Engine temperature

Asked by May 25, 2018 at 09:51 AM about the 1976 Volkswagen Super Beetle

Question type: General

We are trying to sell our 1976 VW convertible. A potential buyer said if you grab
the oil stick and you cannot hold it (right after test driving) the engine is too hot
and he is afraid the engine is going bad. The temp was 167 degrees.

3 Answers


Proper oil temperature for any vehicle is between 220 and 240 F. As temps go higher, the worst thing that happens is the life of the oil is decreased. I think the 180 myth came from that being the

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Best Answer Mark helpful

Thanks, but what should the engine head temperature be?


I noticed that my previous answer was posted short and with missing words, it should have read: "Proper oil temperature for any vehicle with water cooled engine is between 220 and 240 F. For vehicles with air cooled engines, such as VW, oil temperature is in a safe operating range at 190-220 F under normal operating conditions and up to 260 F under heavy demand. Cylinder heads on air cooled engines can sustain temperatures in the range of 290 - 320 F. I think the 180 degrees myth came from that being that the water starts boiling at that range". And there is a mention about the dipstick test: "With the engine completely warmed up, grab the dip stick and pull it out. If you can just hold it without it burning your fingers, the engine temperature is OK. If it burns your fingers (and the engine will usually smell hot too), then the temperature is possibly as high as 285°F." I copied this information from a magazine article, Water Cooled vs Air Cooled Engines, printed in 1990. I just don't know what to say except, if the next buyer mentions the "dip stick", offer him a pair of gloves, just in case.

2 people found this helpful.

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