Things to Do With Your Husband #2: Get Greasy
OK, many women might scrunch their noses at the idea of spending Saturday afternoon under the hood, but if we want our husbands to shop or watch sappy movies with us, the least we could do is grease up, right?
Today, Nate and I spent four hours fixing our vehicle. It really shouldn’t have taken more than two, which of course, makes for a good story.
On our way back into town after seeing a few houses with the realtor, we stopped at one of the few auto parts stores in town. We picked up a few tools we needed and the parts–six spark plugs and a set of wires. No big deal. Later in the afternoon, we get out the tools, pop the hood, and get to work.
On this vehicle, the spark plugs are kind of tricky to get to. You have to first take out this big plastic box/hose combo (something that has to do with the air filter). Then, there are three spark plugs on the passenger side and three on the driver’s side. The ones on the passenger side are under the box/hose thingy. There is a set of three wires–one end connects to a plug cap thing-a-ma-bob on the passenger side and the other end has a plug that goes into the hole on the driver’s side after you screw the spark plug in.
We opened the new spark plugs and noticed they looked a bit different–one gap instead of two. Neither of us know much about the difference, and we figure it won’t matter anyway. We spend two hours removing the old plugs and putting in the new. Then we put that big box/hose combo back on, put all the tools away (in the house), drop the hood and try to start it. No go. We pop the hood again, look around, and try to find maybe a hose we forgot to re-attach or something. That’s when Nate sees a little sticker on the engine that basically says not to use a single-prong spark plug.
We remove everything once again, take out the plugs, re-package them (thankfully, we still had the receipt!) and I wait in the drive-way while Nate runs back up to the auto parts store. We didn’t want to put the tools back in the house, so I babysat them (they didn’t run away, don’t worry).
He comes back and says the other kind of spark plug (the kind we need) is not in stock, so he ordered them and they won’t be in until Monday. Sigh. I need the vehicle to get to class Monday. Our neighbor stops by on his afternoon/evening walk and says Nate should try another auto parts store.
He calls to make sure they have them, and then I babysit the tools again while he runs up to store #1 to cancel the order and to store #2 to get the new, correct, plugs. He comes home and we put the new plugs in. We connect the wires, put the tools in the tool box, but before putting them in the house, try to start the vehicle.
We pop the hood and just stare at it–no idea what to do. I decide to call my dad because he’s worked on a lot of vehicles in his day. He answers and I say “We have a problem. We replaced the spark plugs, but now the truck won’t start.” Without missing a beat, Dad says “You connected the wires in the wrong order. They have to be connected a certain way, based on the firing order of the engine. Look it up.”
So we look it up. And we find that yes, indeed, there is a firing order. And yes, indeed, we connected them incorrectly. We finally get them connected in the right order, everything put back together.
And it worked!
I had a lot of fun helping Nate with the truck, laughing at all of our silly mistakes.