2002 Dodge Caravan



November, 13, 2009 AT 12:21 PM

Engine Mechanical problem
2002 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 80000 miles

Good afternoon,

I was stopped at a light, and when I stepped on the accelerator to advance, there was a loud bang, sudden reduction of power and it sounded like a Harley was inside with me. I put on my hazard flashers made my way to a garage very close by.

It took a while to get the van in, but they called and said it had blown a spark plug.

What are the repair options?
How does a heliocoil(?) Work?

Is this a common occurrence in Dodge Caravans, (as opposed to Fords)?

3 Answers



November, 13, 2009 AT 7:57 PM

Yes, a helicoil can be a great repair, and takes time, care, but will fix it good as new. I hope the plug was just loose. Hey, good compression. Ok
This happens with no special make, it is an equal oppurtunity problem.



November, 14, 2009 AT 11:54 AM

The garage used a helicoil. For non-techs, it's like retapping or using an insert in the spark plug hole, so that the new spark plug will stay tightly in place.

The mechanics have to make sure no bits blew into the engine, and probably have to take the top part of the engine off to get inside.

Cost was around $300 for us. No internal damage.

On the plus side the gasoline that sprayed in while I drove a short distance probably degunked the engine. Engine sounds better than it did before the blow out.

In my opinion, do not drive very far if this happens to you. The fumes from the unfired cylinder could cause an engine fire. And the unbalanced engine pistons could cause major damage to the block. Don't blame the garage if there is more damage to the engine than I had. We were lucky I think.



November, 14, 2009 AT 3:03 PM

I never thought of how a spark plug that blows out would clean my engine, But that's true, de-gunked. My friend was upstairs, in a giant two-floor shop in lower manhatten. Cranking the engine over with the plugs out. This was his last repair attempt on the 2nd floor. I saw him pointing towards the door, and I followed. The truck he was checking compression on went up in flames. I am glad everything came out ok for you. Usually these work excellent once used(heli-coils) You must keep compressed air on them for cleaning metal chips. Not so nice pulling the head off, but that is sometimes necessary, I've been lucky, so far. Glad you were also.

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