Change Audi A4 B6 ignition coils yourself

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If you have a B6 platform Audi A4 like I do, you’ve probably experienced the failure of an ignition coil while driving. You know the feeling—you suddenly lose power, the car shakes when you accelerate, and the check engine light flashes. This has happened to me three times in the past five months, including one on the Golden Gate Bridge in December. It happened to me again last Friday on my way to work. And, although it’s no fun and potentially dangerous to be driving when a coil fails, replacing it is a snap. All you need to do is remove the engine cover to access the coils. The only frustrating part is that, unless you have a VAG-COM or some other way to read the CEL code, you’ll need to find the bad coil by replacing one at a time and starting the car until the CEL disappears. Nonetheless, the whole thing can be done in about five minutes, and you’ll save time and about $150 in so-called “labor” costs at the dealer. Honestly, I’m not sure how such a quick procedure can cost so much, but the dealers will get away with what they can. Changing an ignition coil on this car is far easier than changing a headlight or windshield wiper blades. You can buy the coils here for about $30 each.

Giants Super Bowl parade

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I made it back to New York last Tuesday morning and caught the end of the Giants Super Bowl victory parade down Broadway. Overheard afterwards on the street was a man asking a police officer, “Officer, do you know at which bar in the City I can find the cheapest beer?”

My favorite things

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Well, actually, these are Kate and Andy Spade’s favorite things. I recently discovered the “Things We Love” page on KateSpade.info, which contains everything from Moleskine notebooks to the band Architecture in Helsinki to red velvet cake. Of particular interest to me were the French sweets at Laduree and this set of Pantone pens made by Pentel. If anyone knows where to find these pens, let me know!

And, as you may be aware, I’ve long kept a page here on this site of things I recommend.