How to Remove a VW Beetle 1.8 Turbo Head Gasket

by James Marshall

The New Beetle comes equipped with a variety of engines, including a 1.8-liter engine with a turbocharger. The cylinder head in a New Beetle is a platform that sits on top of the engine block and forms part of the combustion chamber. A gasket between the cylinder head and engine block ensures a tight seal between the two components. The procedure for removing the cylinder head gasket in a New Beetle requires you to put the lock carrier in the service position. The lock carrier is the front assembly that includes the front bumper, headlights and radiator support.


Disconnect the front bumper from the lock carrier with a socket wrench. Remove any electrical wiring needed to move the lock carrier into the service position. Disconnect the quick-release screws from the front insulation panel. Then, remove the air guide between the air filter and lock carrier. Release the retaining clamps that attach the wiring harness to the left radiator frame.


Remove the No. 2 mounting bolts from the lock carrier with a socket wrench and support it with Support 3369. Remove the remaining mounting bolts from the lock carrier and pull the lock carrier out as far as it will go. Fasten 6 mm bolts to the lock carrier and fender to secure the lock carrier in place.


Disconnect the cable from the negative battery terminal to ensure the engine doesn't start while you are removing the cylinder head gasket. Detach the cooling fan drive belt from its pulleys and remove the cooling fan from the engine.


Drain the coolant from the radiator into a container and store for later use. Disconnect the intake manifold from the engine with a socket wrench. Detach the accessory drive belts from their pulleys.


Remove the regulator valves for the wastegate bypass and the evaporative emissions canister from the engine with a socket wrench. Detach the mass airflow sensor from the engine.


Disconnect the housing for the air cleaner with a socket wrench. Detach the wiring harnesses for the engine-coolant temperature sensor and any other electrical components needed to access the cylinder head. Detach the breather line from the crankcase.


Remove the fuel lines and oil line from the cylinder head. Disconnect the heat shield and turbocharger from the exhaust manifold with a socket wrench. Detach the coolant hose from the rear of the cylinder head.


Detach the upper cover for the timing belt with a socket wrench. Turn the crankshaft clockwise to align the timing mark on the crankshaft with the top dead center mark on the crankcase. Loosen the Torx bolt on the timing belt tensioner with a T45 Torx wrench and push the tensioner down to relieve the tension on the timing belt.


Remove the timing belt from the gear of the camshaft, and remove the Torx bolt from the timing belt tensioner with the T45 Torx wrench. Rotate the bracket for the timing belt tensioner forward to access the valve cover and then remove the valve cover with a socket wrench.


Disconnect the mounting bolts for the cylinder head with a socket wrench. Lift the cylinder head from the engine block and remove the gasket from the engine block. Clean the remaining traces of gasket material from the cylinder head and engine block with a gasket scraper. Clean the bolt holes on the cylinder head with a shop cloth and blow them dry with compressed air.

Items you will need

About the Author

James Marshall began writing professionally in 2006. He specializes in health articles for content providers such as eHow. Marshall has a Bachelor of Science in biology and mathematics, with minors in chemistry and computer science, from Stephen F. Austin University.