How to Replace Chrysler Minivan 3.8 Spark Plugs

by Marissa Robert

Spark plugs are an integral part of making a vehicle's engine function. They produce the spark that pushes the pistons in the engine. Spark plugs get fouled when they collect grime that keeps them from sparking and igniting the fuel. The check engine light comes on to let you know when the spark plugs should be replaced. A computer diagnostic test at any auto parts store can let you know if that is the problem. The Chrysler Town & Country minivan has a 3.8 liter V6 engine, which means there are six combustion chambers, each with a spark plug--three on each side.

Pop the hood of your minivan and use a wrench to disconnect the negative battery cable. The negative terminal on the battery is usually black.

Locate the spark plug boots on top of the engine. There is one at the top of each combustion chamber--three on the front of the engine and three on the back--and they each have a wire that runs from the chamber.

Blow any debris away from the spark plug boots with compressed air so that when you remove the spark plugs nothing gets into the chamber.

Twist each spark plug wire boot to loosen it from the spark plug. Pull the boot straight up.

Place a spark plug socket on the spark plug and turn it counter-clockwise to remove the spark plug from the engine.

Set the replacement spark plugs to 1.14 mm gap using a tapered spark plug gauge. Slide the gauge into the gap between the tip of the center electrode and the side electrode hanging over the top. Adjust the gap to the 1.14 mm mark. If the gap is too small, slide the gauge into the gap at a smaller size and gradually move it up. If it is too large, gently tap the side electrode to decrease the gap and measure with the gauge.

Twist the replacement spark plug into the chamber clockwise by hand. Torque it to the specs provided by the spark plug manufacturer. Place some dielectric silicone compound on the spark plug contact in the boot, and place the boot over the spark plug. Press down on the boot until it clicks into place. Reattach the negative battery cable.

Tip

  • check Remove the windshield wiper module from the engine compartment to give yourself more room to access the spark plugs nearest to the windshield.

Items you will need

About the Author

Marissa Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English language and literature. She has extensive experience writing marketing campaigns and business handbooks and manuals, as well as doing freelance writing, proofreading and editing. While living in France she translated manuscripts into English. She has published articles on various websites and also periodically maintains two blogs.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera old spark plugs image by Rog999 from Fotolia.com