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Taking Care Of Your Bug

Recently the last Classic Volkswagen Beetle rolled of the assembly line. If I had to pick the one greatest car ever built it would be the Beetle. It was versatile, durable and fun to drive.
» Part 1: The Famous Beetle
» Part 2: Types Of Beetles
» Part 3: Valve Adjustment
» Part 4: Tune-ups

There are four types of Volkswagens with air-cooled engines: I, II, III, and IV.

  • Type I is what is known as a Bug, a Kafer, a Sedan, a Convertible, a Safari (The Thing) and Karmann Ghia. They were also known as a Beetle, Super Beetle and Luv Bug.
  • Type II is called a van, a Kombi, Station Wagon, A pickup, Bus, Camper, Transporter and a few choice other things. A lot of us were conceived in the back of one of these Micro-Buses back in the '60s.
  • Type III was called the Fastback, Squareback and Notchback.
  • Type IV was called the 411 two door, four door or wagon and the 412 two door, four door or wagon

There were seven different engines used over the years. The 1200, 1300, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800 and 2000 cc engines. All were air-cooled and it was extremely rare to see one with air conditioning. These engines would put out from 35 to 55 horsepower. I had a 1969 Bug and it would take about four days to get to 70 mph, but I could put a dollars worth of gas in it and drive it for three weeks. All these engines were basically the same thing and the techniques and procedures from one would work on all.

The one big drawback was the heating system. Since they were air cooled, getting heat into the cabin was always a chore. It was no big deal in Texas, but in Minnesota you would freeze your hind end off. There were some modifications you could do to increase heat output, but at best it would just take the chill out of the air. In the Bus, forget about ever being warm in the winter because the interior was so big there was no way that little heater would warm it up.

As sturdy and durable as they were, they, like any other car, needed regular maintenance. Oil changes needed to be done every 3,000 miles. This was due largely to the fact that they didn't have an oil filter as such. They had a screen that had to be removed, cleaned and put back in. The Type IV and Bus from 1972 on had a regular full flow oil filter. Changing the oil is pretty much the same as any other car.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4

Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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