Revision P PCV Failed – 06F129101P

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Underneath the valve cover – the gasket is the black rubber going around the edges

After a year and a half under APR Stage 1, the newest pcv revision finally succumbed. It seems that these things are still not bulletproof.

I was doing a general engine inspection when I noticed that there was oil dripping from the rear of the engine. A closer inspection led me to find that the valve cover gasket was leaking oil. I did not suspect PCV failure right away because normally you would also have oil leaking out of the filler cap. I had oil in the spark plug wells and all over the coils. When the valve cover gasket goes on these motors, the oil tends to leak right into the plug well. I checked the torque on the valve cover bolts and some were very loose so I figured that might have contributed to the oil leaking. On a hunch, I checked the PCV and the valve was gone. The one way valve did not function anymore. Once the one way valve failed, boost pressure pressurized the crankcase and the valve gasket was the path of least resistance.

The PCV failure cost me one coil, one valve cover gasket and a new front pcv valve. I also chose to replace the plugs at the same time since everything was soaked in oil. The coil was still functioning but oil had entered the insulating sleeve. Combined with the heat, it split the rubber sleeve.

I hope the P revision failure was more of a fluke than anything, I really would like to stay on the stock units.

Kumho Ecsta 4x – Quick Look

I’ve had a set of Kumho Ecsta 4x tires on for the last few months to replace my tired set (Michelin Pilot Sport A/S+). My old tires were badly cupped and incredibly noisy. It’s amazing how badly tires degrade over their lifetime, especially if the alignment is not spot on.

The Ecsta 4x’s are relatively new and there is not too much written about them but early reviews (mostly from Tire Rack) suggests that they are a good performance all season for people on a budget. The Tire Rack lists them as Ultra High Performance All Seasons. On the merit of pricing, I chose these over the category favorite, the Continental DWS. They were (at the time of purchase) slightly cheaper per tire and approximately 100-150 cheaper for the set.The Kumho’s are the stock size (225/45/17) with a 94w XL load designation.

Ecsta 4x (stock photo)

So far, I’m liking these tires. They are quiet and quite competent in the handling department. They may give up a bit of response to the Michelin PS A/S+ but the difference is not worth the price premium for the Michelin’s. The Ecsta’s seem to like a little more pressure than the Michelin’s in the corners. Stray too far from the stock pressure setting and they feel a little sloppy. So far, I’ve settled around 35.5 psi front and rear. Your preferences will vary depending on the setup. Ultimate grip seems very similar and Ecsta’s also ride nicer than the Michelin’s.

More impressions to come after a little more seat time. I am curious to find out how they are in the rain.

Upgraded / Redesigned FSI Cam Follower

1/22/12 Just a quick warning: this company may not be as legitimate as the VW community thinks. Several Mazda websites do not have fond memories of this particular company. I’ll have to find more information…Stay away for now.

For the past few months, the company HPFP Upgrade has been working on creating a cam follower that is more durable than the oem piece. Testing is now practically complete. I’m guessing that they are in production right now with a probable February release. HPFP Upgrade is a relatively new (to me) company that focuses on the fueling system for various direction injection cars.

There’s been a good deal of anticipation regarding this product. Any product that can help with the FSI’s follower problem is welcome. The company states that it has achieved an increase in durability through the use of hard chroming. By creating a surface with less friction, there is less wear between the follower and cam. Testing supposedly confirms their claims. In addition to the new surface material, the oil flow holes were relocated to the sides. Information is limited right now as the company has yet to officially release the product.

Early Production Photos - Note the revised oiling hole locations

Of course, the product is untested by the mass public and details such as warranty have yet to be hashed out. There are still unanswered questions. How will the relocation of the oil holes affect things and how durable will the follower and hard chrome finish really be in real life application? HPFP Upgrade asserts that the the new finish is much tougher than the OEM DLC coated follower and slicker as well. They also say that the relocation of the oiling holes also has nothing but positive effects, although their reasoning is yet to be seen. The company seems to have done its homework, field testing a few units with favorable results. So far better than another company that just made the follower thicker and omitted the DLC coating…*cough*kmd*cough*. The design is superficially similar to followers used by Mazda.

I’m following this product quite closely and will probably try it out when it does finally get released.

Here’s a thread on the MKV forum with a few details but it unfortunately turns into a flame war in a page or so. Upgraded FSI Cam Follower

If you do end up getting this in a month or two, let everyone know what you think of it in the comments.

Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

 

In addition to the pcv and intake manifold motor, Volkswagen also extended the warranty on the camshaft, cam follower and high pressure fuel pump to 120,000 miles or 10 years. As before, they will reimburse any out of pocket expenses related to failure of any of these components provided you have proof of payment and repair. Keep in mind this does not cover replacing followers, only components that have failed or have insufficient hardening. Look through the following letter and see what applies to you.For more information, check out my other posts:Cam Follower Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

PCV and Intake Manifold Motor – Volkswagen Warranty Letters

I finally got around to uploading the warranty extension letters that Volkswagen sent out regarding the pcv and the intake manifold motor. These letters were (or are still) being sent out to owners to inform them that the warranty on these parts has been extended to 120,000 miles or 10 years. If you have replaced any of the affected parts from you own pocket, Volkswagen will reimburse you for the costs, provided you have all the receipts still.For more information on the pcv valve, check out my previous post:PCV Valve & Breather TubePCV and Intake Manifold Warranty Extension

PCV and Intake Manifold Motor Warranty Extension

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! 2012 is here and it’s going to be a good one!

Just a few quick updates for this post…

First things first, sorry for the extreme lack of updates, the MKV front is getting a little older and a little quieter. That’s alright though, the MKV generation of cars has been holding up pretty well. The FSI follower problem has been troublesome for a lucky few and there are various small sensor/peripheral problems (thrust sensor, low pressure fuel pump, pcv and diverter valves etc.)  that owners have had to deal with but overall, the cars have been robust. Maintenance just needs to be kept up to date. I recently rolled past 108,000 miles and the car runs great.

Still coming for the month of January:

The recently mentioned aftermarket cam follower is still awaiting final finishing but the company states that it should be released as soon as this month. This follower is supposed to provide 3x the life of the OEM follower by using a different surface treatment (hard chroming). If the product lives up to its promises, FSI owners can rest just a little bit easier about their cam follower issues.

The Koni Yellow Dampers are holding up well and I think I finally got the rebound settings perfect for the stock springs. When you have adjustable dampers, it’s almost impossible to just pick a setting and not fiddle with them. They tempt you at every corner. I’ll do a write up with the settings soon.

Windshield Wiper Replacements

With winter well on its way, you might find that your wiper blades are not working as well as they should be. ECS Tuning actually has one of the cheaper prices around including the shipping. Here’s a link to the OEM replacement set for the front window: OEM Front Wiper Blades. The rear blades are available as well here: OEM Rear Wiper Blade.

The original wipers on this car are actually very good and lasted about five years in the mild California climate. My previous car ran through them at a rate of one set per year. They might not fair as well in an area that sees actual winter. Here’s an interesting fact about the wipers in case you haven’t heard of it; when you remove the key from the ignition, the (front) wipers will move a little to flip the wiper blade position and prevent them from deforming. This helps the wipers last a little longer.

Sorry, I can’t find the actual part numbers for the front wiper blades, so if anyone has them, I’d appreciate them! The rear blade can be found under part number 6Q6955425A.

* You may also be able to find cheaper deals on Amazon.com. Just navigate over to the automotive department and use the “Part Finder” link near the top left. I have tried the Valeo brand rear wiper and it looks and performs like OEM. They might have the front wiper set for a few dollars cheaper than ECS.