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My SR20DE with 200k miles finally decided not to fire up, it cranks but does not fire. I figured it was spark since I smell fuel after a while, so I went ahead and started pulling the wires, and lo and behold found a ton of oil pooled in the left most hole. The car has a nasty valve cover gasket leak that can be seen all around the valve cover. I've been reading that oil in the holes can mean anything from a leaking gasket to cylinder ring failure. I pulled the plug and did not see oil on the end that protrudes into the cylinder so I'm assuming the cylinder is not full of oil. I cleaned the oil out of the spark plug hole and tried to fire it back up with no luck. Cleaned off the spark plug and wire of oil and added some dielectric grease but still not firing up. Does this sound like a leaking gasket causing this issue?
 

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My SR20DE with 200k miles finally decided not to fire up, it cranks but does not fire. I figured it was spark since I smell fuel after a while, so I went ahead and started pulling the wires, and lo and behold found a ton of oil pooled in the left most hole. The car has a nasty valve cover gasket leak that can be seen all around the valve cover. I've been reading that oil in the holes can mean anything from a leaking gasket to cylinder ring failure. I pulled the plug and did not see oil on the end that protrudes into the cylinder so I'm assuming the cylinder is not full of oil. I cleaned the oil out of the spark plug hole and tried to fire it back up with no luck. Cleaned off the spark plug and wire of oil and added some dielectric grease but still not firing up. Does this sound like a leaking gasket causing this issue?
I own an '06 with the QR25DE so this may be a little different, but I had this issue a while back when it had similar mileage on it. Ultimately I discovered that the oil was coming from a bad seal in the rocker cover so I had to replace the entire assembly. I was bummed at first that I couldn't replace just the seal at the top of the ignition coil tube, but I found a oem replacement for relatively cheap and since the part was plastic I didn't feel too bad about replacing it rather than having to torque down a 12 year old piece of plastic. I replaced the plugs and I think I replaced the coil just to be safe even though it hadn't completely fouled yet.

If I'm not mistaken you might be able to replace just those seals on the SR20 and yours isn't plastic, but I'm not certain. It's a pretty common problem so change them all when you do the job and you'll get another 200k out of it.
 
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