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got a laguna 1.8 petrol 54 plate the first plug on the l/h/s/of car is coated in oil engine cuts out a lot and the tick over is up and down especially when cold. cant see any visible oil leeks
 
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Sounds like worn rings or bores maybe? I would get a compression test done on all the cylinders.
 
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Is the plug end oily or the threads?
When you say left hand side, is that looking at the engine? If so you mean the plug by the timing belt end?

Which is by the oil filler?

Just a guess, but last year I had my car serviced at a well know tyre fitting company and they managed to spill most of it over the engine, then forgot to do the filler cap up so I had a plug well full of oil.
I took it back within minutes, but it resulted in spluttering, chugging and a week later, a fooked cat.

If you have done an oil change recently, it could be that.
 
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