A spark plug boot is a small but important mechanical component of your car. As a driver, you must pay attention to this part because if it gets stuck in the engine, it can cause a serious accident.
Spark plug boots connect the ignition coil to the spark plug. Because of its importance in the functioning of your engine, you should periodically check and ensure that the spark plug boot is functioning normally.
The most common signs that a spark plug boot is stuck are engine hesitation, rough engine idle, an engine missing the start, reduced engine power, engine surging, and cracks in the plug wires.
To remove a stuck plug boot, you’ll need to do the following: locate the stuck boot, apply some dielectric grease, twist and pull the plug wire, and then slowly remove it along with the stuck spark plug.
Table of Contents
- The Purpose of Spark Plug Boots
- Signs That Something is Wrong with a Spark Plug Boot
- How to Remove a Stuck Spark Plug Boot
The Purpose of Spark Plug Boots
The purpose of a spark plug boot, also known as an ignition boot or a coil boot, is to connect the ignition coil to the spark plug. Most new vehicles have just one ignition coil, which creates a large amount of voltage that mounts on top of each spark plug.
The rubber loses its insulation quality over time, which causes the spark from the ignition coil to change its direction. It no longer goes through the boot, but instead, it shoots out the side of the boot. Then it hits the cylinder head, which causes that cylinder to stop producing power.
Signs That Something is Wrong with a Spark Plug Boot
1. Engine Hesitation
Engine hesitation shows up when there’s imperfect internal combustion in the engine. This can happen during acceleration, when you’re driving downhill, or when you’re changing gears.
2. Rough Engine Idle
If your car’s idle is rough, it might mean there’s a problem with a spark plug boot. You might notice your tachometer needle rising and falling, or your engine having difficulty maintaining a steady rate of revolutions.
3. Engine Misses the Start
One of the most common causes of an engine misfire is worn-out spark plugs. If that occurs, you should first check the cylinders and spark plug boots.
4. Reduced Engine Power
If your car isn’t accelerating properly anymore, your “engine power reduced” warning light may light up on your dashboard. The “check engine” light may also be illuminated.
The “engine power reduced” warning light on your dashboard means that your car’s performance has been reduced in order to avoid harming the engine.
The car’s “electronic control unit” (ECU) triggers the Reduced Power Mode when it detects a system failure. There could be various reasons for that to happen, but an issue with the spark plug is a common cause of reduced engine power.
5. Engine Surging
Engine surging is when an engine starts without issues and accelerates smoothly, but misfires or surges in speed after a few minutes. Misfiring occurs when one of the cylinders of the engine’s combustion cycle stops working properly.
6. Cracks in the Plug Wires
Stuck plug boots often create cracks in the plug wires. Cracked plug wires could be very dangerous for your car and cause accidents.
How to Remove a Stuck Spark Plug Boot
Removing a stuck spark plug boot is easy, and you’ll just need to follow a few steps. The procedure is written below.
Step 1 – Find the Stuck Boot
First, you need to find out which spark plug boot is stuck.
Step 2 – Apply Dielectric Grease
I advise putting dielectric grease around the terminal of the plug wire. It’ll make it easier to come off, but you need to make sure that you deal with the affected wire slowly and carefully.
Step 3 – Twist the Plug Wire
Take pliers and grab on the plug’s end, making sure that you’re not applying too much force, as the wires may tear off the plug. After that, you need to twist the plug wire and slowly apply a bit more force.
Step 4 – Pull the Plug Wire
While pulling, you need to rotate the wire to disconnect it from the front end of the plug.
Step 5 – Remove the Spark Plug Boot
If you have a spark plug boot removal tool, it’ll be easy to remove the plug boot together with the wire. If any damage occurs, you can always replace the old boot with a new one.
The spark plug boots are sensitive components to deal with and if they get stuck, they might cause damage to your car that can lead to an accident, which is why you have to react immediately when you notice there might be an issue.
In this article, you have the step-by-step process on how to remove a stuck spark plug boot. I hope this article has provided you with enough information about spark plug boots and taught you how to deal with them.