“STOP! Check service manual!” | James’ Mk4 GTI

After a couple of months enjoying the first round of mods on my car I’m back under the bonnet to sort hopefully the last of the engine issues. What are the issues? Well, there’s oil leaking through my rocker cover gasket and the coolant warning light coming on in the cold mornings, to name but a few things…

I first discovered oil was leaking through when changing my spark plugs where I found them coated in the gloopy stuff, which also explained my Golf’s unnatural thirst for the stuff. I have to confess changing a rocker cover is something I’ve never done, but figured it can’t be too hard. I decided to keep it OEM and purchased a standard Erling item along with some sealant.

I began unbolting everything I needed to, then slowly tried to lift the cover off, only to find a hose in the way. As I went to move the hose… BAM! It shattered in my hand… not great! I thought “f**k this” and carried on with replacing the gasket. This is a fairly simple job and I would say have a go yourself rather than getting the garage to do it. It’s as simple as:

  • Removing the bolts
  • Slowly removing the cover (avoiding any hoses, of course…)
  • Removing the old item
  • Cleaning any excess oil
  • Applying a small layer of sealant
  • Putting the new item on
  • Putting cover back on and tightening (not too tight in case you do any damage…)

The next little issue I had was the loss of coolant. This behaviour was strange: the warning light would come on when the car was cold and disappear once it had warmed up. After searching the forums. I came to the conclusion my coolant expansion bottle was faulty.

With my new expansion bottle in hand it was again a simple job, with a few screws and hoses to detach (beware of water spilling out!) before applying the new one.

Total spent: £35 (happy days!)

Before I could tear the tarmac up I needed to replace the aforementioned hose I decided to shatter. It was in fact my vacuum hose. After purchasing a nice silicone hose I quickly fitted it. It turned out I may have accidentally fixed my idling issue as a result, too!

So next up I need to start improving engine performance and stopping power. Hopefully I’ll be writing about new brakes and some engine mods, possibly a new exhaust next time round.

Until then I’m going to enjoy the lack of warning lights coming from my dash!

**UPDATE** Checked my coolant flange and this will need replacing, this will be my next job…

**UPDATE 2** Coolant flange replaced no more leaky coolant!!!!!!!! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy