Engines rarely seize, but when they do, it is almost always due to a long period of nonoperation. When an engine seizes, one or more pistons have literally become stuck against the cylinder’s wall. Thankfully, just because an engine has seized does not necessarily mean that the entire engine must be rebuilt. The keys to freeing the engine are to reduce the air pressure within the engine’s cylinders and to reduce the amount of force necessary to break the piston free by disconnecting the components that the engine turns, such as the alternator and power steering pump.

Step 1

Remove all of the engine’s spark plugs with a socket wrench to alleviate the air pressure within the engine’s cylinders. First, pull each spark plug’s wire off the tip of the spark plug. Attach an appropriate-sized spark plug socket to a socket wrench; then remove each spark plug by turning the wrench in a counterclockwise direction.