Oil for 1968 VW Beetle

Messages
816
Location
McGregor TX
My dad has a 1968 VW Beetle that has been in the family since brand new. It only has around 55K miles on it. It has a slow oil leak and I was looking for some advice. I believe he uses conventional 10W30 in it now. Would going to a slightly heavier oil help the slow leak? What about a high-mileage engine oil? I don't know much about air-cooled engines and wouldn't want to put something heavier in it (10W40, 15W40, 20W50???) in it without asking advice first. Thanks, David
 
Messages
4,643
Location
The Garden State
I had a new in 1972 [Big Grin] VW Beetle that called for a straight 20 weight in the winter and a straight 30 weight in the summer. I seem to remember the owner's manual stating not to use a multigrade oil. Of course the multigrade oils 30 years ago were not the same as today's multigrade oils. Since you're in Texas you could probably use a thicker HD straight 30 weight oil with good success. Whimsey
 

TC

Messages
1,644
Location
California
I pulled out my 1973 edition of "Petersen's General Auto Repair Manual" (the Petersen's Publishing folks) and scoped the section on V-Dubs. It states: "SAE 30 oil is recommended for temps above freezing, although many owners use multi-viscosity year-round. Below freezing a SAE 10W oil is used, and if temps stay below -13F, SAE 5W is called for. Oil is changed the first 300 miles and then every 3,000 miles thereafter."
 
Messages
666
Location
Triad, NC
I grew up in Beetle country (Germany) and had a few when i was in high school. They run extremely hot since aircooled and have very loose tolerances. I would go with a good dino 20W-50, no synth or the engine willeak more oil than you can pour in ......
 
Messages
866
Location
OH, US
We run redline 20w50 in all of our VW aircooled engines(67 beetle, 67 camper, 74 thing, 93 van). Havn't had any problems on any of them changing once a year. --Matt
 
Messages
79
Location
Texas
Whimsey is right on. The heaviest monograde oil you can start the engine with will give you the lowest cylinder wear. In summer, you might try a 40. I wouldn't recommend any multigrade or syn.
 
Messages
38
Location
N.C
Hi I Had a 1970 bug that i fully restored(but the second day i drove it was t-boned at 55 in the drivers side door)RIP! Anyway everyone I have ever talked to has said to run a strait 30weight, Kendall was a favorite for a lot of old timers. But I would run a 10w30 it were me. or 15-40 HD oil. and a bug had no oil filter so change it every 3k, I mean it only holds 3 quarts so its Like 5$ to change it. BTW ALL BUGS LEAK OIL don’t worry about it. (IT probably around the pushrod seals and that is common)
 
Messages
4,468
Location
Central Arkansastan
I have done many VW's in the past. They don't all leak, if they are built right. the oil I recommend and used in ALL builds was 10w-30 in winter, and straight 30w in summer. 20w-50 will work, but does cause head temps to run higher, and drops mileage. If all the engine tin is there, the original oil cooler is there, and in the right place, and no oil pump 'mods' have been done, then the 30w is all you need. If you still fear that this is too thin, then moving up to a 15w-40 would be the max for my recommendation. if you need more info feel free to contact me.
 
Messages
951
Location
Loveland, Colorado
The best running Bug I ever had (I've owned three), I ran it in Southern California on Castrol 20W-50. These days, I'd probably run Mobil's Delvac 1300 Super 15W-40.
 
Top