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Why Are My Spark Plugs Wet With Oil? Here Are The Main Reasons!

Why Are My Spark Plugs Wet With Oil

If you're searching for why are my spark plugs wet with oil? You're dealing with a critical problem that might be related to a failed head gasket or O-ring. When this happens, there are high chances of engine's performance reduction, engine misfires, and excessive oil consumption. A problem like this should be taken care of immediately to avoid major engine damages. 

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Although the spark plugs are very small components in your vehicle, they can tell you a lot about what's going on with the engine. For instance, if you reliazed that spark plugs are soaked with fuel, there is an issue with the ignition system. On the other hand, if the spark plugs are soaked with carbon, it indicates another problem with the exhaust system.

It's noticed that a lot of times, these spark plugs might also be soaked with oil. If that's the case, you're dealing with one of the most serious and critical situations in your vehicle, which requires immediate attention from a professional mechanic.

Long story short, a spark plug that is soaked with oil indicates a problem with either the O-ring or the head gasket. Both problems are considered critical and should be taken care of immediately to avoid dealing with major damages that can lead to catastrophic results, including engine failure. 

This article provides an answer to anyone searching for “why are my spark plugs wet with oil?” It provides you with every possible reason and additional information that any driver should be aware of when it comes to oil-soaking spark plugs issues. 

Two important systems 

Before we dive into the details about why your spark plugs are wet with oil, let's step back and make sure that we're on the same page regarding what systems are involved in this problem.

When the spark plug is wet with oil, you're dealing with two separate systems getting interacted with each other by accident. The first system is the spark plug which is part of the ignition system and is responsible for providing the required spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture. It is also responsible for removing excess heat from the combustion system and sending it to the cooling system.

The second system is the lubrication system which includes oil. Oil is responsible for providing the necessary implication to the entire engine to prevent excessive heat due to friction. As the engine's moving parts interact, they can generate huge amounts of energy that could be very harmful to the engine and the surrounding components. Oil is stored in a certain pan, and whenever the engine starts, it pulls a certain amount of oil to lubricate it, and once the engine is turned off, this oil goes back to the pan and so on.

Both systems are not supposed to interact with each other, and they have their tubes and path lines to go through with out messing up with each other. However, overtime of use, there are situations where oil makes its way out of the designated tubes and reaches the spark plugs. 

As a rule of thumb, dealing with situations where the spark plugs are soaked with oil should be taken care of immediately. The problem is beyond serious, and it can introduce significant damages to several internal components. 

Why are my spark plugs wet with oil? 

Based on what we indicated before, oil should not typically go anywhere close to the spark plugs. However, there are some reasons behind why your spark plugs are wet with oil, including

  • Oil leak through a bad gasket valve 

If you look on top of your engine, you'll notice a metal valve responsible for sealing the engine and never allowing the oil from reaching any internal components. The valve is not directly placed on top of the engine because there is what's referred to as the gasket, responsible for completely sealing the engine and preventing any oil from getting inside.

Over time of use, these gaskets can become very brittle and get damaged due to the extreme temperature coming from the engine. Thus, it is not surprising to deal with oil leaks into the engine because of a bad head gasket.

It is very important to know that a leaking head gasket is replaced immediately to prevent major damages to the engine. 

  • Oil leak through a bad O-ring

When the O-ring goes bad in a similar fashion, oil can make its way to the spark plug. This O-ring is usually located at the bottom of the spark plug, which means that oil can get to the spark plugs from the O-ring through the engine.

As we indicated before regarding the gasket valve come about O-ring is a serious problem. It should be treated immediately to avoid complications that might cost you thousands of dollars down the road. 

  • Oil leak through a bad piston compression ring 

There are some rings responsible for scraping any excess oil from the cylinder on the top and the bottom of the Pistons of your engine and preventing it from reaching the combustion chambers.


These rings are expected to fail over time, and once they fail, you might deal with oil soaking the spark plugs and affecting their performance.

Interestingly, when these compression rings go bad, you will notice additional clear symptoms that can provide you a confirmation regarding the root problem. For instance, you might see some blue smoke coming from the exhaust system. Also, the vehicle might smell oily as the oil reaches the spark plugs and the entire engine's block. 

  • Oil leak due to a failed piston 

Pistons are also not designed to last forever, and there will be a point of time where you have to change them due to cracks or holes as there exposed to extreme temperatures.

When the piston goes bad, you will notice additional symptoms Confirming that your problem is coming from a bad piston. For instance, you might notice some weird knocking or rattling noises. Similarly, you might experience very high oil consumption. In some scenarios, come an engine misfire pure it finally, a bad piston might also result in your spark plugs getting wet with oil. 

This problem is also another critical problem that you never want to delay because it can easily lead to engine failure.

  • Problems with worn valve guides 

The valve guides are responsible for controlling the airflow to the engine by ensuring that it's held in place until the engine stops. These valves are not expected to last forever, and like any other engine components, they are exposed to very high temperatures causing them to fail in some scenarios.

Once the valves fail, you will also notice additional symptoms that can help you confirm the culprit. Some of these symptoms include ash or oil on the spark plugs and some blue smoke from the exhaust system.

Like the previously mentioned causes, this problem also must be taken care of immediately to prevent major repairs. 

What will happen when my spark plugs get wet with oil? 

In general, most issues around the engine or not simple and should be taken care of immediately because it might lead to significant complications that you never want to deal with.

For example, when the spark plugs get wet with oil, you'll be dealing with one of the following outcomes: 

  • Engine running rough and engine misfiring 


Whenever we say the term engine misfiring, we indicate that the combustion process was not completed successfully. This can happen due to a lot of different causes, including an issue with the spark plug.

Therefore, when the spark plug gets soaked with oil, the first thing you might notice is engine misfiring.

Keep in mind that engine misfiring might happen from a long list of different causes. Thus, before concluding that your problem is coming from a spark plug that is soaked with oil, you need to perform a thorough inspection.

Also, when the spark plug does not work properly because of oil, it might provide a certain spark but with less frequency, and that's why you might experience the engine running rough.

  • Check engine light illumination 

Since a soaked sparkplug with oil prevents complete combustion, you might also experience a check engine light illuminating, indicating issues with the vehicle's internal components. 

As experts, we always recommend that you take the issue seriously whenever you are dealing with check engine light illumination and resolve the problem immediately to prevent dealing with major damages.

Most check engine light illumination based on a spark plug issue has to do with engine misfiring. One of the quickest ways to confirm the problem is by using an OBD 2 scanner. This scanner can scan the vehicle's internal computer and display a certain code. Once you have this code, you can search it online to understand better what this code means.

In some advanced OBD 2 scanners, you might even be able to get some additional information about the primary cause of the issue and a suggested list of solutions and repairs. 

  • Reduction in fuel economy 

When the spark plugs do not do the job right, the combustion will not be completed successfully, and therefore, you'll will require more fuel to produce the necessary energy.

That's why, when the spark plugs get wet with oil, you'll notice that you will need to visit the gas station more frequently as compared to before. 

  • More emissions

Finally, when the spark plug gets soaked with oil, you'll notice that more emissions are coming from the tailpipe, which can be a problem for you and the surrounding people and the environment.

In some severe scenarios, a bad spark plug due to oil issues can result in your vehicle failing the emission test.

Thus, when this happens, you need to take care of the problem and fix it immediately. 

Can I drive my car when my spark plugs get wet with oil? 

Although spark plugs soaked with oil will not prevent you from driving your vehicle, you should think of the different outcomes associated with this situation. 

As we indicated earlier, when these spark plugs get wet with oil, they might introduce some significant damages to the surrounding components.

While some of these components might not be very expensive, about spark plug can damage the catalytic converter, which is one of the most expensive little components in your engine.

Therefore, to prevent dealing with major and undesirable results, you would better take care of the problem immediately and get rid of the oil on the spark plugs, and replace them if necessary. 


While the spark plugs are very small pieces in your engine, they can tell you a lot about the engine's health and the surrounding components.

One of the common situations you might be dealing with is when these spark plugs get wet with oil. This situation is considered very critical, and it indicates some certain oil leaks from different internal components.

When dealing with such a problem, it's advised that you get it resolved immediately to prevent dealing with undesirable outcomes that could be linked to a complete engine failure.

If you realize that your vehicle's problem is more complicated than what you expected and repair costs are piling up, it might be a good idea now to think about selling your car to Cash Cars Buyer.

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