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Oil leak around spark plugs
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* August 14, 2006, 09:39:58 PM
Have had our \'98 Camry LE since new.
Just changed spark plugs and wires this past weekend and noticed two of the plugs with oil around the old plug insulators (not on electrode).
Just wondering if anyone can tell me if this is common for a Camry with 98K miles on it.   Could it be a leaking head gasket or what ever is around the spark plug tubes?
Is is a hard fix.

Thanks

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* August 17, 2006, 04:17:39 PM
#1
Could be a leaky valvecover gasket - the Camry used a multipiece gasket - one that went around the circumference of the valvecover and one that goes around the sparkplug holes.  If anyoen mentioned to you a headgasket - that would be incorrect - headgasket is between the cylinder head and the block and provides the seal between the two for coolant pasages and the cylinders.

You could also have oil leaking past the threads on the sparkplugs - if they have loosen up or have not been correctly torque down, oil and combustion gases can seep past the threads and coat the body of the plug, wick up next to the insulators via capillary action.

Easy way is to first look down the sparkplug tubes - just shine a flashlight down the tubes with the plug out - see if the oil is from the outside of hole moving in (possibly valvecover) or from the inside moving out (possibly blowby around the plug).

That said - not unusual to see that on some high mileage cars - though it depends on the extent of oil found on the insulators and 98K is \"hardly\" considered high mileage these days.

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2002 Corolla S, Silverstream, 1.8L 1ZZ-FE (VVT-i)
2003 Matrix XRS, Cosmic Blue, 1.8L 2ZZ-GE (VVTL-i) - RIP
2009 Matrix XRS, Blue Streak, 2.4L 2AZ-FE (VVT-i)


* August 17, 2006, 08:22:37 PM
#2
Thank you sir...

It turned out you were correct.  Just picked up the Camry from a local shop and it was the valve cover gasket, plus the little gaskets at the bottom of the plug tubes.
Cost me $100.00 (parts and labor) so can\'t complain too bad.   Probably good for another 98K now.
Thanks again for the response.
Brooks

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* August 18, 2006, 04:50:35 AM
#3
Good to hear - $100 for parts and labor is pretty good deal as well - part cost alone is around $30 for the gasket.

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2002 Corolla S, Silverstream, 1.8L 1ZZ-FE (VVT-i)
2003 Matrix XRS, Cosmic Blue, 1.8L 2ZZ-GE (VVTL-i) - RIP
2009 Matrix XRS, Blue Streak, 2.4L 2AZ-FE (VVT-i)


* April 05, 2010, 05:21:54 AM
#4
I have a \'05 subaru forester and am 2nd owner since 08/07.
Felt my car jerking a bit unusually and thought might be my driving a bit off since its Manual.  shortly Check ENGINE light came on with Cruise control light blinked and stopped and again came back later and stayed on. I used message reader from Autozone in VA told me spark plug 4 was misfiring.  Checked to change plugs and noticed two of the plugs with oil around the old plug insulators (not on electrode). I cleaned it up and plugged it back, check engine light turned off and came back on a couple of months later again.  Just wondering if anyone can tell me if there is something I can do about it. Could it be a leaking gasket of some sort or what ever is around the spark plug tubes?
Is it something fixable? help please.  

Thanks

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* April 07, 2010, 07:16:10 PM
#5
That issue is very repairable.  Could be as simple as making sure the sparkplugs are on tight enough.  But more than likely, happens on many cars, the gaskets that seal the sparkplug tube on the valvecover to the cylinder head are leaking.  That could be caused by a number of things - age, type of oil used, oil change interval, if it every overheated, etc. - but is easily remedied by just replacing the gasket.

The gasket itself is inexpensive, most of the cost will be involved with labor.  Not sure how much it would cost (time-wise) on a Subaru, but on most Toyotas - its about 1/2 hour to an hours worth of labor.

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2002 Corolla S, Silverstream, 1.8L 1ZZ-FE (VVT-i)
2003 Matrix XRS, Cosmic Blue, 1.8L 2ZZ-GE (VVTL-i) - RIP
2009 Matrix XRS, Blue Streak, 2.4L 2AZ-FE (VVT-i)


* April 07, 2010, 08:42:44 PM
#6
I\'ve seen this problem before, albeit on a Plymouth and I agree with Mr. Expo. The gaskets were exceedingly cheap and labor was minor; the tubes pulled right out.

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