How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot

How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot


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First published in 1969, this classic manual of automotive repair equips VW owners with the practical skills to keep their Volkswagen running smoothly. Inside you'll find:

  • Expert knowledge on any air-cooled Volkswagen built through 1978, including Bugs, Karmann Ghias, vans, and campers
  • Easy-to-understand, fun-to-read information for novice and veteran mechanics alike, with anecdotal descriptions and clear language to help take the mystery out of diagnostic, maintenance, and repair procedures
  • Trusted advice from the late John Muir, whose in-depth knowledge and sense of humor have guided Volkswagen enthusiasts for nearly 50 years
  • Hand-lettered with intricate hand-drawn illustrations throughout
  • Updated information on problem-solving, with new photos and an updated resource list

Packed with trusted insight, troubleshooting tips, and clear directions, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive is the ultimate VW manual.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566913102
Publisher: Avalon Publishing
Publication date: 08/29/2001
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 153,497
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 10.87(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

John Muir (1918-1977) was a writer, mechanic, and expert on the maintenance and repair of Volkswagens. Originally a structural engineer working for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, in the 1960s he quit his job to become a writer and car mechanic in Taos, New Mexico.

In 1969, Muir collaborated with the artist Peter Aschwanden to create the definitive manual for Volkswagen owners, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive; A Manual of Step-By-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot. The first edition sold more than two million copies.

In November 1977, Muir passed away from a brain tumor. His self-published first edition is considered one of the most successful self-published books in history, and his manual remains the definitive guide for VW owners.

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How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
corrado More than 1 year ago
This is the second time I've purchased this book, because mine had so much wear, tear, oil, coolant, road grime, and minor fire damage i thought it was time for a new one. when I began learning about cars, this was the most important resource to me. The engine components are all illustrated in fantastic exploded and cartoonish detail, making it so easy to understand cars from the ground up. Filled with funny cartoons, witty writing and a a mellow dose of hippy attitude, this book helped me realize that I can work on cars with confidence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so good I have 2 copies, one for the garage where I work on my 69 beetle and one that I have inside just to read. Muir has a way of stating what would be obvious to a mechanic in such a way that I dont feel insulted. I highly recomend this book for anyone who owns an old VW. I 'female with no prior mechanical experience' changed the clutch and restored my car to working order. Easy to follow with great descriptions and interesting personal stories from the author. Very good book if your at all interested in VW Beetles, Busses, or Ghias.
Dewbie More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I could find for easy instructions on how to care for aircooled VW's. Trying to restore and work on my own and not being mechanically inclined I find this book was easy to follow with explanations I could understand. This is the second time I purchased this same book, as it was stolen a couple years ago when I had the car in for some welding, so there you go, even some professionals thought so much of the book they went so far as to steal it. Trust me its worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book originally back in 1987 when I bought a 1969 VW Beetle. I was a student without very many tools. After reading this book I learned how to shift without the clutch (a lesson I needed when my clutch cable broke!) It also gave great tips on how to fix the VW on shoestring budget. It is not a detailed manual, but it does get you back on the road fast! It also gives great troubleshooting advice and some tips that only living with the Bug a long time can bring. Well worth the price! By the way, it's great just to read for the stories. Almost like 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' without being so serious.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book for newbies, has information on just about everything, not as detailed as a service manual, but for the common driver it will help greatly.