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My comments below. Toby Erkson email@example.com <-- Please use this address for email '72 VW Squareback 1.6L bored and stroked to 2.0L, Berg five-speed '75 Porsche 914 1.8L, ORPCA member Portland, Oregon, http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/8501/ >-----Original Message----- >Question one: Checking oil. Is this best to do with the car >warmed up (run car, turn it off, let sit 5 minutes, check oil) or just >straight up cold first thing in the morning. >How will my readings differ under the 2 circumstances? I recommend first thing in the morning on level ground. If you warm it up then you're putting some of the oil into the engine and other cavities thus your reading will be a tad less. If you check the oil after the engine has been running then wait 10-15 minutes before checking the level -- never check the oil directly after stopping the engine like what they want to do at some gas stations!!! >Question 2: As I have no tach and don't yet trust my hearing >to be a good gauge, what's some good speed's I can use as a rule of thumb >for what gear I should be in. >I have a 72 Squareback with dual (unfortunately, Weber) carbs. The reason Muir says you could drive so slow in a high gear is probably because he's talking about a FI engine -- they can do that, a carbed engine is different! I say trust your hearing over your friend's hearing. You don't want to lug the engine and it's your car any way. Unless, of course, your friend is a real knowledgeable VW fiend and you trust him/her without question (which sounds like they aren't and you don't). >I know these are the questions of a paranoid nervous obsessive >compulsive, but I hate the idea that I might be doing anything bad for the >car, and I'd like to be certain I can tell my friend "HEY, DAMMIT, YOU'RE >LUGGING THE ENGINE!" and know that I'm probably right. > >Any advice? Stay paranoid nervous obsessive compulsive and your car will last longer! :) As for engine braking it's not the gears that will wear out so much as the synchros when you shift gears. But I've found the VW tranny to be a tough little bugger and it's nothing you should worry about.