Oil - The Life Blood of Your VW Beetle
The VW Beetle is an air cooled
vehicle, there is no cooling system other than the air passing
over the engine and keeping your oil cool. Therefore oil
is the life blood of your engine. There is nothing that
will ruin an engine faster than low oil or no oil in the engine,
the only exception perhaps being a tight valve. The oil in
your engine must be changed every 3000 miles without fail, and
the level checked more often.
As in the case with valve adjustments
and other mechanical procedures, there are many great books out
on the market that can guide you through the oil change
procedure, the best being John Muir's "How to keep your
Volkswagen alive" manual. I highly recommend that
you get this book before starting your oil change.
There are other books on the market as well that detail the oil
change procedure. Back in the 70's I had a small hard
cover Haynes or Chilton air cooled repair manual as well as John
Muir's book. While it is not an overly complicated
procedure, there are steps you need to take that are different
than an oil change on a water cooled vehicle (like removing the
filter/screen from the engine sump area).
To perform the oil change the tools you
will need are available at your local hardware store.
1) An Oil Pan for catching and disposing of your old
2) A complete gasket kit for VW Oil Changes.
3) A cleaner for the oil screen ( I use an engine degreaser
4) Three quarts of oil.
5) 10mm Wrench
6) Large flat bladed screwdriver
I have done this procedure many
times and it usually takes me about a thirty minutes or so minutes for the oil
change. The hardest part of the oil change is just the laying on the
ground for the procedure.
This is a brief
introduction to performing the operation:
1) The Engine needs to be warm, so take it
for a quick spin around the block. The oil being warm is
essential for proper draining from the crankcase.
2) Lay on your back under the rear of
the car. You will see a round plate with six 10mm nuts
holding it in place. In the center of that plate is a
large nut; this is your oil plug. Remove the Oil plug with
your oil pan ready to catch the oil as it runs out of the
engine. Let it drain until the oil is no longer dripping
into your pan.
3) Next, remove the six nuts from the
round plate. The round plate holds the oil screen up
inside the engine. This oil screen is the only oil filter
that your VW engine has. Set the screen and plate to the
side for cleaning in solvent. Remove the old paper gaskets
from the plate and the bottom of the engine (sump) where you
Clean the screen and plate with solvent and blow out or let dry.
Install new paper gaskets on both sides of the oil screen and
push it into place with the plate working it up into the studs.
6) Replace the nuts and washers onto the
studs tightening them in a star pattern,
DO NOT over tighten these nuts or you will strip
them, a gentle tightening is all that they need.
7) Replace the large oil plug in the center of
the oil pan.
8) Go to the engine compartment and open the
oil filler cap and pour 2.5 quarts of oil into the engine and
check for any oil leakage.
9) Replace Oil Filler Cap.
10) Wait for five minutes for all the oil to
seep to the bottom of the crankcase
11) Check the level of the Oil on the
dipstick. If oil level should be between the two marks
(Low and High) on the dipstick, if it is low then add a little
12) Use a large screwdriver to loosen the
clamp on the air filter oil bath. Remove and air hoses attached to
the air filter. Gently remove the filter, unclip the top and
drain the oil into your recycle oil pan. Clean your filter and
add oil up to the line on the inside of the filter and replace
reversing the steps used to remove it.
13) Remove any wrenches from the engine
14) Start your engine - and again make sure there
are no oil leaks.