2004 Dodge Neon - Broken plug leads to trouble

One of the spark plugs in my car snapped and my boyfriend drilled it out he took a magnet and got all the metal shards out but now there is knocking I’m wondering if this could be a metal shard and if there’s any way to get them out

you could also try vacuuming them out

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If the car is knocking, that knocking will not go away if there is a metal chip removed.

You potentially have a more serious problem.

Agreed. If that potential metal chip melts inside the cylinder…well, it wouldn’t be good.

I’d have the car towed to a mechanic. Don’t start the engine; have it towed. Good luck.

An almost 20 year old Neon is a disposable car anyways, he’ll, a brand new one was.

He drilled out ceramic bits? Magnet won’t get ceramic bits.

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The only way to get the pieces out, which are almost certainly chunks of the ceramic insulator, would be to do what you should have done in the first place–take apart the engine and remove the cylinder head. If you had done that from the get-go, a professional machine shop would have reconditioned the head–including removing the spark plugs and cleaning up the threads, resurfacing, valve re-grind and testing, etc, for about $350.

Now, the problem is that these ceramic pieces are highly abrasive, and have no doubt gotten between the piston rings and cylinder wall, and scuffed up the cylinder wall. Sure, the engine could still be rebuilt–and bored oversize, but this would cost way more than a working used engine from a junkyard.

If this car is still in decent condition (body and interior) and has low enough miles to justify the effort, I’d suggest replacing the engine. Otherwise, time to junk it and buy a different used car.

And if a spark plug ever breaks off in your engine again, don’t attempt a DIY remedy without pulling the head. If that is too much work, professional mechanics have the ability to remove broken-off spark plugs and repair the threads in the cylinder head, without allowing debris to fall into the engine. I have no idea what this service costs, but maybe one of the professional mechanics who post here could give a rough estimate.