Question about 1999 Saturn SL

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Oil on the bottom of spark plug on two of them. lack power and idle running high.

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You need to replace the valve cover gaskets

Posted on Aug 01, 2008

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Once you solve the oil on spark plug problem (it usually never completely goes just have to take your spark plugs out and clean them occasionally), check things like the idle air compensator. If it is dirty and isn't moving properly, then the idle will be high. If the PCV valve sticks, the idle will be high. If your temperature never gets above 1/4, the idle will remain high (idle air correction valve will keep the idle high because it senses a cold engine....and it is working properly). If your temp doesn't get over 1/4, then you probably need a new thermostat. The stock thermostats have rubber gaskets that go bad and allow coolant to leak past the valve. The temperature sensor could also be bad, but if you put a meat thermometer in the overflow tank and it doesn't read over 180 degrees, then the thermostat is more likely to be the problem.

If you have oil on the actual firing surface of the spark plugs, then the cylinders are leaking oil, either past the valve stems or past the oil control rings. Saturns are natural oil burners. You can take the spark plugs out and pour a small amount of Marvel Mystery Oil into the cylinders. Let the cylinders soak for 1/2 a day or more. This can free up the rings and remove excessive carbon (but if the rings are worn out, it won't solve much). Turn the engine over a few times with the plugs removed to flush out excessive oil. If you put the plugs in right away and there is excessive oil, the engine will hydrolock and will be very difficult to start. Once you do put the plugs back in, expect to see huge clouds of smoke from the tailpipe for a mile or two of driving. This is normal.

Lack of power could be caused by a dirty air filter, dirty injectors, poorly gapped plugs, fouled plugs (including oil on the outside that'd short out the spark), a faulty oxygen sensor, a faulty throttle position sensor (if this sensor is bad, the engine won't respond properly to throttle changes), or possibly a dirty MAP sensor. Also, a faulty (leaky) EGR valve could both cause a lack of power and a high idle. Finally, a plugged fuel filter or a faulty pressure regulator could cause a lack of power, but doesn't usually cause the idle to run high. Start with the easy things and work your way towards the more difficult things.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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How can you tell if your spark plugs needs to be replaced on a nissan d21 z24 4wd

  1. The engine idles roughly. ...
  2. You have trouble starting your car in the morning. ...
  3. Your car's engine misfires. ...
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Smoke is not a good sign. Running rough is not a good sign. Oil light not a good sign. You could have a combination of bad things, most likely expensive. Suggest professional help. Smoke can be bad rings or holed piston. Low oil pressure can be bad bearing or oil pump.

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Ford laser 99 no power

Hi there.
well when you throttle up to about 2000rpm do you get blue smoke coming out the exhaust.When driving on flat road will it power up as normal with out missing or getting hot.
what colour was the old spark plugs were they black or light brown.
When you start engine and run for 3 minutes then let it idle and remove oil filler cap do you get smoke coming out.
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My 02 galant runs rough when put in gear but in idle runs okay it also surges up and down replaced the plug wires

Okay, lets start with the oil you found on spark plugs when you were replacing them. this oil is coming from the valve cover tube hole area, notice the plugs go into the holes in the valve cover, there is a gasket the goes around the top of the tubes and when it leaks it goes into spark plug hole, the valve cover needs replacing .
this will cause rough idle and running problems, after replacing valve cover gasket the holes must be cleaned, using crab cleaner, spray into holes and use air to blow out . this may need to be done a few times to get oil out .
after oil is removed . then remove spark plugs and wipe them clean.
The next step is to find the air (vacuum leak) , you said you hear it around intake tube. check for cracks or broken vacuum line. this leak will cause idle problems and driving problems,

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Engine light on --burning to much -gas --idle to low--lack of power --hesitation

i would recommend the following
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Overheating, not when sitting. bottom hose

I hate to say this but it could be going straight into the engine, if it's not leaking or doing back into the overflow/rad..

Note I've included the instructions/info about knowing if your head gasket is blown (which could be causing the antifreeze to leak into the engine) This should help you out a bit diagnosing the problem.

1. Exhaust: When you have a gasket leak, you will notice white smoke coming out of your tailpipe. Sometimes drops of water will drop from the end of the tailpipe. The exhaust will also have a sweet smell to it.

2. Spark Plugs: Your spark plugs will display one of the last signs of a blown head gasket. If you have green dyed coolant in your system, the spark plugs will have a green tint around them. If the problem is very severe, the coolant may start squirting out of the plug holes which is not good.

3. Oil: You will notice a milky type ring surrounding your oil cap. This is caused by coolant entering the engine oil through the leaking gasket. This mixture leaves the milky type ring around the oil cap when it evaporates. You can check for this by taking the car for a short drive, then checking the oil for contamination.

4. Engine: Lack of engine power is a sign of a blown head gasket. The engine will lack power due to compression loss. The engine will also run poorly and will idle roughly. You should also be careful because the engine will overheat quickly when you have a blown head gasket.

5. Bubbles: A gasket leak will cause bubbles of air to come into your radiator. To check for this, you should first remove the radiator cap then warm up the engine. When you rev the engine, you will see bubbles come out from the top of the radiator.

Hope this helps, best regards, Happy Holidays!

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