Tom's Baja Bug

VW Beetle Repair
and Photos



FAQ 104

Question: heres my problem? I have a 1972 super beetle that never gives me problems until now. Last week I started it up and it was running but a little rough,then it back fired and would not idle. I looked at the motor and the ground was flooded with oil,the oil was coming from a hose on the "AIR CLEANER"? from where you put oil in the engine. I was told this model & year has a oil bath air filter? also the air cleaner was full of oil? I took it off and started the car again,and it fired right up and ran,but the oil still was coming out that hose,also I think theres gas mixed with the oil coming out the hose,what do you think? I talked to a auto shop and they said the motor was BLOWN UP? and I need to replace the motor? if this is true and it is blown up,how come it still starts and runs?I hope you can tell me what happen and how I can fix it myself without replaceing the


P.S. I know your behind answering problems,but this is my

only transportation I have,and I cant afford to put it in the shop.

Answer: If the oil is coming out of the crank case breather hose, then yes, you probably have a serious problem. Normally, there is a gentle puff of somewhat oily smelling air that comes out of the crank. When the engine gets older, the stream of crank gasses increases, and can be a little


It never hurts to get a second opinion about something like this.

Even an engine with really bad compression rings might run ok. If some part were actually cracked open, it would probably run rough.

You could get a decent quality compression checker and check the compression, or have a good shop check it. I'm guessing that the compression on one or more cylinders is very low.

If you drain the oil, and remove the oil screen, is there bits of metal or junk in the screen? That is a sign that bearing shells or piston rings are coming apart, and that's bad.

Or you could just get a used or rebuilt engine. Sadly, you are looking at $1000 of repairs. Doing a used engine yourself would run at least $200 just for a fair quality used engine. You always need a few assorted parts (gaskets mostly). Good rebuilt engine are no less than $700, and if you get it from the right place you can get a good one for that price (shipping is extra).

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