How to Remove a Stuck Spark Plug from Aluminum

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Spark plugs are essential to a vehicle’s functionality. Often, a failing spark plug can lead to engine problems like misfiring. Engine problems can eventually lead to engine failure, and that leads to costly repairs.

Spark plugs can become stuck in the aluminum head. Because spark plugs last so long, the chance of becoming stuck is rather common. Typically, spark plugs do not require much replacement, but if one of them becomes stuck, removing them takes some skill. 

It is exceptionally important to be careful when removing a stuck spark plug. By placing too much force, the aluminum head could damage in the process. That could cost a lot of money to repair. 

Also Read: How To Remove A Broken Bolt From Aluminum

To save you any laborious repairs, we are going to give you step-by-step directions on how to remove a stuck spark plug. Be sure to follow these directions carefully, and you will be able to successfully remove that spark plug. 

How to Remove a Broken Bolt from Aluminum

  1. Use a good quality rust penetrating oil

    Penetrating oil is not the same as an all-purpose lubricant. In order to properly and successfully remove a stuck spark plug, a good quality penetrating oil is important. 

    Here are some good products:
    • Liquid Wrench
    • WD-40 Specialist
    • Knock-er Loose
    • Feeze-Off

Liquid Wrench Gunk L112/6 Super Penetrant Spray - 11 oz, Gray

WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner Spray, Twin-Pack, 11 oz

CRC 401724 Technician Grade Knock'er Loose Lubricant Penetrant, 18 Wt Oz

Compound W Freeze Off Wart Remover, 8 Applications

  1. Start with a soak

    Make sure there is no dust or debris surrounding the spark plug before proceeding. Once the coast is clear, apply a liberal amount of the penetrating oil at the bottom the plug. After that, be sure to wait at least a half hour to 45 minutes before attempting to turn the spark plug at all.

    Keep in mind, this oil will be your best friend throughout this entire process, so be sure to keep it handy.

  2. Try a quarter turn

    Keep in mind, the soaking will not allow you to simply pull the spark plug straight out. You must turn the plug cautiously and gently to ensure no parts of your vehicle became damaged.

    After the 30 to 45-minute soak, you can turn the spark plug (gently) a quarter of the way. To do this, place the socket on the spark plug and turn. If the spark plug stays put, try tightening it the same amount then add more oil.

    Continue this step until you meet resistance then add more penetrating oil. 

  3. Tighten the spark plug

    This seems counterproductive, but it works. 

    The whole point of removing a stuck spark plug is to move the threads so the penetrating oil can do its job. 

    Continue to tighten the plug until you cannot tighten it any further. After that, add more oil. 

  4. Loosen the spark plug

    Now you can loosen the spark plug until you meet resistance. Once you do, add more oil. 

  5. Repeat these steps

    If you keep repeating the pattern of tighten, loosen and oil, the spark plug should come out in no time. 

    When it finally does make its appearance, you should then clean the spark plug threads thoroughly. It is important to remove as much of that penetrating oil as you can. Then you can use a dry rag to soak up any remainder of it. 

    After that, you can use brake cleaner to remove the last bits of oil then dry with compressed air.

  6. Install the new spark plug

    Now you can install the new spark plug. 

    Be sure to remember that you should only apply anti-seize if the spark plug manufacturer recommends it. 

    You can use a torque wrench to help the installation process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove a stuck spark plug socket?

To remove a stuck spark plug socket may take some ingenuity. 

Some people have found success in fashioning their own tools to remove the stuck socket. In fact, by heating the tip of a cheap screwdriver and bending it has proved to be successful. 

At the last resort, you could also tow your vehicle to an auto shop in order to have a professional take a look at it. 

Why won’t my spark plugs come out?

Your spark plug may not come out because it is stuck. If the spark plug is stuck, it will not come out very easily.  

Even after soaking the plug with penetrating oil, it will still take a lot of maneuvering to remove the plug. If the spark plug will not loosen, try tightening it by turning it clockwise. 

Most likely, you will have to repeat the tighten, loosen then add oil steps over and over until the spark finally comes out. Keep in mind, loosening it means turning it counterclockwise. Tightening it means turning the other direction.

Spark plugs are important to the function of your vehicle. If a spark plug becomes stuck, it can easily become frustrating, especially if it is taking forever to come out. Follow the steps listed, and be sure to have some patience. You will remove that spark plug soon enough. 

Remember to be gentle and work slowly.


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