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Changed plugs - oil on plug collar and threads - no coolant or oil loss

08EddieCA

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08 & 03 X (Eddie B & XLS)
Hello,

I have a 2008 Ford Exp Eddie B 4.0L with $115K miles on the motor. I changed the plugs today (they had 30K on them) and I noticed there was oil on the collar of the plugs and some oil on the threads. The electrode and surrounding area was clean - very clean with normal wear. And, the plugs looked pretty good too. I changed the plugs in my effort to increase fuel mileage from an overall 14mpg (no recent reduction in mpg just felt is was low)

I read some posts about valve covers and value guide seals etc.

I have smooth idle. No loss of oil (except a small amount from the front crank seal - no consumption of any amount - no coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant). I did run some seafoam through the current fuel tank...

If the plugs are not fouled and the engine is running smoothly, do I need to worry about the oil on the threads or the oil on the collar of the spark plugs? In the morning or if I haven't driven the x in a few days, there is 3-5 seconds of very light white smoke - not blue. I attribute this to moisture being in the engine. X is well maintained. I use a quality synthetic oil (no name mentioned on purpose) and a quality oil filter. I had the coolant flushed about six months ago along with a tranny service (which seems to have caused by tranny to start slipping and slamming and banging into Reverse).

Is the oil on the collar normal for an aged engine? Or, is there an impending implosion in my engine's future.

Thanks.
 
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08EddieCA

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The local mechanic yesterday suggested it was the worn valve seals. Does this sound correct? My plugs on clean on the end, where the electrodes are located.
 
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BrianDye

I'll have another...
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I too had some oil just on my threads, in my 4.0. Was told its most likely just a shrinking/old valve cover gasket and I haven't really looked into it. Not losing any oil either as far as I can tell between 8k mile synthetic oil changes.

Put probably 15k on my new plugs and everything is fine.

I'll eventually figure out what the issue is out of boredom, but I personally wouldn't worry about it. Seems to be very common.
 
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08EddieCA

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Location
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Los Angeles, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
08 & 03 X (Eddie B & XLS)
I too had some oil just on my threads, in my 4.0. Was told its most likely just a shrinking/old valve cover gasket and I haven't really looked into it. Not losing any oil either as far as I can tell between 8k mile synthetic oil changes.

Put probably 15k on my new plugs and everything is fine.

I'll eventually figure out what the issue is out of boredom, but I personally wouldn't worry about it. Seems to be very common.


Thanks. I agree with you. I think it could also be caused by using the Extended Use Mobil 1. Somewhere I read it is a true synthetic. My front crank seal started leaking shortly afterwards too. I may switch back to Motorcraft sun blend 5/30...then pull the plus in 2k miles.
 
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