03 Focus will not start, oil on spark plugs, HELP!!! - Focus Fanatics
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
ZX2003
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03 Focus will not start, oil on spark plugs, HELP!!!

So I was coming home the other day and got caught in bad traffic for about two hours thru a 7 mile stretch. I got pretty low on fuel during it and my car died. Put in some gas and nothing. Got it towed back home and have since checked out a few things with the little resources I currently have.

So I have fuel to the rail and the fuel pump seems to run fine, also could not get it started with starting fluid. So without testing fuel pressure I can guess that's not the problem.

I then took out the spark plugs to find all four plugs saturated in oil. On the electrodes not on the top where it connects to plug wires. Those we're dry as well as everywhere around where the valve cover sits on the head. In fact that's recently replaced.

So from what I understand it could be piston rings, valve seals, head gasket or potentially worse I guess. The oil is new and still pretty full, and I just now replaced the spark plugs but my battery is dead from cranking the engine so I need to wait for a charge to see if I can start it.

If anyone has any insight to my situation, a little help would be super since I can't afford to take it to the shop right now.


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Old 12-17-2013, 05:01 PM   #2
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GO back and remove the spark plugs while it's charging.

Odds are it's fuel and not oil. SO leaving the plugs out will allow the cylinders to dry out and you won't risk a big backfire when/if it does start.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:09 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure it's oil. One because it looks, feels, and smells like oil. And also after I changed spark plugs I disabled fuel pump and cranked it for a few seconds, took the plugs out and they were covered in oil again.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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Moved to "General Technical Chat".
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:04 AM   #5
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You're totally failing to account for the fact that it is virtually impossible to oil out 4 plugs at once. Motor would have to have been totally dead and no power before this all happened. You were driving it so no to that question. I suppose the timing belt could have jumped to send you off on a wild tangent.

Wet fouled plugs by fuel are commonly mistaken for being oil fouled by those who do not work on cars. The plug conditions are almost identical.

'.........took the plugs out and they were covered in oil again.'

LOL, they WILL be, the situation doesn't resolve itself instantly, the engine is good and flooded. Let it sit a week and you may get different result then. Your logic that that re-wet issue reinforces that the deposit is oil is utterly unfounded and worthless.

You have mentioned no indication of spark to plugs at all, the coil could have fried or broken wire to it. No sense in more wasted time without getting spark there. No spark and the plugs will re-wetout immediately in that flooded engine.

Don't half ass charge the battery, that will only confuse you more here. 100% full charge only before you start more troubleshooting.
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