How to Remove Stuck Spark Plug From Aluminum Cylinder Head [Video Guide]

Spark plug problems are a common thing to experience. These parts are made to be very durable and intended for long-term use but aren’t forever. 

They can experience some wear and tear or progressive deterioration after a hundred thousand miles. 

Stuck spark plugs can happen when the engine is run for a significantly longer time. You shouldn’t try and yank the spark plug or apply too much force, hoping it will budge. 

Some aluminum head scraps might remain in the cylinder, which will cost more money to fix.

Slow and steady is still the most effective way to try and remove the spark plug properly. When done correctly, you can prevent spending an extra $500 to $1,500 in repairs. 

Removing the Spark Plug Stuck In Head

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The first thing to do is prevent spark plug threads from binding. You need to blow off and remove all dust surrounding the spark plug to do this. This step is best done with a cold engine as high temperatures tend to expand aluminum.

The next step is obtaining good quality rust penetrating oil that can break down buildup and grime in the spark plug.

Once you apply the fluid, it is best to let it soak and sit for around half an hour to give the solution time to penetrate the spark plug. 

After soaking, you can start noodling with the end of the spark plug. You can try to tap, loosen, or tighten the end.

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Remember that you can’t remove the plug from the aluminum head quickly. Keep your movements small and slow to let the penetrating fluid seep into the threads.

Try warming up the engine once the oil seeps into the spark plug’s nooks and crannies and still can’t be removed.

The heat can help the grime slowly deteriorate and loosen up. After this, just keep repeating the previous step until the spark plug is removed. 

Causes for faulty Spark Plugs

A prominent cause of faulty spark plugs is oil and carbon buildup. The protective coating on spark plugs disappears over time, and that buildup can happen. Another reason is low-quality fuel. 

Leaded gasoline can also cause since lead can enter the engine and damage the pistons and valves. Other causes include low-quality fuel filters, sloppy wire connections, and overheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Magnetic Sockets Helpful for Spark Plugs?

How to Remove Stuck Spark Plug

Magnetic sockets can help with a spark plug’s longevity and reliability. Rubber sockets are still the more cost-effective choice, and it does a satisfactory job of keeping the plugs in place. 

Magnetic sockets improve performance and have more precision in achieving their function. 

Is Using Anti-seize on Spark Plugs in the Aluminum Head Advised?

Applying anti-seize on spark plugs in the aluminum head isn’t common practice. This has a low level of efficacy and can cause excessive torquing. It is better to use penetrating oil rather than anti-seize. 

Can a Broken Spark Plug Cause Engine Damage?

Driving your vehicle with a broken spark plug is a disaster. This can cause grave, permanent, and possibly irreversible damage to the engine. 

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It is better to be safe and replace the broken spark plug before running the engine.

Remember that spark plugs are better to be changed altogether rather than one time. It will give you an easier time keeping track of when the next time for spark plug replacement should be. 

Can an Engine Function with a Missing Spark Plug?

A vehicle can temporarily function with a missing spark plug, but owners should resolve this as soon as possible. A missing spark plug negatively affects the vehicle’s performance.

 It can also damage the spark plug socket over time.

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