When removing the old spark plugs from my CB500S, I managed to snap an old spanner which I was using on the spark plug tool. The small piece of metal has fallen into the hole and is now next to the spark plug.

I've bought a magnet on a flexible stick but the magnet is too wide, (I could try buying a smaller similar tool), I've also tried using gorilla tape on a screwdriver with no success.

Has anybody got any idea what I should do? I don't wanna remove the plug in case the metal falls down further.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Click to enlarge

  • Long pointed pliers... – Solar Mike Dec 4 '20 at 16:25
  • A piece of bent wire to manoeuvre it to the flat and/or hook it up a bit, then another tool. – Weather Vane Dec 4 '20 at 16:29
  • You could try a shop vac with narrow attachment. – Alaska Man Dec 4 '20 at 19:02
  • Turn it upside down and shake. Spray some high psi compressed air down in there. (engage safety squints) – Billy C. Dec 5 '20 at 1:19
  • Upvoted for a good photo. @DavidSupportsMonica makes a useful point: the fragment looks as though it's wedged. – Mark Morgan Lloyd Dec 5 '20 at 19:12

Thanks for the advice guys. I did try with a pick and tweezers but it proved too tricky due to the fact I couldn't see in the hole and have tools in there simultaneously (due to the fact the hole is at a right angle to where I can get my eyeline, I could only see in the hole with my phone camera).

In the end I went a bought a set of magnetic screwdrivers (which I didn't own, this is my first attempt at servicing a vehicle, I'm new to this), and managed to get it out. Panic is now over.

Thanks again :)

  • 1
    +1 for the magnetic screwdriver idea. An often overlooked solution! – Andy Hames Dec 4 '20 at 23:49
  • 1
    Maybe a little late, but if you have a non-magnetic screw driver and touch it to a magnet, it becomes temporarily magnectic. In situations like this, I use a flat-head screw driver and touch it to the magnet of my magnetic screw tray – user60481 Dec 7 '20 at 13:17

Use a mechanic's pick to make sure the small piece is loose and not jammed in place. Then use long pointed tweezers to grab and remove it.


Bfore I treated myself to some magnetic screwdrivers, I used an ordinary screwdriver blade- or flat piece of steel, which attached itself to the magnet off an old speaker. The magnetic quality magically spread down to the other end of the blade, and on condition the errant piece is also steel, it gets picked up. Obviously it won't work if the magnet is on the handle...

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