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Old 03-25-2009, 12:23 AM   #1
The Critic
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1996 SL2
Default White Ashy Deposits on Spark Plug Wire Boot

96 Saturn SL2 with 125k.

I removed my spark plug wires a few days ago to check for any valve cover leaks. When I got to cylinder #4 (or #1, it's the cylinder nearest the battery), I discovered a 1" section of white, ashy deposits on the spark plug wire boot. None of the other spark plug wire boots have this.

What could it be?
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: White Ashy Deposits on Spark Plug Wire Boot

I assume you refer to the plugwire cable-end on the Ignition module , not the plug.
Mine was similar. The powder was (i think) aluminum oxide . I noted that the 'tower' of the ignition module (to the offending wire) was light grey in appearance, and matt in texture , while all the others were smooth , metallic , darkish-grey. A channel/portion of the top of my ignition tower was corroded away. I noticed that a multimeter probe could not get a reading (resistance range) from the surface of this tower.
I carefully scraped the oxide coating from the tower , noticed that now the resistance of the module coil was within range ... adjusted the spring in the sparkplugboot with pliers (externally) to achieve good grip ... and my occasional idle-misfire subsided.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: White Ashy Deposits on Spark Plug Wire Boot

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
I assume you refer to the plugwire cable-end on the Ignition module , not the plug.
Mine was similar. The powder was (i think) aluminum oxide . I noted that the 'tower' of the ignition module (to the offending wire) was light grey in appearance, and matt in texture , while all the others were smooth , metallic , darkish-grey. A channel/portion of the top of my ignition tower was corroded away. I noticed that a multimeter probe could not get a reading (resistance range) from the surface of this tower.
I carefully scraped the oxide coating from the tower , noticed that now the resistance of the module coil was within range ... adjusted the spring in the sparkplugboot with pliers (externally) to achieve good grip ... and my occasional idle-misfire subsided.
Yup. It can actually be cleaned off using a slightly acidic or alkaline cleaner (Simple Green Castrol Super Clean etc..) and wiped dry. Follow up with a thin coating of dielectric grease on the RUBBER PART, NOT THE METAL, and the problem will most likely not recur.
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