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Oil in spark plug well

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Posted 26th May
Hi all,

Serviced my car yesterday and when I went to change my spark plugs I noticed there was a buildup of oil at the bottom of the spark plug well in the hole for the 4th piston (right most plug. I think that’s piston 4(confused) ).. the rest were dry as expected

I have a 2008 Vauxhall Astra 1.6T (Z16LET)

It seems quite excessive.. could it possibly be a valve cover gasket? If so, how much would it cost to repair?

Or could it be something else?

Not should if I should be very concerned.. the car is running great(shock)
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Had the same in my vectra, realised it was just run off from a sloppy oil fill. The spark plug housing seems to sit below the neck of the oil filler cap under a plastic trim. I cleaned mine with some kitchen roll and screwdriver very carefully before removing the plug. Now I just take care when topping up the oil. Not sure if that helps.
Alright_Dave26/05/2020 09:15

Had the same in my vectra, realised it was just run off from a sloppy oil …Had the same in my vectra, realised it was just run off from a sloppy oil fill. The spark plug housing seems to sit below the neck of the oil filler cap under a plastic trim. I cleaned mine with some kitchen roll and screwdriver very carefully before removing the plug. Now I just take care when topping up the oil. Not sure if that helps.


Yeah I thought the same and that’s exactly what I did.. the hole seemed to be dry after

I think it was a previous sloppy oil fill because there was oil all over the rocker cover.

Going to keep an eye out over the next few days to see if it fills up again or anything
That oil looks fairly clean so I'm guessing it hasn't come from internally probably a spillage from previous oil change as Alright_Dave says.
Warm the car up first but not too hot.
Wd40 the plug and wash out with water, drop a rag around to get most of it out.

Start your car and let it boil off, then check in a week/month to see if there is any more oil finding its way there.
If not, like has been said, it's most likely overpour.
m4rmite26/05/2020 14:02

Warm the car up first but not too hot.Wd40 the plug and wash out with …Warm the car up first but not too hot.Wd40 the plug and wash out with water, drop a rag around to get most of it out.Start your car and let it boil off, then check in a week/month to see if there is any more oil finding its way there.If not, like has been said, it's most likely overpour.


Would brake cleaner be better because it would evaporate? Or is that not safe because it’s flammable (then again, so is wd40)
Ray36126/05/2020 14:54

Would brake cleaner be better because it would evaporate? Or is that not …Would brake cleaner be better because it would evaporate? Or is that not safe because it’s flammable (then again, so is wd40)


WD40 will coat the spark plug and keep the water out, both are flammable to a degree but the water will neutralise that.
m4rmite26/05/2020 15:58

WD40 will coat the spark plug and keep the water out, both are flammable …WD40 will coat the spark plug and keep the water out, both are flammable to a degree but the water will neutralise that.


Got it.. cheers mate I’ll give that a go tomorrow
That oil is definitely not fresh oil, looks filthy to me.

Anyhow just clean around any gaskets and monitor the situation for any seeping.

Gaskets are usually under £10. Fitting another £10 topps. Vat etc under £30 all in.
Clean out the well and surrounding area as already stated. Then get a stick of chalk and draw a line around the top of the well. If oil's leaking from a gasket, you'll see a track across the chalk.
MonkeysUncle26/05/2020 23:27

That oil is definitely not fresh oil, looks filthy to me. XDAnyhow just …That oil is definitely not fresh oil, looks filthy to me. XDAnyhow just clean around any gaskets and monitor the situation for any seeping.Gaskets are usually under £10. Fitting another £10 topps. Vat etc under £30 all in.


Yep I’ve given it a good clean I’m going to check it in a few days time to see how it is.

I’ve checked eBay and it seems the gasket for my engine is about £75 for the parts alone.. not sure if I’m looking at the right thing

Would honestly love to do it myself but I’m quite new to all of this and I’m not quite confident enough yet to replace the gasket myself
Ray36127/05/2020 00:16

Yep I’ve given it a good clean I’m going to check it in a few days time to …Yep I’ve given it a good clean I’m going to check it in a few days time to see how it is.I’ve checked eBay and it seems the gasket for my engine is about £75 for the parts alone.. not sure if I’m looking at the right thingWould honestly love to do it myself but I’m quite new to all of this and I’m not quite confident enough yet to replace the gasket myself


My bad.. was looking at the wrong gasket.

The cylinder head cover gasket is £25 on eBay I’m sure installation wouldn’t be too much
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