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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old January 30th, 2016, 01:09   #1
bigjake
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Default 2005 Jetta massive fuel leak

Hey guys,

so earlier today, my girlfriend and I were traveling to a nearby city to run some errands. As we started up Afton Mountain, I noticed my car was smoking. I needed to find a place to pull off, but Afton Mountain is a very dangerous stretch of highway with no shoulder. So I had to keep driving a few miles uphill until we got to a huge pull off. I turned off the car as soon as I pulled off and there was heavy smoke pouring out from under the hood at that point. It didn't smell like it was burning and I didn't feel abnormal amounts of heat, so I popped the hood. I noticed there had been a massive diesel leak on the right side of the engine. I traced the fuel lines from the fuel filter around the motor and everything looked good up until I got to the right side. AAA eventually took me and the car home, but I have yet to really look at it.

I've been poking around online and it looks like either a fuel line ruptured or the tandem pump catastrophically failed. The leak was so bad (it continued to leak fuel onto the rollback over an hour after it was shut off) that I feel like it was probably the tandem pump. But how was it that I was able to casually continue driving up hill with no loss of power until I shut the car off? Perhaps maybe it was a fuel line after all?
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Old January 30th, 2016, 04:36   #2
Tdijarhead
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Would that be rt 250 right after you get off of I 64?

You'll have to take a look , tandem pumps do spring leaks occasionally but then so do hoses.
Either way it shouldn't be to bad to replace. Idparts has the tandem pump and hoses also.
If it is a hose and you source locally, make sure it's rated for diesel or you'll be doing it again shortly.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 06:05   #3
jptbay
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Just had similar leak on our Bew wagon. Was a pin hole in the short fuel line going to the tandem pump from the metal fuel line on the valve cover.

New hoses are pricey as they are only available to buy in a package with the metal fuel lines.

I had a spare ALH fuel line and was able to cut out a similar bend in the molded line, and use that.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 06:17   #4
Dimitri16V
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Those hose that connect to the tandem pump leak over time

I replaced mine with polyurethane hoses
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Old January 30th, 2016, 09:34   #5
TDIGAZ
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Also check your thermostatic tee on the fuel filter, especially if you've done a fuel filter change lately.
A friend of mine had a hairline crack in the tee (which was not easy to see) and this caused a big fuel leak.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 14:08   #6
bigjake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdijarhead View Post
Would that be rt 250 right after you get off of I 64?

You'll have to take a look , tandem pumps do spring leaks occasionally but then so do hoses.
Either way it shouldn't be to bad to replace. Idparts has the tandem pump and hoses also.
If it is a hose and you source locally, make sure it's rated for diesel or you'll be doing it again shortly.
Yup! Sure is! I got caught on the big over look on 250 right before the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance. We were headed to Waynesboro.

I'm in the process of pulling it apart now. There was fuel sprayed on the top of the engine and I see no leaks in the tops of the fuel lines. The more I pull it apart, the more I'm suspecting it's the pump. Fingers crossed it's the hoses. I'll keep yall posted.

Last edited by bigjake; January 30th, 2016 at 14:10.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 14:12   #7
Tdijarhead
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Awesome view from the top heading down.

Did you find what was leaking yet?
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Old January 31st, 2016, 22:19   #8
bigjake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdijarhead View Post
Awesome view from the top heading down.

Did you find what was leaking yet?
I began tearing it down on Saturday but my work got cut short and I haven't been able to get back to it since. Most of that work consisted of getting crap out of the way to create space. I won't be able to continue work until tomorrow. My stopping point was, I was able to pull the pump's top hose off which was fine. That leaves either the bottom hose or the pump as the failed part. I haven't pulled the bottom hose yet but I felt around it and felt no major holes or gashes. The more I dig, the more I'm becoming positive the pump is what failed.

Is it common for the gaskets to suddenly fail and cause such a huge leak or does it sound like the whole pump failed? I'm praying that the gasket is what failed. Those pumps are extremely expensive and I don't know that I can afford one anytime soon.

Last edited by bigjake; January 31st, 2016 at 22:22.
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Old February 1st, 2016, 14:06   #9
bigjake
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Ok, so I've been working further on it. The vacuum hose on the back of the pump was extremely loose. Someone had messed with it before. There wasn't a factory clamp on it. I could twist the hose almost 180 degrees (and probably could've pulled it off) with my fingers before I even started loosening the clamp. Thought this isn't good, this hose shouldn't have been the cause of the leak though, right?
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Old February 1st, 2016, 16:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdijarhead View Post
Awesome view from the top heading down.

Did you find what was leaking yet?
Ok, I finally got the pump off. All fuel lines were totally fine and leak free. I started messing with the pump. I pressure tested it by mouth (I know that's not a lot but I don't have anything else to do it with) and everything seems solid and sound. I know now that even though that vacuum hose was loose, there's no way it was the culprit. I checked around the back of the engine to see if there was any remaining leaked diesel indicating the injector pump or something else back there leaked, but everything looked dry/clean. I double checked the fuel filter and the lines/rails going to and from the tandem pump and everything looks good. There is a lot of oily gunk on the block around where the tandem pump sits. There is remaining fuel directly above it on top of the engine and fuel directly below it on the the top of the transmission. Based on the area of the spill and the condition of the pump, I believe the evidence is mounting, that this is all because of a failed tandem pump gasket. It looks worn and there are some areas on it with some small weird blue stuff. I have a gasket coming to me in the mail at this time.

I honestly can't think of anything else that could have failed based on my findings. What's bugging me though, is I've done a ton of digging in the tdiclub archives and I can't find one case where someone's tandem pump gasket worked all fine and dandy, then suddenly and catastrophically failed, causing a fuel dump in the engine compartment. Fuel was even was sprayed on the underside of the hood. I'm sure a failed gasket being the sole offender is not out of the realm of possibility but I feel like I'm missing something here. Can you guys think of anything else?
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Old February 1st, 2016, 16:44   #11
Tdijarhead
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As long as you've got one coming by all means replace it and see if that solves your problem. I just went out and took a look at mine, the one hose on the rear still has a factory clamp on it, but seems to be slightly loose. Maybe even weeping a bit, it's hard to tell. My TP has so far not given me any problems so I haven't had to play with it.

The blue stuff is probably RTV gasket sealer, someone probably had your pump off before so there's no telling what was done to it. Maybe they broke the old gasket and put a healthy dose of RTV on it and it held, till it didn't.
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Old February 1st, 2016, 17:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdijarhead View Post
As long as you've got one coming by all means replace it and see if that solves your problem. I just went out and took a look at mine, the one hose on the rear still has a factory clamp on it, but seems to be slightly loose. Maybe even weeping a bit, it's hard to tell. My TP has so far not given me any problems so I haven't had to play with it.

The blue stuff is probably RTV gasket sealer, someone probably had your pump off before so there's no telling what was done to it. Maybe they broke the old gasket and put a healthy dose of RTV on it and it held, till it didn't.

Possibly, I don't see any cracks or breaks on the gasket. The stuff is sitting in vary small clumps randomly arranged around the middle of it. I saw it both on the block and the gasket. I hope it's not any kind of corrosion. I'll let you know what happens after I put the new gasket on.
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Old February 1st, 2016, 18:00   #13
Tdijarhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjake View Post
Possibly, I don't see any cracks or breaks on the gasket. The stuff is sitting in vary small clumps randomly arranged around the middle of it. I saw it both on the block and the gasket. I hope it's not any kind of corrosion. I'll let you know what happens after I put the new gasket on.

Make sure you clean all that old stuff off of the block and the pump.
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Old February 1st, 2016, 20:54   #14
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That squirting tandem pump is a LUK with one yellow dot on top, about half way between the upper fuel hose and the rear vacuum hose isn't it?

Vacuum hose off the back going to the brake booster is a common hose requiring replacement. When I asked for a clamp when I was replacing my brake booster hose, I got a screw clamp tossed in the box. I was really expecting something resembling a fuel injection hose clamp, they don't chew up the hoses.
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 14:30   #15
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Question: are you sure it was diesel leaking and not coolant?

Lots of 'smoke' and a continued leak long after shutting down kind of hint at it being coolant to me. Both fluids are stinky and slimy so it's not impossible to mistake one for the other.

There is a small coolant line that runs beneath the tandem pump. Those pumps tend to weep diesel over time and the fuel drips right onto the coolant line. The line rots and swells and maybe pops spraying coolant all over.

Good luck,
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