1997 Honda Other • 130,000 miles

Un-even power, cylinder may not be firing. One spark plug appears loose. Cap has oil around it -- spark plug wire goes into valve cover. How to set the plug wire and do so with not oil on it presents a problem.
September 24, 2011.

I would recommend cleaning the oil and finding a leak. As far as the plugs, remove the plug wire from the valve cover and the plug is there. If they are loose, tighten them. A loose plug will produce a compression leak and a lose of power. If the plugs are old, replace them and the wires if they are saturated with oil.

I am sorry, I see that my msg was unclear. I meant to say that the spark plug itself is not loose; rather one plug wire is not seated in the valve cover and I cannot reseat it. The end of the plug wire appears to be covered in oil as the last 6 inches of the plug wire go into the valve cover. It feels like there is a guide that picks up the spark plug wire as it is being inserted into the valve cover, but I cannot push it down hard enough to completely seat it, either over the top of the plug, or finalize the seat in the valve cover. That loose connection may be causing the cylinder not to fire. I mention also that the design is unfamiliar to me as I have not before seen a plug wire going through the oil saturated area protected by the valve cover and I wonder how the oil is prevented from affecting the current. I can see the end of the plug appears to have oil in it when I remove it so how can in be inserted into the valve covered oil area without getting oil on it and how is it to be seated when I cannot apply enough force to push it over the plug from 6 inches away from the end?

Sep 25, 2011.
The oil shouldn't be there. It sounds like the valve cover is leaking. Is there a puddle of oil that you can see or is it just oil on the sides of the valve cover? As far as the plug wire, if it is that oil soaked, I would replace it. If you can't afford to, clean it as best you can. There is a connector in the plug wire that is to snap onto the plug. Check to see if it needs crimped tighter to make the connection.