73 Beetle engine temperature drop?

Asked by Apr 09, 2017 at 09:45 PM about the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car will start up and run fine around town.
When running on the interstate the cylinder head
temperature will drop after a while and the engine
will lose power. I have noticed that when I turn the
heat on it only blows cold air when the cylinder
head temp has dropped. When I pull on the side of
the road the engine will warm up and drive fine for
a while and then start doing it again. When it
happens I will have the pedal to the floor and only
get 55 miles an hour when it will normally run in
the 80's.

What causes the engine to all the sudden run cold?

2 Answers


If this is a liquid cooled engine, and it looks like it could be, have the thermostat changed out. The thermostat controls the engine temperature.

I wish it was then I would have already been able to diagnose the thermostat problem. This is a 73 Beetle rear engine air cooled. I know a lot about regular engines but just learning about this air cooled puppy and I am at a loss on why it would do the same thing as a stuck open thermostat.

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