Zen, and the art of misfiring German technology…

I hadn’t driven the VW since… Thursday I think. I usually take the truck in on Friday’s, and I didn’t go anywhere this weekend. I get into it this morning, start it up, and make it nary 10 feet from my driveway before the motor starts shaking like mad. I push the gas down, hesitation. GREAT! I immediately guess that there’s a misfiring cylinder.

The check engine light came on after a minute or so, I switched my engine computer over to read the codes and get P0304… Misfire, #4 cylinder. This is when the fun starts, as it is… maybe 10F outside right now, and somewhere over the last 20 years it has become common practice to make engines look like anything BUT engines… So I take the plastic shroud off the motor, then some little plastic device, then a bit of metal which is covering the #4 cylinder, and I’m finally at the coil.

So I unplug the coil, give it a little twist, a little pull, and the damned thing comes off in my hand. It snapped off right at the top of the unit. A lovely electrical-burning type smell also joined the black scorch mark from the core of the coil to where it shorted out and snapped it.

Great. Monday, i’m just about broke, and now I need a new ignition coil for an effing VOLKSWAGEN. Can’t imagine it’s very cheap. So I go to the dealer, to my surprise it was only $25. The parts guy says “When you go to VW training, there are 2 things you do not do… badmouth the company or bring up those ignition coils.” Makes sense to me.

The coil was $25, and the pair of pliers I bought to pull out the rest of the original coil was another $20. Guess I’m not eating out this week, but at least my car is running.

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