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Old 10-06-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
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Question Idling like crap and oil soaked spark plugs!

ok I have a 2000 with a zetec engine and I just changed the spark plugs because the car is shaking and vibrating at idle. I found that two of the spark plugs were pretty wet with oil and the other two looked fine. When looking at the engine from the front the two spark plugs that had oil on them where the first two from the right side of the engine. Any ideas on how to fix the idling and oil issue?

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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First off, the most likely cause of the uneven idle is occasional misfires due to the oil and crud mixing up your spark. You need a new valve cover first. That will repair the oil problem. You'll also need an oil change after the job if you DIY, and new spark plug wires.

Then if you still have a problem, we'll go from there. You can inspect the PCV vacuum hose while you're in there because that's a common culprit of low/rough idle.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:51 PM   #3
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ok so I would need to replace the valve cover and the valve cover gasket and that would fix the oil problem? Just making sure I am understanding this, I'm assuming the valve cover is pretty easy to replace.. just 10 bolts that are holding it on..?
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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Valve cover gasket is leaking, and it'll abuse the thermostat housing as well if not replaced....

Fix that, clean things up, & you should be fine....
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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Valve cover gasket is leaking, and it'll abuse the thermostat housing as well if not replaced....

Fix that, clean things up, & you should be fine....

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Old 10-06-2011, 08:56 PM   #6
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oh ok thanks guys I will replace the gasket this weekend. hopefully that will fix the problem. Thanks !!!
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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Ooops, I wrote that wrong guy, I meant valve cover gasket, not the valve cover itself. It should still be good unless it's cracked somewhere. There are little rings around the spark plug tubes, and it seems that's the first place that starts leaking.

Don't forget spark plug wires too. I recommend that you get the lifetime warranty plug wires from whatever parts store you prefer. That's really handy for people who use their cars regularly- not race cars- because you can change the wires any time you have an engine running problem and cross that off the list.
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