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Discussion Starter #21
I shopped a '06 T&C w/176K mi a couple of days ago.

Two of the front plugs were finger tight. I removed and inspected one (w/my fingers) and it looked exactly like the one in the pic but insulator was so dirty I couldn't read the brand.

Probably original plugs.

Van ran fine! Pretty amazing when you think about it!
Soccer moms and dads just drive the thing either till it suddenly breaks down or explodes. Caravan PCMs are very good at adjusting fuel and spark to the point that you don't notice a misfire. But it is difficult to get the PCM to notice a problem as well. Our previous engine had almost no compression and was probably running on 2 or 3 cylinders with no CEL, knocking to holy ****. Van PCM assumed all was good. It was only worried about disabling the entire airbag system and putting lives at risk because the steering wheel clockspring failed.

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I'm very pleased with the factory spec plugs on these vans. I've done four sets of plugs in these engines now and only seen ONE that lost a platinum puck. So that's basically a 4% failure rate. And outside of that one plug, I never measured one with more than 0.058" gap, even with 135k miles on it. If the labor to inspect wasn't the same as the labor to replace (and the plugs weren't so inexpensive) I'd probably still be running them for thousands of miles!

Compared to the factory-brand dual-platinum plugs in the previous (non-Mopar) vehicles I used to own that would magically lose their pucks within 30k miles, I think these are fantastic plugs.
 

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Put your nose near the exhaust. Smell excessive gas? Ever changed your "maintenance free" platinum spark plugs?
Picked up another Caravan a couple weeks ago (2003). No DTC (Check Engine light). Smells rich. Got it cheap. Fuel trims way off. Pulled out one plug. HUGE gap. Another plug - same. 3rd plug... wtf? Clearly a problem.

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Pull them every so often to keep the threads clean. The first couple of threads on the plug get carboned up, and can damage the threads in the head when you pull them out. My #1 plug that I changed after getting my van was like that, and I was lucky to get a new spark plug back in. If it fails I will have to pull the cylinder head to get the threads fixed, because they will surely be torn up pulling the plug back out. Good thing I have a spare engine to swap in.

Also, keep an eye on the front plugs for rust. They see salt spray through the radiator in the winter, and rust away. The round area just below the hex head gets thin and twists/breaks off, leaving the threaded part (and usually broken ceramic plug) still in the head. Replace the front 3 before they get that bad.
 
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