Oil on Plug, Low Radiator, Engine Noise

I have been experiencing three issues with my 1997 Saturn SL2, Twin Cam (120K+miles):

1) I have oil on my sparkplug located in the far left chamber. After reading the advice for the same problem, I am replacing the valve cover gasket, spark plugs and wires. However, when I shine my flahlight down the chamber when the plug is removed, I see standing oil. Is there a different reason for this? How can I dry it out?

2) My "low coolant" light comes on often. When I check the coolant level, it is usually just barely below the full line. If I top it off, the light reappears after about 500+/- miles, and I have to repeat the procedure.

3) My engine rattles at idle. A former coworker that used to work as a Saturn repair tech says it could be an engine mount. I have isolated the rattle to the passenger's side headlight. Could a bad engine mount cause the headlight to rattle?

I am an amateur and am trying to do any simple repairs on my own. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, May 7th, 2006 AT 7:32 PM

1 Reply

1 Did you soak up the oil before you removed the plug? It will just drain down the plug hole if not. Cotton balls work great before you pull the plug. The engine will burn up the oil inside the combustion chamber.

2 You have a slow coolant leak. Check the hoses, their clamps, the radiator, the coolant tank, and under the waterpump for leaks or white stains from a leak. You might also have a bad pressure cap on the coolant bottle.

3 A bad engine mount can cause everything to rattle or worse yet break. Look over the headlight assembly for missing mounting screws or cracked mounts. Don't turn the adjusting screws. Hate headlights that are not adjusted properly!

Good luck and post back. :)
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Sunday, May 7th, 2006 AT 10:41 PM

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