Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I have a spark plug stuck in the motor

asked by on

I have a 2006 Ford F-150 FX4 5.4L, automatic transmission, with 62,000 miles on it. I was having the routine maintenance done for the 60k service at the dealer and decided to have the spark plugs changed. I figured they would come out easier, boy was I wrong. The service center told me one plug won't come out and they will have to remove the head, and this little repair will cost $2500. How could this be so expensive and is there anything I can do to avoid these costs?

A: As a certified master technician for many y...

As a certified master technician for many years this has been one of the most publicized problems seen by me and my colleagues in the field. There are a multitude of suggestions, comments, lawsuits, fixes, complaints and none will help recoup your loss in time and money spent. There have not been any recalls for this issue from Ford, but they did put out one technical bulletin (08-7-6) to address spark plug removal procedures. This still does not address the two piece spark plugs that may break and fall into the engine causing even more expensive removal of the cylinder head to clean out pieces of the spark plug. This problem happens from carbon buildup in the cylinder head around the special extended spark plug design. Because of this, removing the spark plug for service can bind it in the cylinder head and break the two piece plug, with only the top piece coming out. The broken off piece in the head has to be extracted with special tools. There are different tools made that may extract the broken pieces. There is no guarantee they will work or if pieces end up falling into the engine during the extraction process. One of the replacement design spark plugs available is a one piece housing design made by Champion spark plugs (part number 7989). This new plug design does not address the carbon build-up around the plugs, but may help in future removals of the plugs sine the one piece design will not come apart when removing. While there are plenty of class-action lawsuits found on the web, none disclosed any information regarding a recall. You can contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673 or NHTSA 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) for the latest information on the issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I have an exhaust leak

The exhaust manifolds are known to warp on these engines, causing an exhaust leak. This is typically most noticeable when the engine is cold, before the metal heats up and expands. The only solution is to replace the manifold(s). However,...

Q: battery light comes on about half minite after starting it

Hello. The battery light will illuminate when the charging system is registering out of normal voltage ranges. The computer starts running tests immediately and is detecting a problem right from the start. The battery, and alternator can be removed from...

Q: The car shut off at the traffic light, difficulty accelerating

Hello there, ESP will generally not cause the vehicle to die. It sounds like you have a few issues with the lack of power, starting, and the car dying. A few items can cause all three of these. Most common...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.