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Ask Smithy Xtra Oil covered spark plug in Laser Liata

Asked by Kyle

We've had a 1998 1.8 Laser Liata for about eight years and it has now done 133,000 km without any problems. We now want to pass it on to our son as his first car, but we have noticed the thread on one spark plug was covered in oil. Another wasn't as bad and the other two were fine. It doesn't use oil or blow smoke, still runs smoothly and drives beautifully, and there is no water in the oil. When the plugs were removed there was no visible sign of oil on the piston surface. It has been regularly serviced by a Ford dealer and they've never mentioned a problem. Any thoughts on why oil would be on the plug threads? Also when turning a corner and braking in either direction, there is a clunk which sounds like it comes from underneath and about mid car. When turning without brakes there's no clunk. The local dealer suggested it is the steering box, but I'd have thought the clunk would be heard all the time when turning. I believe this is just wear and tear related, but I'd like to find the cause. I've had a look underneath and pushed and pulled bits and there's nothing obvious to me.

Answered by CarsGuide

28 Apr 2010 Carsguide.com.au

There could be a little more wear in bore of the cylinder your concerned about, it could be a worn valve stem, or a damaged seal. I wouldn’t be too concerned about it, it doesn’t sound serious, but I would continue to observe it and if it starts to run poorly have it checked. As for the clunk when turning under brakes, check the front suspension bushes for wear.

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