The mantra usually repeated over and over in VW circles always tries to hammer home the importance of performing engine tune-ups on a regular basis. Regular, of course, depends on the spokesman as some people tune-up their engines every few months, or as frequently as oil changes, and others might wait for the engine to tell them it is time. Personally, at a minimum, I do an engine tune-up every spring when the bus comes out of winter hibernation and after any repair work, but I will also tend to check everything again before long trips. Before children ate all my free time, I would sometimes do an engine check if not involved in some other maintenance task just to spend some time in the garage.
The basic tune-up includes adjustments to the valves, engine timing, and fuel delivery system (carburetors in my cases). Adjustments should be made in the sequence listed, but do not usually take a lot of time, maybe an hour or so with some practice. Fundamental tune-up information is found in any maintenance book of course: Bentley, Haynes, Chilton, The Idiots Guide, etc…, and, let’s not forget, the internet.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon these videos of vintage Volkswagen training filmstrips and could not resist posting them here. They are great, simple, introductions not only to the VW engine and maintenance, but engine theory as well. Plus they are just plain cool (kind of takes me back to the filmstrips of 2nd grade).