Spark Plugs May be Difficult to Remove on Ford F-150

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: 110,750 (65,000–196,000)
Engines affected: 5.4L V8, 5.8L V8, V8
7 model years affected: 1996, 2002, 2004, 2005, more2006, 2007, 2008
23 people reported this problem
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Viewing 1 - 12 of 12 problem details
2006 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 127,000 mi,
has yet to be repaired
2004 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 196,000 mi,
a shade tree mechanic broke one, ended up having to go to Ford dealer, you can imagine the rest.
2004 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 150,000 mi,
This is the second time doing plugs first time had dealer do it, so I had no idea about the problem they charged me 400 so I decided to do it myself this time I found out why it cost so much 5 out of the 8 broke, followed the procedures my break is an understatement maybe they should say they might not break but most likely not. I got one removed kit from auto zone this kit is junk I ended up going to car quest and getting a Lyle removing tool this one works great not to bad the one from auto zone messed with it for 2 days before finding a different brand the Lyle takes about a half hour per plug. Just want to make sure cylinders are cleaned out before putting new plugs in. I recommend a shop vac with a piece of tubing I also recommend goin to harber freight and getting a cheap automotive engine camera to look into cylinder to make sure everything is out. That camera probably saved my cylinders on at least 2 of them
2007 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 90,000 mi,
spark plugs broke in half when removing. what a nightmare
2006 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 151,000 mi,
When removing my spark plugs broke off at porcelain.
2005 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 100,000 mi,
Several plugs broke off. Expensive, but luckily don't have to do it very often.
no mechanic in Tampa will mess with it tell me to take back to the dealer
It turned off on ne n sometimes u can hear a knockin noise n it will stop
2006 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 88,000 mi,
only 3 of 8 came out without breaking.
2002 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 120,000 mi,
Truck keeps blowing coil packs having a hard time finding a mechanic who will take the job no one wants to be responsible for breaking the plugs and ford dealer is to expensive for me
2005 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 110,000 mi,
Had new spark plugs installed at 110,000 miles; probably original plugs being replaced. Mechanic reported that #4 cylinder spark plug core broke during attempted extraction.
2006 Ford F-150 - 5.4L V8 100,000 mi,
Replaced spark plugs at recommended interval. Plugs were extremely difficult to access. Several plugs broke off and the threads in the head needed to be repaired. Poorly designed in the extreme.