Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide




See Figures 1 and 2

Engine oil level should be checked weekly. Always check the oil with the vehicle on level ground and after the engine has been shut off for about five minutes. The oil dipstick is either located on the front side of engine or on the driver's side near the fuel pump.

  1. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean.
  3. Reinsert the dipstick.
  5. Remove the dipstick again. The oil level should be between the two marks. The amount of oil needed to bring the level from the lower mark to the upper mark is approximately 1 quart (0.95L).
  7. Add oil through the capped opening on the top of the valve cover. Wipe up any spilled oil.

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Fig. Fig. 1: The engine oil dipstick is usually located on the side of the engine block

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Fig. Fig. 2: The oil level should be between the high and low marks


See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Change the oil according to the maintenance interval chart in this section. This interval is only for average driving. Change the oil and filter more frequently if your vehicle is being used under dusty conditions or in mostly stop-and-go city traffic, where acid and sludge buildup is a problem. When draining the oil, warm oil will flow easier and more contaminants will be removed. Dispose of use oil in accordance with state or local regulations.

It is recommended that you replace the filter every time the oil is changed.

  1. Run the engine until it reaches the normal operating temperature.
  3. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle on jackstands.
  5. Slide a drain pan under the oil pan drain plug.
  7. Loosen the drain plug with a socket or box wrench, and then remove it by hand. Push in lightly on the plug as you turn it out, so that no oil escapes until the plug is completely removed.
  9. While the oil is draining, check the condition of the copper gasket on the plug. If it looks split or badly deformed, replace it to avoid an oil leak.
  11. After the oil is drained, install the plug and torque it to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  13. On all models except Dasher, Quantum and Fox, the filter is located on the front of the engine block. On Dasher, Quantum and Fox models, it is located on the left side of the engine block. Reach in and turn the filter off counterclockwise. If it's tight, use a filter strap wrench.
  15. Carefully lower the filter from its mounting, direct the filter into the oil pan and drain it before disposal.
  17. Clean the oil filter seating area with a clean rag and make sure the old oil filter gasket is not sticking to the mounting base. This is important to avoid a leak.
  19. Lightly oil the rubber seal on the new filter and spin it onto the base. When the seal contacts the sealing surface, give it an additional 1 / 2 to 3 / 4 turn. Tightening the filter more than this will not improve sealing, but just make it harder to remove the next time.

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Fig. Fig. 3: Loosen the drain plug with a socket or box wrench, then remove it by hand

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Fig. Fig. 4: Always check the oil cooler for tightness when replacing the oil filter. If necessary, torque the oil cooler retaining nut to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm)

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Fig. Fig. 5: Before installing the new oil filter, coat its rubber gasket with clean oil

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Fig. Fig. 6: The oil filter should only be tightened by hand; do not use a strap wrench

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Fig. Fig. 7: The engine oil should be filled through the uncapped opening in the camshaft cover

  1. Refill the engine with the specified amount of new oil (refer to the Capacities Chart in this section). The empty containers can be used to return the used oil for recycling.
  3. Run the engine and check for leaks.