yes, the hex shaft stays with the car, it's what drives the OIL PUMP if it doesn't go in correctly you WILL not have oil pressure. If you can't understand how it comes apart, then I would recommend getting some one else to do it. But still, you don't really know that it's bad, do you?
And yea, I'm not the most qualified service professional who could be working on my car. If I weren't still paying off my last trip to the mechanic I'd have done that
I definitely wish I'd asked here before it stopped running!
Well, if the pip is black in color, then I'd just automatically replace, there was a major problem years ago with the black ones. If it's gray, then use the test as above, BUT don't pierce the wire, instead back probe the connector.
spark.......pull wire, remove plug, re-insert plug into wire, ground wire, crank over engine, either it will or will not have spark.