How to Clean the Intake Manifold on a New VW Beetle

Written by nathaniel miller
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The VW Beetle has been around for many years in one shape or another, and the new Beetles are better than ever. However, if your Beetle is beginning to sputter, miss, or "diesel" (continue to run after the ignition is turned off), you may need to clean the intake manifold on your engine. Cleaning the intake manifold is not difficult and can be performed in a single afternoon.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Can of engine cleaner treatment
  • Can of carburettor/intake cleaner
  • Socket set
  • Assortment of screwdrivers
  • Box end wrenches
  • Can of engine degreaser
  • Putty knife or scraper
  • Adjustable and needle-nose pliers
  • 2 wheel chocks

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  1. 1

    Add a good quality engine cleaner treatment to your gas tank. In addition, remove the air cleaner or air intake hose, and, with the car running, spray the carburettor/intake cleaner into the air intake hose. This may solve the problem, but if it does not, proceed to the next steps.

  2. 2

    Park the car on level ground. Disconnect the battery cables from the battery.

  3. 3

    Drain the cooling system enough to allow for the removal of coolant hoses, and then remove the hoses. Remove the air cleaner and any vacuum hoses located on the intake manifold. Mark all connections so that reinstallation will be easier.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the fuel line and plug so as not to allow fuel leakage onto the engine compartment. Disconnect all wiring connections from carburettor and mark for reinstallation.

  5. 5

    Choose the proper size socket and remove the intake mounting bolts. Detach the manifold along with carburettor from the engine. Remove the main part of the intake manifold gasket, being careful not to let any debris fall inside the engine. Fill the engine ports with clean, lint-free rags, and remove all remaining pieces of the old intake gasket with a scraper. Scrape clean the intake ports with a scraper or small knife blade to remove any excess carbon build-up on the intake ports.

  6. 6

    Wipe the mating surfaces of the engine and intake manifold with acetone cleaner. Remove all the rags from the engine ports and install the new manifold gasket. Install the intake manifold in position on the cylinder head, taking care to align the new gasket. Once you are sure the gasket is in the proper position, tighten the mounting bolts to the specified torque. Your local auto parts store can help with the specified torque and torquing sequence.

Tips and warnings

  • The engine should be completely cool when this procedure is done.

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