Vanagon Access Door & Oil Change Hacks

Changing oil today on a few vans and thought I would give some pointers.  First, are you tired of trying to hold the access door open?  Here is a simple hack.  Whether you are adding coolant or adding oil the cap removed on either can be used to hold the access door open.  It’s as if the door and cap were made for that very purpose.

The picture demonstrates this handy hack and keeps the door from flipping up.  It will not matter if you place the cap on the left or right side of the door but in this example, I chose the right.  Once you are ready to put the cap back on, simply open the door a bit, pull the cap and place it back on.

westslopewesty coolant oil access door held open

Second, extend your oil filler.  Yes, it is mentioned in your owner’s manual and the last time I referred to the Bentley, It is mentioned there too.  However, if you are new to the Vanagon world, you may not have either and may still be trying to fill the oil without extending the filler.  That’s right, when you remove the cap, the fill tube can be extended outward as pictured. Oil Fill Extension
This will put the filler in perfect position to fill with quart size oil bottles.  No more flexible funnels or trying to fill the oil from within.  Once done, simply slide the extension back into the fill tube.  Pull the cap from the access door and place it back on. Voila!

It is probably a good time to point out the proper poor method.  Regardless of whether you are filling your Vanagon or any other vehicle, you should always start your poor as shown below.  This method no only allows air to enter the bottle properly and allow for a smoother poor but it will give you more control of where the oil ends up. 

Now, I don’t normally keep quart size bottles but when I do, I approach the filler from the left hand side and then insert as shown in the photo below.  as the oil empties from the bottle, I simply rotate the bottle upwards to continue the flow of oil.  I allow the bottle to rest in the upward position for a few minutes to drain as much oil as possible.  Hope this helps, changing your oil early and often is one of the least expensive things you can do to keep your van on the road.


I will add to more hacks to this post soon.  Stay tuned for more oil and coolant reservoir hacks in future posts.

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