Oil in Spark Plug Hole

jemdandyMarch 29, 2006

1997 Saturn

1.8 L 4cy, dual cams, 4 valves/cylinder

90,000 miles

Oil is leaking into the no. 1 spark plug hole. (The other 3 are dry and clean.) Was checking the car over and found that the no. 1 spark plug hole was half full of engine oil. All the valve cover bolts were tight, and as far as I know, the valve cover has never been removed. (It's my wife's car.) What's your opinion - where is the leak and what is required to fix it?

I have an idea what I need to do, but would like to have the opinion of others who may have dealt with this problem.

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replace the valve cover gasket and pcv valve.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 4:52PM
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I'm with geraldo. imo, there's an oil leak above that spark plug hole. Most likely the valve cover. I'm not a believer in the idea that oil can be pumped out of the cylinder and past the threads of a spark plug if that's what you're thinking. jmo

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 12:29PM
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Thank you all for your replies. I fixed the leak today by installing a new gasket set. When I took the old gaskets off, I found that the one around No. 1 sparkplug well had hardened and deteriorated, but the other were serviceable. It also had a weep along the front edge where the cover seats against the head. It's not leaking now, but the car hasn't been driven long enough for a true test.

I found a possible contributor to this problem. When I tried to remove the oil filler cap, it was jammed. It had swelled to the point that to remove it required enough force to flex the valve cover a bit. Tomorrow, I'm getting a new filler cap. (Interesting what we find after the service contract runs out. This is my wife's car and her service contract expired this winter.)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 3:03AM
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Be thankful the cover was not distorted and then not repairable due to people("mechanics") over tightening the screws..
One would think the oil filler cap gasket was replaceable; IMO, it should be.
They were on the old VW air cooled engines.And they were made from actual metal...

Nine years is a good life for a cam cover gasket..

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 9:28AM
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