How to Remove Oil From a Spark Plug Well

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Removing oil from a spark plug well requires the right tools and a little bit of know-how. Remove oil from a spark plug well with help from an expert in the automotive industry in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Car Repair Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Bob Holcomb from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Today, we're going to talk about how to remove oil from a spark plug well when the oil gets down into the tube. The oil can get there usually from the valve cover gasket leaking into the spark plug tube. This Honda has a leaky valve cover gasket and has gotten down into the tube. You can see the oil deposited on the bottom of the ignition wire. If I look down inside I can see that it's wet in there and there is some oil in the bottom right by the spark plug. We'll get most of the oil out with a screwdriver and a rag rolled up around the screwdriver. I just want to stick it down in the tube, right down into the bottom and let it sop up that oil. I want to get as much as possible out of the tube. Some oil can go down into the engine but if a lot of oil goes into the engine, the negative byproducts will be that it could damage your catalytic converter and can cause your check engine light to come on and it can foul your spark plug. If enough oil gets into your engine it could cause a problem called hydrolicking. This is where you cannot compression fluid but you can compress air. If you try to compress the fluid inside the combustion chamber, you could damage your engine severely. So we'll try to sop up most of that oil. Once we've gotten most of the oil sopped up, we're going to take out the spark plug and I can see the oil all over the spark plug so this tube seal is in fact leaking. Some oil goes down into the engine but like I said it's okay as long as it's not a substantial amount of oil. I'll clean off the oil and take a look at the spark plug. I can see that that's been happening for a little while as the oil has caked on the top of the spark plug. Over time this will cause carbon tracking and even cause your cylinder to misfire a skip. This spark plug is no longer any good even if I cleaned it off, it would probably cause us trouble down the road. So it should be replaced. Once I've got the spark plug out of the car, I can see down in the hole that there is still some oil and once again I'll take my rag, making sure it's clean. I don't want to put any debris down into the engine and now with the spark plug removed, debris, dirt or what have you could get into the engine and that's a negative byproduct. So we'll stick the rag down in there and sop all that oil up. Once the oil has been cleaned off, I can put the spark plug back in the hole. I'm going to also want to clean off the end of the spark plug boot. If the end of the boot is mushy like this one is from the oil contamination, this ignition wire set will have to be changed or it will cause problems down the road. That's how to clean the oil out of your spark plug tube although on this particular car, we're going to need to change that valve cover gasket, that spark plug and this set of ignition wires. I'm Bob Holcomb from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.


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