Honda Civic Oil in Spark Plug Area +


Old 04-21-08, 02:47 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 66
Honda Civic Oil in Spark Plug Area +


1) I have a couple of questions for anyone who might know this. I took in my car for a checkup at a well-known tire company here in Canada and about 2 days later my car started sputtering as I was driving and I took out the spark plug rubber thingees and they were dripping in oil. Apparently - I checked various forums - the O-rings can leak oil into the cylinders but can I clean this up and change the spark plugs? Not to blame anyone, but can checking the plugs cause damage to these rings? I had just checked one of these plugs a few days before taking my car in and it was dry as a bone!

2) I was told recently by a mechanic at a well-known muffler shop not to have my head gasket changed but instead to change the whole engine because changing the whole engine would cause a build-up of pressure and it would seize the engine - is there any truth to this?

Any help would be appreciated!


Sponsored Links
Old 04-21-08, 02:55 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,292
Muffler man must have a big boat payment coming due.
Why do you think you need a head gasket?
Old 04-21-08, 04:22 PM
ukrkoz's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 222
1. posting your honda's year and make would have been great, but they are all made to the same philosophy, so:
you have spark plugs positioned roughly in the middle of the valve cover, and recessed into it, with long rubber insulation boots on the wires? if so, you have sets of oil seals, sealing those boots from oil to get on, built into valve cover. little donuts, so to speak( i have seen o-rings, i have seen flat disks). they are notorious about leaking. we had 3 mitsubishes, all made to the same principle, and they all leaked more or less(disks). you'll need to pull the valve cover off, replace them seals, unfortunately - valve gasket will have to be replaced either. the only way i can see them being mechanically damaged during inspection is to use those rubber boots to pull spark plugs out of the recessed plug "tunnels", and that can make a plug scratch/tear the seal.
2. no, engine head gasket replacement will not increase combustion pressure or any other pressure. refurbishing your engine head will, thus they recommend replacing piston rings while refurbishing the engine head, to prevent blowbuy from old/gapping rings. or so the mechanics chat is. that's why if i remove engine head - i drop pistons down through the removed oil pan and replace piston rings/pushrod bearings at the same time.

PS: spark plugs are positioned above the engine head gasket, in your case - at the top of the combustion chamber dome, so engine head gasket will not leak oil on them.
Old 04-21-08, 04:24 PM
Unclediezel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
" Tell him where to stick his tailpipe"
the O-rings can leak oil into the cylinders
....Not entirely true.......You have "TUBES" leading down thru the cylinder head, to the spark plugs.The oil doesnt leak into the cylinders....Until the tubes "Overflow.
This is a common problem with many Japanese cars. The VALVE COVER GASKET, is leaking into the spark plug tubes. Most of the time the O-RINGS come in the box with the VALVE COVER GASKET... NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH "HEAD GASKET" and certainly not "ENGINE REPLACEMENT"

Yes you may Clean the tubes out. The sputtering is likely from the Ignition wires, which dont take kindly to being immersed in oil. Worst case...they will need to be replaced.
Very simple.....remove the spark plugs...let the oil fall in...and crank the engine over a few times with the spark plugs out....Problem solved...oil gone..
Giving the Parts Industry a very generous estimate with "PLENTY OF Room " for error.......The GAsket and orings, ignition wires, and a new set of plugs, should easily be under 150 dollars.
Old 04-22-08, 07:49 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 66
Thank you guys ...

so much for getting back to me.

I have a 1994 Honda Civic DX (4-door sedan). It may need work but I love my car. Just before this happened it was still purring like a kitten after all these years!

I did some research online and found that I may need a new head gasket because I was losing coolant at a really fast rate (I realized this when my engine heated up and I found a bit of oil that rose to the top owhen I added coolant) *but* I don't have that white smoke exhaust or oil around the gasket that they said I should have but I am still losing coolant. My radiator and accessories were replaced because of the this by a friend's mechanic and it turned out not to be the problem!

So I want to try to understand what the heck is going on before I jump into spending hundreds of dollars repairing stuff and not actually fixing the problem again!

Thank you so much - I have the service manual so I will look at the pictures of what you are talking about and see if I can talk intelligently to a mechanic about it - not at the muffler shop LOL - although I think the muffler person didn't understand what ukrkoz does about engines!


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes