TECH TIP Technical Index

New Beetle Ė Euro Emblems

by Mike C. -

It often makes me wonder why the automakers do certain things for cars in certain countries where the regulations arenít an issue. One of these is the use of different VW emblems on the front and back of New Beetles. In the U.S. the emblems are chrome "VW" with the black inset. For European-spec cars, the emblems are the old traditional white "VW" with a blue background. To me, the Euro emblems really stand out on any color New Beetle and sets them apart from other U.S. spec New Beetles. The whole point is, why did VW do something different for the European market in this manner? None of us would need to pull our hair out trying to answer that question, but rather, Iíll tell you how to replace both front and rear emblems on the New Beetle so it will stand out from the crowd.

First off, the front emblem is the easiest, but the most risky, since pulling it off means getting awfully close to the paint using a screwdriver. One slip here could mean a deep gouge in the mile-deep paint that VW put on there at the factory. Replacing the rear emblem isnít as risky with the paint, but is involved with the mechanisms of the rear hatch handle and how it interfaces with the latch mechanism. What holds the rear emblem on is very simple. What you have to remove to get to it is something else entirely. Now Iím not saying that you shouldnít try this at home. Not at all! Most of us have owned the older air-cooled VWs in the past, or still do. Furthermore, the majority of the folks who own or have owned older VWs have to know their way around the mechanics of them. Just apply some of that creativity and ingenuity to what it takes to remove the rear emblem, and youíll do just fine. I highly recommend the Bentley manual on the New Beetle, since pictures are worth a thousand words. Otherwise, Iíll do my best to get you there in some thought-out wording.

Front Emblem

Iíll start with the front emblem first. Youíll need:

  • A new front Euro emblem*
  • Electrical tape
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Small straight-slot screwdriver
  • Adhesive remover
  • Cleaner/wax

 *Get from The Real Source or maybe the dealer.

  1. Tear off just enough electrical tape to wrap around the screwdriver once. This will minimize the danger of gouging the paint should you slip with the screwdriver.

  2. Very, very carefully wiggle the tip of the screwdriver under the rubber surround on the emblem.

  3. Once youíve done this, insert the screwdriver further underneath the emblem, angling up as you go. Once you are under the emblem about an inch, start pulling up on the screwdriver. Donít let the tip of the screwdriver contact the metal hood under the emblem. If you remove the emblem in that manner, you put more risk in distorting the metal around the emblem.

  4. Just keep pulling up. Pull hard, because the emblem is held on by double-stick trim tape, and that stuff sticks, by George! Yeah, youíre probably going to damage or destroy the old emblem pulling it off, but they leave you with no choice.

  5. Once it is off, you have the mess of the tape to clean off the hood where the emblem went. Soak a paper towel with the adhesive remover and daub it into the foam tape. Keep doing this for a few minutes and let the remover soak into and loosen the tape. Now rub the foam loose with the soaked paper towel. This is going to take patience, as the foam tape is a doozie to remove.

  6. After every trace of glue is removed, wipe the area dry with a clean paper towel to remove any residue. Take some cleaner/wax and wax around the emblem indentation in the hood. Donít wax the indentation itself or the emblem wonít stick very well.

  7. Note that there are two holes in the hood where the emblem went. Now take out your new emblem and look at the backside. There are two locating pins covered with plastic plugs.

  8. Leave the plugs on and remove the adhesive backing. Carefully position the pins over the two holes in the hood, and push firmly all the way in. Apply firm pressure to ensure that the adhesive back sticks well. Thatís all there is to replacing the front emblem!

Rear Emblem

The rear emblem, as I mentioned earlier, is not quite as easy as the front, but it is certainly not impossible. If you are mechanically-inclined and have some star tools, it will not be too bad a job. If you donít feel comfortable on this part of the task, consult someone who is familiar with this kind of thing, as there are hatch mechanisms to deal with. By all means, make good use of the Bentley manual for the New Beetle, as they have pictures that I canít put in the space of this newsletter. You will need the following:

  • new rear Euro emblem
  • pair of snips
  • 6mm star tool
  • medium Phillips screwdriver
  • small tie-wrap

  1. Open the rear hatch, get all your tools and lay them in the floorboard. Take off the flip-down cover and lay it aside. Do some contortionist acts and hop in the rear compartment.

  2. Look inside each handle recess in the plastic cover on the inside of the hatch. There are two Phillips screws that you have to remove.

  3. After that, tug on the cover using the handle recesses and it should snap off. If any clips come out and land on the floor, put them back in where they came out.

  4. Now there are two wiring harness plugs you need to undo. One is at the hatch release motor and the other is down at the lock mechanism itself. Just pull these off and let them hang.

  5. Snip off the tie wrap that keeps the wire from flopping at the bottom connector.

  6. There is a long rod that connects the white bellcrank at the release motor to the lock at the bottom of the hatch. Unclip this rod, being careful not to lose or break the plastic bushings that the rod inserts into.

  7. See the strangely-shaped black metal bracket that the wires are attached to? There are three Phillips screws that hold this on. Take out the screws and move this bracket aside.

  8. By now, you can see the shiny chrome base from inside, where the emblem is mounted. There are three 6mm star-bit bolts that hold this base together. Take these out and pull the carrier and base out from the outside of the hatch.

  9. The emblem is held on by an e-clip. Remove the e-clip and pull the old emblem out.

  10. Just slide the new emblem in, put the e-clip back in, and go through these instructions in reverse order to put everything back together.

  11. Once you have everything bolted back in, give the emblems a coat of wax to help them shine their best.

Replacing these two emblems provides a subtle, but distinctive look that sets you apart from the "everyday" New Beetle. It gives you something to talk about with your VW buddies on the bratwurst cruise-in!

Your VW Maniac and tech specialist,
Mike C.