Updated: 11-Jul-2023

Maintenance Schedule (based on owner's & repair manuals listed schedules)


Check and, if need be, adjust:
  • Oil and coolant level (read the gauges: is the car still running at proper temps and pressures?)
  • Battery (read the gauge & multi-meter: is the charging system working as it should?)
  • Tires, tire pressure
  • Lights
  • ATF (automatic trans.)
  • Belts (loose? too tight? cracked?)
Wash/clean car, inside and out, including wheels.


Weekly maintenance plus:
  • Check brake fluid level
  • Hoses (leaks? cracks? soft?)
  • Windshield wiper blades, washer fluid level
  • Spare tire air pressure
  • Clean the engine compartment and car's underbody

Every 7,500 Miles or 6 Months

  • Oil & oil filter change*
  • Check freeplay of clutch & adjust if necessary (excluding models w/ self-adjusting clutch)
  • Check operation of automatic shiftlock ('90+ with auto trans.)
  • Check for fluid leaks
  1. If changing oil types (ex: mineral oil to synthetic oil), perform an engine oil flush before filling with new oil.
  2. Always put a thin film of new oil on the filter's seal before installing the new filter! Always!
  3. Changing the oil every 5,000 miles is a better mileage interval for these cars.

Every 15,000 miles or 12 months

Preceding, plus:
  • Replace/clean air filter
  • Check valve clearance and adjust if necessary; replace cylinder head cover gaskets
  • Check brake fluid level and add if necessary
  • Check coolant level and add if necessary
  • OBD I: check fault code memory, purge if necessary
  • Check power steering fluid level and add if necessary
  • Check power top pump (if equipped) fluid level and add if necessary
  • Check ATF fluid and add if necessary (auto trans. only)
  • Auto transaxle final drive: check for leaks and oil level
  • Inspect brake hoses, brake pads, brake shoes, rotors for wear
  • Lubricate door check rods
  • Check CV joint boots for damage
  • Check exhaust system for leaks and damage
  • Inspect ball joint dust seals, drive axles, and CV joint boots
  • Check aiming of headlights and adjust if necessary
  • Check manual trans. for leaks and oil level
  • Inspect steering rack, tie rod ends and tie rods
  • Inspect wheels and tires
  • Check idle speed and adjust if necessary

Every 30,000 miles or 2 years

Preceding, plus:
  • Check engine compression
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Inspect distributor cap, rotor, spark plug wires and replace if necessary*
  • Replace spark plugs*
  • Replace oxygen sensor (up to '87)
  • Drain and flush cooling system; replace with new coolant
  • Check condition and tension of V-belts; adjust or replace as needed
  • Drain and replace ATF and replace filter (auto trans. only)
  • Replace brake fluid
  • Check dust seals on ball joints, steering tie rod ends, and tie rods for wear and damage
  • Check all vacuum hoses and connections for wear and leaks
*It is advised that you use Bosch ignition components and NGK spark plugs. See the ignition page for more details.

Every 60,000 miles or 4 years

Preceding, plus:
  • Replace cooling system hoses
  • Replace camshaft timing belt
  • Replace oxygen sensor ('88-'93)
  • Replace V-belts

Tools & Spare Parts for DIY Repairs & Maintenance*

Basic Tools

  • Jack & jack stands (do not use the jack in your trunk & never, ever use just a jack to hold up the car when doing maintenance/repairs!)
  • Lug wrench
  • Flashlight & work light
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips & flat-head)
  • Ratchet handles
  • 3/8" drive metric socket set (6mm-19mm) + a couple extensions
  • Spark plug socket (13/16")
  • Box/Open end combo wrenches (6mm - 22mm)
  • Pocket knife
  • Oil filter wrench & oil drain pan
  • Allen wrenches
  • Chisel & punch set
  • Torque wrench
  • Hacksaw and blades
  • Silicone lubricant
  • Electrical wire (12" piece of 14 gauge wire with a small spade connector on each end & a replaceable 8 amp fuse in the middle -- testing jumper wire)
  • Wire crimper/cutter/stripper
  • Magnet with an extendable handle
  • Files
  • Pliers & Vice grip pliers
  • Adjustable crescent wrench
  • Feeler gauges & plug gapper
  • Filler hose (automatics)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Rubber mallet, deadblow hammer
  • Tire gauge
  • Masking tape & duct tape
  • Safety goggles
  • Electrical tape
  • Baggies
  • Pen & notepad
  • Carb, brake cleaners
  • Lithium grease

Intermediate Tools

Basic tools, plus:
  • Test light
  • Timing light
  • Dwell/duty cycle meter
  • Tachometer
  • Multi-meter or volt-ohm meter
  • Compression tester
  • Injector puller
  • Vacuum pump/brake bleeder
  • Fuel pressure gauge
  • CV joint tool
  • 1/2" drive metric sockets
  • Socket adapter (1/2" to 3/8")
  • Plastic hose (1.20mm piece of 4mm plastic hose)
  • Bar (18" iron bar with a point on one end and a chisel on the other)
  • Ball peen hammer
  • Small plastic containers w/ lids
  • Breaker bar (1/2" drive, 24" long)
  • Cheater bar (3 foot piece of 2" pipe to slip over the end of the breaker bar)

Advanced Tools

Basic & Intermediate Tools plus:
  • Electric drill & high-speed bits
  • Impact wrench
  • Deep socket set (8mm-19mm)
  • 1/4" drive socket set
  • Set of easy outs (for removing broken studs and bolts)
  • Metric tap and die set (to restore bad threads or make new ones)
  • Bar (24" wrecking bar)
  • Butane torch set
  • Circlip pliers
  • Ring compressor
  • Ridge reamer
  • Spring compressor
  • Hammers
  • Big tool box with drawers
  • Triple-square set ("serrated bits" at NAPA)
    • 6mm (NAPA part #nbs-206m)
    • 8mm (NAPA part #nbs-208m)
    • 10mm (NAPA part #nts-210m)
    • 12mm (NAPA part #nts-212m)

In-car Spare Parts

  • Distributor cap and rotor
  • Clutch cable (manual trans.)
  • Spark plugs
  • Fuses, bulbs & fuel pump relay
  • V-Belts
  • Oil
  • Fuel injector O-rings
  • Pre-mixed coolant
  • Misc. metric tools, pliers, etc.
  • Jumper cables
  • Upper & lower radiator hoses
  • Wiper blades
  • Nylon tow strap

In-Your-Garage Spare Parts

  • Heavy-duty brake fluid
  • CV joint grease
  • Clamps (13mm-50mm)
  • Electrical wire (various lengths & gauges)
  • Various push-on electrical connectors
  • Injector and brake cleaners

* * Remember, you are responsible for working on your car; this web site's creator, VAG, VWoA, or anyone else are not responsible if anything goes wrong while you are working on, in and under your car! * *