1999 Honda Civic Possible Oil Leak

Tiny
JAMAICANRED
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 188,688 MILES
I recently changed the plugs and wires on my 1.6L SOHC honda engine. After test driving the car and rechecking the work all seemed to be fine. However, I noticed the engine started missing during idle. I popped open the hood and noticed oil coming from the 1 cylinder, and the plug wire boot had raised up. I pulled the wire and discovered oil. So I removed the plug (which seemed to have worked loose), cleaned off the oil, re-inserted it and connected the the wire. The car started up and the engine ran fine with no missing. I drove the car fairly hard for about 8 more hours. The next day I went out to check the 1 cylinder. More oil! Again I cleaned it up and drove it around town for about 30 mins, checked the cylinder again, and oil once again. The plug threads did not cross, and there was no oil in the cylinder when I originally changed the plugs and wires. Question: Blown/burnt head gasket? Or worn piston rings? Is it worth the fix on a motor with 188XXX miles? How long can I drive it before it is completely Kaput?
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Monday, August 31st, 2009 AT 4:42 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
BILLYMAC
  • EXPERT
Hi, the big question here is. Was there a lot of smoke?
If no then replace the valve cover gasket. Oil is leaking around the gasket where the plugs go through the valve cover. Thanks BILLYMAC
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Monday, August 31st, 2009 AT 5:11 PM
Tiny
JAMAICANRED
  • MEMBER
There was zero smoke from the motor, other than the smell of burning oil that was leaking into the spark plug area. I assume a valve cover gasket is the better scenario. I just looked at it again, and it does appear oil is coming from the top down, or through the valve cover. If that is in fact the problem, I am puzzled as to what would cause it. Just changing the plugs and wires doesn't seem reason enough to cause a leaking valve gasket where there was no leak before. I guess I should have stuck to the old philosophy, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
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Monday, August 31st, 2009 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
BILLYMAC
  • EXPERT
OK, I can see the natural male curiosity, is going to bother you until, you can see a logical explanation for the mysterious oil leak.W ell this is it. The gasket is hardened and dry from 188000 mi of excessive heat.

Untouched the gasket remains one solid piece, But when you remove the wire bang the plug socket into the gasket etc, all this has knocked a chunk from this old gasket and guess what an oil leak.

No a new gasket this cannot happen with. Billymac
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Monday, August 31st, 2009 AT 7:15 PM
Tiny
JAMAICANRED
  • MEMBER
I checked the radiator and their was no oil in the antifreeze or the overflow resevoir. I will replace the valve cover gasket and spark plug tube seals today. Going to take pics as I go and I will post them if the job is successful. Seems this engine type is simple without a lot of parts to get out of the way.
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Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 AT 2:50 AM
Tiny
JAMAICANRED
  • MEMBER
Took off the valve cover to discover the 1 Cylinder spark plug seal was bad. Went ahead and changed out all the seals while I had it apart. Most of them were cracked or beginning to show signs of fatigue. Getting ready to fire it up and make sure all is well. Not sure if I am suppose to start it up now or wait the 24 hours for the sealant to cure. Anyhow, gonna fire it up for a few mins and see what happens. Thanks for your patience BillyMac as I am sure to you I'm just another clueless amateur.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/403446_May09_335_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/403446_May09_338_1.jpg

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 AT 4:37 PM

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