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Oil on Spark Plugs Diagnose and Fix Spark Plug Tube Seals

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Created on: 2021-05-30

Len guides you through locating the source of leaks that leave oil in your spark plug tubes, like spark plug tube gaskets!

So there I was, innocent as can be, trying to do an easy set of spark plugs on this Honda Accord. What did I find as I opened it up? Oil. Great.

Hey, friends, it's Len here from 1A Auto. So today in the studio, I have a Honda Accord. This is a V-6 Honda Accord. So that means it has six cylinders, three along the front and three along the back. I'm getting ready to do some spark plugs on it. And on this particular car, it's a very simple job. Sometimes though, very simple jobs turn into a little bit more of a hassle with something as simple as maybe possibly an oil leak in my case. I went ahead and I started removing the coils. And that's super important because that's where the spark plugs are going to be located at right behind them. As I removed one, I found that there was a whole bunch of oil inside there. That's obviously an issue not just because, well, it's getting all over the coil, but also because it's getting all over that spark plug in there and it's going to keep piling up until the point that it comes out of there. Of course, it could cause an issue with runability. You might even find the check engine light because of this. So let's get a little bit more into this engine so I can show you what's going on.

So, now that easy spark plug job turned into a much harder job. We had to remove the throttle body, remove the intake from the top of the engine here, and now, of course, we can access our valve cover. We'll lift this right up and off of here. And now we can see where the issue lies. Looking underneath your valve cover, you can see where your cam and everything is. And, of course, you have all your lifters and everything else, everything needs to be well lubricated with oil. So oil is just going to be spitting up all inside here, getting caught by this cover and then draining back down into the oil pan eventually. Well, of course, as oil spitting up and around here, there's supposed to be these gaskets that prevent the oil from making its way up along here and then into your spark plug tube. If these gaskets are worn or damaged, or even stiff, like these ones, of course, they're not gonna make a good seal, and you're gonna have oil inside of your spark plug tubes. So the easiest way to replace these is on a bench, of course, because we're gonna want to lay this down so it's semi-flat. The next thing we're gonna do is get right in between the gasket itself and the valve cover being very careful not to damage the metal of the valve cover.

Once I'm in between, I'll just carefully pry this up and remove the seal. So now to install your new tube seal, what you're going to want to do is just apply a thin amount of lubricant to it. You can either use motor oil or, of course, a tiny bit of grease if you have some. To start this in, I'm going to come right along this edge where this panel is, start that along there, and then I'll line this up as well. Now after this, you're gonna have to drive it in. I'm just gonna use a socket that goes right over the outer portion of it. We'll give it a couple of loving bonks.

Once you're sure that it's all the way down, all the way across, continue on doing the same to the rest. After that, we're going to put on a brand new valve cover gasket. Something that's super important, of course, if you're going to be replacing the gaskets is to make sure that the tube where the gasket is going to ride is nice and clean as well. Any of this black stuff is buildup and it needs to be removed.

There's multiple ways you can go ahead and get the oil out of this. If you had something like a vacuum, you can try to vacuum out some of the fluid that might be in there. You could, of course, also use a rag if you just go ahead and put it down in there. Also, a little blowgun might even help. Typically, I'm going to use the rag and the blowgun. That's going to be the best for me. I'll start this right into the hole like that. I'll bring this down along the side of it, and the purpose of the rag of course is to catch any of the oil that's gonna be trying to escape as I pump the air in. Now that we've got all the oil out of there, let's get all the oil off of here.

Okay, friends, so I just wanted to go over something that you might happen to find if you're replacing your spark plugs and the spark plugs have a little tube seal that comes up and through the valve cover. They just have that little seal on the backside of the valve cover there. If it goes bad, it's going to allow oil to make its way in. So you're replacing your spark plugs, you find some oil. Well, unfortunately, you're gonna have to remove that valve cover, replace that seal, of course, any other seals along the way as well. And then, of course, you're gonna want to make sure you do your oil change at the same time as you're doing everything else.

All right, friends. So maybe you've had this experience or maybe something kind of like it, but of your own. Maybe you want to talk about it, leave it in the comment section below. If you liked the video or you learned a little something, please feel free to smash on that like button for me. It would mean the world. While you're at it, go ahead and subscribe, ring the bell that way there you can be kept up with all of our latest content. Thanks.


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