One of my favourite things about my VW Golf is the really positive gearshift – it just feels right. But last week it suddenly went slack – which meant it felt like driving an old Ford instead. Well, not quite that bad, but there was a couple of inches of front to back play on the stick, which made it difficult doing quick gear changes. I looked under the bonnet and discovered that there was a linkage which had a lot of play in it, and after looking on the internet I discovered there was supposed to be a piece of plastic there which was missing.
I went to GSF, but they didn’t the part, so I went to VW where they could only sell me the entire shift relay arm for £35 plus VAT. It didn’t sound too expensive, but it looked like it would be quite hard to replace the entire arm. So I searched around on the internet a bit more, and found someone who was selling the ball cover on its own for £7. It was advertised as being for the mark 2, but it looked the same, so I bought it anyway.
It arrived this week, and this morning the rain stopped so I took the opportunity to fix the car. It turned out to be one of the easiest repair jobs I’ve ever had to do. All I had to do was unclip a ball joint (yellow), remove a split pin (blue – although you can’t see it because it’s overexposed), slide those two arms to the side and slip the ball cover (red) over the ball core. And then clip it all together. It probably took less that five minutes, and now I have a really nice gearshift again.