CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Stuck spark plug in a chevy s10

Replacing plugs in a 2003 chevy S10 2.2. Three came out no problem. Couldnt seem to get a bite on the #2 plug. put an extension on the socket, tapped it with a light wooden mallet, turned it an 1/8, repeat repeat repeat. Finally felt like i caught it, put the ratchet to it, turned like I had nothing. When i pulled the socket out, the end looked muddy. Put the trusty mini mag light into the mix, and i swear, it looks like the top of the plug is just a rusty lil circle. If I had seen something to grab onto, I know the lubricate, heat and loosen/tighten routine will usually get one out of this, but I don’t really think theres anything for a wrench to work with. Cant get ahold of dynamite, what are my other options, if any?

You need a GRIP-TITE socket set, I believe you can get them from Sears or Amazon. You can use a shallow socket for a spark plug, but you have to break off all the porcelain so that a shallow socket can get to it.

Here is a deep socket set

You could also break off all the porcelain well into the head and use an easyout, but you would risk getting debris inside the combustion chamber. Do the lubricate, heat etc. while using the Grip-tite socket.

This set by Erwin might do as well but it doesn’t go to 13/16", but the 3/4" might work. If you have 5/8" plugs, then you are set.

If you can get it started, get the engine to normal temperature and see if that helps you get out.

If all else fails, a local auto-machine shop can do this for you. It’s probably well worth their fee – compared to the alternatives. They have the tools and experience to easily do this.

& I expect you know already, but you need to understand why this happened, to prevent it in the future. How long ago did you change the plugs? 3 years between plug changes is probably the max, irrespective of miles driven. Otherwise you increase the likelyhood of this kind of problem. And s there something not right that is allowing water to get under the hood?

Many thanks for the answers. Keith you reminded me that I have a set of the sears buried somewhere in the basement. George, I grew that the mechanic fee was starting to look good, and yes, I let them go too long. I had to replace an O2 sensor and i dawned on me I hadn’t done the plugs ever, after two years of owning the truck.

Age is full of brainfarts, I wonder if they sell Beano for one’s memory…

I let things go on my car too. I’m supposed to retorque the head bolts every 60K I think. But I never have. But I do tend to change the plugs on schedule. Changing the spark plugs at least on my Corolla is a faily simple thing to do and doesn’t cost much ($2/plug) or take much time, so keeping these changed-out on at least the manuf’s spec’d schedule is probably a good idea. Be sure to use some kind of anti-sieze stuff when you install the new plugs, on the threads. I just put a tiny amount of moly-lube on the threads and it seems to work for me, helps to remove the plugs later.