How To Remove Stuck Spark Plug Wires – 2 Methods

How To Remove Spark Plug Wires

If you are having engine troubles in your vehicle’s engine, then the chances are high that the issue has to do with the spark plug wires. Many try to remove the wires without knowing how to remove spark plug wires properly and end up harming the car engine instead.

There are chances for your hands to get injured, cutting wires or breaking engine parts, if not done properly.

And in this article, we will break down every step that you will need to follow to do just that.

Why it is Difficult to Remove Spark Plug Wires?

Now, before we dive into the details regarding how to remove spark plug wires from the coil pack or the distributor, you need to understand its difficulty level.

Spark plug wires don’t require you to change them regularly, which sounds great. But, when you don’t clean and remove the spark plug wires for a while, they start to get stuck with the distributor.

This is due to the regular heating issue caused by the engine. When exposed to extreme heat, the rubber in the spark plug wire expands and shrinks down when the engine becomes cool. This makes the wires get tightly connected with the spark plug boot. Dirt and grease also influence it further.

As the spark plug wires get stuck, it becomes hard to remove them with conventional methods. If you put too much pressure, you might end up breaking the spark plug itself.

Also, different types of engines have different locations where the distributor or the coil pack is located. Meaning if you just use brute strength, you might end up damaging other parts of the engine too.

That’s why you need to be cautious when you are changing the spark plug wires of your vehicle’s engine.

Ways to Remove Spark Plug Wires

While it can be difficult for a novice to remove spark plug wires, there are multiple ways you can try this. You might not find all of the methods available on the internet helpful; here are the simplest ways you can try removing the spark plug wires with little to no experience.

1. Removing Spark Plug Wires Using Twist and Turn Method

Here are the steps that you will need to follow if you want to use the twist and turn method.

Step 1 – Get the Necessary Protection

The twist and turn method has a high risk as it requires you to use both hands. You must get a pair of mechanic gloves before attempting this method.

There are quite a few sharp objects in a vehicle’s engine, like the head gasket, the outer layer of the fuel injector, and more. If the engine is old, then the risk is higher. So, make sure you protect your hands before you start to work.

Step 2 – Clearing the Path

Once you have protective gear equipped, you should make a clear path for your hands. By clearing a path, we mean you will have to do a bit of cable and parts management on the engine. But that doesn’t mean you will have to take the whole engine apart. Just make enough space so that you can work freely.

Step 3 – Twist and Turn

Now, find the spark plug wire you want to remove from the distributor. Grab the plug end, make sure that you are not holding the wire, and start twisting.

If the plug is stuck, you might have to use lubricants. Once you twist the plug properly, just pull it, and the spark plug should disconnect from the distributor easily.

2. Removing Spark Plug Wires Using Pliers Method

If you don’t want to involve your hands directly, then you can opt for spark plug wire removal tools. The best-stuck spark plug boot removal tool, in our opinion, is hose pliers. Here is how you need to use them –

Step 1 – Get the Right Tools

You will need penetrating oil and hose pliers that fit with your wire’s size. We suggest you don’t use anything like a wire cutting plier or a screwdriver. These tools aren’t ideal for this removal stuff and can harm you as well as damage other engine parts unwillingly.

Step 2 – Pour the Penetrating Oil

Penetrating oil is the most convenient solution if your spark plug is completely stuck with the boot. Apply a few drops of the oil on the boot, and let it settle for a few seconds. Don’t wait too long; otherwise, it won’t be that effective.

Step 3 – Using the Pliers

Once the oil sets in, use the hose pliers to grab the spark plug wire right around its base. Make sure the grip is strong enough and pull out with force. It should come off quite easily.

And that’s it. This is how you can remove spark plug wires without any trouble.

Here’s a video that helps you to understand better.


Can I clean my spark plug wires?

You can clean the spark plug wires by spraying a fair amount of WD-40 on a rag and wiping the wires from one end to another.

Are spark plug wires reusable?

Yes, if your old wires aren’t damaged, you can reuse them without any problems.

How long do spark plug wires last?

Spark plug wires have an average lifespan of 20,000 to 40,000 miles depending on the condition and how often you clean them.

Can my spark plug wires last a year?

Yes, with proper care and maintenance, your spark plug wires can last over a year or two.


If you know how to remove stuck spark plug wires, then you can take care of your engine’s spark plug issues yourself. This also ensures fewer visits to the mechanic’s shop. And if you follow the mentioned steps, we can guarantee you will be able to remove spark plug wires without any hindrance.

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