I went to check the spark plugs on my 16V litre year 2000 406 as I've
experienced a couple of 'missed beats' lately but was unable to locate them
in the engine.
Where are they?
Further, will I need special tools to remove them?
Cheers BJ Nottingham UK
Wind-up?...nope, I'm serious.
Last time I had call to change a spark plug they were staring straight at me
when the bonnet was opened.
That was over a decade ago, had my cars serviced at the garage since.
However a change in circumstances / attitude / £££'s of garage encouraged me
to return to 'home servicing and armed with oil, filters and a set of
expensive (£15.50!!!!) spark plugs I set about the job only to be thwarted
when I could not locate them. I assumed they would be below the fancy
aluminium plate that covers the engine top but that revealed only a large
black plastic blocking with a couple of metal plates that prised off to
reveal more black plastic blocking without any obvious sign of attachment.
I didn't want to prise too much for fear of busting something!
I've since been told that plugs don't require changing for 50,000 miles so
I've got 15,000 to go. But I'm still curious as to how to get at 'em.
they are in the top of the engine under the aluminium plate and under the
coil packs which sit on top of the plugs, they are bolted down (the coil
however if you are unsure, and not want to risk breaking something then let
the garage do it. its not rocket science but i would question your ability
to service your own vehicle if you are stuck on the spark plug stage.
the plugs (and any HT wiring) are hidden in
the top of the engine beneath the coil blocks beneath the metal coil block
protectors beneath the fancy aluminium plate and I'm sure no one would
disagree, well out of view.
They are not, it seems, tucked away in the side of the block under any of
the masses of other plastic covers that surround the engine.
Plugs in the top of an engine, well........................ I'll be.
Though I must say I was a little surprised not to see 'em (hence my request
for information on this user group) as my '59 Bedford CA, '63 Ford Classic,
'70 Vauxhall Viva, '69 Sunbeam Rapier, '78 Chrysler Alpine, '82 Citroen
Visa, '83 Talbot Alpine, '84 Fiat Uno, '85 Ford Escort, '96 Ford Mondeo, '97
Ford Ka and even the '03 Ka all had / have plugs and leads clearly visible
into the side of the engine!
Our '81 and '89 Ford Granada's even had 'em on both sides of the engine!
Though the '87 Ford Escort the '93 Fiesta and the '95 Peugeot 806 didn't
have any on account of 'em being diesel.
(There has been a dozen or so motorcycles with all including my latest
1200cc '02 model having easily identifiable plugs and leads.)
But here we have a '00 406 with hidden plugs, amazing!
So you see it seems, some folks know it all and some, such as I, even at 52,
have still got things to learn.
My thanks to the 3 users who contacted me 'off group' with information and
correction, you had a ford mondeo...........did you not? the plugs (assuming
you didnt have a diesel) are in the TOP of the engine, in fact the only
difference between all of the cars/engines you mention (apart from the
mondeo which i have corrected you on) was the fact that they were all single
camshaft engines, and where a twin camshaft setup is used the plugs are
"generally" in the top between the 2 camshafts.
as far as the coil packs are concerned, now commonly used in place of a wet
coil and distributor unit they are much more reliable and do away with
moving parts, no more rotor arms and dizzy caps...
situating them directly on top of the plugs also elimintaes the need for HT
leads, although some setups still use 2 short ones as each coil pack will
feed 2 plugs.
...........see I'm still learning.
I bow to your knowledge Steve. The fact is from about 1985 all my vehicles
have been regularly serviced at the main dealers but a change in my
circumstances (and £200 odd for a service, how much? the parts at full price
from Halfords cost £44!.) had prompted me to do my own service on the 406.
i admire anyone who wants to service thier own vehicles and save some cash,
fair play to you, and hey, if you dont ask, you wont find out. just bear in
mind that sometimes nowadays for the "novice" home technician, or DIY
mechanic, whichever way you want to put it, there are a number of jobs that
can be best left to those who have done the job before, straight foreward
servicing isnt an issue here, but do you plan to renew the cambelt yourself
when its due?
i'm a full time technician and speak from experience when i say that
"certain" DIY mechanics can do more harm than good when they try to save a
few pounds and attempt the job themselves.
example : a young chap had a misfire on a mazda 323 16v, thinking he knew a
bit about engines he messed around with it a bit, butchered the distributor
to advance the timing thinking it might run better, fitted a new cambelt and
got the timing 3 teeth out, and then after giving up ran it for a couple of
months with the misfire until finally bringing it in for us to repair.....
result : 4 burnt out pistons where the engine had been running so hot they
had detonated and melted, 12 burnt and cracked valves,
suffice to say it cost him a new engine....he's given up on home DIY now.
I too am a full time technician and I fully endorse your comments. I
have seen some horrors come into the workshops on the back of a
trailer, where the owner has tried to "do it himself". They end up
paying a lot more than if they had brought it to us in the first
Know your capabilities, and work within them.
well its his car, only he can make that decision, all we can do is
advice...and i don't know the chap personally, he might be a reasonably good
DIY mechanic, but i've met hundreds that arn't and just want to save a few
bob. its these that sometimes end up making more work than was originally
there. we all know cars are becoming more and more technical these days and
we don't like to encourage people to start ripping them to bits if they are
unsure, i think that applies to pretty most everything in life.
anyone that used to repair and service cars 30 years ago, and now wants to
return to doing it themselves after having a garage do it for the last 30
years will find, as this chap did, that things have changed...