enter image description hereenter image description here I am working on a friends car they just recently got and he went to change the spark plugs only to find out that it was cross threaded but I do t think the car even had 100,000 mi on it yet and the fact that as soon as they bought the vehicle two days later the check engine light came on and he has helped me in the past so I wanted to do him a favor and try to save home a lot of money seeing how he’s a retired Air Force veteran if anyone has any idea if this is something I can fix at home to avoid shop fees or advice. I did attach images I hope that they are able to be reviewed and someone has a good idea it’s a 2014 Chevy Cruz 1.4 straight 5 turbocharge with aluminum block I hope that the heads don’t have to be taken apart or that they don’t have to be replaced I am hoping that there is hope still seeing how the spark plug is still there and no damage was done

  • I dont know why it said straight 5 it’s a straight inline 4 cylinder – Nikolai Alexander Mc Alister Sep 11 '19 at 6:29
  • What exactly is the problem? Are the old plugs stuck in, or can't you put new ones in? What are the photos a view of, are they broken plugs? – HandyHowie Sep 11 '19 at 7:01
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    First up get an OBD-II code reader on there and find out what codes are causing the Check Engine Light. If you don't have one an ELM 327 based unit combined with an Android or iPhone should do enough to get you the codes. If you can edit the error codes in your question that will help give an idea of where to start. – motosubatsu Sep 11 '19 at 9:13

From the photos it seems like the spark plug is broken off which is not a good start.

If you are able to remove the old spark plug, you may use a thread repair tool matching the spark plug threads to repair them if that fails you need to replace the head.

In any case, please perform these tasks with the head removed from the block because any metal shavings dropping into the cylinder will damage the motor

  • At this point you almost certainly have debris in the cylinder. Bite the bullet and repair this properly unless this vehicle is destined for the junk yard already. Pull the head, extract the broken plug, repair the threads (I like TimeSert inserts over Heli-coils but they are more expensive - at least the tools are), and put it back together properly. – jwh20 Sep 11 '19 at 22:40
  • Yes it is a broken spark plug still inside the cylinder all the other plugs came out just fine this one however did not and the piece you see in the center of the plug is a broken plug pulled that snapped as I tried to gently turn it I used pb blaster and brake fluid to try to get it to loosen up but I needed up with is what you see am I able to pull the the broken pulled out or the plug with out having to take the motor apart bc I am not familiar with the new cars as much and it has a aluminum motor – Nikolai Alexander Mc Alister Sep 12 '19 at 9:56
  • @NikolaiAlexanderMcAlister Has the hex head of the plug snapped off, so that there is nothing to put the plug spanner on? – HandyHowie Sep 12 '19 at 11:38
  • Yes Bowie the he. Head is broken I believe that the person or mechanic that installed the plug either didn’t know how to do this or didn’t care and was in a rush bc the coil pack clip was broke as well as the plug being cross threaded – Nikolai Alexander Mc Alister Sep 13 '19 at 7:33

While the correct approach would be to pull the head, this is not always cost-justified. If the car is not worth much, I would consider extracting the plug, and then using heli-coil or other insert to mate the cylinder head with a new plug. Use plenty of compressed air, and I would probably move the cylinder to near TDC, just to minimize the volume that you will be cleaning out.

To clean out, I would use compressed air, and a thin copper tubing extension, so that you can provide different directions of air. I would figure an hour to tap, and two hours to blow chips out, with a rag to catch any chips so that you get an idea as to how many you are getting out. You could also drop a magnetic pickup tool into the cylinder when you start to extract more of the steel debris.

Most of your chips will be aluminium, and the ones which stand a greater chance of scoring the cylinder walls are steel.


They make a bolt extracting socket set and sell it at Napa for $35. It's perfict for this situation at least for removing old plug. Then air to clean and a helli coil might need to really cobjob it and put some twist steal in when you put the the plug in the helli coil if it leaks

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