What to do if oil gets into spark plug wells

What to do when oil gets into the spark plug wells

Oil leakage, which occurs for one reason or another, is always quite a serious and unpleasant phenomenon in the car. Some motorists periodically encounter leaks, while for others it is a regular problem.

Oil in the spark plug wells

Mainly oil leakage occurs because of damage, wear and loss of elasticity of different gaskets and seals. If the required level of tightness is missing, the lubricating oil, which is often under pressure, will leak through weak areas and leak out.

Such phenomena are most often found near the oil filter, in the camshaft and crankshaft oil seals, and in the spark plug wells. It is the leaks in the wells that are worth paying attention to, to understand the causes, potential dangers of such a malfunction and methods of its elimination.

Checking for leaks

It is a mistake to believe that an oil leak is only a problem of contamination of the power unit. Yes, it should also be taken as a serious problem, since the gradual contamination negatively affects the overall condition of the ICE, provokes the development of other problems and further malfunctions.

As part of the oil goes out of its permanent location, there is such a phenomenon as lubrication deficiency or oil starvation. In such a situation, one should expect accelerated wear of the rubbing parts, jamming and even major repairs, if nothing is done in the early stages of the problem development.

To allow the motorist to constantly monitor the level and condition of the lubricating fluid, automakers have provided the installation of a special oil dipstick. It must be used periodically to detect leaks and prevent their serious consequences.

Dipstick for determining oil level

Car owners are often faced with situations when oil is found in the spark plug wells. There is a fairly simple way to check the condition of the plugs. To do this, it is necessary to remove the plugs themselves, take a flashlight and shine directly into the cavity in which the plug is placed. This cavity is called a well.

As practice and experience of motorists shows, oil is not detected in all wells at once, but only in 1-2 cavities. It does not really matter exactly how much lubricating fluid was in the seat of the spark plug. Even a small amount indicates that there are problems. It tells the motorist that the sealing is broken somewhere and there are problems with the gaskets. Therefore, you should not hesitate to look for the source of trouble and eliminate it. With your own efforts or with the help of specialists, the question is secondary, and it directly depends on the decision of the car owner.


Faced with oil in the wells of the spark plugs, it is required to understand what exactly provoked the leak. This will allow you to choose the right algorithm of further actions, aimed at restoring the normal performance of the engine.

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Therefore, drivers are naturally interested in why there is oil in the spark plug wells or cavities, where it came from and what should be done next. In fact, oil in the spark plug wells appears due to the breach of sealing. The roots of the malfunction go to the valve gaskets or valve gaskets.

Also, it should not be excluded that the causes of the unfortunate oil in the car spark plug wells are related to their own seals. That is, it is obvious that any source of such a situation with the lubricating fluid in the wrong place is a rubber gasket or a substance used to seal the joints.

Some automakers, in order to save money on car assembly and minimize the cost of engine components, do not use quality rubber gaskets at all. They rely solely on sealants, which in reality are not able to withstand a long period of operation, and as a result begin to deteriorate, provoking the formation of leaks. Such a connection cannot be called reliable.

It is a mistake to say that the wear and tear of glands, gaskets and sealants is solely due to the long service life and high mileage of the vehicles. It really depends on the original quality of the gaskets and sealant, as well as the operating conditions, loads, proper oil selection, serviceability of the oil pump and a number of other factors. That’s why leaks can occur even in new cars and cars that have gone a short distance. At the same time, leakage may not occur in cars with high mileage.

Threats of oil leaking into the wells

It would seem that engine oil just gets into the spark plug wells and that’s it. Nothing terrible supposedly happens. But this is an extremely erroneous opinion, which may turn into serious consequences for the motorist.

According to experts, at the first signs of oil in the cavities of the spark plugs, it is necessary to look for the cause of the leak and eliminate it. Here it is important to understand what is so dangerous about oil, which penetrates and settles in the spark plug wells. This is a harbinger of extremely serious and costly troubleshooting. If you don’t intervene in time, you can face the following consequences:

Spark plug

  • The insulators in the high-voltage spark plug wires will weaken;
  • The spark plugs themselves will fail, the coils will break;
  • The engine will lose a noticeable portion of its power. This will be strongly felt during operation;
  • Occasionally, spark breakdowns will begin to occur;
  • The engine will start badly. The problem is especially evident in winter.
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If you ignore the oil in the wells, gradually the number of faults will increase. One breakdown will entail others. As a result, you will have to spend a lot of time, effort and money on a complete diagnosis of the engine, search for faults and sources of problems.

Therefore, experienced motorists and repair specialists advise to monitor the condition of the spark plugs, periodically check their seating cavities, and if you find traces of oil, immediately take appropriate measures.

Fixing the leak

It is not necessary to simply try to extract the accumulated oil in the wells. Here you need to deal with the source of the problem itself. And to do this, a number of procedures need to be performed.

That’s not to say that dealing with an oil leak in the spark plug wells is incredibly difficult. For many motorists, it’s a fairly simple task. But you should have at least minimal experience with cars. If you do not really know what to do when oil has accumulated in the spark plug wells, and you have never partially disassembled the car before, it is better to ask for help from a trusted car service.

For those who have decided to remove oil from the car candle wells on their own, there is a fairly detailed instruction on how to do it and avoid mistakes.

The work includes the mandatory performance of the following steps:

  • The first thing is to dismantle the intake manifold. About its location and the rules of disassembly, you can learn from the repair and operation manual of your car, which the manufacturer completes the cars;
  • Next, the necessary procedures for the subsequent removal of the timing belt are performed. Especially carefully approach the issue of removing the cover;
  • Then the timing belt and valve cover are removed. It is not superfluous to check its current condition. If the car is used for a long time, the belt can wear out. This is an excellent reason to replace it;
  • All this makes it possible to remove such an element as a camshaft, that is, a camshaft.

Now you are as close as possible to how to independently remove the accumulated oil in the spark plug wells and get rid of the causes that provoked such a malfunction.

The work done opens up access to the places where you need to change the gaskets and renew the sealing layer. Before that all the old sealants, seals and gaskets are removed and the seating places are cleaned. It is not superfluous to additionally treat the problematic areas with solvent. Here a classical and well known White Spirit has shown itself perfectly. It perfectly dissolves and cleans the surface.

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Here we should additionally give a few recommendations that allow you to achieve a good result with your own hands, without involving the employees of the car service center.

Fixing oil leaks

  1. Be attentive to the procedure of removing the old sealant. You should not allow any traces of the old remedy to remain, because when interacting with the new composition, problems can arise. Sometimes motorists have had to disassemble and clean everything all over again because they didn’t clean the surfaces properly.
  2. To remove the old sealant, it is better to use fairly neutral and gentle materials. It is not recommended to use abrasives like files and sandpaper. These materials leave after themselves chips and scratches. They can cause a new leak in the near future, which can no longer be repaired by simply replacing the gaskets or sealant.
  3. To get rid of old sealing materials, it is better to use solvents or regular gasoline. You just need to soak a rag in this substance, and then thoroughly, but without using a lot of force, treat all surfaces.
  4. Do not forget to remove the lubricant from the wells themselves. It’s easy enough to do. Some use syringes, while others simply soak up the oil with a sponge or a well-absorbing rag. Buying and using special materials or tools for such tasks makes no sense.
  5. If you were able to clean the wells of residual lubricating oil, the elements can be installed in their rightful places. At the same time it is not superfluous to check the condition of the plugs themselves. A large amount of soot and traces of wear are a strong argument in favor of replacing spark plugs.
  6. Be very careful when applying sealing compound. You do not need to add too much sealant, but you should not save on it too much, otherwise the composition will not be able to fully perform its functions.
  7. For plug wells provides for the use of a special sealant. It is distinguished by its red color. Such compositions are sold in almost all auto stores and markets.
  8. All existing gaskets and seals should be replaced only with similar ones that are suitable for your vehicle and these areas. In the manufacture of seals and gaskets used a variety of materials, not all of which are designed for use in the construction of the engine.
  9. In the course of carrying out dismantling and repair-repair work, do not forget to check the condition of other units, to which you have opened access. This will allow you to simultaneously carry out a number of useful activities, detect the wear of some or other elements in time, replace them and solve several problems in one go, or prevent their appearance at the most initial stage.
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Now it remains only to carry out the reassembly of all the dismantled elements. Don’t forget to check the quality of the work done and make sure the spark plugs are in good working order.

Periodically check the cavities of the plugs, check if new oil appears there. If there are no renewed leaks, you have done everything correctly and you have managed to find the source of the trouble, as well as to eliminate it qualitatively.

The job of preventing oil leaks in the spark plug wells is not the easiest for newcomers to self-service cars. But this task is quite quickly and easily coped with by experienced motorists.

If you are not confident in your own strength or capabilities, or simply can not take the time to repair the car yourself, contact a good and proven car service, which is ready to provide guarantees and quality solutions to your problem.

Why the spark plugs are flooded with oil

Why does oil fill up spark plugs?

If the piston rings become worn, a pumping effect is formed. This means that oil gets sucked inside the combustion chamber after the engine starts running. The fluid intake does not stop for a long time until the engine finally stalls.

If the spark plugs of a gasoline engine are filled with oil, there may be several reasons for this. This phenomenon leads to the fact that the car stalls or does not start at all, so it is necessary to eliminate the problem as soon as possible.

Causes of oil on the spark plugs

Many car owners are familiar with the situation when, after a successful trip, the car was put in the garage under lock and key, but the morning the engine will not start. Or the engine started well in the cold, but then suddenly stalled. At the same time, the starter is functioning properly, and there is enough gasoline.

This may be caused by gasoline on the spark plugs. After some time, the motor starts again. It seems that the problem has solved itself, but it is not so. The situation may occur again later.

Valve guides

If the spark plugs are filled with oil, the cause may be in the intake valves. A gap appears between the element stem and the guide sleeve if it has been worn without replacement for a long time. Then the backlash allows oil to leak from the block directly onto the spark plugs.

Why does oil fill up spark plugs?

Oiled spark plug

To correct the situation will help to disassemble the vent system, replace the worn parts and properly reassemble.

Valve seals

Valve seals can leak fluid. There are several reasons for that:

  • When the engine overheats, the crimping part gets blistered;
  • the compression spring has come off the body surface of the packing;
  • the position of the component on the bushing has changed.
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If the bushings are badly worn, the valve is not working properly. It does not close the lip, which becomes a reason to pour on the plugs. Installation experts advise changing the valve sleeve guides, not the oil seals. Otherwise it will lead to abrasion because of the intake parts.

Piston rings.

If the piston rings become worn, a pumping effect is formed. This means that oil gets sucked inside the combustion chamber after the engine starts running. The fluid intake does not stop for a long time until the engine finally stalls.

Why does oil fill up spark plugs?

Signs of ring wear:

  • traces of oil on the spark plug threads;
  • oil on the insulators;
  • no compression in cylinders during check with plugs turned out.

If the piston rings are worn, the appearance of a crack on the septum helps determine this. If you notice this disorder, check the compression and replace the piston rings.

Clogged oil system vent

Spark plugs get flooded with oil when the cause is a malfunction related to the condition of the oil system.

There are only two variants:

  1. The oil level is excessive – the cause is an overflow of fluid.
  2. The level is exceeded due to a malfunction that requires disassembly of the vent system.

If you simply overflowed the fluid when you were refueling, the problem is easy to fix. Just siphon off the excess fluid and restart the engine.

In the case where the oil level rises due to coolant injection, you will need a full system diagnostic. Unfortunately, coolant injection can indicate the need for a complete or partial engine repair.

Oil in the spark plug wells

If the fluid gets on the spark plug wells, there are associated problems:

  • the engine fails for a while after starting, losing power;
  • oil and fuel are consumed faster;
  • the exhaust becomes more toxic;
  • fuel mixture spontaneously combusts;
  • driving dynamics of the machine is unstable.

These phenomena should be eliminated as soon as possible to minimize losses. In addition, heavy oiling of plugs often leads to the stoppage of one of the cylinders, which, in turn, threatens the engine work stoppage and premature engine wear.

Why does oil fill up spark plugs?

Soot on spark plugs

If you have realized that the reason that the spark plugs are covered in gasoline is because of oil on the spark plug pads, a simple replacement will not save you for long. It will require a complete disassembly of the engine, diagnosis of all elements.

If the spark plugs are filled with oil, the cause must be found and eliminated. Getting liquid on the threads leads to additional difficulties: from the engine shutdown to the premature aging of other auxiliary parts.

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