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johnj.moran

Spark Plugs changed at 32kmi, tiny oil leak near spark plug

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I have a US MY99 C4 Cab Tip, built in June of 1999. The dealer changed the sparkplugs as part of the 30k mile service when the vehicle had 32k miles. Now, one year later, at 38.4 k miles there is a tiny amount of oil evident just under the location of the spark plug that's to the very rear of the vehicle on the driver's side. The workup from the dealer one year ago noted that "no oil leaks found". The oil leak is so small that it never hits the garage floor (it dries on the engine before it can drip). The leak is probably the equivalent of one drip per month.

I have three questions from someone that is knowlegeable about spark plug changes: 1) could changing a spark plug incorrectly cause a small leak like this (seals on the plastic inserts around spark plugs)?

2) Given that the oil evident is under the sparkplug to the very rear of the car on the driver's side is it unlikely that this is an RMS issue?

3) If I bring the car to any Porsche dealer can I expect that they will inspect the sparkplug in question at no charge given there's a 2 yr warranty on repairs, if you can call changing spark plugs a repair? (I am no longer as close to the Walnut Creek, CA Porsche dealer). It's time to flush the brake fluid and get an oil change and they could examine it then. Thank you.

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If the oil is from a spark plug "socket" then it is likely an oil seal for one of the tubes. Your dealer should have checked those when he changed the plugs - especially since some of the very early MY99 cars had bad o-rings that needed to be replaced. The dealer should warranty any work that they did - but since they repair any "oil leaks" then I'm not sure they would cover that. Maybe as a courtesy since it would appear they missed it.

If you had an RMS (or Intermediate Shaft Seal ) leak then the leak would drip from the center of the car - right between the engine and transmission.

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If the oil is from a spark plug "socket" then it is likely an oil seal for one of the tubes. Your dealer should have checked those when he changed the plugs - especially since some of the very early MY99 cars had bad o-rings that needed to be replaced. The dealer should warranty any work that they did - but since they repair any "oil leaks" then I'm not sure they would cover that. Maybe as a courtesy since it would appear they missed it.

If you had an RMS (or Intermediate Shaft Seal ) leak then the leak would drip from the center of the car - right between the engine and transmission.

Thanks, Loren. Should I return to the Walnut Creek dealer that changed the plugs or is it ok to go to the San Jose dealership, in your opinion? Is it a big job to replace an oil seal for one of the tubes for a spark plug socket? Really, it's such a minor issue I probably shouldn't even worry about it, just that it may get worse and if dealer should have caught it, why not see if they'll cover it, right?

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Changing the spark plugs did not cause the seepage that showed up 1 year later.

Thanks for the great reference link. Great pictures. I'm learning quite a bit now. Perhaps one of the o-rings simply started to leak after the spark plug change, although perhaps the dealer should have checked the o-rings? Thanks.

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The rings can crack, and they cost pennies. I change the tubes and rings when I change plugs, Adds about $20 to the job, but it is "cheap insurance" to me. Specially after going thru the trouble of getting the plugs out, in my opinion.

Here is the expensive certified and patented extraction tool to remove the tubes when fingers don't work.

post-4600-1168523170_thumb.jpg

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