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Spark plug replacement is one of the most common and easiest vehicle maintenance procedures. To replace your spark plugs more efficiently, you’ll need a spark plug socket. What is a spark plug socket and how does it work? What sizes do spark plug sockets come in and which size should you buy? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this handy guide. 

What Is a Spark Plug Socket?

A spark plug socket is a type of socket that’s specifically used to tighten and loosen a spark plug. This socket is specially designed to help you to change your spark plugs successfully without damaging the plug or any of the surrounding parts and wiring. This tool sometimes comes with a swivel extension bar so you can easily reach the spark plug hole without nicking the spark plug or other components. 

spark plugs and socket
A spark plug socket is a type of socket that’s specifically used to tighten and loosen a spark plug.

What Sizes Are Spark Plug Sockets Available In?

The most common spark plug socket sizes are the 5/8 inch and 13/16 inch sockets. There are other sizes available and each has its own specific applications. You can find a list of the most common spark plug socket sizes in the next section.

Spark plug sockets are available in a number of interchangeable sizes that can be attached to a torque wrench for better torque. You can purchase a single socket or a set of spark plug sockets that includes some of the most common sizes.

Spark Plug Socket Sizes and Their Specific Applications

Here are some of the most common spark plug socket sizes and their specific applications:

Socket Size
(in inches)
Socket Size
(in mm)
Typical Application
9/16 14 Ford vehicles, newer European and Asian vehicles, some motorcycles
5/8 16 (Most common size) Newer vehicles, small engine vehicles, and motorcycles
3/4 18 Motorcycles and small engines
3/4 19 Lawnmowers, older GM vehicles, and small-engine vehicles
11/16 18 Motorcycle engines, small engine vehicles, and older BMW vehicles
13/16 20 (2nd most common size) Older vehicles and large-engine vehicles
7/8 22 Aviation, tractors, and older vehicles
spark plugs and spark plug socket
The most common spark plug socket sizes are the 5/8 inch and 13/16 inch sockets.

Spark Plug Socket FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about spark plug sockets:

How Does a Spark Plug Socket Work?

Like a standard deep socket, spark plug sockets can both tighten or loosen a piece of equipment. To use them, just fit the spark plug tip inside the socket head and twist to loosen or tighten the spark plug.

Spark plug sockets are attached to a turning tool with a square drive socket and can also have a hex or bi-hex head.

What Are the Types of Spark Plug Sockets?

Spark plug sockets come in different sizes for different applications. Aside from size, these sockets are also categorized according to their design. Here are the two main types of spark plug sockets:

1. Magnetic Spark Plug Socket

This type of spark plug socket contains a small magnet inside the wall of the deep socket. This magnet attaches to the tip of the spark plug to keep it from falling, which is extremely helpful if you’re removing an old spark plug. 

2. Rubber Grommet Spark Plug Socket

This type of spark plug socket has a rubber insert inside the deep end of the socket. This is also another measure used to prevent the spark plug from falling and being misplaced. It also prevents the tips of the spark plugs from getting damaged.

Do I Really Need a Spark Plug Socket?

It depends. Generally, you’ll be able to perform a basic spark plug replacement with just a regular socket or a universal joint socket with a magnetic or rubber insert. 

However, many modern vehicles have complicated spark plug placements, which can make maintenance a bit more complicated. In fact, some spark plugs can be found deep inside the engine and are surrounded by wires and other sensitive components. If you don’t use the right tool, you can end up losing the old spark plug or damaging important parts and wires.

If you plan on doing the procedure yourself, you’ll need a good quality spark plug replacement and a tool that can help you do the job quickly. A spark plug socket will definitely come in handy. If you’re unsure about which tool to use for your specific vehicle, it’s a good idea to consult a certified mechanic first before you make any repairs.

How to Buy the Right Spark Plug Socket

Before purchasing a spark plug socket, there are a couple of factors you first need to consider. Here are some things to consider as you purchase a spark plug socket for your garage:

1. Quantity and Kit Inclusions

Spark plug sockets are typically sold individually or in kits. If you already know the spark plug socket size you need for your vehicle, you can buy one with the exact specifications you’re looking for. However, if you don’t know what size to get or if you have several vehicles, you can buy a kit to avoid the hassle. 

2. Engine Type

The type of engine plays a huge role in determining the size of the spark plug socket. The 5/8″ and the 13/16” socket sizes are most commonly used, but your vehicle might need a different size. It’s best to check your owner’s manual for the exact specifications before you purchase a socket. 

3. Spark Plug Location

Knowing where your vehicle’s spark plugs are located will determine how long your socket should be. You might need a longer socket to reach plugs that are a little too far inside the engine. 

4. Thickness of the socket plug

Another factor you have to consider is how snug the socket should be around the spark plug. Sometimes, there isn’t enough space to place a socket wrench around the spark plug, so it’s important to consider the thickness of the socket’s wall. Spark plug sockets have different wall thicknesses that allow you to access the spark plug without a hitch. 

Spark plug replacement might seem like a trivial task, but it’s important to do this procedure with the utmost care and precision. Having a spark plug socket with the right size in your tool arsenal can help you save time and money in the long run.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic.

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