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How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot Paperback – August 29, 2001


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Frequently Bought Together

How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot + How to Rebuild Your Volkswagen air-Cooled Engine (All models, 1961 and up) + Volkswagen Official Service Manual Super Beetle, Beetle & Karmann Ghia: 1970-1979
Price for all three: $73.62

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Product Details

  • Series: How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 19th edition (August 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566913101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566913102
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Muir, mechanic, author, and the publisher, wrote the original How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive in 1969. He died in 1977.

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Customer Reviews

It is very clear and easy to read and understand.
Pat Elliano
This book walked me through everything I needed to know to get home.
mike
This book is a must have for anyone who owns a vw!!!!
CRD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 84 people found the following review helpful By J. LaTorre on June 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, my credentials for this review. From 1971 to 1994 (with insignificant gaps), I've owned and driven three Vokswagen buses (not including a parts bus)and used this manual to keep all of them on the road. As of this writing, I'm driving my fourth bus. I've gone through four copies of the Idiot Book, using each one until it either fell to pieces, became illegible from grease and oil stains, or needed to be updated as I bought a later-model bus. It has guided me through six or seven engine rebuilds (I used my engines very, very hard) and God knows how many other procedures ... I think that I've done every single procedure in the book that applied to my particular makes and models. And using this book, I've done work on various WV bugs, buses, and squarebacks that belonged to friends of mine.
I agree with everybody who calls this the indispensable reference for VW owners. I also agree with those who point out its shortcomings. Muir quotes a friend of his, on a review of another VW book. as saying "I agree one hundred percent with ninety percent of what he says." That could also apply to my own feelings about this book.
As a technical manual, it mostly consists of solid information -- solid enough, anyway, to get you back on the road so you can find somebody to show you how to do it the right way. I've always advised a prospective repairer to own both this book and another manual (my favorite was the green Volkswagen Official Service Manual, also called the "Bentley"), read the Muir write-up first to get a general idea of what to do, and then compare it to the other manual, note the differences, and ask somebody why the differences are there. Usually it's because Muir assumes you're making do with a minimum of tools, or are too cash-strapped to make a proper fix.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ofir Bitton on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Don't
even think about touching anything else on your car till you read it cover
to cover. It, for lack of a better term, is THE aircooled bible. It is
written for the VW driver that knows NOTHING about anything mechanical or
electrical.
THIS is the best (...)you
can spend on your car.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David Owens on July 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first bought this book back in the 70's, when I think Muir was still alive. It completely captured the hippie, VW era, of which I was a part of, in Big Sur, CA. Step by step instructions for everything VW. Today, I am going to buy it just to read and remember an era long past, and wish I could bring back. I am glad it is still in print, because it perfectly matches the machine with the intended owners. I realize the Eurovan crowd will not be doing any repairs, but for those with 70-80's era buses, it is a must have.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By W.D. Carter on May 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, but I own a rare 1969 Auto Stick Beetle. After buying the book from a Motorworks dealer in New Jersey, I found to my dismay that the book contains no information or help for the auto stick owners. Despite this, the book is a great help for other VW issues. I especially like the illustrations. Many of them are funny, interesting and awesome especially for Bug fanatics like myself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. OConnell on September 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I had a '72 Super Beetle, from 1973 to 1977, and kept it running using this book. I did all sorts of procedures using the book--tune-ups with setting the valve clearance (many times), replacing my muffler, heater box, clutch cable replacement, and changing my leaking fuel pump once in 15 minutes in the auto parts store lot--without the book.

The book is very good for general procedures, but it's really worthwhile to also have the model specific repair manual for your VW. There are subtle differences between each year, and the factory manual is helpful in figuring out what to do when the book doesn't look like Muir's illustration.

One time to let a pro take care of things--In the 90s, my son's fuel injected Bug with a damaged injector was just too much for us, even with my son's copy of Muir and the factory manual. Fortunately we knew a competent Bug mechanic (VW dealers can't repair them anymore--no parts or tribal knowledge), and got him running again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Norris on June 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the ultimate guide for keeping your Volkswagen up to speed. The diagrams show it the way it really is - not a computer generated drawing. This way, you truly know how it looks when you get in there and what to do with all the stuff! Computer drawings throw you off base and can be confusing because they do not truly represent what's in there.

It's truly for the "idiot." The text is down to earth and humorous at times. I highly recommend this book for someone who is going to be working on a Volkswagen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Reid on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose it could be printed on washable or oil/waterproof material.

The book has enough humor in it that it's enjoyable as casual reading. Better than listening to "Car Talk."

It's organized well and exceedingly informative, even giving details about where those loose nuts are likely to fall (the Volkswagen's nut's not Tom & Ray). John must have been a Volkswagen god.

The artwork is in the style of the 60s' cartoons, but still are clear.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marco Lazarini on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can I tell about a book in 19th edition? Excellent organization, very useful information, great writing style. You don't have to understand about mechanics to read - if you already have a VW Bug or Bus, you can put all you readings in practice as soon as you finish page 10. I'm very satisfied.
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