Because I have been so bold as to complain about labor rates whenever I get my car serviced.

Actually, it is an apology owed to every Mercedes-Benz technician. You not only deserve $125 an hour, you deserve $225 an hour.

Last Wednesday I set out to do my own spark plugs and valve cover gaskets. I write to you all today, a failure in that original endeavor. I took off one valve cover, the passenger side, and have only just gotten it back on. Stymied by the coolant plumbing, three days of trial and error lead to the final solution of putting the gasket down on the head, then feeding the cover back into place while prying up on the metal coolant pipe at the back of the engine bay that goes from the passenger side of the engine bay to the driver’s side intercooler with a big screwdriver. This of course means that I had to seat the gasket in its channel blind. Which I think I’ve done successfully, but I won’t touch that other side. I’ll get quotes. I won’t do it. I won’t tell you I’m trying to save my sanity, because that was gone on friday!

The only upshot is that I did in fact get all the spark plugs changed and, here’s another shocker, it was no more difficult that any other car. The back plugs were actually accessible. And there is enough room in there for a 1/2 inch drive torque wrench.


Anyway. Hopefully I’ll have it back together to be able to drive to work tomorrow. Hopefully it will cease the misfires for the time being, and hopefully it will only be hundreds of dollars for one valve cover gasket, instead of thousands for both. I’ve already got the part, I just need to pay labor. Fun fact though, those valve cover gaskets I bought off of Pelican Parts? They’ve all got stickers on them from Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills, CA. So I’ve got a Beverly Hills Benz now!