Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Spark plug stuck right in the head, how bad is it?

asked by on

I was replacing the spark plugs in my 2007 Ford Explorer when one broke off right there in the cylinder head! I'm glad that I was able to get 136,000 miles out of my truck before having a problem, but am disappointed that this made it through all the checks and inspections at the factory. I am worried that the cylinder head could get damaged removing one of these plugs. What can be done?

A: The spark plugs in your engine have an exte...

The spark plugs in your engine have an extended shield on the tip of each plug. This shield will get a carbon ring build-up over time and if you try to remove the plug, the carbon will bind the treads and possibly break off the lower part of plug in the hole. To remove plugs, you have to loosen each plug about 1/8 turn, then put carbon cleaner in each plug hole and let it sit for a couple of hours to soften the carbon on the plug tip. Then, by hand using constant turning, take out each plug. If one or more break off, you will need the special plug end removal tool, Rotunda 303-1203 or equal, to remove the broken off piece. If the tool cannot remove it, then the head would have to be removed to extract the piece.

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: car will not start/ starter checked out good had ecm changed1 1/2 years ago check engine soon light came on the next day wouldnt

If the Check Engine Light is on, I recommend that you request a check engine light diagnostic. That diagnostic will very likely lead to a resolution of your no start condition. If the starter motor is, in fact, good (stater...

Q: Having the engine stall now, at random

A car that stalls unexpectedly can be unsettling. As for your inquiry about an easy solution, the engine doesn’t need to be inspected but everything involved in getting the engine to run does. To help aid in the diagnosis, let...

Q: How do I use the radio presets?

The radio presets allow you to save your favorite radio stations so that they are easy to use. To use the radio presets, follow these steps: 1. Set the radio to the band that you would like the preset to...

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.