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Oil in number 1 cylinder, fouling out plug - 1997 Saturn SL

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Is there oil actually in the cylinder? or is the oil in the tube that the spark plug body lives in? if it's just in the tube, then you only need a valve cover gasket set which comes w/ a round rubber seal for the top of each spark plug tube. if however, the oil is actually in the cylinder, then you either have a faulty piston oil ring or faulty valve seals. the repairs for rings/seals are a giant PIA. let's hope it's just the valve cover gasket set

Posted on Sep 29, 2009

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Rear spark plug bank is fouled. The 3 in front are fine. What cold be the problem?


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the next time it fouls check the plug when you take it out, if it is covered with oil then you may have a broken ring on the cylinder that is allowing oil to pass through to the combustion chamber and fouling the plug. Or the valves pay be letting oil drain in past the valve seats.

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My 2004 ford freestar with the 3.9L has been fouling out plugs with some consistency. they look to be oil fouled did compression test and they 1)195 2)200 3)200 4)205 5)200 6)205. any ideas od why they...


You need to have the rings replaced. Do the compression check again on a cold motor with this exception, add a small amount of oil to each cylinder. First do the test on the cylinder and record the pressure then add a small amount of oil and redo the test and compare the compression. I am attempting to identify if the problem is rings, valves or head gasket. I am concerned about cylinder 1. The compression is within range however the readings you provided indicate uneven compression. If after you add the oil the pressure evens out across the cylinders the problem is rings. If you get the same readings during both test the problem is the Head Gasket or a need to have a valve job done. The fouling is caused by oil getting past the rings or seals. Use regular oil in this test preferably in a hand oiler. Two to three squirts should be enough. DO NOT USE WD40 OR OTHER SPRAY LUBRICANTS. Those will damage your cylinder walls.

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1 Answer

Oil in #1 spark plug tube, plug wire popped off changed valve cover gasket and the upper tube seals. It ran fine for about an hour then started missing again


Was the plug fouled again after you made repairs? Did you install a new plug and run it? If the plug itself is fouling you probably also see blue smoke in the exhaust pipe. Get the engine warm, check compression and do what is called a cylinder leakage test, it puts a volume of air into each cylinder with the valves closed and how much air leaks out determines the over all health of the engine. Does the engine have excess oil consumption? The oil entering the cylinder and fouling the plug can enter from a worn valve guide or guide seal, a worn or damaged oil control piston ring or a worn or damaged piston bore or piston, none of which are going to be inexpensive to fix.

Good luck, i hope this helps.

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1998 Chevy Silverado K1500, 5.7 , number 5 cylinder keeps fouling the plug with oil. The insulator was broken in half vertically


If the insulator was cracked the plug would have been misfiring, unless it was broken while trying to remove it. If this oil fouling is an ongoing problem, and you have to keep changing the plug, buy a spark plug that is designed to fire when oil fouling is a problem. You may have to order one from a part catalog, such as JC Whitney. This would keep you going until you can get the problem repaired..

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these were bad for the spider injectors to fail. they are hard to diagnose with out the scan tool. the poppets in the end of the injectors get clogged and will need to be replaced. pull the plug and see if its oil fouled. they also have a problem with the #1 cyl getting out of round and oil fouling the plug. compare it to another plug in the engine. if its oil fouled the engine is no good.

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1 Answer

Number 4 cylinder miss fire


Check your distributor cap & wires first. If all is ok pull the spark plug and check if it's oil fouled. If there is no oil on the plug the plug might be bad. if there is oil on the plug you can get an adaptor that screws over the end of the plug and shields it from getting oil fouled. Of course this is a temporary solution for a piston ring or valve seal problem. I had a caddy I ran with plug shields fo 5 years so they work! Good luck!....PS If your plug is oil fouled you can also use a heavier oil like a 20/50 or use 4 quarts of 10/40 and a quart of lucas oil stabilizer. This will help keep the oil where it belongs and don't forget to do an oil change every 2,500 to 3000 miles.

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