibrations inside the engine indicate the blown spark plug. Additionally, you will notice the never ending hunger for fuel in your car.
Because a malfunctioning spark plug delivers insufficient spark to ignite the mixture of fuel and air. Thus, both the fuel consumption and emission keep increasing.
Your car engine is literally loud, when the spark plug is out of service. Other than that, engine misfiring makes the check engine light pop out. And a flashing engine light never indicates anything positive.
Reasons behind a spark plug to back out
Mostly, loose or incorrectly installed spark plugs back out. If the plugs back out, then the exhausted gases escape past the soft aluminum threads. The result is, the hot combustion burns and destroys those threads completely.
But this does not always happen, if the heads are made of cast iron. Unlike iron heads, soft aluminum threads in an aluminum head are prone to burn. As usual, if the threads are burned, nothing can stop the plugs from backing out.
When a blown head gasket damages the spark plug, the plug becomes dull. Also depicts the poor performance of it.
As bad heads are highly responsible for blowouts, they require replacement or repairment. Besides, you must check the cylinders and piston tops. Dirt and debris stored in these parts call for other damages. Repair or change these along with the plugs, if necessary.
Ford recall spark plugs blowing out
Ford models had severe spark plugs blowouts. Triton v8 engines had plugs ejecting on the drive, due to aluminum cylinder heads.
Only Ford is responsible for this problem. Their choice for using aluminum heads makes the spark plugs spit out. Moreover, 4 threads made of weaker aluminum are prone to wearing down. Ford users claim that the manufacturers inserted the plugs as loose and over-torqued. As a result, Fords show problems not too late after some drives.
The Ford Expedition series and Ford F150 series were most likely to experience blowouts. Other models like Mustang, Lincoln, Thunderbird, Crown Victoria, Mercury suffered from blowouts also.
Ford users accuse Ford for the poor manufacturing process. In response to this, Ford insisted that the replaced plugs from mechanics with improper torque levels cause blowouts. Ford suggests the users install Lock-N-Stitch thread insert to prevent the plug spit outs. However, this solution fails also due to weak heads.
Ford is ready to replace the foul plug if the car is under warranty. But most users do not get this service. Because when they find the foul plug, the car is already out of warranty.
Prevention of spark plug blowout
Regular checking and consciousness ensures the prevention of spark plug blowout. Too tight or a bit loose engine plug is responsible for the blowout. So it is better to adjust the plug according to the right measurement. And immediate removal of a bad spark plug.
Not only is correct plug installation mandatory, but also the installation in the right temperature prevents blowout. If you attempt to install it by yourself, wait until the engine is fully cooled down. Because a change in the engine temperature causes a spark plug to twist.
Soft and repetitive clicks coming from the engine indicates damaged or poorly aligned spark plugs. If you hear something like that, then stop the car and check the plugs immediately. Adjust them when the engine is completely cooled.
Do not forget to maintain the torque levels to prevent spark plug blowouts. Experts say that owners must check the torque levels at every 5,000 miles. Accurate adjustment of the spark plugs leads to accurate torque reading. So that blowout does not happen.
Prevention of blowouts means the good health of your wallet. Even if you experience blowouts, spark plug repairment does not cost much.
Blown spark plug sound
Faulty spark plugs cause the engine to sound loud and rough. Additionally, the engine vibrates nonstop even when running at a low speed. In most of the cases, a blown spark plug sounds like metallic knocking. Pinging or rattling noise is also not uncommon.
Car owners find it hard and disgusting to use the car with increasing vibrations. Also, loud noise causes distraction while driving. Users state that this loud noise sounds like 100 motorcycles are running at a time. Sometimes it even feels like banging in the ear.
How far can you drive with a blown out spark plug
Straightforwardly saying, do not drive with a blown out spark plug, not even try to do so. The outcome will be a fire under the car bonnet, if you drive in this state. Unburned fuel easily escapes through the hole. If the escaped fuel mixed with air finds an ignition source, there lies a high risk of catching fire under the bonnet.
Normally a spark plug supports a car to run 80,000 miles at best. However, a damaged spark plug will not let you go even 8,000 miles. So it would be wise if you do not drive with bad spark plugs and check them regularly.
How much does it cost to fix a blown out spark plug?
Replacing just the heads cost $4000 maximum. If you wish to replace the entire engine, this would cost $12000 highest. Replacing the entire engine will affect your budget. However, repair kits come with an affordable price range. This will make your job easier to do. Best repair kits for Fords cost $400 maximum.
Can you drive with a blown spark plug?
Yes you can, if you are fearless or have a death wish. A blown spark plug bears the risk of terrible accidents, in the worst cases. In general, a blown spark plug causes a depressed engine. The engine stutters on the start and makes annoying noises. In the primary cases, you will find it hard to run a car, due to a blown out spark plug.
What year Fords have the spark plug problem?
Particularly 2004-2008 Ford models had issues with spark plugs. Notably, Ford 4.6-liter, 5.4-liter, and 6.8-liter with 2-valve and 3-valve engines had problems respectively related to missing threads and difficulty in plug removal. 1997-2003 5.4 trucks had problems too. The problem was inadequate plug threads. Due to this, plugs were likely ejecting while driving. 2004-2007 5.4 engines had enough threads and were out of blown plugs. But they had 2 piece plugs, easily breakable upon removal.
How do you fix a blown out spark plug?
Unless you are capable enough, do not try to fix a blown out spark plug. Leave it to the mechanic. He will repair or remove it as per the necessity. If you volunteer yourself to fix, then check for YouTube videos to know more clearly. Choose the best repair kit for repairing the plug. For Ford 2000 Crown Victoria v8, heli coils with 3 different lengths can be a good repair kit. Generally, Ford owners find Time Sert 5553 or 5600 and Cal Van 38900 helpful.
What causes a blown out spark plug?
A loose or misfit spark plug is the main reason behind a blown out spark plug. Moreover, soft aluminum heads burn easily and result in blown out plugs. Caused by burned heads, a blown out spark plug turns dirty or blackened. Sometimes dirt in the cylinder or/and piston tops can cause problematic spark plug.
What happens when a spark plug blows out?
Blown out spark plugs cause engine misfiring, annoying noises and vibration, difficult acceleration mainly. When it blows out, nothing big actually happens. Problems occur if you keep driving in this state. Because without the plug, the unburned gas washes the oil from the cylinder wall. Thus, the cylinder faces damage. Again, if a chunk of the blown out plug fell inside the cylinder, it turns out to be the death of the cylinder.
How can you tell if you have a blown spark plug?
It is very easy to tell, when you see something unusual is happening to your car –
- The car shows problems when you start it.
- Accelerator pedal is not working.
- Vibrations and loud noises coming from it even at low speeds.
- The fuel economy is getting worse.
- The engine starts misfiring and causes the engine light to pop out.
What does it sound like when spark plugs are bad?
It sounds like metal knocking, banging, pinging, or rattling. Due to bad spark plugs, sometimes the engine does not run at all and becomes silent. The engine sounds rough when it’s in idle mode. Along with noises, vibration is free. If you keep driving with a foul plug, both noise and vibration will increase gradually. Bad spark plug sound can cause headaches sometimes.
To prevent the unexpected death of your car, or maybe yourself, you must check the spark plugs regularly. Fords need cautious care. So replace the plugs or repair them with a compatible tool kit. Rather than fixing them on your own, call a professional to get a proficient touch.
I, Dencan Brain BOŽIDAR, call myself a Torque master. I’ve always been fascinated with cars and tools accessories. You can call me gearheads or petrolheads. I recently started a blog about welding gear.I am also a DIY welding enthusiast because it is affordable for any household work. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and tumblr.