How to Replace Spark Plugs on a 2002 Dodge Neonby Owen Pearson
Changing the spark plugs in your 2002 Dodge Neon can create a noticeable improvement in your vehicle's performance. Worn spark plugs can make your car sluggish and can decrease its fuel efficiency. Since all 2002 Dodge Neons come with four-cylinder engines, the process of changing the spark plugs is less labor-intensive than with some larger cars and trucks. Still, it is a good idea to leave three to four hours open for this project.
Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug on one end of the engine. Grip the wire at the end to prevent disconnecting the wire from the boot that covers the end of the spark plug. Pull the wire from the spark plug.
Inspect the exposed end of the spark plug. If you notice rust or corrosion, apply penetrating oil around the seal between the plug and the engine housing. Allow 24 hours before attempting to remove the spark plug.
Set the ratchet to loosen (counterclockwise). Slide the extension bar on the ratchet. Place the soft-core socket on the extension bar. The socket's pliable inner core is designed to prevent the socket from slipping during spark plug removal.
Check the instructions that came with your spark plugs to determine if they need to be "gapped." Gapping involves the use of a gap tool to adjust the distance between the electrical conduction components of each plug. If gapping is necessary, use the gap tool to increase or decrease the distance the spark travels.
Slide the socket over the spark plug. Turn the ratchet counterclockwise to remove the spark plug. Replace with a new spark plug. Set the ratchet to tighten and fit it over the new plug. Turn the ratchet clockwise until the spark plug is tight.
Replace the spark plug wire. Press down firmly to ensure a solid connection.
Repeat the process for the remaining three spark plugs, removing only one spark plug wire at a time.
- "Dodge and Plymouth Neon 2000 through 2005 (Haynes Repair Manual);" Larry Warren; 2007
- Do not remove all of the spark plug wires at once unless you have marked them first. If you get the spark plug wires mixed up during re-installation, your engine will run poorly.
Things You'll Need
- Spark plug set for 2002 Dodge Neon
- Ratchet with extension
- Soft-core socket
- Penetrating oil
Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.