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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned my 2002 Jetta for about 6 months. Recently I got check engine light, checked with a Vag-com and it showed a glow plug problem. I check all 4 plug resistances and two were off so I ordered a set of Bosch plugs. I went to change them out and one plug (second from driver's side) is stuck tight to the point I'm sure it will snap if I try any more. I tried with the engine hot, cold, and with a PB Blaster type spray but no luck. I also noticed it was not screwed in as far as the other three plugs so the base was not seated. So, I'm pretty sure that last guy crossed threaded the plug and screwed it in as far as he could, so now I'm screwed!

I have a couple questions:

1. Is there any problem with just leaving the bad plug in and not messing with it? I live in S. California so no low winter temps and it seems to start fine now, with a 2 second crank and a little rough idle for 5 to 10 seconds. I know I would have to live with the check engine light on all the time which could be a problem at my next smog check in 18 months.

2. If I do force the plug and it snaps, does the cylinder head have to come off to repair?

3. If I have to get it repaired, who is best for a repair - auto repair shop, machinist, or dealer?

Thanks!
Stan
 

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I would personally leave it alone but like you said, you have the CEL. The head is aluminum and the GP should come out. I would soak it in PB, tap with hammer, and repeat. Leak soak at least a day.

If the threads strip you can stuff a plug to the bottom of the hole, clean the threads with a tap to repair them, clean the hole, helicoil it, clean, remove the plug, and that'll be fine. If it snaps :)
 

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I would soak it once a day and try to move it also once a day. try to tighten it too as well as loosen. If it moves at all, blast it again and try to turn it back the other way a little. keep working it a little at a time soaking it in between and slowly work it out of there. If it seizes again, stop and soak it before your next try. I have worked out stubborn bolts a little at a time in the past this way. Might take a week but It will eventually come out. time is on your side, it doesn't have to come out in one move.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, I'll give it a try again with your suggestions. I've got a back-tap and Recoil rethreading kit on order for when I do get the plug out. I also read a suggestion on using a torque wrench set to about 30 ft-pounds when backing the plug out to keep from breaking it. Once the torque wrench clicks you screw it back in a little and spray with more release fluid, let it set for awhile, then use the torque wrench again - and so on till it comes out. I'll let you know how it goes!

Stan
 

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Although you might not have one heating with a oxy/ace torch usually works for me. You do of course need to be careful and use it very sparingly. I have used this method to get out cross threaded / seized glow plugs in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As a follow up, I haven't attempted to remove the glow plug yet as my daughter uses the car for college so I can't afford any down time till summer if I end up breaking the plug. However, I did get the CEL to stay off by connecting all four glow plug wires together in the glow plug harness. Now the car's computer sees all four plugs as having the same resistance so no CEL due to the one bad plug.

Stan
 

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I also read a suggestion on using a torque wrench set to about 30 ft-pounds when backing the plug out to keep from breaking it.
According to Beru, the glow plugs will break at 35 NM - wbich is equal to 25.795 Ft*Lbs... so please set it lower than that...

Good luck to anyone who has this problem !!!!

Yuri


(PS: I sort of have this problem: during my recent comprehensive service, I replaced the harness and was going to replace the plugs as well... The glow plug in Cyl. 1 came out fairly easily (needed it in order to check TDC), but the other 3 didn't seem to want to move... so since they were still good, I just left them in place... but seeing as they're about 5 years old now, I'm sure I'll need to replace one or more some time...)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
According to Beru, the glow plugs will break at 35 NM - wbich is equal to 25.795 Ft*Lbs... so please set it lower than that...
Yes, I've since read the same info so I'll be setting my torque wrench below 25 ft lbs when I attempt the repair. Thanks!
Stan
 
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