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Oil is leaking into spark plug well Inspection Service

Oil leaking into the spark plug wells is an indictor of a fairly serious problem that should be inspected and repaired immediately. It is almost always due to a failing gasket or O-ring but can also be the result of a failing piston or worn valve guides.

Oil making its way into the spark plug wells will drastically affect the engines performance, leading to misfires, increased oil consumption and blue exhaust. In extreme cases, it can even lead to an engine fire. If the vehicle is exhibiting any of these symptoms, the spark plugs should be inspected immediately.

How this system works:

his issue involves two systems, the spark plugs and the engine lubrication system.

The main function of a spark plug is to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber. Electrical energy is transmitted through the spark plug where it jumps the gap and the spark ignites the gasoline and air mixture. Spark plugs also pull heat out of the combustion chamber, working as a heat exchanger, it pulls thermal energy from the combustion chamber and transfers it to the cooling system.

Engine oil is used to lubricate the moving parts of an engine. The constant moving of the engine parts generates heat, as well as wear and tear. Engine oil helps to minimize the friction and dissipates the heat generated by the engine.

The oil pan is where engine oil is stored. A typical oil pan will hold up to 6 quarts of oil. When the engine starts, the oil pump pulls oil from the oil pan through a part called the pickup tube. The oil then moves to the oil filter, which removes dirt and debris before it is sent to the various parts of the engine via spurt holes. Eventually it heads back to the oil pan to start the process over again.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Leaking Valve Cover Gaskets: The valve cover is a metal part found on the top of the engine, which seals the engine and helps prevent oil leaks. Between the valve cover and the engine are gaskets that tend to fail over time. Due to the high temperature of the engine the gaskets can get brittle, and start to leak. It is possible for the oil to leak into the spark plug wells. Leaking valve cover gaskets need to be repaired as quickly as possible, failing to do so can lead to further damage to the engine.

  • Failing O-Ring Seals: There are O-Ring seals at the bottom of the spark plug wells and if a seal starts to fail, oil can leak past these seals and into the spark plug well. Again, this issue should be repaired as soon as possible and the spark plugs should be changed as well.

  • Failing Piston Compression Rings: The pistons in a car’s engine have compression rings at the top of the piston and the bottom. These rings are set in grooves in the piston and help scrape excess oil from the cylinder walls and prevent oil from getting into the combustion chamber. If these rings fail, oil can make its way into the spark plugs wells. Other symptoms of failing compression rings include increased exhaust that is blue and smells oily.

  • Failing Piston: A piston that is running too hot can develop a hole or crack. The most common symptoms of a failing piston include rattle and knocking noises while the car is running, excessive oil burning as well as a loss of power and engine misfiring. It can also lead to oil in the spark plug wells. This is an extremely serious condition that needs to be repaired as soon as possible.

  • Worn Valve Guides: Valve guides help to regulate air intake by keeping the valves in place while the engine is running. Over time, valve guides can become extremely worn and will require replacement. Blue smoke and oil or ash in the spark plug wells is a common symptom of failing valve guides. Worn valve guides can lead to more serious engine problems and should be repaired as soon as possible.

What to expect:

A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the source and cause of the Oil in Spark Plug Well issue, ​and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.

How it's done:

A mechanic will check your valve cover gaskets, O-Ring seals, pistons and other important components. The mechanic may need to crank the car and test drive it to pinpoint the cause of the leak and produce an accurate diagnosis.

How important is this service?

Oil in a spark plug well is a very serious problem that should be repaired as soon as possible. It can do extensive damage to the engine, such as broken or warped pistons and valves. Eventually, if not repaired, the head gasket can result in the fatal destruction of the engine. There is also the potential for an engine fire if the spark plugs ignite the oil.

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YourMechanic Oil is leaking into spark plug well Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.7/5

Number of Reviews

21

Rating Summary
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Diego

17 years of experience
44 reviews
Diego
17 years of experience
Diego was very personable and seemed to have good knowledge of auto mechanics. Unfortunately he was unable to repair my issue but it is more of a problem that needs to be taken care of in a shop.
2005 DODGE RAM 1500 - OIL IS LEAKING INTO SPARK PLUG WELL - PEORIA, ARIZONA

Danny

7 years of experience
223 reviews
Danny
7 years of experience
I am pleased to report that Danny was very professional and educated regarding my problem. I will be sure to ask for him for other mechanical issues for my car.
1999 TOYOTA COROLLA - OIL IS LEAKING INTO SPARK PLUG WELL INSPECTION - ROEBLING, NEW JERSEY

Brett

21 years of experience
69 reviews
Brett
21 years of experience
Showed up early. Diagnosed the problem quickly and recommended how to proceed. Provided lots of info and helpful advice! Will book again!
2002 FORD EXPLORER - OIL IS LEAKING INTO SPARK PLUG WELL - FORT MILL, SOUTH CAROLINA

Steven

6 years of experience
43 reviews
Steven
6 years of experience
He was on time polite courteous friendly he explained what he was going to do on the inspection then notified me what the issue was for my car he showed me the problem and explained the work that needed to be done then when done with inspection he put everything back together neatly and returned my key unfortunately the work that needed to be done was not able to be done by the your mechanic services thats an repair that they cannot perform they will tell you after the inspection is finished this is good to know what limitations they have with certain problems you may have mine was oil in the spark plug wells this is what they were not able to repair at now I know what my issue with my car a Volkswagen Passat 2002 all in all steve is a cool dude I would have him back when I need repairs in the future thanks Steve
2002 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT - OIL IS LEAKING INTO SPARK PLUG WELL - LA VERNE, CALIFORNIA

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