I just bought a 1971 Super Beetle that appears to have a 1973 engine from California (engine code AH439078).  The engine may have about 1,900 miles (as per the previous owner and the odometer).

I'm trying to figure out the best engine oil to use. I had read that non-detergent motor oil is preferrred since there is no oil filter, so I purchased some Accel non-detergent 20W oil.  On the back on the oil bottles it says "Not for use in automotive gasoline engines.".  A technical person at the 800 number on the bottles says the oil should not be used in any car newer than 1960. He also said the only reason to use a non-detergent oil would be in a very old engine where gunk could be freed up; probably not an issue with 1,900 miles.  He recommended just a regular 10W-30 detergent oil, or a detergent SAE 30 (the owner's manual doesn't mention detergent or non-detergent; it calls for "Service MS" oil -- SAE 40 for 70+ deg F, SAE 30 for 40-70 deg F, SAE 20W-20 for 5-40 deg F, and SAE 10W for -13 to 15 deg F).

Do you agree that a regular detergent 10W-30 (such as Castrol or Pennzoil) would be the best engine oil for winter driving (about 10-50 deg F on days I would likely drive it)?
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Hi Stan and thank you for joining our forum. Using a multi viscosity oil always almost makes sense, depending on where you live. The idea is the oil is thicker when it’s hot and thins out when it’s cold. If you live in a place where the climate is always hot or always cold you can go to a single weight oil. Your Beetle does not have an oil filter unless someone has modified the engine and installed one. When you change the oil you should clean the filter screen but it is usually not dirty. There is an article on changing the oil in the Tech Talk with Rick section of the site. I hope this helps!
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10w30 for winter and 20w50 for summer.
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