For the first time in my car's history, (2003 OBS, 200+k kms), I had
to downshift while climbing a modest hill in a rolling hill area last
weekend. It made me realize that I was well overdue for air filter
and spark plug replacement.
Sure enough, it was 100k kms since the spark plugs were changed.
Passenger side, went easily. Driver side found oil. About half an
inch of my socket was oily. I plan on doing the same thing I did last
time - nothing. It worked last time, so why not try it again? The
ends of the spark plugs seemed normal, not sooty, all the same.
The most trouble was getting the damn spark plugs out of the holes.
They kept slipping back into the holes before I could extract them. I
risk exposing my ignorance of auto-mechanics knowledge, but I found a
trick that some people might benefit from. After several failed
attempts to coax the plugs out with my socket, I looked for extra
help. My first thought was a magnet, but my magnet could not fit into
the holes and I could not magnetize the socket enough. I meditated
over it and wondered what I could use that was long and skinny and
could grab onto the end of the spark plug perfectly - kind of like the
plug on the end of spark plug wire. D'uh! Just stick the stupid
wires back in and pull out the spark plugs!
So, all it well now. Car seems to have a bit more spunk. The oil is
concerning again, but it's definitely not worse than last time, and
that was at LEAST 100k kms ago. (something tells me it was 150k
Just for my knowledge, what does the dealer charge for replacing valve
cover gaskets? What fear-mongering warnings would I get if I asked a
mechanic what I should do?
Oh, last year I started getting a mechanical screeching noise after
each start up. Almost like the starter engine keeps running after the
car is started. Only lasts a fraction of a second and then all is
fine. Happens if the car is warm or cold - no difference. Magically,
this noise has practically disappeared after the new plugs. Co-