VW Beetle with 3 1/2 cylinders

Years ago we had a 1970 VW Combi (minibus). We had the same symptoms and the dealer had checked everything and finally wanted to replace the short engine. On advice from a friend my dad took the car to an indy who changed the distributor cap and plug leads. He said this was a common problem. The car ran for the next 20 years with the original engine in before we sold it. Might be worth the caller checking that out before junking the car.

I want to know how they got to the engine by opening the hood.

I Can’t Listen To The Show. Our Area No Longer Receives It, But Junking A Vehicle Because Of Symptoms ?

Without knowing anything more, a beetle with 3-1/2 cylinders needs a compression check and valve adjustment (cold) at the very least in the way of diagnosis, before junking.

Any dealer mechanic or any mechanic who can’t tell the difference between an ignition problem and a compression problem is either incompetent or a crook.

What am I missing ?


You should try listening online, CSA, either on this site or by downloading the podcast using iTunes.

This is an old VW Beetle, and considering the overall condition of the car, the cost of a new engine is likely more than the value of the car. Still, I think an old gem like a VW Beetle should be preserved.

“You should try listening online, CSA, either on this site or by downloading the podcast using iTunes.”

I don’t think I’ve got the technology. My PC is on dial-up modem and I don’t know about downloading any podcasts using iTunes. That’s Greek to me. Can I do it ? I could ask my 16 year-old or 24 year-old for help, I suppose. They’re into electronic gizmos.


You can download iTunes for Windows for free at apple.com, but it’s going to take a long time to download it. It will also take a long time to download each podcast, but at least you won’t have to try to stream it.