2002 Ford F250 - Do I really need an engine?

My F-250 is 5.4 l engine has blown a spark plug and a thread insert period my mechanic says I need a new engine what should I do?

Maybe a new head but not engine unless there is more thing’s wrong with it.


It seems likely Renegade is correct but a mechanic with hands on the vehicle knows stuff the rest of us don’t. Either trust your mechanic or get a second opinion if possible.

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Agree with @davepsinbox_157004…

You are asking random souls on an internet car site that have never seen your vehicle to give a second opinion to a diagnosis a mechanic that has actually touched your vehicle has provided.

If you don’t trust your mechanic, have the car towed to another shop. The $100 tow fee is peanuts compared to the cost of an engine.

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No . . . put the idea of a new engine out of your head right now

In fact, you may want to find another mechanic

It sounds like you need a “last chance Time-sert” . . . It’s a brand name. Google it

Do NOT settle for another brand of insert

We’ve installed several Time-serts in 2V Triton engines . . . such as yours . . . in our fleet. And none of them have blown out again, at least not on the cylinders that we repaired. But I’ve seen other brand inserts blow out very quickly, often within weeks

Those “last chance Time-serts” I mentioned . . . they typically come into play when a lesser brand of insert has blown out. The worst ones are usually the store-brand

Is that what happened . . . a different brand insert is the one that blew out? it wasn’t a time-sert?

Be warned, though. Not all shops will have that last chance time-sert kit, which isn’t cheap. You’ll need to ask around who has one . . . when making your inquiries, make sure to specifically state that an insert has already blown out and you may need a last-chance time-sert. And you should also find a shop that’s already done the repair and is comfortable doing it


It seems like I’ve heard this vintage of Ford pickup had issues with “shooting” spark plugs, so you may be fighting a losing battle.

Regardless… I’d also advocate for only needing a new cylinder head, in the worst case scenario. Assuming the rest of the engine is in good shape, there’s no need to replace the entire engine in this case.

But get a second mechanic’s opinion, for sure.

Time-serts are an effective repair . . . unlike some of the cheapo store brand inserts which are hammered in

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Thank you! :slight_smile: It sounds like you work at JustAnswer.com! You are very knowledgeable and helpful mostly… Have a blessed day!!!


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Joe, edit both your posts to remove phone and email, please. It is not a good idea to post your contact info on a public site like this.

You are not just replying to one person at a time . Your posts are on the Car Talk Community Forum site and can be seen by anyone .

You’re welcome

Let us know hot it works out, even if it takes a few days or weeks

Why can’t you just replace the head(s)?

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I don’t know about anybody else, but I’d try a last-chance time-sert before throwing a head at it

A head costs a lot of money, and there’s plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong . . .

Installing that time-sert is a lot less work

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So would I, but his mechanic claims he needs a new engine.

Unless/until it’s determined a last-chance time-sert won’t work . . . I refuse to believe a new engine is needed

I don’t even know how the mechanic arrived at the conclusion a new engine was needed

The spark plugs screw into the cylinder head, not the engine

I suspect the mechanic is unaware of time-sert products . . . or doesn’t want to attempt the repair, for reason(s) unknown to us


Should the cylinder head be beyond repair, some mechanics won’t attempt a major repair on a high mileage engine (200,000 miles?), too much risk for a come-back.

This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, just that the mechanic has rejected the repair. Technicians can choose their customers/repairs just as customers can choose their technician.

Ok, It’s at Eckley’s Repair in Lewistown, Pa. Will do! :slight_smile:

This mechanic is experienced in doing the Time-Sert brand. He will do.

Please remove your contact information. Not good on a public site.