How Do You Change a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle's Motor Oil?

Updated February 21, 2017

Changing a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle's motor oil is no more difficult than changing the oil on a typical American-made vehicle. Many people take their Volkswagen to a dealer or oil-change centre, but you can change the oil and filter in your own garage.

Drive the Beetle onto a set of ramps to give clearance under the front of the vehicle. Set the parking brake to ensure the Beetle does not roll backwards while you are under it.

Remove the plastic engine cover located directly under the engine by removing the Torx bolts with a T-20 Torx driver. This exposes the oil filter and the oil drain plug.

Place the drain pan directly under the oil drain plug and remove the drain plug with a 19-millimeter wrench or socket. Allow all of the oil to drain out of the engine. Replace the metal plug gasket that came with the new filter and replace the plug. Do not overtighten it.

Locate the oil filter on the passenger side of the vehicle. From underneath the vehicle, locate the lower radiator hose. The filter is just above the hose. Place the drain pan under the oil filter.

Connect the ratchet extension bar to the ratchet and connect the oil filter wrench to the extension bar. You will not be able to use an older-style band-clamp oil filter wrench for the Beetle. Slide the wrench onto the bottom of the oil filter and then remove the filter. Oil will drain out as you unscrew the filter. Place the filter in the drain pan. Allow all of the oil to drain out of the oil filter pickup tube.

Use a clean rag to wipe the filter's mating surface on the engine clean. Smear a small amount of new oil around the rubber gasket on the new filter. Thread the filter onto the oil filter pickup tube with your fingers. Once you feel the gasket make contact, use the filter wrench to tighten the filter one more full turn--no more. If you overtighten the filter, you may split the rubber gasket.

Remove the oil filler cap located on the valve cover (top of the engine) and use a clean funnel to pour 4.5 quarts of motor oil into the engine. Start the engine and let it idle for one minute. Check for leaks around the drain plug and oil filter.

Wipe off any motor oil that might have spilt onto the engine from both the top of the engine and the bottom of the engine.

Secure the skid plate onto the bottom of the engine with the T-20 Torx bolts. Drive the Beetle off the ramps and check the oil level.


Use a good quality motor oil. The correct weight may depend on the season; if you live in a four-season area, you may need a lighter weight in the winter. Refer to your owner's manual. For most temperatures, 10W-30 is the correct weight.

Things You'll Need

  • Front end ramps
  • T-20 Torx driver
  • Drain pan
  • 19 millimetre wrench
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Ratchet driver
  • Ratchet extension bar
  • Oil filter
  • Five quarts of motor oil
  • Towel
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Since 2006 Zyon Silket has been writing for companies such as SEOWhat, L&C Freelancing and T-Mobile Wireless. He has extensive experience working in supervisory roles within the wireless and Internet technologies fields. Silket is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in business management and network technologies at Lehigh Carbon Community College.