1970 VW Bug and heat

Asked by Feb 05, 2013 at 11:37 AM about the 1970 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Does the 1970 VW Bug get any warmth into the cab enough to keep the windows defrosted and the driver
comfortable enough to drive? I live in Washington State where it gets to 20 degrees.

5 Answers


As I recall, the beetle has a series of tunnels that take heat from the exhaust pipes and send it to the interior. Not a great system to start with. As the vehicle ages, the tunnels rust and heat is lost. -- Check out this YouTube video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDD2r2P-oJQ

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Sorry...NO! It should keep the window clear after you scrape it while the engine runs.

behind the engine flywheel you will see the 3" bellows from the left and right side hot air heat exchanger hot air output. Turn on and off with blade valve connected to the heat valve in front of the Ebrake. heat exchanger left and right. All air hoses under hood should be there. This system will melt your runners on the highway but if you keep the rpms low in the city, you will freeze.


The 1970 bug has levers between the seats,which when pulled up, turn on the heat by opening doors inside the heater boxes on the engine. Often the cables connecting the levers with the heater boxes corrode or break. Lift up the car and inspect the cable ends where they attach to the heater boxes. Have an assistant lift and depress/open and close the levers while watching to see if they're working on the heater box end. Also check the flexible hoses connecting the engine heater boxes and the car body to be sure they're relatively airtight. Then if you have warm air reaching the front of the car (in floor and on windshield)...but just not ENOUGH of it or enough heat/warmth, you may want to install an electric fan under the rear seat (by removing a section of the heat channel and replacing it with a small squirrel-cage fan and hose (these units used to be available from JC Whitney). With an electric fan added, you will have sufficient heat at 20 degrees and below. They are generally installed on the drivers side.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Since the VW Beetle had an air-cool engine it was very difficult to have sufficent heat to defrost the front winshield. I personally experient different techniques. One I diffinetly was the gas bomb up-front (gas-heater). My best result was to use the second stage oil pump located behind the pulley at bottom of the engine. You simply removed the pulley and took-off the oil cover by removing the 4 bolts. Once you did that you replace the pump for one of the semi-automatic. By doing so you would be able to connect the In and Out hose therefore once the engine got nice and hot this principle acting as a cool-off unit for the oil would also heat-up the anti-freeze and since the anti-freeze would circulate through this second stage you would have heat up-front for the defrost. The rest regarding the hook-up is simple. If for any reason you find the anti-freeze wasn't getting hot enough, then you would detour the anti- freeze through tubing being wrap around the exhaust therefore creating more hot antifreeze. A splitter valve would be installed providing more or less heat. I have kept all the designs and not push it into production.

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