HomeDo It YourselfStuck Spark Plug Boot? No Problem! Here's How to Remove It

Stuck Spark Plug Boot? No Problem! Here’s How to Remove It

How to Remove Spark Plug Boot That Is Stuck — An In-depth Step By Step Guide

As a vehicle owner, executing routine checks on it is essential. A small component getting stuck in your car’s engine could lead to breakdowns that could result in expensive repairs. When replacing your spark plugs you need to keep an out for stubborn spark plug boots. If they are stuck take a look below at how to remove a spark plug boot that is stuck. 

What Is a Spark Plug Boot?

A spark plug boot, commonly referred to as a coil boot or an ignition boot, connects the ignition coil to your engine’s spark plugs. Modern vehicles integrate a single ignition coil, responsible for creating the voltage mounted on spark plugs.

Spark plug boot that is hard to reach to remove.

These boots act as an insulator as they restrict spark plugs from making accidental shorts in the engine bay. It’s vital to note that the insulating attributes of a spark plug boot breaks down as time passes.

When this breakdown occurs, voltage from the ignition coil takes a different direction. Rather than going through the boot to the spark plug. It finds the easiest path to ground which can mean out the side of the ignition coil pack and going through the cylinder head. 

If this happens, the cylinder loses power and misfires, causing engine trouble.

Replacing a Stuck Spark Plug Boot: Essential Steps to Follow

Although cars come with spark plug boots attached to each plug, the plastic insulation breaks down over time and they might become stuck in the process. Most times, severe heat from the vehicle’s engine results in a stuck spark plug boot.

Utilizing the wrong technique for stuck spark plug boot removal can damage plug wires of the affected cylinder.

Following the simple steps we’re about to outline ensures you perform this activity safely and without incident.

Step 1: Identify the stuck spark plug boot

The first thing that you need to do is locate the spark plug boot that is stuck. Heck, this is the easy part, after all this is most likely the reason you searched for this article. 

Spark plug boots that are stuck on spark plugs.

Step 2: Apply lubricant

After you’ve identified the stuck spark plug boot, apply some type of lubricant to the stuck plug wire terminal. While it is hard to get lubricant into the boot, try spraying it from underneath. This application should help the boot and wire come off easier. 

Step 3: Spin the plug wire and boot

Here, you’d need to grab a pair of needle nose pliers or even spark plug boot pliers. Once you are ready ensure that you have a good grip. Now, rotate the plug wire. Make sure that you use as little force as possible when spinning the plug wire and boot.

Note that applying brute force while twisting the plug wire could tear the plug wire and boot. 

Step 4: Pull the spark plug boot

Rotating the wire while pulling is essential for disconnecting it from the plug’s top terminal. Before you pull the boot, press it down. That way, the lubricant has a chance to spread on the rubber surfaces until you remove the spark plug wire assembly. 

When you remove the spark plug boot and wire you need to take care not to pull the wire apart. It can be very easy to pull on the spark plug wire too heavily and pull the wire right out of the put. Make sure that when you pull, you are directly pulling on the boot itself and not the wire.

A person using spark plug boot pliers to remove a stuck spark plug boot

Step 5: Remove the spark plug boot

After you get the stuck spark plug boot removed from the spark plug you need to inspect. It can be common for a boot that is stuck badly to become damaged during removal. If any damage is noticed on the spark plug boot, replace the entire spark plug wire set with new plug wires. This will prevent future headaches. 

If you need to replace the spark plugs, now is the time to use the best spark plug socket to remove them from the cylinder head.

Step 6: Re-Install or install new spark plug wires

Coat the new spark plug boots with dielectric grease before re-installation. Dielectric grease will make sure that the next time you need to remove a spark plug wire you can do so easily. 

When installing new spark plug wires make sure that you plug them firmly into the spark plug terminal. This will make sure that the boot is connected correctly and you will have no mysterious misfires when you start the engine. 

IMPORTANT: During spark plug servicing make sure your car’s engine isn’t hot to avoid burns.

Tell-Tale Signs That Your Car Has Faulty Spark Plug Boots

Do you have a busy schedule that prevents you from checking your car engine’s spark plug boots to ensure they’re in great shape? If that’s the case, here are some notable signs that indicates a faulty or stuck spark plug boot in your automobile’s engine compartment so you know what is going on:

Engine hesitation

Engine hesitation occurs when there’s something off about your engine’s internal combustion process. As such, your engine tends to misfire, stumble, or lack sufficient power when you hit the throttle to accelerate. These hesitations become more noticeable when you’re going up a hill or changing gears.

Rough idling

If your engine’s idling is rough, there might be a problem with one or more spark plug boots. Here, your engine’s RPM will fluctuate regularly and you’ll notice reduced fuel economy while driving.

Reduced engine power

If you’re finding it difficult to accelerate, the “Check Engine Light”  might appear on your dashboard. Sometimes the check engine light will be flashing. 

The “Check Engine Light” prompt appearing on your car’s dash indicates you may have reduced performance to protect the engine. Note that this light is usually turned on when the engine control unit (ECU) senses a system failure.

This scenario could occur due to numerous reasons. But if you just serviced your vehicle lately and this issue crops up, conduct due diligence and check each spark plug boot in the engine bay to make sure they are installed correctly. 

Plug wire cracks

A stuck spark plug boot could result in plug wire cracks. If you spot this during routine car checks, ensure you replace them immediately as they could lead to damage.

Car refuses to start

Your car refusing to start after several cranks might be a tell-tale sign of stuck spark plug boot(s). If you suddenly can’t start your automobile as you used to, perform checks around the engine’s cylinder head to spot any stuck spark plug boot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I remove spark plug wires without breaking them?

If you want to remove spark plug wires and don’t want to break any in the process, we recommend locating the wire you’d like to take out first.

After doing this, hold on to the attached spark plug boot and start rotating it either direction. During rotation, pull the boot out simultaneously. That way, the plug wire is less strained and will come out easily, hopefully, without breaking the wire.

What tools do you need to remove a stuck spark plug boot?

If you’ve uncovered a stuck spark plug boot and would like to remove it without damaging any other parts it will be best to grab these tools:

●      Needle nose pliers

●        Rubber gloves

●        Dielectric grease or lubricant oil

●        A good set of side cutters

●        Spark plug sockets

Is pulling out a stuck spark plug boot challenging?

Not really. Nonetheless, the difficulty you’ll encounter while removing a stuck spark plug boot depends on your technical skills. If you’re in a hurry, you risk breaking  it. As such, you need to proceed with caution to ensure it doesn’t break.

Is twisting required when removing stuck spark plug boots?

When removing stuck boots, it’ll be best to twist them or rotate them when you are pulling. Before twisting, ensure you’ve got an excellent grip on the affected spark plug boot.

Twisting is vital as it removes some of the friction existing between the spark plug terminal and boot that formed in-between engine heating and cooling cycles.

Can a stuck spark plug boot be dangerous to my truck?

No, however it can cause issues with your engine. A stuck spark plug boot is dangerous to your truck. Since the boot acts as an insulator against high voltages, getting stuck might redirect electricity to the cylinder head, causing it to have a misfire

This scenario can lead to misfires, surges, and other symptoms like we mentioned above. So, once you notice a damaged spark plug boot in your engine’s compartment, make an effort to get it fixed as soon as possible.

How do I prevent my spark plug boots from sticking?

If you’d like to prevent spark plug boot from  sticking entirely, we recommend using dielectric grease. Dielectric grease safeguards spark plug boots from corrosion that can cause it to get stuck. The dielectric grease will enhance the connection and prevent you from getting a headache the next time you need to service your spark plugs.

Are spark plug boot heat shield protectors important?

Yes. Attaching heat shield protectors onto your car’s spark plug boots protects the spark plug wire and spark plug boots from melting or burning. By safeguarding you against damaged spark plugs that can affect engine combustion, these protectors prevent misfires of any form.

Removing a Stuck Spark Plug Boot can be Frustrating; Don’t lose hope!

Engine spark plug boots are important for your car’s overall functioning. If any of them gets stuck, driving can be unsafe as they present a ton of problems. Ranging from excess misfiring to plug wire cracks that could lead larger issues

John Morris
John Morrishttps://autoknowit.com
John Morris is the technical editor for AutoKnowIt.com. His years of experience in automotive repair as well as an automotive professor have prepared him to ensure that even the most technical information is accurate and concise at all times.

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