Misc tips and tricks New owners questions

From VW T25(T3)-Tech
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What is it called

Explanation as to the various names | The Brickyard, more information here.


This is such a difficult question to give a definitive answer for as it depends on so many variables rest assured you may be driving one of the least aerodynamic passenger vehicles on the road to day (I saw a 0.44 drag coefficient mentioned if that means anything to you, the T4 was 0.37 from memory)as a rule of thumb for a 1.9 petrol 20-25MPG seems to be average 2.1 not to dissimilar here are the wki pages covering it


Fuel economy unofficial

Washer bottle location:

On left hand side (nearside) under the carpet in the footwell.

Brake fluid resevoir:

Under the dashboard pod (behind speedometer) grab dash cowl/housing along the edge nearest the windscreen and pull up.

Oil Filler extension tube:

After you undo the the oil cap there is a narrower tube inside the outside one which telescopes out. Pull this out to give a better fill point. To keep the number plate flap open whilst you do this use jam the filler cap in the lower edge of the flap (also works with coolant filler cap) It takes a litre between the lowest point on the dipstick and the highest. Dont overfill as this can damage oil seals. Top up a little at a time, and give a while for the oil to settle into the sump before taking a reading. Ideally test with the van level and leave a good half anhour at least after it has been running to get an accurate reading. Check at least weekly.


VW G12+ is the current vw product, its pink, previous G11 was Blue. They CAN be mixed. (makes a nice mauve colour!) he T25 is prone to internal corrosion in the cylinder heads. It is imperitive you use the corect coolant at the correct strength (50/50 or 60/40 water to coolant in summer) to prevent leaks deleloping due to corrosion of cylinder head bolts. Top up tank is to the left of the number plate flap at the rear of the van, check at least weekly. There is another tank which you must open the engine bay to get to this is the header tank and should not need attention for routine maintenance. Also see Refilling and bleeding system

Dash board warning lights:

==== Oil light: ==== (Red LED on the right of center of the dash console on late models (post 85)It will come on solid with the ignition key in the first position, and should go out once your engine starts. If it comes on dimly occasionally whilst driving, the sensor may be faulty it does not necessarily mean you have low oil pressure. Check the oil level and maybe get your oil pressure checked. On late models (post '85)there is also a buzzer in the dash which may go off if the oil system thinks there is low oil pesssure. If you continue to drive and oil pressure IS low you will damage your engine. Also see Petrol engine oil changing

==== Coolant/temperature light: ==== Thermometer with needle on gauge. This will blink for the first 10 seconds or so after you start the van, this is normal. If coolant becomes low this light will flash,( it also flashes to warn of over temp, but gauge will show hot at the same time) the sensor for this is in the header tank, to get to this to top it up you need to open the engine bay. If the van has been running the contents of this will be near boiling be VERY careful removing the lid as you could be covered in hot coolant as the system is under pressure when hot. On late vans you can remove the rubber pipe from the cap on top, but if you want to unscrew ( older vans are "bayonet style 1/'2 turn)the cap just do it a little and allow the pressure to seep out gradually until the air stops coming out, only take the cap off when you are sure that there is no pressure remaining, use a rag to cover it whilst you do it. When it has cooled, Top it up, and also top up the top up tank whilst your there (behind the flap) try and find where your coolant is going. AVOID TOPPING UP AN EMPTY SYSTEM WHEN IT IS HOT, AS THIS CAN CRACK THE HEADS AND COOLING SYSTEM COMPONENTS. If you must top up a hot system that still has half a tank of coolant, remove the header tank lid and whilst engine is still running GRADUALLY pour in the cold so it mixes slowly with the existing or you could pre heat the water to mix with the coolant if you are in a camper. Be aware that coolant is poisonous, spillages should be washed away as animals are attracted to its sweet taste, keep out of the reach of children, away from foods etc, its an idea to keep the childproof topped containers for it.

==== Handbrake light: ==== (Not all early van have this) To the Left of the steering wheel, rectangular light whith a exclamation mark on it. This not only comes on when your hand bake is on, it is also your Brake fluid warning light, if it stays on when your handbrake is off your brake/clutch fluid is low ( or the handbrake light switch is faulty) see above for brake fluid location. If this is running low the brake fluid is leaking out somewhere you would be best not to drive the van until it is fixed!

==== Temperature gauge: ==== On the most common dash (ie no rev counter) the temperature gauge is at the top of the clock, A warmed up engine should be somewhere just to the right of centre of the gauge. There is quite some variation between vans though and between seasons. (if your clock is broken you could use the minute hand to compare against ;-)Anywhere from the centre edge of the white box on the left to the edge of the red box on the right is considered normal by VW manual, but dead centre is the "norm"

=== Petrol === All the petrol engines are capable of running on unleaded petrol. And LPG.

=== Rust === It is unlikely that your van has no rust, If you have bought it from a dealer/trader the may have tarted it up for sale by 'blowing it over' with a top coat of paint. The seams above the rear wheels (grooves in the bodywork panels), the front panel, the petrol filler cap area, under the window rubbers, the wheel arches, and lower edge of the tail gate and sliding door are the favourite places to start. Be warned these vans tend to rust from the inside out treating the outside will only ever be a temporary fix. Under your front wheel arches there are two plastic tanks these are your fuel tank breathers. They can also be a a potential rust trap. take them off and clean out behind them. When you take your van for a jet wash give plenty of atttention to the wheel arch areas particularly behind the lip of the wheel arch.

Spare Wheel

19mm bolt holds the spare wheel holder up at the front just behind the bumper undo it and pull the release strap watch yer pinkys though!

Heater controls

Top to right: windscreen to left: off (if side blowers are closed)

Middle to right: Heat on

Lower to right: Directs heat to feet

Caravelles also have a fourth lever, controlling the upper fresh air vents in the roof.

Where do I get parts

New parts suppliers