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I have a 2006 zx4 112k just bought it bone stock. I changed the plugs today I used autolite platimuns same that I found in it and seen a lot of oil on the bottom of #2&3. I know that oil on top is usually a bad valve cover gasket, what research I can find on the bottoms are usually bad rings, head gaskets or valve seals. How can I figure out what the problem is without pulling the head?
 

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You can easily smear oil on the bottom by the way they remove if oil surrounds the plug when you yank it. Why he's asking that.

It can be normal to have what looks like oil in the THREADS, you want the plug TIP exposed to engine clean and dry though. The 'oil' in threads is actually reduced down fuel.
 

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does it smoke at all when you start it or run it? like amc said, if there's "oily" residue on the plug threads i wouldn't worry about it. just make sure the tip is not oily
 

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Remove the coil and look carefully around the plug seat

The valve cover gasket is in two parts. If the large one leaks, oil runs down the outside of the head onto the block. If the small inner one leaks, the oil ends up around the plugs and even leaks past the plugs into the cylinders.

You can replace the valve cover gasket to get rid of the leak permanently, or just shove a piece of paper towel down around the problem plug to absorb the oil and then change out the oil-soaked paper every once and a while. I've been doing this for quite a while[wiggle]
 

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Good comments on how it leaks, I'd save the paper towels for when you pull the coil for cleaning out the hole.

JUST on the off chance that a random spark could light that oil soaked paper towel on fire...
 

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The valve cover gasket is in two parts. If the large one leaks, oil runs down the outside of the head onto the block. If the small inner one leaks, the oil ends up around the plugs and even leaks past the plugs into the cylinders.

You can replace the valve cover gasket to get rid of the leak permanently, or just shove a piece of paper towel down around the problem plug to absorb the oil and then change out the oil-soaked paper every once and a while. I've been doing this for quite a while[wiggle]
Just what boba5089 said. I had this same issue with mine and I replace the valve cover gaskets and it went away. Found out its a common thing with the Duratec motors, The v6 is even more prone to it. Best friend does 5 or 6 cover gaskets a month at the small shop he works at.
 

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Happened to me too. Replaced the valve cover gasket and that soled the problem. Not too expensive at the dealer.
How much was it?
I did mine in about 20 min and it only cost me some the gasket, time and beer.
 

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Good comments on how it leaks, I'd save the paper towels for when you pull the coil for cleaning out the hole.

JUST on the off chance that a random spark could light that oil soaked paper towel on fire...
Uh... yeah... leaving oil-soaked paper on a hot engine, right next to some really hot spark plugs, sounds like a recipe for an insurance claim that won't be honored.
 

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When my Escape 2.3L had oil in the plug holes, the dealer changed the entire valve cover under warranty.... they said the cover warped. If I have to do it, I will try just the gaskets.
 
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