Broken spark plug


#1

well i was changing the spark plugs on my wifes new used car and broke one off in the block. some of the plug is still showing. its a 2001 ford escort 4cyl. can she still drive it if i unplug the injector? any ideas to fix it, any help would be appreciated thanks


#2

She should not. The cylinder will become wetted with gasoline and may contaminate the oil, you may damage the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter, and if something else should fail you’ll never know because the CEL light will be eternally lit. And I’m probably missing a few side effects.

If there’s enough showing to grab with vice grips, saturate the surrounding thread with penetrating oil, allow it to penetrate, and try to remove the remainder. If you cannot you may need to take it to a shop. They may have to bore and back the remainder out and vacuum the residue out of the cylinder.

By the way, do you use a torque wrench when you install plugs?


#3

I’ve broken plenty of spark plugs during removal (and during installation too when the 5/8" plugs were first introduced) but it has always been the ceramic portion of the plug that has broken off, never the steel portion (which is all that the socket grabs). Are you certain you can’t get a socket on the remaining plug? It may be difficult to see without shining a light on it. -


#4

I broke a plug off in a customers VW bus with the type 4 engine. Engine had to come out ,head came off out to the machine shop.Plug had to come out some how. Was doing a tune-up,job required plug removal,dont know who put them in,a little silver anti-sieze would have been nice. Dont remember who paid. Bad day


#5

did you break off the steel part of the plug, or just the ceramic?

by any chance were you using a regular long 12 point socket? NEVER use a 12. ALWAYS use a six point socket.

if you rounded off the spark plug hex, with a 12 point there may be enough flat to get a six point on. BUT this is a last gasp before lots of work. (as was mentioned by others)

maybe ask for help from another mechanic to assess the situation. you dont want to kill this last chance at cheap repair.


#6

The steel. It was a six-point Snap-on magnetic socket.You needed a mag socket because of the deep sheet metal.Believe me I am not proud of it . It was 1973 I was eighteen. I was hitchiking to a interview for a job as a pizza cook. A mechanic on a test drive picked me up we got to talking,he said the VW shop next to his Mercedes shop wanted help,thats how it all started


#7

ok, but i was sort of referring to the OP


#8

Sorry kinda got self-absorbed there


#9

Elvis seems to have left the building. The OP must have left with him.


#10

thanks guys yea i about cried when it happened going to pb bast it today and do that for a few days then try


#11

did you break off the steel part of the plug, or just the ceramic?

by any chance were you using a regular long 12 point socket? NEVER use a 12. ALWAYS use a six point socket.

if you rounded off the spark plug hex, with a 12 point there may be enough flat to get a six point on. BUT this is a last gasp before lots of work. (as was mentioned by others)

maybe ask for help from another mechanic to assess the situation. you dont want to kill this last chance at cheap repair.


#12

yea i broke from the nut head up off just mabey 1/4 inch sticking out if that


#13

Since the metal is broken the sane portion of my brain recommends “biting the bullet” and taking the car to a shop. On the other hand, if I had good access to the plug I’d be tempted to soak it overnight with penetrating oil, drill through the center with perhaps a 5/16 bit (careful not to hit the threads) and then use an “easy-out” to remove the plug. Hopefully a magnet, and small diameter hose on the end of your shop vac, would remove all of the filings from within the cylinder. A few prayers directed to the patron saint of mechanics during this process wouldn’t hurt.


#14

Try using an easy out. it is a tool that looks like a drill bit but has the flutes running in the opposite direction. You should be able to find one at Sears. You may have to get an extension for it since you are going into the head with it on the car. As you turn the easy out into the remaining part of the plug use a hammer to gently seat the flutes of the tool into the metal. Be careful not to break the easy out. They are very hard metal and will be bear to drill out.


#15

Be careful if you use an easy out. Use as low a speed on your drill when putting it in as possible. Also be very careful NOT to drill into the engine as this will ruin the treads. Also, since you are drilling into a spark plug make sure you stay in the center of the plug with the easy out. If you drill all the way thru the plug you will have pieces of the plug inside you engine. NOT good. If that does happen, use compressed air to blow out all the pieces. Also may be a good idea to use a small magnetic retriever to check for pieces. Or use a strong vacuum to get all the pieces out. If an easy out doesn’t work, you will have to take it to a machine shop.
Good luck


#16

A few prayers directed to the patron saint of mechanics during this process wouldn’t hurt.

Would that be Saint Thomas or Saint Raymond?


#17

I broken a Spark Plug off in a Pontiac 2.0l 4-cyl engine (removed it today) 1. Go to Sears and purchase Straight Tapered Flute Easy-Out set $12.99, 2. disassemble everything in the way to gain clear access to the area your working on. 3. (Pertaining we’re talking (all Thats left of the spark plug is the threads in the block) Drill a 5/16" hole then a 3/8" Hole. 4. Heat the remains using a portable torch (I used MAPP Gas as its hotter than propane) my cylinder head is Aluminum - heat the remains of the spark plug - just not cherry red - using a hammer tap the 3/8" straight easy-out into the hole you drilled. then spray (saturate) the area using Liquid Wrench or equiv. next using a 12-point metric 1/2" drive socket (11mm) this fits onto the easy-out. use a 1/2" breaker bar (I used a 30" long breaker bar) carefully apply enough pressure/force until the spark plug breaks free. Mine came out with a lot of effort as it was very tight. once the remains are out, take a small magnetic tip tool to get out all the fragments from within the cylinder. once your sure you’ve gotten out all metal fragments, Turn the engine over a few revolutions BUT Don’tstart the engine - all your doing is using engine compression to blow the rest of the fragments from within the cylinder. Using a Thread-Chaser $6.99 at Sears, repairs the spark plug threads. Be sure to use Silver Anti-seize on all spark plug threads to prevent this from happening again. Good Luck.


#18

Today I broke off a Spark plug in a Mercury Villager 2000 I did follow up all the instructions from rospecht, purchased from sears the straight tapered flute easy-out set used the #5 good for a 3/8 hole I did not have to drill since the hole left in the SP remains measured closed to 3/8 , I bought the MAPP gas but I was not able to heat up the remains, the torch keep turning off, therefore I used a very good liquid wrench called PB bought in the local auto zone, this is the best I ever used, it penetrated throughout because when pulled off the remains of the SP the thread was all wet, Thanks rospecht


#19

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