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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a little story about spark plugs/ignition wires/shop competence that I wonder if any of you can relate to.
I went to the a supposedly reputable shop here the other day, and got a tune up (replace spark plugs,etc.). Left the shop and noticed that there was a jolt jolt jolt when idling, and a stutter when accelerating, that hadn't been there before I brought the car in for the tune-up. What the heck? So I went back thinking that a spark plug was defective or something like that. Found out that one of the wires was arcing, and that it had nothing to do with the spark plug. Well, why in the world would that happen?? They told me that since my wires were so old (probably had never been replaced, but I can't be sure since I bought the car at 80k, and don't have any record of that) and brittle, any kind of movement of the wire would damage them, and that that's probably what it was. I raised a bit of a stink saying that they damaged them when they took them out, and the sales guy pretty much shot me right down, saying that there's no way in the world that it could be their fault.
I asked that they do me a favor, and for my interest and peace of mind, take the wire off, remove and put the spark plug back in. They said ok as long as I agreed that it might make it worse. Fine, I just wanted to know. So the mechanic goes and gets his 4 inch needle nose pliers
that he used the first time, pulls the wire off, takes out the spark plug, re-torques it. I start the engine, and the arcing is still there, like they warned, is in fact worse than it was before. jolt jolt..jolt jolt...
Today I decided to stop into a specialty VW shop to ask if they have any ignition wires and get their advice. I told the wizened old mechanic there what happened, and that I was thinking about replacing the wires myself. He told me to make sure I had the right tool. "Which tool?" I asked (I'm no car mechanic as you can probably tell). I told him that I was going to buy some 4 inch needle nose pliers and do it myself
. He then brought me into the bay area and showed me the tool that is supposed to be used to remove the ignition wires. He said there was probably a plastic version snapped onto my hood rod. Sure enough, there was.
He also told me that the reason the wires were damaged is most likely because the mechanic at the other shop used pliers to get them off...

Apologies for the long winded story, but I'd like to get some opinions here before I go back to the original $80/hour shop and demand that they replace my wires for me
. What is the likelihood that those wires were damaged because pliers were used to get them off? If the wires were new, would pliers have still have damaged them? If the wires in fact were as old as the engine (80k miles), would they have been damaged even if the mechanic had used the right tool?
Thanks everyone for your time. Sincerely,
 

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Re: Replacing spark plugs, damaging ignition wires???? (Loganitis)

Quote, originally posted by Loganitis »
What is the likelihood that those wires were damaged because pliers were used to get them off? If the wires were new, would pliers have still have damaged them? If the wires in fact were as old as the engine (80k miles), would they have been damaged even if the mechanic had used the right tool?

1) better than 50/50
2) possibly, but much less likely
3) possibly
The wire's insulation jacket that you see dries out and cracks over time and that hot VR6. You can open up some good cracks just by flexing them a little. On mine, you could see the wire conductor in several cracks where they bent 90 degrees to go down to the plug. The tool is to prevent pulling the wire out of the spark plug boot since the boot snaps to the plug pretty tightly. No mainstream auto repair shop is gonna have that tool. There's nothing to win here really so I would just drop it and go order these excellent OEM wires from Impex and put them on yourself. http://www.impexfap.com/partli...t7392
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Replacing spark plugs, damaging ignition wires???? (A2B4guy)

Cool. Thanks for the heads up. I had no idea that they wouldn't have that tool. I'll check out those wires. Are they better than the original VW wires?
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Replacing spark plugs, damaging ignition wires???? (Loganitis)

In other words, would you recommend the Bosch ones, or the red OE ones that are there?
 

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Re: Replacing spark plugs, damaging ignition wires???? (Loganitis)

These are original VW parts in the box you find at the dealer. The silicone rubber is top quality and the wires are perfect length and have the cylinder numbers on them. They are superior to the wires that came on the car, due to the much improved outer jacket. They're not quite red like they appear, actually more of a muddy orange that is a natural color for RTV silicone rubber. I prefer these to the standard Bosch wires. The more expensive Bosch set would be a good bet but costs about $50 more.
 
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