So a few weeks ago I confessed to my VW neglect due to college finals. I promised that once school finished up I would get back to working on my Little Bug seriously. Well my bug took me a little too seriously. Wednesday was my last final of the spring semester. I made it to school just fine, well almost. Pulling off the freeway, she started to choke and stuttered and engine even died. I managed to limp myself over to the closest parking lot and jumped out to investigate. At first glance everything seemed fine, but than slowly, drip, drip, drip, I discovered a steady drip of gasoline coming from around the carburetor.
Realizing there was nothing I really could do at that moment, I went to take my final and than had my mother come follow me as I drove home. I was horrified to do so, but I needed to get the car home and it only leaked gas when it was warm and began shutting off. I made it
None of my usual advisers, those tat guide me in my repairs, where getting back to me so I set into researching things myself. I read many websites and articles, but the one I found the most helpful was one on Rob and Dave’s Aircooled Volkswagen Pages. I found myself understanding what a carburetor does, but still was not sure how to fix it, so I found a local mechanic willing to look at my engine for free.
Alex at HAR in Rowland Heights helped me out. He pointed out where the gas leak was coming from and also helped me resolve a few oil leaks too, but that is another post. He recommended that I begin by buying a rebuild kit for the carburetor and he believed that would work. I did as he said and spent my Sunday rebuilding the carburetor.
Alex had told me that it was safe to drive since the leak was not heavy, so I had planned on drivingit to my boyfriend’s house, as he has a flat driveway. However the problem had got worse and my bug did not even make it off my street. We towed it.
At first I was very intimidated by the idea of rebuilding the carburetor. It just sounds like a daunting task. Once we got going though I realized it really was not that big of a deal. Many little parts, but as long as you stay organized it was pretty simple. Also keep an exploded view handy.
Everything went well, but it did not fix my problem. Initially it started up perfectly, and sounded wonderful. As it heated up though it started to stutter and skip and eventually die. This time though it actually overflowed with gasoline. It overflowed from right where the carburetor connects to the air filter. We took the air filter off and the top part of the carburetor where we discovered the float was bad. At this point all shops were already closed. Although I knew there was little hope, I spent all Memorial Day hunting and came up empty handed. So this morning I woke up and ordered my float. Hopefully I’ll be driving by this weekend.
Even though the rebuild did not fix my problem, it did make my bug run much smoother (initially) and I found some problems too. There were some carbon deposits, and the vacuum diaphragm was tweaked. Also, the float valve washer was completely rotten.