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How to Increase MPG on a Classic VW Beetle

by Kari Livingston

Most classic cars are gas guzzlers, but the Classic VW Bug is an exception to the rule. It can get gas mileage that rivals that of many new hybrid vehicles. Here are some tips you can follow to push its inherent fuel efficiency even further and get the most out of your gas.

Check your fan operation frequently. Many VW Bugs can run hot, which puts additional, unnecessary strain on the engine. This can cause your fuel economy to dip. Check you fan operation whenever your fill your gas tank, especially in warmer weather. Make sure that there is no obstruction preventing the fan from turning freely.

Change your spark plugs regularly and make sure they are gapped correctly. A car that keeps missing can use excess fuel. Routine spark-plug care can help prevent this problem.

Shift into a higher gear as soon as safely possible. Revving your engine or driving in gear that is too low will use more fuel than smooth shifting.

Do not let your VW Bug idle for more than two minutes. If you are in a line are stopped at a traffic jam, turn off your engine.

Turn down your air conditioning. Make sure to use the recirculation feature in the climate-control system. Your car doesn't work as hard to cool recirculated air, leading to increased fuel savings.


  • Never turn your car off when it is unsafe to do so.
  • Keep your windows up. Rolling them down increases the wind drag on your car.
  • Keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer's suggested levels. Do not over-inflate your tires--it's dangerous!

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About the Author

Kari Livingston has been a freelance writer since 2007 with work appearing on various websites. She was also a special correspondent for the Log Cabin Democrat, an award-winning newspaper in Central Arkansas.

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