Wifes car wont start. lots of oil in the spark plug wells

Discussion in 'Other Auto Tech' started by danny04GT, Oct 8, 2007.


  1. danny04GT

    danny04GT New Member

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    My wifes Mitsubishi Galant threw a code for the TPS a couple weeks ago. A few days later it wouldnt start at all. I replaced the TPS and the car still wont start. I pulled the plugs yesterday and found alot of oil in all the spark plug wells.

    If I try to start the car, it stumbles like its going to start and then nothing. I figure it needs a new valve cover gasket, but do you guys think that would have anything to do with it not starting?
  2. Darkwriter77

    Darkwriter77 Resident Ranting Negative Nancy

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    Does it have coil-on-plug ignition? If so, some oil may have seeped into the coils and screwed them up. Otherwise, you may get lucky by cleaning out the inside of the spark plug boots, as they may be shorting out or getting poor contact due to oil getting up inside of them - spray something up in there that won't leave a residue and won't eat or degrade the silicone/rubber of the plug boots (electronic parts cleaner or brake cleaner, perhaps), or just replace the plug wires altogether, and swap out the insides of those plug wells thoroughly with a rolled-up rag.

    The oil being in the spark plug wells is usually due to the valve cover gasket, if it's a one-piece deal, or some covers will have individual o-ring type seals for each of the spark plug wells - those will sometimes shrink up and drool oil into the plug wells. Should be a pretty cheap and easy fix, just make sure that you clean everything out thoroughly before reassembly.

    EDIT: Have you verified that you're getting spark from the ignition coil(s) and getting 12 volts to the coil(s) from the ignition switch? Also, if so equipped, it could also be an unrelated issue with the distributor - either it's gone bad, or it may possibly have developed a similar oil leak near there and seeped oil into the dizzy, shorting it out.
  3. danny04GT

    danny04GT New Member

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    The car does have coil packs and I wiped them off pretty good. The inside of the boots were completely filled with oil so it is possible they could have gotten shorted out. I will test them for spark tonight and see.
  4. SlowPony97

    SlowPony97 New Member

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    Ouch sounds like gasket is leaking. The oil is fouling out the spark plugs? I wouldn't run it too long like that as i learned the hard way. Compression in cylinder #4 dropped in my car causing much damage. You could always try a quick fix and go to advance auto or local auto store and buy a Spark plug non-fouler (about $5.00). Remove the spark plug make sure gap is correct, screw spark plug into the non-fouler then screw it back into the engine block. It will rob you of sever HP but it's a temporary fix to slow down the process of plugs bathing in oil. ;)
  5. danny04GT

    danny04GT New Member

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    I'm going to change the valve cover gasket this weekend and test for spark this weekend. There is still a bunch of oil in all the wells so i want to get that cleaned up first. Hopefully the coil packs arent dead. It uses two and they run about a hundred a piece.
  6. Darkwriter77

    Darkwriter77 Resident Ranting Negative Nancy

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    Ah. Confusion regarding coils. By "coil packs," I meant direct coil-on-plug ignition - one coil per cylinder, mounted directly onto each plug, looks like a spark plug boot on steroids, found on late-model 4.6's and some odd GM cars like some Quad 4's and such. Logically, a coil PACK would include more than one coil, or go to more than one spark plug, so I see where you're coming from. My mistake. :doh:

    Nevertheless, the rest still stands. Supposedly, you can test coils by resistance to see if they're within spec for so many ohms. Autozone has a handy-dandy little book showing which contacts to test and range specifications ... and, usually, a multimeter on hand with which to test it ... unless they have employees that like to lose/steal stuff as often as those in our area stores do, here... :D
  7. Dragstr05

    Dragstr05 New Member

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    I'm assuming you have the 2.4L...those valve covers ALWAYS leak. I made a killing replacing valve cover gaskets on those.

    Yet as much as they would leak I've never seen one so bad it would keep the car from starting. You had a TPS code...make sure you have your 5v referance and make sure it has a full voltage range, anwhere from 0 - 5v, 0v being closed throttle, 5v being WOT. You can check this with key on only.
  8. allisonward

    allisonward New Member

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    Having problem with your car? The scariest thing that can occur to a lot of people is that their vehicle will stop working. Not only does it cost a bunch of cash to pay the mechanic to repair your car, but you will also be without a vehicle until you can come up with the money to do so. A payday cash advance can help you pay the mechanic and get you back to work quicker.
  9. mind84

    mind84 Member

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    O..K.. so now that that is out of the way, it sure dose sound like a very bad leak in the valve covet gasket or individual tube grommets. It does seem a bit strange for a sudden large leak on ALL of the tubes even for a one peace design. Was your car burning oil already while running or on acceleration?(white smoke with a blue tint to it) I wonder if you didn't already have oil ring damage. I would check the valve cover itself to make sure it didn't come loose, I have seen that in the past on older Hondas. Goodluck
  10. anjum_chahal

    anjum_chahal New Member

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    You need to change your seal to prevent the oil in getting inside the coil.

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