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Old 10-30-2010, 08:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Oil in Spark Plugs Cylinders

I just replaced my spark plugs on my 2000 Taurus SE-S, Duratec engine with 170,000 miles. Apparently four of the six plugs were original. It was also nice to see that there was sealant used on all six coils. Over the 11 years that I've owned this car (originally a company car) I've taken this car into national chain shops, such as Merchant's and Ford dealerships, as well as family owned local shops, which I now use exclusively, and apparently everyone decided to make sure there was some sealant on the ends of the coils to seal up the plugs with the coils. Some used it only around the ceramic part of the plug, some got it all over the inside shaft, or boot, of the coils.

Now on to my question. Four of the six cylinders had oil on the plugs when I pulled them out. Is the oil on the plugs a concern? The car has always run well. It is no longer my daily driver, but I still take it on a 50 mile round trip run to work once a week. The car runs fine and has always been very reliable. I get about 24 MPG and no significant loss of oil.

I'm not looking to create problems, or work, but is there something I can do to keep this car on the road longer? I'd hate to see this issue kill the Taurus in the short term.

Thanks.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Vee. To be clear, oil on the ends of the spark plugs that are in the cylinder or oil on the bodies of the plugs that sit in the well in the cylinder head?
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Prob. spark plug o-ring seals (they come with a new valve cover gasket set). Dunno if you can purchase separately?
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Replaced mine when it hit the 10 year mark...Easy when I already had the intake off to change plugs/wires
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I only had one plug where I saw oil in the cylinder well. (#4, I cant exactly see what was doing in #1, 2 & 3)

The way the others looked though, it seemed that the spark plug had oil in it when I pulled it out, not in the well itself. I'm pretty sure of that based on where the oil was on the spark plug itself when I pulled it out.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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with 170k miles on a dura tech engine i would think it was the valve stem seals leaking a tad. which in a tuarus the rear ones aginst the fire wall are harder to replace then doing a head some times. if it runs fine i would not worry about it. got to remember it is a taurus not not a ford gt with 50 miles on it so it not worth a ton. but still a good idea to keep a eye on the plugs cause it could be unburned fuel too. so pull a spark plug in a few weeks to see if the problem is still there. if so leak down test or compression test i think it is a leak down test for the valve seals it's ben a wile since i had to do it. also replacing the coil pack and wire plugs will also help with the oil looking plugs do they smell like fuel? or just look black and wet like "oil" they kinda look simular one is way darker the oil on plug is so be aware of it. but if the coil pack was going bad it may not light the fuel and the plugs will look wet like oil but a good trained eye can tell. best way to tell is pull a plug in a few weeks. if it was me and the valve seal are leaking i would sell the taurus. just because or donate it.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wish I had thought about replacing the o-ring seals/valve cover gasket when I had that manifold off. I installed Motorcraft Iridium plugs knowing I'd never want to do that again.

I'll check the front ones in a few weeks and come back here to see what I find. Ultimately I'd remove that manifold again if I needed to since I now know how to do it. I will definitely not break another hose like I did this time, shortening up the experience. I think I could get in and out in less than 2 hours!

I'll have to do a search and see whats involved with the valve cover gaskets.

Thanks all!
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