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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 September 13th, 2017, 00:35   #1
fire3element
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Default Water in my MkIV fuel. Need advice. (Is it really that big a deal?)

Ok. Bad times. Long story short, I am 80% sure there is water in my Jetta's fuel.

Background:
Filled up both my work van and my car with fuel from the same source. My work Van is now running rough and threw the CEL for "water in fuel". Note: this is the first time I have drove the van since adding the fuel.

I've drove the car 3 times (about 15 miles) since I added the compromised fuel.
Neither was a complete fill up. My Jetta was just under 1/2 tank, and my Van was just over 1/2 before adding the fuel.
The Van was filled up before the car, so hoping most of the water was gone before filling up the Jetta.

However, I am not 100% certain that water did not make its way in the Van tank somehow during this storm. Have not drove the van since Harvey came through, and it was rough. Van did not go under water, but the wind blew VERY hard and forced water into all kinds of places that you would not expect.

I can not imagine how water would have got in the tank from the wind and rain, but I'm not dismissing it could have happened.
It just doesn't stop, does it? Even after the storm has passed...
All I know is that I can't lose both vehicles right now, along with all the other losses.


So what do I need to do with my Jetta? I did search a few hours for some answers to this topic, but not getting good results. And I'm too tired and frustrated to keep sifting through hundreds of pages with everthing else going on right now.

Jetta still seems to be running ok ATM, but I do not want to risk killing my pump or injectors.
My van is already down, and I wont be able to fix it fight now. Timing could not be worse.

Someone please advize or link me the info/process for what I need to do to keep from killing my Jetta. Thanks.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 00:49   #2
fire3element
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I forgot to add, I am wondering how big an issue having water in the fuel is for the ALH engines in the MkIV's.
I've read about water injection for diesel, and have seen several users here that had WI kits on their TDIs.

Yes, I know the process involves both water and metenol.
So the question is... How big a deal is it to have a little water in the fuel?
The ALH doesn't have a particularly high psi fuel system, and the injectors are fairly low volume and are mechanical.
My thought is the MkIV cars are less sensitive to water than the newer tech engines/injectors of the 04 and up TDIs with high pressure systems and components.

Any merit to that logic?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 02:47   #3
turbocharged798
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water will destroy the injectors and pump pretty quickly. Drain the water separator on the fuel filter and see what comes out.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 07:42   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fire3element View Post
The ALH doesn't have a particularly high psi fuel system, and the injectors are fairly low volume and are mechanical.
My thought is the MkIV cars are less sensitive to water than the newer tech engines/injectors of the 04 and up TDIs with high pressure systems and components.

Any merit to that logic?
I don't have my manual handy for the ALH but I recall the -old- 1.5/1.6 diesels were about 1800 PSI injection pressure (or so)
To me that's pretty high.

Water is not good in any diesel.
I would drain the tank, change the filter, blow out the lines, and run the injector pump from a bottle of fuel until there's no water in it.
There's a access hole under my back seat to remove the fuel pickup.
Easy way to get in there to get everything out.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 07:53   #5
Ol'Rattler
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Water injection is a completely different animal than water in the fuel. WI injects water into the intake air stream as a mist and does not put water through any part of the fuel system.

To expand on turbocharged798's post, water in the fuel system is a big deal. If the car is running rough, there is a good chance the water separator is full of water and can't separate water out anymore. If that's the case, you will have to drain the water out of the tank.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 08:22   #6
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There is a valve on the bottom of the filter. Open it up, drain into a container, see if there is water. Fill the filter with #2 or a suitable additive. Also, it's not real hard to access the tank, take a look.
Diesel and water don't mix, so after the car has sat for a bit they will be in separate layers. I wouldn't try to deal with it running the engine.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 08:45   #7
fire3element
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On the water injection into the air stream (no contact with fuel system), yeah that makes sense. Had an avalanche of problems last night, I was not thinking it through all the way.

Ok so I need to clear all the lines of fuel and change the filter.
I've already had to change all the fuel supply lines to each injector, and had a very hard time getting the system purged of air. Car did not want to start after repeated priming and purging with a vacuum pump.

If I am going to go through all this trouble to clear the system, I might as well replace all the old rubber fuel lines. I am still running a clear braided pvc (stuff from HomeDepot) line from the fuel filter to the fuel pump supply inlet. I didn't really have a choice at the time, and never changed it after due to how difficult it was to get the air out of the system.

For replacement hoses, what is a good brand to use that wont cost a lot of $$$. Same for the fuel filter. Decent brand, but not top dollar.
Working with limited funds right now.
I don't want to put in junk from the local auto parts store just to turn around and change it all again later.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 08:48   #8
maxmoo
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Depends how much water you have in your tank.
In all likelyhood its not that much.
Remember diesel floats on water, so the water will sit in the bottom of your tank or filter....hence the drain valve on the bottom of your filter.
To be safe drain/siphon your tank, change your filter and then keep draining your filter regularily until you only get fuel.

The problem will be that underground fuel tanks at service stations may have significant water in them at certain locations....so you want to be careful not to re-introduce more water when buying fuel.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 10:50   #9
Nevada_TDI
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I just went through having water in my fuel tank/fuel filter and it killed my IP. The IP does not like to run w/o lubrication and you stand a great chance of destroying the centrifugal "lift pump vanes" in your IP.
I agree with draining the filter and seeing what comes out. As long as the IP inlet line doesn't lose the fuel it has it there should be enough fuel to get the engine started again. It certainly wouldn't hurt to re-purge the fuel line by applying vacuum to the pump inlet side of the fuel filter just to be safe.

Post fix I would always be diligent about running some some of a lubricating additive whenever possible.
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Last edited by Nevada_TDI; September 13th, 2017 at 11:28.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 10:55   #10
drucifer
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http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=374547
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Old September 13th, 2017, 17:05   #11
fire3element
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Ok thanks guys. I'll see what I can do tomorrow.
Then order parts I guess.

Anyone recommend a cheaper but decent quality fuel filter?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 17:26   #12
drucifer
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Look on ebay for malhe KL147D. They run 15.50 to 17.50 from various vendors. Also the last one I bought was from Advance for around 15.00 but only ship to home.

Did this water problem happen before or after the flooding?

Last edited by drucifer; September 13th, 2017 at 19:08.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 21:17   #13
fire3element
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Well I have not drove the Van till yesterday since the storm, so not really sure. I had to drive around 400miles the first 2 days of the storm, and hit many heavy bands of wind/rain on my way south. When I say heavy, it was almost enough to push you off the road.
And that 2nd day I hit a large portion of the hwy that was under water on the overpass. Couldn't see anything for a solid 5 sec, Van hydroplaned, and just about ate the concrete median wall.

I was thinking water may have got in from that, but I drove another 40miles after that without issue. Then another 65miles home, no issue.

Someone brought fuel by after the storm, and I filled up both my car and van. Drove my car 3 times, didn't notice anything off.
Van was not driven until yesterday. I have a hard time believing that the water was in there for about 2 weeks, then shows signs just now. I am almost certain the water came from the fuel I was given.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 21:28   #14
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For the VW just look in the tank for water with a flashlight. It will look like globs on the bottom of the tank. In a spare container mix some diesel and water to know what to look for if you want. It's very obvious. The fuel filter is also a water seperator so check what comes out as others have mentioned. I think you're getting the cart in front of the horse a bit.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 22:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burn_your_money View Post
For the VW just look in the tank for water with a flashlight. It will look like globs on the bottom of the tank. In a spare container mix some diesel and water to know what to look for if you want. .
Sounds like good advice.
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