Pesky spark plug wire

I have an 05 pt cruiser that was running rough. I pulled the plugs, which look fine, cranked it and discovered the car is now giving p030, misfire on #1. I checked the wire and sure enough, it isn’t sealing and holding on the spark plug. It will push down, but slips right off in the cylinder. The others go down and “pop” on fine. Is there something to do to prevent this from occurring other than replacing the entire wire set? I have tried cleaning the rubber and the plug itself to no avail.


Either the spark plug itself is the problem . . . if the screw-on “cap” at the end is missing, for example . . . or the wire itself is the problem

If one plug is defective, it’s best to replace all

If one wire is defective, it’s bet to replace all

How about just replacing all of the plugs and wires at the same time?

Bend a paper clip to fit in the boot and install the boot onto the spark plug with the paper clip in it then pull the paper clip out. This will allow you to burp the air bubble out assuming that’s the problem. Hopefully you have enough clearance/access to do this.

Edit: Just an after thought - if a paper clip is too stiff to remove, try something more flexible such as string trimmer line.

Take a pair of pliers, and thru the boot slightly squeeze the locking tab to slightly distort it so locks back onto the spark plug.


If you have to do all that, why not just buy new plugs and wires, and be done with it already

Because some people don’t have deep pockets.

So you try these little tricks to see if a simple adjustment fixes the problem.



@Howie32703 Kindly explain to me how my reply is off topic. It’s a method that works well when the problem is a bubble of air trapped inside the spark plug boot which pushes the boot back off.

Well, I broke down and bought a new set of wires. Problem solved.

Tester, I did try to squeeze the ends in the rubber boot. No change.

I’ve had this problem with discount wires. I discovered that the clip that captures the end of the plug is one piece with the crimp that clips to the wire itself, and when the clip was opening going over the bulbous end of the plug it was opening the crimp on the wire. I bought better wires.

Apologies if the explanation is confusing. It’s a tough one to verbalize, at least for me.

Well, I can’t complain. They were original factor wires, with over 180,000 miles. Long overdue, I know.

I didn’t see any off topic flags but you can get a bubble especially if you use the dielectric grease on the boots. Most of the time I would have no room though and just pull up on the boot to get the air out if it is popping out again.


your explanation was not hard for me to understand

Thanks. I might be the only one that got confused. {:smiley:

@Bing The off topic seems to have been unclicked.