Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Helicoil fell into spark plug well. what do I need to do to get it out. thank you.

asked by on

I stripped a spark plug and when I was trying to thread it the helicoil went down to the cylinder head. I've already tried a magnet with no success, I just need an explanation of the procedure I need to do. I can't afford a mechanic right now so I have no choice but to do it myself. I'd appreciate the help very much. Thank you

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: There are only a couple things to try. One ...

There are only a couple things to try. One way is to use a magnet like you’ve already tried to get into the cylinder. I’m not sure what kind of magnet you used but you may have to use a flexible type of magnet to get into the lower areas of the cylinder in order to get the piece out.

Another way is to use flexible mechanical fingers and a long piece of clean rag with a dab of thick grease on the end. Work the rag into the hole and onto the piston. Then try moving it around to try and get ahold of the piece. Once you do this you should get it out.

If these methods don’t work you will need to blow compressed air into the hole using a long thin air tube and use a rag to catch anything that comes out. If you’re still not able to get it out then the head will need to be removed completely.

If you’re unable to get the piece out and your budget allows some assistance from a mechanic, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home and help service your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Spark plug popped-out

It is common on this engine for the spark plugs to pop, and there are two typical fixes: either the spark plug hole could have a new insert put into it, or the head will have to be replaced. I...

Q: 1998 Dodge Dakota Keeps stalling and backfires sometimes

Hi there. You may have a bad or contaminated mass air sensor or a leak in the air tube between the mass air sensor and the throttle body. Have the computer tested for codes and check mass air sensor readings...

Q: Brake pedal low

Hi, thanks for writing in. If you have not lost any brake fluid, but your brake pedal is going low to the floor, the master cylinder is likely the issue. When the internal seals of the master cylinder fail, they...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...