How to Get Water Out of a Spark Plug Wellby Dan Ferrell
Many foreign particles can find their way into a spark plug well where it's easy for them to get stuck, especially in the unprotected, deep plug wells found on some vehicle makes. When washing your car, water also can find its way around cylinder head threads and into the combustion chamber, oxidizing components if you do not use your car for a few days. Still, you can get water out of a spark plug well using a simple strategy and a few common tools you may already have in your home.
Open the hood of your vehicle.
Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug with the water around its well. Grab the wire by the boot with your hand and, as you twist the boot back and forth, pull the wire off the spark plug.
Soak up as much water as possible out of the well with a clean piece of cloth. If necessary, use a large standard screwdriver to work the piece of cloth all the way around the spark plug well.
Vaporize as much water as possible by blowing hot air around the spark plug well using a hair dryer and let the well cool.
Blow cool air around the spark plug well to push out particles like dirt, grease and carbon deposits that might have found their way around the well. You can use the hair dryer, if it comes equipped with a cool air setting, or a common bicycle air pump. If necessary, loosen up the particles stuck around the well using a small brush with a large handle to reach down into the well.
Remove the spark plug using a spark plug socket, large ratchet extension and ratchet.
Clean the spark plug thread and body using a wire brush and coat the plug threads with a thin coat of anti-seize compound. This will help you remove the plug next time you need to replace it.
Finish cleaning the spark plug well to remove any foreign particles you could not remove before using a shop rag. Be careful not to let the particles fall into the combustion chamber.
Apply a few drops of penetrating oil to the well threads on the cylinder head. This will help remove whatever humidity is left around the threads and make it easier for you to reinstall the spark plug.
Insert the spark plug into the spark plug socket and install the plug snugly using the socket and ratchet extension only. Turn the spark plug about three-quarters of a turn clockwise using the ratchet. Don't over-tighten the spark plug to avoid damage to the threads.
Replace the spark plug wire over the spark plug by hand. Make sure the metal connector inside the wire boot snaps in place over the spark plug connector, then close the hood.
- "Modern Automotive Technology"; James E. Duffy; 2003
- "The Haynes Ford Engine Overhaul Manual"; Brian Styve and John H. Haynes; 1991
Things You'll Need
- Clean piece of cloth
- Large standard screwdriver
- Hair dryer
- Common air pump
- Small brush
- Spark plug socket
- Large ratchet extension
- Wire brush
- Anti-seize compound
- Shop rag
- Penetrating oil
Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.