Oil leaking to spark plugs ( '93Civic Dx ) - Fuelly Forums

Click here to see important news regarding the aCar App

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-07-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
Registered Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 200
Country: United States
Oil leaking to spark plugs ( '93Civic Dx )

After having my oil chaged at a Wal-Mart lube center, my car started smoking from the engine compartment. Oil also began leaking from around the valve cover.
Turns out they overfilled the engine with oil ( but by only half a quart )
I drove the car around 40 or so miles before it started smoking, and then quickly drained the excess oil.
As of around 4 monts ago, I also changed the gasket ( which when I pulled off looked undamaged )

What I'd like to ask about is why that I am still getting oil leaking into the # 1 and #4 spark plug chamber.

Is there an additional gasket that I missed or something ?

Also, what damage could this do to the engine ( having the oil leak into the spark plug chamber )
I would think that since the spark plugs screw in tightly and seal the chamber from oill leakage, that it would not really have an effect except to make the spark plugs oily when I go to pull them out.
Am I wrong in assuming this ?
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks !

Nerds laugh at me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2008, 10:19 PM   #2
Registered Member
GasSavers_bobski's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 463
Country: United States
If the spark plug tube had a whole lot of oil in it (like the plug completely submerged) and you unscrewed the plug to replace it or whatever, the excess oil would drain down into the combustion chamber and possibly hydro-lock the engine when you crank it.
Also, oil just sitting in the tubes can soak into the spark plug wires, screwing with their conductivity/longevity.

To answer your gasket question, the valve cover has the one big seal around it's perimeter (which I assume is the one you replaced) and then 4 smaller seals - one at the top of each spark plug tube.
If you replaced all of those and it's still leaking, there are also o-rings down near the bottom of the tubes. Those rings seal the body of each tube to the cylinder head casting. Replacing the o-rings requires removing a good portion of the valve train... I wouldn't try it unless you're fairly confident in your mechanical abilities (it's possible to snap large, important chunks of aluminum during reassembly, and requires adjusting the valves afterwards).

GasSavers_bobski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2008, 08:09 AM   #3
Registered Member
mrmad's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 386
Country: United States
As Bobski said, on a D series Honda, there are two seals in each spark plug tube. The first seals between the valve cover and holes in the rocker arm assembly, the second, an o-ring, is further down, and seals the hole in the valve cover assy to the head. Since you changed the valve cover gasket and didn't mention changing the four valve cover spark plug seals, I'd say it is likely that this is where it is leaking. I would take a flashlight and look in the leaky spark plug tubes and try to see if it is leakingabout 1 1/2" from the top of the tube (valve cover seal), or about 3'4" down (the o-ring between the rocker arm assy and head).

The valve cover seals are easy to change, just pull the valve cover and replace them and put a new va;ve cover gasket in. The other ones require removing the rocker arm assy to get to the o-rings. You should get a Helms manual to do this, but it isn't that difficult. One tip I will give you that I learned the hard way, only loosen the bolts on the exhaust side of the rocker arm assy, do not remove them from the assy. They are what holds it together, once it is out of the car. I did this on my CRX and putting the whole thing back together was one big puzzle.
mrmad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2008, 03:01 PM   #4
Registered Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 200
Country: United States
The amount of oil leaking into the chamber is just enough to make the threads on the plugs look as if they have been brushed with oil vs. the others which come out clean.
It is not even enough to create a drip, but still has me concerned.
Nerds laugh at me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2008, 03:34 PM   #5
Registered Member
kamesama980's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 742
Country: United States
Location: Columbus, IN, USA
Send a message via AIM to kamesama980 Send a message via Yahoo to kamesama980
are the relevant plugs near the oil fill cap?
1991 Toyota Pickup 22R-E 2.4 I4/5 speed
1990 Toyota Cressida 7M-GE 3.0 I6/5-speed manual
mechanic, carpenter, stagehand, rigger, and know-it-all smartass
"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
kamesama980 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help! AlfieGT Fuelly Web Support and Community News 1 05-22-2011 11:35 PM
Picture / data issues fbobberts Fuelly Web Support and Community News 10 07-18-2009 12:11 AM
pulse up or pulse down a hill, higher or lower gear perris Hypermiling 9 07-16-2007 09:33 PM
How far do you drive daily? OdieTurbo General Fuel Topics 56 03-31-2007 01:49 AM
Hi to everyone hawkgt647 Introduce Yourself - New member Welcome 21 04-09-2006 08:11 AM

» Fuelly Android Apps
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:39 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.