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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 9-3ARC, 6-speed manual - 150,000 miles on the vehicle. recently started misfiring and occasionally belching a tone of white smoke out of the exhaust and shutting down at idle. Smelled of gas. After sitting for a few minutes, I am able to get the car running, but misfiring until it would randomly clear up and run smoothly! I used a diagnostic tool that spit out a bunch of codes: 0411,0300,0245,0201, and 0202. Thinking the misfiring was due to fouled plugs or ignition coils, I pulled them this morning only to find the cylinder closest to the oil filler cap, half full of oil.

Is this a valve cover gasket leak or is it more sinister - a head gasket?!

Humbly, I thank all in advance who opine!
 

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The valve cover gasket is leaking. When oil pools in the spark plug wells it will cause a misfire. Replace the gasket as well as the o-rings surrounding the spark plug wells (they usually come with the gasket).
 

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P0201 and P0202 are symptoms of ECU failure, as is the smell of gas. Do a search on your codes, you'll find lots of hits.

When you say the cylinder was full of oil, do you mean the space around the spark plug, or what you saw in the engine when you removed the spark plug? If the spark plug is sitting in an oil bath, that's a bad valve cover gasket. If the cylinder itself has a lot of oil, that's bad news.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks - I meant the space around the spark plug.. A bad valve cover gasket seems to be the reason for this. Ordered an OEM gasket set for this and will repair it once it is delivered.
 
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