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How to Change the Plugs in a Mercury Villager

by Contributing Writer

The Mercury Villager is a type of minivan produced by Ford between 1993 and 2002. One of its most popular features is the movable seats that give the owner the option of using it as a five-seater vehicle or as a van with large cargo space. As with all vehicles, regular servicing is essential, and replacing the spark plugs will ensure that the Villager starts right through the deepest of the winter months. The manufacturer recommends that the spark plugs be replaced in pre-1999 models every 20,000 to 30,000 miles.

Lift the hood.

Disconnect the battery; remove the negative ("-") cable from the battery. Never work on a car's engine with the battery still connected.

Create the correct gap in the new spark plugs with the feeler gauge. You can do this by spreading open the metal bands of the feeler gauge into a fan shape and looking at the markings on them. These indicate the width of each gauge. Then align the two bands together that will give you the width measurement needed for the spark plug. This is printed on the box of the spark plug and will show different widths for different vehicles. Insert the gauges between the tip of the spark plug and the electrode.

Locate the spark plugs at the side of the engine. These sit about a quarter of the way down the height of the engine on a Villager. The firing order of a Villager is 1-2-3-4-5-6 and the No. 1 spark plug is located at the right rear of the engine.The rear plugs on a Villager have a nut and metal cover, and you will need a nut and wrench to remove these.

Release the spark plug by turning the spark plug wire in a clockwise direction. This is located at the base of the spark plug and operates the locking mechanism.

Remove the spark plug using the socket wrench and arm.

Check the spark plug wire. If there is debris, clean it up with a wire brush.

Spray or rub the anti-seize compound onto the threads of the new spark plug and into the wire socket.

Insert the new spark plug, and tighten by hand. Difficult access may involve using the socket wrench, but tighten carefully to avoid cross-threading or damaging the plug.

Attach the spark plug wire to the plug and tighten by hand.

Repeat steps 5 through 10 for each spark plug.

Reconnect the battery, and start up the Villager to test it.

Warnings

  • Make sure the engine is cool before beginning. Never work in or remove spark plugs from a warm engine.
  • Faulty spark plugs can cause the car to misfire and not run smoothly. Always be careful to attach the right make of spark plug and to insert them carefully into the sockets.
  • The correct spark plug gap for a Villager will be displayed on the inside of the hood on your vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

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