Spark Plugs May be Difficult to Remove on Ford Explorer

Our technicians tell us the spark plugs in this engine can be very difficult to remove. Ford has issued a service bulletin (08-7-6) to address this issue, which includes a recommended procedure on how to remove the plugs. Failure to follow the recommended procedure can result in the one or more spark plugs breaking off in the cylinder head.

The recommend procedure is as follows. Using this procedure will greatly reduce the chance of breaking a spark plug.

1. Break the spark plugs loose when the engine is warm.
2. Turn each plug 1/8 to 1/4 turn and soak the treads with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of Motorcraft Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner or a quality penetrating oil. Do not try to remove the plugs at this time.
3. Let the threads soak for at least 15 minutes.
4. After the soak period, tighten and loosen each spark plug, working it back and forth until the turning effort is reduced. Then, you can remove the spark plug.

There are special tools available to remove the broken spark plugs and repair shops will often charge additional labor time, over and above the quoted spark plug replacement cost, for the removal of each broken spark plug.

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 94,018 (68,500–134,500)
Engines affected: 4.0L V6, 4.0L V6 SOHC, 4.6L V8
4 model years affected: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
9 people reported this problem
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problem details
2006 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 134,500 mi,
while driving down the road the engine will stop running don't know what is causing this need to take it in to have it check also while making a left turn the abs lite will come on and it will applie the brakes on its own
2006 Ford Explorer - 4.6L V8 88,111 mi,
Engine misfire. Plugs changed at dealership. Two broken. Extra labor applied.
2004 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 93,000 mi,
changing spark plugs
2006 Ford Explorer - 4.0L V6 SOHC 100,000 mi,
mechanic said one of the plugs (original set) was cross threaded when put in... he had to chase out the threads and re install the plug