Where is the oil drain plug on my 1970 bug and how many quarts does it take? Would using synthetic oil in one this old make any sense?


Asked by Max Feb 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM about the 1970 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

How many quarts of oil does a 1970 bug hold.  Where is the drain plug  and would using synthetic oil make any sense?

4 Answers


the drain plug is in the middle of the car at the rear on the ribbed underside of the engine case.there is one center plug and 6 smaller nuts in a circle. these nuts allow you to clean the strainer .The capacity of oil is 5.3 pints(2.5 litres)I do not know the benefit of syntetic on this type of engine.I am only the owner of a'71 bug for a few months my engine is being rebuilt.One of the other bug owners might be able to tell us about the synthetic oil in an aircooled motor.I am curious. 9(

5 people found this helpful.

Personally I would not use a synthetic oil in this engine as these engines were designed when synthetic oils were not even around. Use a 'decent' 20w50 mineral oil and she will be happy as cheese. Besides these engines are known to 'use' oil aswell as leak a little.

4 people found this helpful.

You may not have a center drain plug. You should always remove the entire plate and replace the gasket after inspecting the strainer screen for metal and debris. Synthetic oil is fine, but the first time you put it in the engine, you should run the engine up to normal temperature and then drain out the mixture and refill with synthetic. The engine holds a lot of oil in the cooler and pump that will not drain out.

4 people found this helpful.

The engine holds 3.2 quarts of oil as I remember. During an oil change you replace 2.6 quarts, (2.5 liters). You absolutely do not want to run synthetic oil made for modern cars in the air cooled engine. You want to run straight 40 weight oil and preferably a small engine oil. If you want to run synthetic oil get an oil made for small engines or equipment. Most modern oils don't contain Zinc and several other chemicals because they are bad for the catalytic converter so car manufacturers asked the oil companies to leave them out. Since the oil companies paid for the chemicals they were more than happy to leave them out. Your air cooled engine will definitely be happier with them. Fortunately Amsoil and several other companies make oils for small engines that work well in your Beetle. Also if you can track down and re-install your Beetle thermostat the engine will literally last twice as long running the correct temperature. Beetles originally didn't have a drain plug as Volkswagen wanted to force you to clean the screen during the oil change. If you use sealer on the two little gaskets on the strainer I will hate you all the way into my next life. Trying to get the stuck gaskets from between those six 6mm studs is an exercise that I don't want to relive.

2 people found this helpful.

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