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Spark plugs?

A fellow mail carrier has a 2001 Right Hand Drive Jeep Cherokee that has the symptoms of bad spark plugs and is not running at all now. She has been told by the Jeep dealer that this vehicle does NOT have plugs. She has been told by others that it has to have plugs no matter what they told her at the Jeep dealership.

Does she have plugs…just a coil…or what? At this point it is down for the count and she’s trying to decide whether to put it out of it’s misery and get something else to drive or repair it one more time.

Is it a diesel? Then no spark plugs. Otherwise, it has spark plugs, guaranteed.

If it has a diesel engine, it does not have spark plugs. If it has a gasoline powered engine, it does have spark plugs. A turbo diesel was available for this vehicle, but only in Europe, Australia, and South America.

It is not a diesel, just a regular gas engine. Not surprised that the dealership told her wrong. I’ll tell her tomorrow to start looking because those original plugs are in there somewhere.

Any clues as to where she should look for the plugs? She says she’s replaced the coil before but has never come across any plugs. She does a lot of the maintenance herself. I’m posting the question because she only has dial-up.

Not diesel, gas. The dealership told her she has a coil(she new that, has replaced it before)
they said she didn’t have spark plugs.

This most recent problem she’s had with her Jeep sounded identical to what mine did when it needed new plugs and wires, the difference being her’s would be understandable, it’s ten years old on a mail route, mine is three years on a mail route and falling apart-no way it will last that long.

If its a gas engine, then it has spark plugs.

I mean no offense to anyone, but if someone has to ask about something this basic then they probably shouldn’t do it themselves. The thing is that it’s an '01. The plugs may have been in there 11 years. Its not complicated but its not like changing an air filter either. And if someone says “do I have spark plugs? If so, where are they? Because I want to replace them.” I’d say…mmmmmm…I think its best if you take it to a shop and ask them to do it. (There is absolutely no need whatsoever to take this vehicle to a dealer).

That’s my best advice. But its true that everyone does start somewhere. If your friend wants to do stuff like this she should go blow $20 on a repair manual from an auto parts store.

And, btw, if she did replace the coil all she has to do is follow the wires to the other end to find the spark plugs. But I’m still thinking she may be better off just going to a good local mechanic.

Sound like a case of miscommunication. The 6 cylinder Cherokee does not have spark plug wires. It has a coil rail covering all six spark plugs.
I have to wonder if someone could continue driving with so many failing spark plugs to the point that it will no longer start. Better tow it to a shop.

Whoa, there, cowtime. “She does a lot of the maintenance herself” but she can’t find the sparkplugs? She can find the coil but can’t find the sparkplugs?

Keep in mind that on this car each plug has its own coil (I think). She should pay someone to

a. diagnose the problem; and
b. fix the problem.

Diagnosing the problem is the first step and it sounds like that hasn’t been done. If your friend can’t find the plugs she needs to pay a mechanic.

I wonder if those coils hold a residual charge that needs to be discharged before working on them.

To be fair, they’re not in plain sight.

But first, figure out what’s really wrong.

No offense taken. I don’t know if she plans on doing it herself or not. She’s just fed up with getting two completely different answers to, yes, such a basic question. She has the shop manual and I just had a message from her this morning that she found the plugs that the dealership vowed were not in that engine!

I’ll talk to her this morning at work and get more details.

I think someone has a story crossed up and there’s not nearly enough info known to make a guess about what the problem is. Mileage, codes read, regular maintenance habits, fuel pressure, whether a spark exists or not, etc.

It sounds like your friend is not mechanically astute at all if she does not know whether the vehicle has spark plugs or not and would be better off having a shop look at it.

Making any help even more difficult is that there’s a non-mechanically inclined 3rd party (you) inserted between your friend and any help that may be given here.

You’ve received a lot of good and caring advice here, all of which I agree with.

I’d like to add that problems of this nature are generally pretty easy and basic for a knowledgable mechanic to solve and if this is all that’s wrong with it I’d say repair it rather than “put it out of its misery”. Unless, of course, the vehicle has been a money pit and she’s ready to roll it off a cliff anyway. Even then, it’ll probably make more sense to have it fixed and trade it than to boneyard it.

Is sounds like there was a mis-communication and the service adviser was referring to the Jeep not having spark plug wires.

I didn’t expect a diagnosis of the problem- just the answer about the plugs. I’m sorry if you thought I expected more. But, thanks for your input. My co-worker has maintained this thing and kept it running on a very rough, mountainous dirt road mail route six days a week for over ten years. She does what work on it that she can because we are in the middle of no where and the options for mechanic work are not impressive. The only reason I posted at all is to help her because she only has dial up and said it takes forever to even use the internet.

Yesterday she called two mechanic services that she’s had some partial satisfaction with in the past to get her Jeep towed in- no one would come get it. You were right- it was an easy fix, here’s what happened. She got aggravated, got her manual and found the plugs. She replaced the plugs and the coil and drove it on the route today. It ran fine. So, after thousands of dollars in repairs over the years, we had to laugh that she was ready to finally give up on it over something like this that she was able to fix herself.

I thank you all for your posts in this matter.

Yes, this seems understandable. A ten year old Jeep, comercial use and perhaps 200,000 or 300,000 miles and the original spark plugs? Perhaps you can get a maintenance schedule for your friend.

One question I’ve had since you raised the question is, if your friend is a mail carrier, why is the Post Office not maintaining the vehicle? For that matter, why does the Post Office not own the vehicle?

There are many rural routes in the country where the mail carrier are independents. They work for themselves. I’m on one such route. The guy drives his own vehicle (rt hand drive Subaru). So if you do this…one of the BEST vehicles you can buy is one of the old mail carrier jeeps. Get it fixed up so it’s reliable…and you’re good to go.

Thank you for posting back with the results. We rarely hear back, and we do appreciate it. Glad to hear she got it fixed.

Mike is correct. Many of the carriers are independents and they receive a fixed amount of money from the USPS to purchase and maintain a car for deliveries.
Needless to say, many of those independents prefer to pocket as much of that maintenance money as possible rather than spend it on their mail delivery vehicle.

Unless things have changed some of regional routes are also done this way. There are 2 gentlemen whom I have lost touch with (motorcycle pals also) who both ran their own trucks delivering mail from one post office to the other.
One uses a 2 ton bobtail to ferry mail on the shorter route to OK City and the other runs a big rig nightly to Dallas, TX and back.

That’s what I figured, but I’ve never seen it firsthand.