One of the most frustrating things that can happen to automotive enthusiasts is when they try to change their spark plugs but can't get them out. The hardest one is to remove from aluminum head because metal tools won't work on them properly. What's a person supposed to do? There's a simple trick you can use! Read our guide about how to remove stuck spark plug from aluminum head.
What is a spark plug, and what does it do?
Spark plugs are designed to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the engine's cylinders. They have one job, and that's why it's essential to maintain them regularly. You will find spark plugs on vehicles with internal combustion engines. More specifically, gasoline engines that have 4, 6, or 8 cylinders.
Gasoline is poured into our cars' gas tanks and is sent to the engine through a vacuum-operated fuel pump. Once it's inside the cylinder, the spark plugs ignite the mixture, which results in power moving your vehicle. The more efficiently this process works, the better your vehicle performs and uses less gas.
Reasons of stuck steel plug?
Spark plugs stuck in cylinder head could result from several different reasons:
- Debris stuck in the cylinder head or spark plug.
- Oil or dirt builds upon spark plugs ceramic insulation, causing it to seize in the engine or blue exhaust smoke.
- The threads of stuck spark plugs have been stripped, and they need replacement.
Tools needed to remove the seized spark plug:
- Spark plug removal tool.
- Wooden or rubber mallet.
- Spark plug socket.
How to remove stuck spark plug from aluminum head
There is a simple and effective procedure of removing stuck spark plugs from aluminum head:
1. Prepare spark plug removal tool
First, prepare the tools you'll be using to remove stuck spark plugs from the aluminum head. You will need something that can deliver blunt force, such as a wooden or rubber mallet. Also, get a spark plug extractor kit designed for plug removal to make the process much easier. You can find these tools at any automotive store.
2. Hit the stuck spark plug
Then, hit the stuck plug with a mallet to loosen it from its seat. Give it a few good whacks and see if you're able to separate the seized spark plug from the cylinder head. If this does not work, you will need to proceed to the next step.
3. Remove plug with an extraction kit
Using your spark plug extractor kit, insert the screw end of the tool into the spark plug socket and place your socket wrench on top of the screw end. Then begin turning counterclockwise until the
plug is removed. You may need a hammer to finish it off.
4. Clean spark plug socket
When you finish taking the spark plugs out of the head, clean the socket with a wire brush. Then wipe down the spark plug with a cloth. It is essential because the spark plugs threads in the cylinder head may cause damage if not properly maintained.
Tips while removing stuck plugs from aluminum head
- The first thing you should do is to find out the stuck spark plug for your specific engine.
- Use the right tools because the wrong tool will not work on aluminum heads spark plugs.
- Make sure you have installed spark plugs correctly to avoid excessive heat damage.
- Check spark plugs regularly to prevent spark plug stuck issues from happening in the first place.
- Don't use a spark plug removal tool that cannot deliver blunt force.
- Like a wooden or rubber mallet, don't sure the spark plug is torqued to the correct specifications.
- Always wear protective gloves when removing stuck spark plugs.
Spark Plug Remover Myths and Facts:
Myth 1: Placing steel wool on the spark plug before removing it will help you unscrew it.
Fact: Spark plugs with steel wool attached to the top of them won't come out. It's simply not possible to remove spark plugs with steel wool attached to them.
Myth 2: Rubber mallet is the only tool you need to remove spark plug.
Fact: You can use a rubber mallet if it's the only thing available and you're unable to find a plug extractor kit. However, hitting the spark plug with a rubber mallet will take longer than using a spark plug extractor.
Myth 3: You can use chemicals to try and dissolve the spark plugs in your aluminum head.
Fact: Chemicals only help loosen the spark plug. This will not help you remove spark plugs stuck in aluminum heads.
1. Can you use a magnet to get spark plugs out?
You can't use a magnet to get spark plugs out. It won't work. This myth comes from the fact that spark plug wire boots are magnetic.
2. Can you remove the spark plug with pliers?
Yes, you can remove spark plugs with pliers if it's necessary. But we do not recommend this method because you might damage the spark plug.
3. What size sockets are spark plugs?
Plug tools have a standard size of 13/16/18 inches. Moreover, it varies depending on the vehicle. Check your specific engine specs before getting started to ensure that you use spark plug sockets that fit correctly.
4. Can I replace spark plugs on my own?
The short answer is yes. However, if you're not sure what you're doing, we recommend getting a mechanic to help you with the replacement. It will help avoid causing damage and can save time and money in the long run.
With the right tools, you can remove a stuck spark plug from aluminum head without much trouble. The key is to have patience and be mindful of how easy it might break off if something goes wrong.
It's not hard, but it is time-consuming. These few tricks can make your job much easier. We hope this blog post was helpful!