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How to Remove a Stripped Spark Plug

March 20, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

This article will teach you how to remove a stripped spark plug from your engine.

Spark plugs are necessary for an engine to create sparks and crank the engine, but they need to be replaced at intervals.

Although they might look rigid, they’re susceptible to breaking, striping off, getting stuck, and even melting when subjected to excess engine heat.

Removing a stripped spark plug from the engine isn’t as easy as you visualize it, but with patience, it’s doable.


Unlike standard spark plugs that can be removed with a socket wrench, a stripped spark plug can only be removed successfully using a special nut extractor socket and a penetrant spray.

This nut extractor socket is built to embody the whole stripped spark plug while you get rid of it; it’s also the perfect tool since spark plugs are often situated in strategic areas.

Let’s see a step-by-step solution to remove a stripped spark plug from your car’s engine without wasting much time.

How to Remove a Stripped Spark Plug

In removing a stripped spark plug, you must use the right tool, apply patience and use the correct method to avoid leftovers beneath the cylinder head.

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We’ll also need tools such as the nut extractor and penetrant spray (WD-40) for this procedure.

Once the tools have been achieved, follow the steps below to remove stripped spark plugs.

1. Lift the Car bonnet and Engine Covers

To get access to the spark plug, you’ll have to lift the car bonnet or engine covers, depending on the model of your car.

To simplify the procedure, you can remove Hoses and filters that might get in your way. This will ease the removal process and also prevent breakage.

2. Detach Spark Plug Wires

Next in line are the spark plug wires, mostly found on the lid of spark plugs.

Gently detach them from the spark plug to give you more transparent access to the spark plug pits.

3. Clean the Surroundings of the Stripped Spark Plug

To maintain a clean work environment, use a damp cloth to remove grease, dust, and debris around the stripped sparked plug.

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However, don’t use a blower on the area to avoid scattering the spark plugs, creating a more excellent job for yourself.

4. Apply Penetrant Spray on the Spark plug

You can now apply your penetrant spray on the base of the stripped spark plug and wait some time for it to work on it.

It’s often advised to leave the penetrant for at least 5 hours or overnight for the best result.

5. Attach the Nut Extractor Gently

Now, please select the correct Nut extractor socket size and attach it to the top part of the spark plug slowly, then go down slow.

Also, attach the bolt extractor tool to an extension to enable you to get hold of the complete spark plug.

Avoid going sideways to avoid damage when getting the whole stripped plug with the nut extractor. You can stand directly on the Spark plug for efficiency.

6. Turn the Nut Extractor Anti-clockwise

As said earlier, stay in a position that’ll enable you to apply downward pressure on the striped spark plug.

Next, apply downward pressure slowly and anti-clockwise to get hold of the complete spark plug.

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Ensure to push down as far as possible in a gentle manner to give you a better grip on the remaining parts of the spark plugs.

7. Slowly Detach the Nut Extractor and Spark plug

Once you’ve got hold of the complete spark plug, you can start detaching the wrench in an anti-clockwise manner to remove it.

You’ll need to take your time with this process and ensure the spark plug is completely removed.

8. Inspect the Spark Plug Socket

The last step is to use a torch to inspect the inside of the spark plug socket for any remains or damage.

Make sure to clean the area before installing a new spark plug.


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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.