Car Problem Reports

Ford Thunderbird Check Engine Light Due to Oil Leak in Valve Cover Gasket

Ford Thunderbird Problem
18 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Engine Affected: 4.6L V8

Average Mileage: 80,439 mi (47,000 mi - 175,000 mi)


The valve cover gaskets may leak oil into the spark plug wells, shorting out the spark plugs, causing a misfire, and illuminating the Check Engine Light. Commonly the spark plugs and ignition coils or wires will require replacement, along with resealing the valve cover to correct this concern.

  • replace coils frequently

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  • Visitor, , 72,000 mi

    Car idle choppy. Check engine light came on. Problem waS leaking gasket filled spark plug wells with oil. Causing arc. Costing 1,100. Ouch

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  • Visitor, , 110,000 mi

    oil in spark plug wells, causes random misfires.

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  • Not fixed yet, 8 plugs misfiring, you can figure out the rest:(

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  • Visitor, , 76,500 mi

    misfiring engine, engine light came on. Took it in for diagnostic and found #1 spark and ignition coil defective due to water in spark plug, cost of repair, $459.00. Same thing happened 5 months later with the #3 plug and coil. Definately a poor design by Ford... Now the engine is doing an occasional miss and I'm sure another coil and plug are to blame....

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  • Visitor, , 47,000 mi

    Misfire, rough idle and driving. Oil leak into valves due to valve cover gasket failure. Replace coils and gaskets. $1200. This is apparently a known (too well) issue with 2002 Ford Thunderbirds, warping valve covers due to engine heat also leads to the leaks.

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  • Visitor, , 58,000 mi

    The check engine light came on, 3 coils needed replacing. This happened six months previous as well - had to replace 1 then. Has cost about $1600 so far...

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  • Visitor, , 48,000 mi

    6 out of 8 coils got oil soak ed and started missfiring

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  •  Rookie

    just happened replaced plugs and coil, cleaned area and so far so good will be scheduling o-rings and gasket replacement soon.

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  • Visitor, , 103,335 mi

    just bought the car a mile down the road check engine light came on ,went to go do a tune up on it pulled 3rd plug wire on passanger side and it was floating in oil looked around the top of engine noticed oil comming from valve cover

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