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

Problem Description and Possible Solution

Spark plugs in the Ford F-150 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 for the removal of each broken spark plug.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 119,444 (65,000–270,000)
Engines affected: 4.9L 6 Cylinder, 5.4L V8, 5.8L V8, V8
8 model years affected: 1996, 1999, 2002, 2004, more2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
32 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 14 of 14 comments
a shade tree mechanic broke one, ended up having to go to Ford dealer, you can imagine the rest.
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
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.
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.
Correct engine option was not available for selection. I have 2006 Ford F150 5.4L/3V pickup. 3 of 8 Spark Plugs removed/replaced successfully. 5 of 8, broken and in need of removal. I have the OEM "Broken Spark Plug Removal Set" but reservations about trying it. Need help. Will pay for services. Just need this done! So frustrating.
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