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Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 26677
Experience:  ASE Certs and Ford Certs
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Mercury Sable Premier: 2000 sable v6 DOHC misfire cylinder

Customer Question

2000 sable v6 DOHC misfire cylinder #6. (# XXXXX spark plug was good. #5 was a little oily. #6 was oily and rusty) i replaced all three plugs. tested coil packs and they are all good. no carbon tracks on boots. I've been told it could be a intake manifold gasket but i can't find any leaks...also I've been told the oil on the spark plugs could be from a valve cover gasket and seals. my compression gauge won't screw into the plug holes so i can't do a compression test. I'm at a loss. what other tests can i do? what is the most likely cause of the misfire??
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mercury
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Justanswer,
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am here to assist you with your question.

Is the tip of the spark plug oily or the out side ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
its the outside. the tip is not oily an the #4 cylinder is in good condition. 5 is a little worse and 6 is really bad looking.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
If the oil is in the spark plug well then this means the valve cover gasket is leaking and this can cause the cylinder to misfire due to the oil. The place to start is replacing the valve cover gasket and if you doing one side your best to do both.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok. if its not the valve cover what should be my next step?
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
If you have oil in the spark plug well, its going to be the valve cover .
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
what would it mean if the tip was oily?
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.

By the tip, I mean the firing end and if you have oil there then it most likely a valve stem seal and or a pistion ring concern.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well the oil is on the threads of the plug. but only #5 and #6
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i was checking out my sisters toyota 4 cylinder and all of her spark plugs where soaked in oil on the threads...but her car is not misfiring.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
are you still there?
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Yes Im here. At some point she will develop a miss as well and the Toyota had a harder spark plug wire as well./
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so your saying both cars will need valve seal jobs?
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
No Im saying they will both need valve cover gaskets if you have oil in the spark plug well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so when you say the "tip" that is not the same as the thread area. ???
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Yes that is correct.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok. i got it. if the tip is covered in oil then a valve seal job is in order. and if the threads are oily then a gasket job is in order. right?
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Yes that is correct, if you have oil on the firing tip inside the cylinder its a valve stem seal or oil ring, if its in the well it the gasket.
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 26677
Experience: ASE Certs and Ford Certs
Ron and other Mercury Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok. thank you for letting me pick your brain. I'm gonna accept now. Thanks again!!!
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Your very welcome and thank you as well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi thanks for helping me out with diagnosing that problem. i actually am working on the car now and am need in help. i can't remove the valve cover. there is a wire harness in the way and i can't get slack in it or remove so i can get the valve cover off. help would be appreciated thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm hoping you can help me. I've been struggling for about and hour and a half now> researched to the limit and i can't find any help. i would really appreciate if you could asset me. thanks alot.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the car is a 2000 mercury sable v6 I'm working on the valve cover nearest to the front of the car> (right behind the radiator)
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.

So is that the LH cover?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
LH?? im not sure what you mean.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
The Left hand is the front valve cover, the RH is the rear. WHich one do you need to remove?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the left hand. the one that is in the front.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Here are the LH instructions, the harness has to be moved aside.

DOWNLOAD HERE
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i have removed evrything. the valve cover is just floating now. i can't seem to get enough slack or move the harness aside to actually remove the cover.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
You may need to trace it back and remove some of the mounting clips, there should be enough room to get the clearance you need.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
where are the mounting clips? there is a black box. L shaped...with a bunch of wires in it. i tried to lift it up but it seems to be hitting the ac line. i poked my head and hands all around the area. couldn't find any clips. is it a possibility i could yank out and damage the harness??
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
All you need to do is follow the harness. Its okay to tug on it a bit, just be a little gentle.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the harness goes up into that black box i mentioned...and the only way to remove it seems to be to remove the ac line that is above it. i just don't see the harness giving me slack. the directions say move the harness aside... but that won't give me clearance to remove the cover. its too dark now to work on it so I'm gonna try again tomorow. thanks again. for your help. ill check in you when it brighter out. thanks again Ron
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Try again tomarrow and let me know once you have good light. Im here if you need me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you soooo much Ron. i appreciate you taking your time out for me.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Your very welcome. Im here all day tomarrow. We will get it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hey ron. Finally got in touch with the owner of the car. apparently the check engine light for the misfire on ylinder 6 went off and stayed off. Is it possible that by me taking the cover off and retightining it it fixef the problem? I still wanna do the job to learn how to move the wire harness aside. I'm not sure if she wants it done anymore. What do you think?
Thanks for staying in touch with me.
-adam
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
It is possible tightening the valve cover bolts did stop the leak, the only way to know is to keep an eye on it, if its still leaking it will get oil in the well again.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Is there something I should do to get the oil that was already in the well out? I cleaned the plug threads. But there probably is still oil in the well right?
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Take some carb cleaner and spray it in the well and then use shop air and blow it out real well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok. Thankd ron. Im hoping that I'll be able to do the job anyway. But I'll keep in touch with you. Thanks again. ill make sure to leave excellent feedback for you. And any other questions I have. Yout my guy.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Your very welcome and thank you as well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey I'm doing the valve cover job and I'm having trouble moving the wire harness aside...i can lift the cover up but there is not enough clearance to remove it...any suggestions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I got the valve cover off...now I snapped off thr bolt that holds it down the top right(drivers side. Bolt.its still misfireing...but now im not sure if its because of the snapped bolt or something totally diffetent. Im really in it now... The pcv valve is also bent...but I don't know what todo...help please
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
What is it you need?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hey ron. so i fixed the broken bolt. so the valve cover job is done. but the car is still misfiring. i took the intake plenum off to check the fuel injectors with my OHM reader. all the resistances are the same... I'm stuck on what to do next. any suggestions???
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
If you sure the spark plugs and coils are good and you have good injector pulse and no vacuum leaks then the next step would be to run a compression test on all cylinders.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think its a vacuum leak. I can't find it. I changed the pcv valve it seems like its running great. The light went off for a couple days and then it just came back on....could it be a clogged air filter? Its real dirty. Going to change it today to see what happens.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
The air filter being clogged should not cause it to miss. A vacuum leak would . When the light is coming on, what code is it setting?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
P0306
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Then that means the #6 cylinder is missing. If your sure you have a good spark plug and good spark to it from the coil then you need to recheck for a vacuum leak and or a compression concern.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I'm going to look up how to to for vacuum leaks better because thats something I never really understood. Thanks
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
A vacuum leak can cause a lean engine misfire. Try carefully spraying some carb cleaner in and around the intake area being very careful to not get near any ignition source which can start a fire.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had tried that before when I thought it was a leaking intake gasket. Nothing happened though. Ill do it again tho. And I have one of those hand held vacuume pumps. I'm just not that great at using it yet.
Expert:  Ron replied 2 years ago.
Something is being overlooked. So going back and rechecking everything is a good place to start.

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