Seized Spark Plugs

March 16, 2009

Our tip of the week deals with dealing with seized spark plugs. It's not uncommon these days for a vehicle to come in with one or more spark plugs that simply can't be removed because they're seized. When that situation occurs, in some case, a repair can be made to the vehicle without changing the spark plugs because the problems actually were somewhere else. The turning or driveability issues can be addressed with new plug wires or other tuning options.

However, sooner or later, when those spark plugs are worn to the point where they cause a misfire, you'll have to deal with that situation. When that crops up, what we do is enlist the services of an automotive machine shop to help us out. In many cases, we've got to use extreme force to remove the spark plug, which often results in a stripped or damaged thread.

Then we've got to enlist the machine shop to insert what we call a Healey coil which is a thread repair system. They cut a new thread in the cylinder head, insert the Healey coil, and the inside of the Healey coil is the original spark plug thread size. Then your replacement spark plug goes back in.

But, believe me, the best advice I can give you is to deal with this situation on a proactive basis. In other words, before the spark plugs seize up, on a regular basis, change the spark plugs, use high-quality plugs like Rapid Fire or Platinum Tip spark plugs that have nickel-plated shells. They're less likely to seize in the engine. And also use anti-seize compound on the threaded area of the spark plug. And in most cases, that'll prevent the spark plugs from seizing up in the first place.

That's your tip of the Week!

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