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The Spark Plug Change From Hell, Part One



Today's blog entry is a lesson in not being prepared when you really should've been. My dad and I knew it wouldn't be long until we had to change the spark plugs in the '05 Audi TT, but we came to the car without a spark plug wrench, experience working on these stupid German cars with barely any room around the engine, or even the damn replacement spark plugs. 


The TT has been sitting in a garage at our cabin for over half a year, because we had a painfully long winter, Followed by a record amount of Winnipeg's famous spring roads. For those unfamiliar with spring roads, the roads in Winnipeg have to go from 40°C to -40°C over the course of a few months. This creates roads so bad they wouldn't even be allowed in war-torn Ukrainian cities


Obviously we didn't want to total the car just by driving on the wrong road, so we decided to store it for a little longer. When it was finally time to get the car out of storage this weekend, we had a few things to do before we got the car running, like making sure everything was in good shape, including the spark plugs. 


The only problem was that some of the TT's spark plugs are covered by metal brackets, and because this is a 2000's Audi, these metal brackets are jammed under several different parts which all stop you from easily unscrewing them. I tried using an Allen key, which wasn't able to fit. I tried a hex bit driver, which also didn't work. I tried them at different angles, but it was to no use.


After a while of trying the same 2 things and expecting different outcomes, I was starting to lose hope. I had the closest thing to a mental breakdown that I think I've ever had, and I remember only one thing I yelled: Just fucking come apart you piece of shit car! What the hell were your designers thinking when they made you; that your engine should only be easily serviceable if you're a fucking HOUSEFLY??


It was only after this that I finally remembered about that magical, flammable and highly toxic bottle of joy known as WD-40. That made quick work of the sticky screws, but the problems were only getting started. You see, we kept this car stored in the garage at my cabin, and we didn't have a spark plug socket for removing them down there. This makes removing the spark plugs physically impossible, which also makes my job a lot harder.


By the way, this is why it's a good idea to make sure your neighbour is a guy named Ian who drives a 12th-gen F-150 that's basically the Library of Alexandria if you replaced the books with tools. Fortunately this was the case for me, so I got a spark plug socket and got to work. Upon closer inspection it was clear the spark plugs were near the end of their life, and since my dad and I didn't think we'd need new spark plugs, we couldn't finish what we started. I'll keep you updated when he gets back from a business trip later this week.


Hopefully things go as well next time I'm at the cabin as they have this time, although now that I said this the car probably leaked out all its oil like a true 2000's Audi.


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