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2006 Buick LaCrosse Question: Spark plug change out requires a special tool for my 3.8L !

 

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Bob from the Okanagan, Point Roberts, WA, December 27, 2012, 07:07
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Unable to remove the 6 sparkplugs as I am told & see on the web a special GM tool is required. Anyone know how to do this without having to buy the $150 tool? I only have 31,000 miles on the car & it is running fine so not an urgency as I read the factory plugs are designed to run fine up to 50,000 miles.

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  • Answer #1

    Miles Auto Services (884 Answers) , Richmond, VA - (804) 885-4176
    milesauto December 27, 2012, 07:18
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    Not aware of any special tools needed to replace spark plugs. Scheduled maintenance table reccomends that the spark plugs be replaced at 100k miles.

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    Bob from the Okanagan, December 27, 2012, 09:31
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    Hey...I am a grandfather, an engineer, & a back yard mechanic's back yard mechanic & am handy around cars...having rebuilt numerous engines since I was 16 years old, but I tell you... there are several thousand asking the same question!So far, all answers are similiar & read: "The 6 GM sparkplugs on the 3.8 L engine cannot be changed without using the GM special tool J-38491. Procedure is as follows:...turn one half turn...etc. & using the special GM tool J-38491 ...etc.etc. Neither the aircraft type spark plug heat shield, nor the spark plug wire can be removed unless you use this tool.

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    milesauto, December 27, 2012, 09:42
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    The tool you are mention is not for the spark plug...its for removing the boot. Since you are doing the plugs way early the boots should come off without too much trouble. Useally by the time we are doing them once the car reaches 100k the boots are done because of all the heat and need to be replaced when the plugs are replaced...thus the tool is not needed. But if you want that tool you can order it from : Kent-Moore J-38491 Spark Plug Boot Remover

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    Bob from the Okanagan, December 27, 2012, 09:52
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    Thankyou my friend... but even before I get to the boot plug end, I must remove the most excelent, well designed..aircraft type heat shields, which closely surround each spark plug & plug wire....but... it will not pull off & I do not want to force it....or is that what is required...more force? How does one grab the heat shield... with pointed vice grips? You are correct...the plugs I read last for +100,000 but I already bought the very expensive $23 each special plugs & hate to not install them.

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    milesauto, December 27, 2012, 10:29
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    They won't go bad...save them for later when needed....belive me there is no need to do them this early...when the have 100k on them they still look new. Or exchange them for something you do need.

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  • Answer #2

    December 30, 2012, 21:21
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    Don't overthink the job......EVERY manufacturer has 'special tools' listed in their service manuals. Even a plain screwdriver will have a 'special tool #'. Just a thought...good luck and yeah I agree with milesauto, If no other problems present themselves first , I would wait on the plug replacement for now.

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