Q: change a thermosrat on a 2004 VB beetle 1.8

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I have taken the thermostat out twice and booth times it leaks. I have only seen on the videos of only one mechanic use silicone, do i need to do this or is this some one that is missing with us that are trying to save a few bucks. Only one mechanic has shown this steep, if i need silicone what do i use for this application or what to ask for, thanks.

My car has 72000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

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