How to Remove Spark Plugs That Are Stuck?

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You might experience different problems during your journey, no matter whether you own a car, truck, or any other type of vehicle. You need to replace and check them now and then. Spark plugs can be damaged or start malfunctioning more frequently. Over time, the spark plug gets stuck for various reasons including misfiring, corrosion affected, and fouling.

In this circumstance, you should take off the spark plugs. But do you know how to remove spark plugs that are stuck suddenly? Well, there are several effective methods to do it simply. Among all the possible methods, applying Wd-40 and penetrating oil will be the most effective solution.

However, worn or seized, or tightly attached spark plug is a headache for everyone when working with it. Fortunately, you can deal with it effortlessly if you know the exact process. In this article, you’ll learn the overall process of removing and other relevant info regarding this.

Possible Methods To Remove Spark Plugs That Are Stuck

Removing the spark plugs that are stuck or seized is a little bit tricky as well as an overwhelming process. Any wrongdoing can cost you up to $500. But hopefully, if you are well-known for all the procedures, the task is a piece of cake. Here’s how to remove stuck spark plugs using different methods (step-by-step).

Method #1: Penetrating Oil Works

Penetrating oil or fluid is a low-viscosity oil that works incredibly fine in removing the seized spark plugs. Among other penetrating oils, Gasoila is a top-notch choice since it contains rust-eating agents. This allows it to not only penetrate the rust but also dissolve it. It is an awesome approach to loosen the rusted bolt effortlessly without generating outside force. Here‘s a step-by-step process on how you remove the stuck sparker with this oil.

Step #1: Gather the Necessary Materials

Removing seized sparkers requires some basic tools and ingredients. Here is a list of the necessary tools and materials you require for this project.

  • Penetrating oil like Gasoila or PB blaster;
  • Ratchet (⅜”);
  • Breaker Bar (⅜”);
  • The extension (2”-6”);
  • Pipe (2”);
  • Socket Wrench that is suitable for spark plugs;
  • Turpentine (optional);
  • Never-seen.

Step #2: Identify the Spark Plugs

After collecting all the required tools and materials, now is time to locate the spark plugs. Typically, the spark plugs are located on the upper position of the cylinder head. Note that it varies from car to car because different model cars have different configurations.

However, the front-side spark plugs are easier to get than the rear ones. The rear plugs are usually underneath the car, depending on the car model and year. Also, be sure how many cylinders are in your car.

If you have a 4-inline cylinder, find the spark plugs in the side panel or top side of the engine inline. In contrast, if you have a 6-cylinder engine car, search for the sparker in the cylinder head’s top side.

Note: If you still don’t find the items, see your owner’s manual.

Step #3: Access the Spark Plugs

After locating where the spark plugs exactly are, access the spark plugs. It should be done for smooth work. In some models, you may not find the sparker at the top of the cylinder head or engine head. In this case, you must remove the other components surrounding the plugs or those that are resisting you to get the plugs. There may be an electrical connector at the head, wiper, and tray that you should remove. 

Step #4: Apply The Gasoila Penetrating Oil

Now, apply the penetration oil or PB blaster to loosen the nut of the spark plugs. Here you need to wait for a night or half a day. Leave the oil to soak the plugs overnight to get the bolt effortlessly. If you have to hurriedly remove it, 30 to 60 minutes will suffice.

Indeed, it depends on how easily you need to remove it. If you want to get the bolt in just 5 minutes without applying additional force or using a high-end bolt remover, you should wait 24 hours.

Step #5: Tighten The Existing Plugs

After soaking the plugs overnight, now, tighten the plugs with a spark plug socket wrench. It sounds strange but worth doing it. It should be done to ensure the plug’s thread gets enough oil to dissolve swiftly.

Step #6: Repeat The Process

Again retighten the plugs until they get soaked thoroughly. Repeat and repeat this process till you feel it comes out smoothly. Tighten the item and apply the Gasoila or other penetrating oils.

You can use a heat gun to heat the plugs. Alternatively, if you face trouble removing the plugs, turn on the engine for a while. It will reduce your hassle by providing heat.

Please note that, attempt to do this only when dealing with spark plugs that are located at the aluminum head. It’s because the aluminum head extends significantly when heated. Consequently, the stuck plug comes off hassle-free.

Keynote: When you turn the engine on, it gets hot. So try not to work again soon. Let the system cool down, and then jump to the removal process. If you are not willing to wait, try using a wrench extension (6”) with the socket wrench to work safely. The engine heating process is only applicable when removing the front plug, not the rear one.

Step #7: Clean And Install Again

Now you are in the last stage of removing the plugs. After eliminating the plugs, clean them thoroughly. To do so, spray the sparker threads and take time to take off any residue like dirt, dust, and grease-based ingredients.

Air dryers or compressed air will work efficiently to remove grime from the thread. Finally, install the new plugs by lubricating the plugs thoroughly. Here, you can use never-seem to lubricate accurately. Cleaning any rust from the ports is also needed before installation.

You can try the following methods too.

Method #2: Use a Breaker Bar, a ratchet, and a Socket Wrench:

If you are not supposed to go through a long process, try using the breaker bar and socket wrench. Sometimes, using a socket that is designed for a spark plug and a ratchet comes in handy, especially while working to remove the stuck spark plug. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to handling the process.

Step 1: Remove any obstructions around the plugs or obstructing the plugs. Mostly, there might be an electrical connector or engine cover.

Step 2: Now, eliminate or disconnect the ignition coils set to the spark plugs. There you may see the wire boot top of the coils.

Step 3: Take a specific socket to thread the spark plugs. Next, connect the ratchet and rotate it anticlockwise. This way, you can lose the spark plug.

Step 4: If you end up with the ratchet and socket wrench, try using the breaker bar. The breaker bar is a great tool to remove any stubborn bolts or plugs efficiently.

Step 5: You can use a pipe wrench for better grip around the objects.

Key Takeaways:

  • The purpose of using the breaker bar and socket wrench is to generate more force than the typical wrench.
  • Using a torque wrench will be handy to keep the thread well-organized and avoid over-tightening. Also, the Universal joint performs better when dealing with narrower surfaces. It allows you to reach the difficult-reaching area. Furthermore, it makes it easier to rotate the wrench from one axis to another.

Method #3: The Heat Gun Works Fine

A heat gun can be used to remove stubborn plugs. It heats the spark plug up and slowly but surely loosens the tightly attached plugs from the cylinder head or engine. Before using the heat gun over the spark plug joint, make sure you take the necessary measurements or cautions.

A heat gun can destroy spark plugs and even engines. Also, it’s a good practice if you consult a professional mechanic before using the heat gun.

Method #4: Use WD-40

Though many experienced campaigners don’t recommend using the WD-40, it could be the X-factor in some cases. It’s always recommended to use WD-40 to remove water, which in turn resists corrosion and moisture. So if you witness the spark plugs getting so rusty and hard to remove, don’t stare here and there expecting to use WD-40.

Method #5: Use A Vise-Grip

A vise grip is another effective solution to remove the spark plugs that are hard to remove. If you want a proper grip, you can use it. Moreover, it allows you to rotate the plugs easily. It is a vital process if you tried the above methods but failed i.e. it can be your last resort to remove the seized plugs.

You can follow this video to make your process easier.

Reasons Why Sparks Plugs Get Stuck Frequently

Depending on your driving style or how your vehicle operates, there is a chance to affect the spark plugs now and then. From time to time, spark plugs are damaged in many ways, including bad ignition coils. However, take a look at the possible reasons why the spark plug seized or stuck frequently.

  • Carbon Buildup

The excessive amount of carbon build-up can cause the plugs to become stubborn. If you drive your car for a long time but maintain it poorly, it’ll cause carbon buildup. Also, rich air-fuel mixture, frail ignition, and lack of heat help to build carbon residue. As a result of building carbon, the spark plug can’t produce enough spark and gets stuck at some points.

  • Corrosion In The Thread

Rust and corrosion affect the spark plug’s electrode and make the electrode itself corrode easily. Resulting in, you notice poor engine operation or even, the engine can’t run at all. When the thread gets corroded, the smoothness loses which causes the plug to turn into the stubborn one.

  • Excessive Oil Accumulated In The Threaded Area

Spark plugs accumulate with fuel or oil. When the air-fuel ratio is higher or the engine is damaged, the oil drips onto the plugs. As a result, there seems to be a lot of oil accumulated in the thread that gradually ends the thread’s shape. It means 

  • Ignition Coils Malfunction

An inappropriate ignition coil could be a damaging factor if it isn’t good enough. So check it and take action according to the problem. Then, change the ignition coil.

  • Poor Or Cheap Spark Plugs

If the spark plug is cheaper or normal, it usually gets ruined quickly. As a result, you notice the spark plugs are hard to extract.

Read also: Why Spark Plugs Get Wet With Oil, Water, Gas, Or Petrol?


How Can You Tell If A Spark Plug Is Clogged?

The most intriguing signs of clogged spark plugs are rough idle, engine misfiring, excessive fuel consumption, starting hassle, acceleration inconvenience, surging of the engine, etc. When you notice any of these symptoms, understand it is high time to replace the spark plugs.

Do Stuck Spark Plugs Cause Serious Damage?

Yes, stuck or clogged spark plugs are a dangerous issue for you and your car. It can lead to severe damage to the engine. However, if you are forcing the stuck plugs too hard, you will experience poor drivability. Also, you will face other serious troubles when the spark plugs get stuck.

Final Verdict

Spark plugs do a lot to prevent the engine from misfiring and running smoothly. But what if you notice the spark plugs are not in shape or get stuck at some point? Then, it prevents the engine from giving you the most. Hence, you need to remove them. Before that, knowing how to remove spark plugs that are stuck is crucial.

There are many removing approaches there to deal with hard-to-remove plugs. But one of the handy and mechanical choice methods is using penetrating oil. Also, using a breaker bar, torque wrench, ratchet, or socket wrench will be a game changer.

Also, knowing the reasons to reduce the chance of getting spark plugs stuck or stubborn. Hopefully, you enjoyed the reading and utilized the recommended ideas perfectly to remove the spark plugs.

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