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Old 01-16-2010, 04:56 PM
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2001 Nissan Altima Spark Plug Wires

On a 2001 Nissan Altima GXE, I discovered that the spark plug hole on #2 cylinder contained oil when I looked down the hole after removing the ignition wire. The other cylinders plug holes were dry. I cleaned out the oil prior to removing the plug for a plug change and wondered if this is a warning that I need to change the valve cover gasket. Is it a big deal if a small amount of oil gets into the plug well?

At the same time, I checked the spark plug wire resistance and found #1 wire at infinity, #2 wire at 55K ohms, #3 wire at 130K ohms, and #4 wire at infinity. I am amazed that the car ran but it seemed perfectly fine with the exception that the gas mileage seemed to be less than expected and has degraded from 26 mpg down to about 21 mpg over the past 4 months. I thought it may have been a temperature related issue but perhaps the plug wires were an issue.

Can anyone tell me the normal resistance range for RF suppression ignition wire for this vehicle. I was expecting something around 10K or so. This model does have a distributor.

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Old 01-16-2010, 06:42 PM
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You need to change the valve cover gaskets, specifically the rings that seal the plug holes. You also need to change the wires. Once they get oil soaked they are done. It will cause misfires and could destroy your cat if it goes on long enough. Only use Felpro or OEM gaskets. The cheap ones don't work and you will be doing it again soon.
This is a very common issue by the way
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:42 AM
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Oil in plug well...Nissan Altima

Thank you for the comment on the need to change the valve cover gasket/donuts on the plug wells. I suspected it could lead to trouble and had a difficult time understanding a decline in gas mileage until I saw the wide range of resistances in the spark plug wires.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:37 PM
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Root cause of problem...

On the 2001 Nissan Altima GXE, the root cause of the failure leading to oil in the #2 spark plug well was the presence of a vertical post between the 2nd and 3rd plug wells which pulled on the gasket thus distorting the shape of the gasket on hole #2. Examination of the old gasket showed excessive ovalness of the hole gasket at hole #2 which contributed to its leaking oil into the plug well. The solution was to cut and remove the strap between holes 2 and 3 prior to installing the valve cover. There were no instructions in the Felpro gasket kit but this would be an advisable field change for this model Nissan. For anyone interested in seeing a photo of this problem, just post a reply and email address to get a photo attachment.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:57 AM
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oil in #2 spark plug well 2001 Altima

I'm having same problem...(2001 Altima GXE 4cylinder) found oil in #2 spark plug well, all others dry. Car wants to start but won't. What to do next ?? Please send Picture you spoke of.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:47 PM
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Oil in plug well #2...Nissan Altima

Hello Freddie Altima,
I was advised that oil in the plug wells which soaks the spark plug wires can lead to their failure. In my case, I changed all four plug wires and installed new spark plugs.

I was careful to blot out all the oil in the one oil flooded plug well prior to removing that plug to avoid draining oil down into that cylinder once the plug came out. Use some paper towels or rags to soak up the oil. It takes a bit of time to get it all out.

The oil got into the plug well as a result of the donut-shaped gasket at that location which was out of round due to the attachment straps between the 4 plug well holes on the gasket. The valve cover gasket set contains the outer perimeter gasket as well as the plug well donut strip of 4 donuts connected by 3 straps between them. There is a vertical post linking #2 and #3 donut together which must bend around a vertical post if the strap is left in place. Cut that strap off between holes 2 and 3 and the problem is solved.

If your car won't start for other reasons, at least the spark plug wires, spark plugs, and valve cover gasket will be in good condition as a result of what I have said here. You may gave other problems.

I do not know how to attach pictures on this bulletin board but if you want some photos, contact me at awbazar@yahoo.com and I will send you photos of what I did with an explanation.
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