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Old 06-15-07, 07:29 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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While changing spark plugs...

I noticed that inside each cyclinder where I insert the socket, there is a good amount of oil. I resumed anyways, checked over my old spark plugs, and they appear to have just normal wear. I've got a chart that says basically "if your used plug looks like this, you have this problem". Well, it looked like the regularly worn plug.
So I continued, and installed the new "Platinum +2" plugs anyways. Changed the distributor cap and rotor too.

When I start the car, it starts really quickly. My old plugs hesitated just a little bit. Acceleration and all is really smooth. So is there anything wrong with that oil in there? The first two times I started the car, there was a little cloud of smoke. But then it looked very clean, no smoke. I assume this is maybe some oil that made it into the combustion chamber from when I removed the old plug. Regardless, it runs really clean now.

Am I asking for a disaster or something, with that oil in there?
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Old 06-15-07, 07:34 AM   #2
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Are you sure it's oil, or is it just some petrochemical residue from incomplete combustion?
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Old 06-15-07, 07:39 AM   #3
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If it were oil (and a lot of it), the old plugs would have been all soiled to hell. As long as the plugs looked pretty similar to the "just fine" image on the chart, you're okay.

It's an older car, so you might have a little bit of oil sneaking past the piston rings, so make sure you check the oil once in a while, anyway.
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Old 06-15-07, 07:41 AM   #4
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If you get a puff of blue smoke when you cold start, that's kind of normal for a used vehicle, it's just the valve guide seals. Not a worry, and not a required repair, really.
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Old 06-15-07, 08:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
If you get a puff of blue smoke when you cold start, that's kind of normal for a used vehicle, it's just the valve guide seals. Not a worry, and not a required repair, really.
If it does it when accelerating, it's piston rings.
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Old 06-15-07, 08:23 AM   #6
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What kind of car/engine? I've had a couple of cars(Ford Probe, Honda Accord) that the spark plugs were in the very top center of the head instead of on the side of the head(below the side of the valve cover). When an engine is made like this, the valve cover has to be made to go around each spark plug to make a seal. If the valve cover gasket leaks it will leak oil into the recess where the spark plug is. It doesn't really hurt anything other than being messy. If this is what's going on...when you took the old spark plug out, some of this oil dripped down in the combustion chamber and then when you started it the first time it burned that little bit of oil that was in there. As long as it doesn't keep smoking you have nothing to worry about.

The plug wires will look similar to this on an engine that has the plugs in the top/center of the head....The long part reaches all the way down through the valve cover to get to the spark plug.

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Old 06-15-07, 08:52 AM   #7
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Are you saying when you pulled out the spark plug wires the rubber boot was covered in oil?

If so its a common thing on older honda engines. You can buy the gasket kit for the valve cover and replace them and it will go away. No big deal though. But when you changed the plugs some probably dripped in the combustion chamber and then burned off when you started it.
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Old 06-15-07, 09:10 AM   #8
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I asked a car savvy friend, he gave the same answer as you, turboem1. It's running quite well now, so I am just going to let it be.
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Old 06-15-07, 04:23 PM   #9
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Why buy platinum plugs?

You can't space them, and they seem way overpriced to me. I just buy the cheap kind, and change every 10-15 thousand miles. Works very well, at least for me.
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Old 06-15-07, 04:30 PM   #10
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yeah, platinum plugs kinda suck for the price really. I prefer ND or NGK copper plugs for ~$1/ea. The large ceramic insulator tip in the platinum plugs is particularly sensitive to knock/pinging/detonation and will crack at the slightest abuse. The central platinum electrode also has a nasty habit of falling out of the centre as well, so avoid the X4 & Splitfire plugs because they won't catch the electrode.
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Old 06-15-07, 04:50 PM   #11
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I bought the 5 dollar platinum plugs because I didn't have to space them, so the autozone sales person and box said. It saves me head ache, and from having to buy the spacer tool.
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Old 06-15-07, 04:54 PM   #12
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Umm, spacer tool can be had for under 5 bucks. Besides, the ones I get come pre-spaced
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Old 06-15-07, 04:55 PM   #13
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yea, so you pay 3 dollars for your spark plugs that need to be spaced, and then 5 dollars for your tool. Or just 5 dollars for spark plugs, period.
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Old 06-15-07, 05:00 PM   #14
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Even the cheapest are 3 bucks? Dang. Must be a honda thing. I don't remember what they were last time I got a set, but they couldn't have been more than 1.50, pre spaced and ready to go. Plus, my grandpa gave me a spacer tool, not that I ever use it. I figure by the time they get around to needing to be cleaned off and re-spaced, the electrode will be rounded off to the point that I'd rather have new plugs.
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Old 06-15-07, 05:16 PM   #15
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I believe the cheapest plugs were 2.49 at the autozone I was at.
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Old 06-15-07, 05:33 PM   #16
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I swear I've never paid more than a buck, maybe a buck fifty per plug. I've never really had a car that was worth even considering Splitfires or those quad things, but even if I did, $5 a piece? Ouch.

Besides, the store will probably space them for you if they aren't properly spaced out of the box. Only takes a second.
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Old 06-15-07, 05:35 PM   #17
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I personally use the NGK V powers (copper) but any plug is fine. I have not seen any plugs around the dollar price. They are all $2.50+. The platinums are fine too.
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Old 06-15-07, 05:51 PM   #18
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well the pack of 4 was 5 dollars, not 5 a piece.
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Old 06-15-07, 06:26 PM   #19
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Learn to gap the plugs....it's not hard at all. I would avoid the round coin looking gauges though, those tend to be less accurate than a proper set of gapping tools.
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Old 06-15-07, 06:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
So I continued, and installed the new "Platinum +2" plugs anyways.

I know you just put those in your car, but get them out. They run far too hot and don't last nearly as long as they claim. Get some regular copper or iridium plugs.

Bosch platinum plugs are absolute junk. And overpriced. (I am not making this up. Several mechanics (who know I change my own, so are not trying to sell me anything) have all independently said they are not good for your engine over the long term.

I had the +4s in my car for a while and it started running like crap after about 30k. New plugs fixed the problem.

100k plugs, my posterior.
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Old 06-15-07, 06:33 PM   #21
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Yep, my plug of choice....Champion Gold. Simple, inexpensive, and they work well.
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Old 06-15-07, 06:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I noticed that inside each cyclinder where I insert the socket, there is a good amount of oil. I resumed anyways, checked over my old spark plugs, and they appear to have just normal wear. I've got a chart that says basically "if your used plug looks like this, you have this problem". Well, it looked like the regularly worn plug.
So I continued, and installed the new "Platinum +2" plugs anyways. Changed the distributor cap and rotor too.

When I start the car, it starts really quickly. My old plugs hesitated just a little bit. Acceleration and all is really smooth. So is there anything wrong with that oil in there? The first two times I started the car, there was a little cloud of smoke. But then it looked very clean, no smoke. I assume this is maybe some oil that made it into the combustion chamber from when I removed the old plug. Regardless, it runs really clean now.

Am I asking for a disaster or something, with that oil in there?
check your valve cover for leaks
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