Grease Monkey

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.

That big box in the bottom right is for the air filter--it and the big hose connecting it to the engine had to be removed.

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.

Good idea.

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.

No go.


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.


4 thoughts on “Grease Monkey

  1. Oh, this is too funny!
    I read this out loud to my husband and when I said, “one gap instead of two,” he said, “Uh-oh . . . ”
    Poor dears. I know you will laugh about this a long time, and you will always change plugs right from now on. 🙂
    Bravo to you for helping through such a long ordeal.

    • It WAS pretty funny. We are just thankful that God had His hand on us, let us make the mistake, without ruining anything expensive! My dad thought it was pretty funny too. He told me to let him know how many wires we had out of order, and I texted him after we fixed them and said “uh, all of them…” and he just replied “LOL!”

      We had some good laughs through it for sure, but they are done and the truck is running better now. 🙂

  2. That’s hilarious! I’ve taken the easy option – booked the car in at a garage for its annual service next Saturday and they’re even picking it up and dropping it back so I can go to the church children’s day! 😉

    • That is a good option–we didn’t want to pay for it! It all turned out fine the end; the truck is running great now. So I guess it was worth the hassle.

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