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Help! Spark plug wire boots - Slipping off...why won't they stay?

Hello all.

Excuse me for my potential idiocy…I recently had my distributor cap replaced (w/ new spark plugs and wires).

However, the wire boots now keep slipping off the cap…usually once a day. How do I prevent these from coming loose?

BTW: my car is a 1.3L 4cyl 1996 geo metro

Thanks in advance


Probably got the wrong sparkplug wire set or what is called a universal set of plug wires. You’ll pay more for a quality set of aftermarket sparkplug wires. But then they’ll fit right and won’t slip off.


I see

I also had the distributor cap replaced. Could this be part of the problem as well?

i.e. are the wire not fitting b/c of the distributor cap?

if it is the wires…would any of these be better?

many thanks!

Is this where you get these kind of parts from? No, no, no! When it comes to maintenance parts such as these, stick with a good local parts store that sells quality aftermarket parts. This way if there’s a problem, you can walk in and yell, “You guy’s screwed up again!!” And then they can help you find the right part.

Only use these part sites if you can’t locate a part locally, or if the price of the part is cheaper than locally.


Other that being a second to what Tester stated, it should be up to the shop or person who installed these to make it right, based on the operative word “had”, which I assume means you have someone do it.
To be honest, this is something that is noticeable from the get-go and should have never gone out the shop door like this.

I have been buying parts on line for my four cars for many years, but I have never heard of the on-line store you pointed to. However, I see that they list Bosch, Denso, and AC Delco parts for your car. The first two are the the two top names in the business (with Denso recently getting the nod, since Bosch was bought out). That would give me reasonable confidence that I was getting good parts.

I don’t suppose anyone might have sprayed silicon on the wires to make them slide on the cap easier?

I’ve had tight fitting wires before that did this even though they were the correct wires for the application. If the wires are being installed dry, they can be tough to get to slide all the way down the terminal tower. They tend to pop off later. Before rushing out to buy new wires, try applying a dab of dielectric grease to the inside of the boot. Smear it around and then twist the boot as you push it on. It should feel right as it bottoms out on the terminal.

Thank you to Tester and everyone else for the replies.

I originally bought the parts at a Napa store in Des Moines, IA and had a relative of a friend do the work for me. I was on my way home (I live 2hrs away) when I originally discovered this problem. So I guess, I can’t really go back to the shop on this one.

The site I listed was just from a random search. I just wanted to know if there were particular brands of wires I should try or not try. I don’t want to make the same mistake again but am unsure what aftermarket brand to purchase.

Again, thanks for the help everyone.


Is there some sort of anti-silicon to make these sticky? How about using a piece of string to secure these - do you think that temporarily might work as a last resort?