How Often Should I Replace The Spark Plugs? (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 2.7L V6 Chrysler And Dodge Vehicles)

In this tutorial I'm going to go over some of the most commonly asked questions about replacing the spark plugs.

The humble spark plug has a very tough job to perform in the 2.7L V6 engine of the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Stratus and sooner or later they're going to have to be replaced.

Quite a few factors can influence the spark plug replacement interval and I'll go into some detail about this.

Applies To The Following Vehicles

This tutorial applies to the following vehicles (since they all are equipped with the 2.7L V6 engine):

  1. 2.7L Chrysler 300: 2005.
  2. 2.7L Chrysler Concorde: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.
  3. 2.7L Chrysler Sebring: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
  4. 2.7L Chrysler Sebring Convertible: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
  5. 2.7L Dodge Intrepid: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.
  6. 2.7L Dodge Magnum: 2005.
  7. 2.7L Dodge Stratus: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.

What Does A Spark Plug Do?

The spark plug's job is to transmit the spark that the ignition coil creates to the inside of the cylinder.

This spark will then ignite the air-fuel mixture inside the cylinder and push the piston down.

Since the 2.7L V6 engine has 6 cylinders, it has 6 spark plugs.

Symptoms Of A Bad Spark Plug

If spark is missing because the spark plug has failed for one reason or another, the cylinder will misfire.

The end result of this misfire is that the engine is going to idle rough and the fuel injection computer is going to light up the check engine light on your 2.7L V6 Chrysler Sebring or 2.7L Dodge Stratus' instrument cluster.

You'll see one or more of the following trouble codes registered in the fuel injection computer's memory:

  1. P0300: Random Cylinder Misfire.
  2. P0301: Cylinder #1 Misfire.
  3. P0302: Cylinder #2 Misfire.
  4. P0303: Cylinder #3 Misfire.
  5. P0304: Cylinder #4 Misfire.
  6. P0305: Cylinder #5 Misfire.
  7. P0306: Cylinder #6 Misfire.

Besides a rough idle condition or misfire trouble code, when the spark plugs are worn out you're going to notice that the engine is not as peppy as before.

Other things that you're going to see are:

  1. Bad gas mileage.
  2. A heavier exhaust smell coming out of the tailpipe.
  3. Hesitation when you accelerate the vehicle on the road.

What Causes A Spark Plug To Stop Working?

Over the course of my automotive repair experience I noticed that spark plugs fail for one of two reasons.

They either failed because of normal wear and tear or because of carbon deposits accumulating and blocking the air gap between the center and side electrodes.

When the spark plug fails because of normal wear and tear, the center electrode and side electrode get worn down and the spark is no longer able to jump between them because their air gap is too wide.

This type of failure doesn't happen overnight since it takes thousands of miles of service for the electrodes to really get worn down.

When carbon deposits block the air gap between the center electrode and side electrode of the spark plug, it usually happens because the engine is burning oil.

Carbon deposits, when the engine is burning oil, can form within a short period of time. In this type of scenario, the spark plug will not give a service life anywhere near 100,000 miles.

For the most part I have only seen this type of problem (carbon deposits blocking the air gap between the spark plug's electrodes) in high-mileage engines. Or in engines that have suffered some sort of mechanical failure that caused damage to the piston rings or cylinder head valves.

Which Spark Plugs Should I Buy?

Your 2.7L V6 Chrysler Sebring or Dodge Stratus comes equipped with copper Champion spark plugs from the factory.

The recommended spark plug for these vehicles is the Champion original equipment spark plug.

Now having said that, any platinum or iridium tipped spark plug from any other brand that is specifically designed to work with the 2.7L V6 engine of your Sebring or Stratus will give a longer service life than the original copper spark plugs it came with.

There is a price difference between the Champion copper spark plug and the platinum (or iridium) tipped spark plug but in my humble opinion I think the price difference is worth (if the engine is not burning oil).

Should I Use 100,000 Mile Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs that are advertised to last around 100,000 miles are spark plugs that have platinum or iridium tips on the center and side electrodes.

These spark plugs will last up to 100,000 miles only if the 2.7L V6 engine in your Chrysler Sebring or Dodge Stratus is not burning oil.

Of course, these spark plugs are sold at a premium price compared to regular copper spark plugs.

My personal recommendation to you is to not buy the most expensive platinum or iridium tipped spark plugs if the 2.7L V6 engine in your Chrysler Sebring or Dodge Stratus is burning oil. Why? Because you probably won't see a 100,000 mile service life from the spark plugs if carbon deposits are accumulating between the electrodes.

Important Tips And Suggestions

TIP 1: Replace the spark plugs with a completely cold engine. Replacing the spark plugs when the engine is hot can result in damage to the spark plug hole threads.

Stripping the threads of the spark plug holes is a nightmare that you can easily avoid by removing the spark plugs with a cold engine.

TIP 2: Check the air gap of the new spark plugs with a spark plug gapper. There's a good chance that your brand new spark plugs are billed as being pre gapped. If I were you I would still check the air gap just to make sure that it isn't closed.

The one thing to keep in mind when checking the air gap on pre-gapped spark plugs is to do it very gently with the spark plug gapper. If you use too much force, you could damage the platinum or iridium tips of the center and side electrodes.

If the spark plugs you're using are not billed as being pre-gapped, then you should definitely check their air gap with a spark plug gapper.

Here are the spark plug gap specifications:

  1. 1998-2004 2.7L V6 Concorde and Intrepid: 0.048 - 0.058" (1.22mm - 1.47mm).
  2. 2005 2.7L V6 300 and Magnum: 0.048 - 0.058" (1.22mm - 1.47mm).
  3. 2001-2005 2.7L V6 Sebring And Stratus: 0.048 - 0.058" (1.22mm - 1.47mm).

TIP 3: Use a torque wrench to tighten the spark plugs. If you don't tighten the spark plugs enough you run the risk of having them come out as you're driving down the road. This could also damage the spark plug hole threads in the cylinder heads.

If you over tighten the spark plugs, then you run the risk of damaging the threads of the spark plug hole.

The way to avoid any of these problems is to use a torque wrench to tighten the spark plugs. Now, it's easier said than done because some of the spark plugs are in very tight places and it can be challenging to use a torque wrench on them. Still, you won't go wrong if you use a torque wrench.

The torque specification of the spark plugs is: 13 ft.lbs.

More 2.7L V6 Chrysler And Dodge Tutorials

You can find a complete list of 2.7L Dodge tutorials in this index:

  1. Chrysler 2.7L Index of Articles.

Here's a small sample of the tutorials you'll find in the index:

  1. How To Test The Blower Motor (2001-2006 Dodge Stratus).
  2. How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (2.7L V6 Chrysler).
  3. How To Test The MAP Sensor (2000-2004 2.7L Chrysler).
  4. How To Test Engine Compression (2.7L V6 Chrysler).
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