How to Change the Coolant in a Volkswagen Beetle

Updated March 23, 2017

Your Volkswagen Beetle needs a way to keep internal operating temperatures in check. To do this, the beetle uses a coolant system similar to systems found in other vehicles. A coolant system cycles water and an antifreeze agent through the engine and draws heat away from the engine block, ensuring that engine components don't seize or fuse together due to extremely high operating temperatures. Over time, the coolant in your Volkswagen may become contaminated, so you'll need to know how to change it.

Allow the Beetle to cool down for several hours before working on the cooling system, then remove the radiator cap located on the top of the radiator.

Put a catch pan under the radiator to catch the coolant.

Open the drain using pliers and let all of the coolant mixture drain out into the catch pan.

Move the catch pan underneath the drain plug on the engine, loosen that plug and allow the remainder of the coolant drain out.

Run water from a garden hose through the coolant system. Put the end of the hose into the radiator cap opening and flush the system until you see clear water running from all of the drain plugs.

Close both drains.

Set the car's heat controls to their highest setting. In older Beetles, the heat is created from the heat generated from the exhaust, while newer Beetles have a modern heating unit.

Loosen the bleeder screw on the inlet housing to purge the system of air.

Pour in new coolant into the radiator cap opening.

Stop adding coolant when there are no more bubbles coming from the bleeder screw, then tighten the screw.

Continue to fill the radiator until it is full. Fill the reservoir tank until it reaches the upper mark on the tank.

Turn the engine on and wait for it to reach normal operating temperature. The cooing fan should turn on, indicating that the coolant is starting to cycle through the system. Wait until the upper radiator hose becomes hot to shut down off the engine.

Top off the reservoir tank if needed, and put the radiator cap back on.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh coolant solution (50 per cent coolant/50 per cent water)
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Catch pan for coolant
  • Pliers
  • Garden hose
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About the Author

I am a Registered Financial Consultant with 6 years experience in the financial services industry. I am trained in the financial planning process, with an emphasis in life insurance and annuity contracts. I have written for Demand Studios since 2009.