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Oil in Spark Plug Hole

Posted by jemdandy (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 29, 06 at 2:46

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Oil in Spark Plug Hole

replace the valve cover gasket and pcv valve.


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RE: Oil in Spark Plug Hole

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


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RE: Oil in Spark Plug Hole

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.)


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RE: Oil in Spark Plug Hole

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..


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