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Audi A4 3.2 - Oil on spark plugs


Hi all,

I have a 2006 Audi A4 Avant 3.2 with 83k miles. I went to install new spark plugs the other day and there was oil in the spark plug wells in both cylinder banks. I know the most common reason for this is bad valve cover gaskets, but I had mine replaced (both) by a reputable shop here in Chicago shortly after I bought the car in January of last year while the engine was out to fix a rear mean seal leak. Is there anything else that might cause this? Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.

Oil IN the cylinders can wet the electrode end of the plugs but really can’t get around the threads unless the plugs are not tight. Loose plugs will cause their own problems - misfires usually.

If the spark plug well seals on the Audi are as finicky as my old Honda, I’d say that is still the problem.

When replacing a valve cover or cam cover gasket you should always examine the cover to make sure the bolt holes in the cover and the spark plug well (if equipped) are not distorted. If I discover a dimple, I reverse it slightly with a small ball peen hammer.
Then don’t overtorque the fasteners.

This is why you can sometimes do a better job that a mechanic working at a shop that cares more about speed than anything else.

I did a brake job on a friends car that had previously been done at the Ford dealer. After the dealership did them, the rear brakes continually needed adjustment. After several years of putting up with this, he complained to me and I offered to do the rear brakes.

When I dook the drums off I discovered they had put two right side adjusters on the car. I can only imagine this happening if they didn’t want to wait for the right part.

Thanks for the feedback. It was suggested to me elsewhere that the valve covers themselves might be warped (since they’re plastic and 12 years old). I hope it’s that and not the spark plug tube seals, since it’s a ridiculously involved job to get to those in this engine.