Changed Spark Plugs and now my car sputters


Asked by Aug 25, 2014 at 08:48 PM about the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Base Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Today I decided to change my spark plugs, I figured I have had this car for 2 years, I think its about time.
Anyway, I changed out the Plugs, Oh, I Drive a 2003 Chevy Cavalier, 2.2 Ecotech
I installed 4 New plugs, (Didn't remember to check the gap) Went ahead and Gapped them properly 0.45
When I started the car it began to sputter and Hesitate when I accelerated.
Began a process of Elimination 1 by 1, to figure out if the one of the new plugs were bad. Well after an hour or so of this, I was only able to install 1 NEW plug and 3 old plugs with a positive result.

Did I screw up something in my installation, because when I removed the NEW plugs, They cracked and chunks broke off it.

I am going to go back to the Store today and See if I can exchange them for different plugs or something, But If anyone has any Ideas or Suggestions That would be great! Thank you!

12 Answers


Did you install wire,s back in correct order?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

And if you cracked the new plug,s you are using the wrong socket or not staying straight with it.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

No wires to connect. and Using the proper Spark Plug Socket. Maybe not staying straight with it, I was getting frustrated with it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I understand being frustrated,but don,t let it get to you,take your time,you can do it,i was a rookie many year,s ago,and no how you feel,hell i still get that way on some car,s,but when i get to that point i stop,take a few minute,s to calm my self,and say to my self,i can do what i want to,you can do this,and you will feel better for doing something for your self.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Yeah, Im going to try to grab some more plugs tomorrow and give it a shot. Was curious if maybe it could have been something else. Thank you for the responses btw.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You are welcome.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Unless you have 100,000 or more miles on your Cavalier you didn't need a tune up. When you changed the spark plugs did you also replace the rubber boots that plug onto the spark plugs? You should have. T-S-T is right on point. Take your time, and remember you're not in a race to get done. Somebody put those darn plugs in there so you can too! I like to put the plug in the socket first when the hole is hard or impossible to see. Then with my hand holding the socket slowly and gently get the plug started. After a few spins by hand then finish up with the ratchet. Make them nice and snug. Don't over tighten them. That will cause them to crack and break. HTH. -Jim

Jason Zane

if possible , hand feed the plug into the socket to avoid getting the ceramic beat-up by the socket. put a rubber hose piece to line the inside socket for keeping the plug centered.

Tonyblack Tonyblack

I have a 97 Chevy Cavalier .I had it tuned up and keep shutting off keep


You buy original AcDelco plugs, gap them correctly and importantly, use anti-seize on the threads and never remove them unless the engine is ice cold!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

TST, there are no wires, just boots. You can't cross them because those are in a fixed position.

Michelle Bartleson

I'm sorry I'm new at this I was going to change my plugs because in the morning my car sputters until it warms up and I have 89678 miles on it...are you saying it's not time to change the plugs?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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