Re..Stumbling under acceleration...oil in plug wells

Dan Bozga audisport44 at
Mon Nov 23 23:53:42 PST 2009

 I don't think this should be complicated. Just replace your valve cover gaskets including the half moon seals(use a sealant of your choice around leak prone areas such as corners). It's very cheap and I'm sure it is leaking since it's probably pretty old. I did mine very recently too. When was the last time you replaced it?

When you take the plugs out you should be able to tell if the oil is coming from the top or bottom. The tips themselves should not be wet, just the top and maybe the threads since the oil seeps under there when you take them out. Once you have replaced the gaskets and cleaned everything up you can take your plugs out again and check them for peace of mind. If then you see oil on the tips, I would worry.



From: Ben Swann <benswann at>
To: s-car-list at; 200q20V mailing list <200q20v at>
Cc: Ben Swann <benswann at>
Sent: Tue, November 24, 2009 12:11:36 AM
Subject: Re..Stumbling under acceleration...oil in plug wells

Cross posting here from 200 list, but Oil in the plug wells describes exactly what  I
experienced on my 3b avant..Seems there has been a lot of this lately..
[ I found oil in several of the spark plug holes when I removed the wires.  When I
removed the plugs, there was a generous coating of oil on the threads and plug in
general.  I don't know if the oil was from the hole or actually from inside the
combustion chamber.

From my best guess, the oil came in through the valve cover gaskets round rubber rings
that separate the cam cover from the head.  I had been running 3 bar since last fall and
up to 25 PSI prior, so perhaps there is additional pressure getting in the cam cover.

The engine had developed a miss that at first was barely noticable and progressed to
generally poor driveability overall. The cleanup of oil and plug swap has engine running
great again.  

I am wondering if this is typical  - engine has about 140k miles on original valve cover


-----Original Message-----
From: Bernie Benz [mailto:b.benz at]
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 10:11 PM
To: Ben Swann
Cc: 200q20V mailing list
Subject: Re: Plug Wires

Oil getting in where?


On Nov 23, 2009, at 4:16 PM, Ben Swann wrote:

> FYI - thought I had scored the "deal", but as kind of expected, the 
> wires I received were for a 10V.  Still a good buy, but I did not need 
> another new set of these. Might have one set to sell.  I'll probably 
> just return since wires do not appear to be bad.
> The rotors also were incorrect - I think we expected that.
> Plugs are right on - not the original Bosch, but these look every bit 
> as good and I had NKG similar ones before.  I found a lot of oil 
> around several plug wires, and electrodes coated with oil, cleaning up 
> the old plugs  did the trick to get rid of hesitation problem I had, 
> but installed the new ones.
> Should be correct cap, but was sent in separate shipment, so don't 
> know yet.
> Also, I failed to mention the order was from
> Now I need to figure out why so much oil is getting in there - I 
> suspect coming through the valve cover gasket.
> Ben]

[Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 18:36:53 -0700
From: "Jim Fleischer" <jim at>
Subject: [s-cars] Stumbling under acceleration.....probable boost
To: <s-car-list at>
Message-ID: <432157FF0E2F4169884DECFB850A98D2 at jim5fc968a6e6a>
Content-Type: text/plain;    charset="iso-8859-1"

Hey guys,

Just returned from a 900 mile mostly highway trip from Texas to Colorado....Noticed
shortly after heading out that there was some significant, albeit inconsistent stumbling
upon acceleration.  Could half-throttle it and keep it from happening in the lower
gears, but fourth and fifth suffered under harder acceleration at lower revs.  Checked
all the obvious places for a tear, and tightened up all hose clamps I could get to difference.  Car still pulls pretty well at upper RPMs, but not smoothly
by any means.

Was able to replicate this with more regularity as the trip went on, and seems to have
gotten worse as the altitude increased.  Was downright difficult at 10,200ft in
Leadville, CO.  Disconnected battery overnight to reset ecu, etc. and found no
difference today.

My thought is a boost leak, but cannot see/find a tear, and revving the motor in place
does not put enough load on to make anything readily apparent.  Before I start tearing
off hoses, etc. anything else I could be missing?  

Car is a 95 s6 avant and just turned 80K miles this trip.  Hoses, POS, etc. all
original.  Replaced spark plugs and wires @ 60K.  Checked spark plug torque, all good.

Any and all help appreciated!  Do not want to take this in to anyone if I can help it.

Best regards,

Jim Fleischer
'95 s6 avant
'83 ur

Message: 4
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 21:04:59 -0500
From: Mike Fitton <rfitton at>
Subject: Re: [s-cars] Stumbling under acceleration.....probable boost
To: Jim Fleischer <jim at>
Cc: s-car-list at
Message-ID: <4B0B3F4B.10008 at>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Sounds like symptoms I had when my valve cover gasket started to go.  
Pull some coils and check for oil in the plug wells.

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