Last month, Rich Gooding’s Polo GT Coupé passed its MoT, but only just. This month, there’s been more tinkering and a much-needed part-service
I hadn’t realised I’d neglected the car for so long. It was only when I thought about things and asked myself when the last service was, that it dawned on me that 2006 was probably the last time when a basic tinkering took place. And although only 13,000 miles ago, that’s far too long, especially for a 16 year-old car. It might have been later than that of course, but I neither had anywhere to work on it or have kept the service book up to date since then.
So last weekend, I set about rectifying the neglect. A basic part-service with easily-changeable items was the order of the day and a quick trip to our local branch of German Swedish and French yielded a set of new spark plugs, a new set of ignition leads and a new air filter. The journey was an insight in itself; the car was spluttering all over the place and almost stalled at two junctions. It felt more like a carburettor-engined car than a fuel-injected one, and brought back memories of driving my earlier Series 2 Polos.
The feeling was almost that of a misfire, something which I’ve experienced a lot this last winter. Damp conditions don’t make for smooth running at the moment, and even the inside of the car complains with iced-up windows, no doubt due to perishing seals. Opening the bonnet and taking the old ignition leads off diagnosed the problem. Some of the tips were oxidised and although not too bad a degree, the cloudy green ends that were once copper were no doubt the cause.
The plugs were much healthier and – according to the Haynes manual – signified that the 160,000-mile engine was in good order, the ends covered with a slight brown tint. The air filter wasn’t bad either; so much so I’ve kept it for now. All in all though, it’s amazing what results refreshing the most basic items can make. The car now feels transformed and is much, much smoother and no longer complains about the damp mornings or evenings. Only the heated rear window connector, front foglight bracket and passenger footwell leak to sort out before the summer…
Watch out for a basic service workshop feature coming soon.
Costs this month: £41.15 (ignition lead set £24.50; set of Bosch WR6DC+ sparkplugs £10.40; air filter £6.25)
(All parts prices are subject to VAT.)