I ate my wafer...


Random Mechanical Tip of the Week:

Yesterday I changed the O2 sensor and spark plugs in my car. It had been driving fine, but I had a new O2 sensor already, and the plugs had been in for 40,000+ miles. Anyway, they all removed smoothly except the #6 cylinder, which is always stuck. After applying a pipe to the ratchet, KROIL and some minor profanity I had the plug out. The annoying part is that it would have been really nice to clean up the obviously imperfect threads with a tap, but I don't exactly carry around a 14mm tap, and my car was immobile. Not to mention that it would be at an expensive tap to buy in Hillsdale. So, I took an old spark plug from one of the other cylinders, and filed a v-notch into the threads immediately opposite the start of the first thread. Screwed it in until it slowed down, screwed it out, cleared the gunk out of the notch, and repeated a couple of times. It took less time to do that it does to type it, but I highly recommend it.

At this point, with the plugs and o2 sensor changed, I have my car set up for summer commuting again, with synthetic fluids all around, a slightly leaned fuel trim table, sidewall max tire pressures, and the appropriate throttle valve sleeve in the transmission. With any luck at all, that's good for another summer of ~21 mpg.


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