96 Accord Loose Spark Plug Wire Boot

Earlier today when I was driving my 96 Accord (25th Anniversary Edition, 2.2L MFI SOHC 4cyl) on the freeway, I felt the engine begin to murmur. I pulled over and pulled the OBD code, and got P0302: cylinder 2 misfire detected.

I popped the hood, and immediately saw that one of the rubber spark plug wire boots was loose (photos for reference).

I tried pushing it back in place over the spark plug, but it would not stay attached. Why might this be? All other wire boots are in place and will not detach even when pulled on lightly, but the boot over cylinder 2 does not want to re-attach to the engine valve cover.

Is this because the boot itself is faulty? Is it because the spark plug is out of position? Should I try removing the spark plug and screwing it back in place? Should I put a hose clamp around the boot? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Take a spark plug socket/ratchet and make sure the spark plug isn’t loose.

If not, the engine needs a new set of spark plug wires.



Thanks for the quick response! Do you happen to know what socket these spark plugs take? Are they the standard 5/8", or are they 14mm?

With the detailed info you have about the car you can go to any car parts store or find a set of pre-configured spark plug wires online.

Aren’t spark plugs usually 13/16" or is that 21mm? Always just one size larger than a stardard deep socket set has. Be careful to not over tighten spark plugs with an aluminum cylinder head.

I wonder if the metal part inside the plastic or rubber that fits over the spark plug broke. Can you pull it out and see if the end looks different from one of the good ones?

5/8 fits the NGK plugs on my Toyotas and Subarus. You could just buy some new plugs and then tailor the purchase of the socket to that size.

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Even back in the 70’s almost all diy tool sets (even the K-Mart specials) had both 5/8 and 13/16 spark plug sockets included.

Depends on what set you are buying.

Yeah that was the 70s. I got a metric wrench set in the 90s and it goes all the way up to 19mm, but it lacks 12mm! The 2nd most commonly used size in automotive! Then I got an American wrench set at HF and it lacks 11/32", which is what #8-32 electrical screws and nuts typically use!

Yeah, what about the sets without the 11 and 20mm.? So frustrating.

Back to plugs, the ones listed by rockauto for this car use a 5/8" socket, apparently a 16mm also works.

I’m betting the plug was loose, looks like the boot got blown off.