Is your car breaking down on you all of a sudden? Is it losing power, running rough, or maybe having an issue starting? What if we told you that it could all be solved with a simple spark plug boot replacement?
We’ll admit it: repairing a vehicle can be scary if you’re not an expert. Still, there are some DIY auto repairs ANYONE can do. Replacing the spark plug boot is one of them! Take heart, for we’ve compiled this short guide on how to perform the task.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about replacing a spark plug boot.
Gather Your Tools and Materials
Replacing spark plug boots requires you to gather the right tools and materials. Start by gathering the following items:
- spark plugs
- spark plug boot
- spark plug socket
- ratchet or ratchet extension
- spark plug gap gauge
You may also need a wire brush and pliers or needle nose pliers if the wires are corroded. Assembling these tools before beginning the repair will make the process quick and easy.
Locate the Spark Plug Boot
Locating the spark plug boot is one of the steps in properly replacing a spark plug boot. To locate the spark plug boot, lift the hood of your vehicle and locate the spark plugs. The spark plugs will be the cylindrical terminals that can be seen sticking out of the engine.
Once the spark plugs have been identified, locate the ends of the spark plug wires. These wires will usually be color-coded, although this may vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
As the spark plug wires reach the spark plugs, they will be attached to either side of the spark plug with a rubber boot. This rubber boot is the spark plug boot and will need to be replaced.
Remove the Old Spark Plug Boot
When removing the old spark plug boot, it is important to take extra caution to avoid dangerous electrical shocks or damaging the spark plug. Start by disconnecting the battery cables, which will ensure that the spark plug is not electrically charged.
Next, use a spark plug socket to remove the spark plug from the engine compartment. The rubber boot should then come off with the removal of the spark plug, but if not, carefully use a flathead screwdriver to remove it. Be sure to keep track of any parts and rubber seals that need to be replaced.
Prepare the New Spark Plug Boot
Once the old boot is removed, inspect the spark plug for fouling or other damage that may indicate further repairs are needed. Next, make sure the electrode of the new boot is the same length as the old one and the correct size for the spark plug.
Use a wire brush to clean off any residue or debris from the spark plug before installing the new spark plug boot. To ensure a secure connection, use a spark plug boot puller to press the new boot firmly onto the spark plug.
Following these steps will guarantee a successful and safe installation of a new spark plug boot.
Attach the New Spark Plug Boot
Once the old spark plug boot has been removed, the new one must be attached. To properly replace the spark plug boot, first, ensure that the inside of the boot is dry and that there are no contaminants present.
Then, if the spark plug cable has a ferrule, slip that onto the terminal of the spark plug until it is firmly in place. The boot should be positioned over the spark plug so that it covers the electrode while still allowing the spark plug cable to reach the metal connector.
Once the boot is properly in position, hold the spark plug cable a few inches away from the spark plug and use a pair of pliers to crimp the ferrule onto the spark plug terminal, creating a seal. Depending on the type and size of the wire, the terminal may need to be pre-crimped prior to this step. After the ferrule is secure, the spark plug boot can be fully installed.
Test and Secure the New Spark Plug Boot
To ensure that the new boot is working effectively and safely, it is recommended to conduct a simple test. Request the assistance of a companion to start the engine while you inspect the boot/spark plug area for any signs of arcing or sparks.
If the boot is appropriately installed, the engine should start smoothly, and all electrical energy should be contained within the designated area.
Close Everything Up
Once the spark plug has been replaced and gapped correctly, it is now time to close everything up. The spark plug boot should be firmly connected to the spark plug and hooked onto the ignition coil. Tighten the connector clamp of the spark plug boot by using tie wires or a ratchet and socket.
If the spark plug boot is too loose, the engine might misfire, so make sure it is securely in place. Lastly, check over all of the components again to make sure the connections are tight and there are no signs of wear and tear. Once completed, close the hood of the car and start the engine to test the newly replaced spark plug.
Start the Engine (Final Step)
Once the spark plug boot has been properly replaced, the final step is to start the engine and complete the repair. Begin by opening the hood of the vehicle and check for any debris, rust, or other obstruction that might be causing difficulty with the start-up process.
Put the key in the ignition and turn the engine over in small intervals until the spark plugs fire and the engine starts. If the engine does not turn over or becomes difficult to start, repeat the previous steps of the repair. When the engine is running smoothly and without difficulty, the repair is complete, and this way, you never have to experience a car shutting off while driving.
Properly Replace a Spark Plug Boot in Your Vehicle
You now know the basics on how to replace a spark plug boot properly. Make sure to consult your vehicle manual for specific instructions. If you have further questions, consult with a certified repair professional to ensure the installation is done properly.
Invest in high-quality parts and tools to ensure optimal performance. Keep your car running smoothly by replacing your spark plug boots routinely.
To discover other informative topics, we encourage you to explore the other sections of our website.