Spark plug blows out of TL 3.2L Engine - likelihood that engine can be repaired?


Asked by Aug 23, 2012 at 08:58 PM about the 2005 Acura TL 6-Spd MT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Spark plug "departed the engine" during moderate acceleration, hitting cooling fan and radiator before
dropping onto interstate highway.   First inspection shows that engine threads removed with departed
plug.  Is this common?   Can anyone adequately inspect the engine head to assess damage?   Is there any
confidence that other spark plugs will not "depart the engine"?

3 Answers

Andrew Olsen

Sometimes improperly torqued plugs can do this. I'm not sure how to correctly repair this. First just try to recover the threads with the same size thread tap. I know ways to be creative but it may not be the right way. Either heli-coil it (may just blow out) or find a slightly bigger spark plug and tap the hole out with the bigger size (without extreme care in selecting the right plug may not work right). I'm not sure if this engine uses aluminum heads, the wrong type of plug can cause aluminum to corrode. Aluminum doesnt like most other metals to contact it. Worst case is you need a new head.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I am guessing you are near 100k miles after 7 years. You can try some of what is mentioned above but you need to be sure no bits of threads fall into the motor. Most likely you need a new head. If it has to be removed to be repaired, replace it. Aluminum head repairs can be cosly and may not last long. Were the spark plugs ever replaced at 100K or sooner? If so that spark plug may have been over tightened or even cross threaded. Likely the engine would have run a little rough when cold. If the head is coming off you might consider doing the timing belt at the same time. A lot has to get removed to redo the head and adding the timing belt should be lower cost If you can find a good Acura repair shop, you should be able to save a lot of coin. I would only do the extra belt work if you plan on keeping the car another 2-3 years and have the head replaced to pay for it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Frank Brenneman

An experienced mechanic should be able to use a heli coil and I've never had a plug blow out after using them. I even used a heli coil on an aluminum head without the heads removal. Involved vacumn cleaner and open exhaust valve to remove shavings.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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