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VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old March 17th, 2010, 14:48   #1
Plus 3 Golfer
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Default Dealer / VW Response to Fuel Filter Metal Contamination

As some may know about 300 miles ago at about 26k miles I inspected my FF for metal contamination. I had previously inspected the FF at about 22k miles and found no contamination (it was pristine). This time I found metal contamination as shown in pic below. An inspection of the HPFP regulator (VW calls it metering sensor) found no contamination. My original FF was replaced at 19.7k miles by a dealer in PA.

Today, I had scheduled service to replace a faulty front seat belt buckle latch (SRS light on) at an AZ dealer. When I dropped my TDI off this morning, I informed the SW that my FF had metal contamination on top of the FF and had him load a pic of my FF and one that had an HPFP failure diagnosed onto his computer. I explained information that I gleaned from this sight on this contamination issue including that I and many believe that there should be no metal flakes in the fuel system. He said he is not aware of any issues with metal contamination or HPFP failures at their dealership but they will look into it.

About 1 ½ later, the SW tells me that their tech opened the fuel canister and “found some metal in the fuel filter but not much.” They took pics and sent their pics and my pics to the VW area rep. The rep told them to check the metering sensor, and the fuel pump in the tank. No metal was found in the bottom of the fuel tank or on / around the metering sensor. One small piece was found on the fuel pump in the tank. The Tech says “they told me to start with replacing the FF and cleaning out the fuel filter housing. May need more work and diagnosis.” I’m to not touch the fuel system and they will recheck at my 30k service. The SW and tech also know that the fuel from the HPFP is circulated back to the FF and tank. So I’ll have to wait until 30k miles. . My guess is it will be mid-summer before I reach 30k miles.

I asked the SW “what did VW say might cause this”. He said you probably already know but they said that gas in the fuel system could cause this. I responded by saying I filled every tank and only put ULSD in the tank. He also said that metal may have been introduced in the tank at the pump.

It appears that VW (the area service rep) is aware of this metal contamination issue based on their response to the tech. To my knowledge (based on my questioning of the SW and tech) that neither my fuel filter nor sample of fuel was taken / sent to VW. It may be of benefit for anyone that has inspected their FF and found metal contamination to do something sooner rather than later.

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Old March 17th, 2010, 14:56   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plus 3 Golfer
gas in the fuel system could cause this.
Sure...

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Old March 17th, 2010, 15:20   #3
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Sounds like the gas was coming from VW.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 16:39   #4
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So anyone with metal particles in their fuel filter has at some point like you, put diesel that was contaminated with gasoline in their fuel tank.

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Old March 17th, 2010, 17:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plus 3 Golfer
He also said that metal may have been introduced in the tank at the pump.
It's interesting that the 2009-2010 Jetta TDI can't handle metal being pumped into the tank - all of these metal shavings that I've been pumping into my 2005.5 BRM TDI don't seem to affect my car one bit. I guess that's because my engine is used to all of the metal shavings from the camshaft wearing out

The way that VW is responding to these complaints actually resulted in me telling my wife today that we're not buying another VW TDI until there is some time-tested proof that this problem is gone. Thank god we bought one of the old TDIs.

Does VW understand that the internet exists, and that people talk on it?
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Old March 17th, 2010, 17:53   #6
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Originally Posted by dweisel
So anyone with metal particles in their fuel filter has at some point like you, put diesel that was contaminated with gasoline in their fuel tank.

Dweisel
No, they never said that my metal particles were caused by contaminated fuel from the pump - only that gas in the fuel could be a cause. I didn't mention that the SW said that's the typical response because people do pump gas in instead of ULSD into their diesels. The point is to get the metal contamination issue on record early before a possible catastrophic failure because finding the cause of mild metal contamination will be difficult. It could be a batch of ULSD that left the distribution terminal at a higher lubricity level than 520 microns and poor DLC coating on the HPFP.

It certainly appears that VW is willing to "fix" the metal contamination issue under warranty as evidenced by the techs description on the work order "they wanted me to start with replacing the FF and cleaning out the fuel filter housing. May need more work and diagnosis.” Also, there were no problematic issues noted like DTC, HPFP pressure, or drivability issues. IMHO, with "no issues" noted it would be hard to blame it on gas contamination.

My point in getting the dealer involved early with this mild metal contamination rather than after a catastrophic failure is that it will be more difficult for them to deny warranty coverage with gradual metal contamination. If the metal flakes are worse after the next 4k miles (about 8 fillups) and the car still has "no issues", it not likely contaminated fuel but more likely a design flaw. And if the HPFP catastrophically fails after another 5k miles, VW would be hard pressed to deny warranty based on water in the fuel or putting gas in instead of diesel. Even if the metal particles decrease or disappear when checked at 30k miles but the HPFP fails at 60,001 miles, one is on record that there was a metal contamination issue early on which probably affected the life of the HPFP.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 18:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sella Turcica
It's interesting that the 2009-2010 Jetta TDI can't handle metal being pumped into the tank - all of these metal shavings that I've been pumping into my 2005.5 BRM TDI don't seem to affect my car one bit. I guess that's because my engine is used to all of the metal shavings from the camshaft wearing out

The way that VW is responding to these complaints actually resulted in me telling my wife today that we're not buying another VW TDI until there is some time-tested proof that this problem is gone. Thank god we bought one of the old TDIs.

Does VW understand that the internet exists, and that people talk on it?
Remember, there was and never has been any metal at the HPFP pressure regulator. Maybe the metal did not originate in the HPFP. If that's the case, the fuel filter is doing it's job and maybe at 30k miles the metal contamination will be a thing of the past on my TDI.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 18:12   #8
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I would love to see pics of a failed and healthy pump side by side (guts). I have to think there has to be some wear in as the pump wears in initial sealing. Sadly, I think it will be a long time before such pictures are available.
For one, who is going to take apart a perfectly good pump?
But that would be useful data!
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Old March 17th, 2010, 22:17   #9
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I thought all modern fuel station pumps include an in-line filter -- many of the ones I use have it on the near end of the hose. I doubt they are micron class, should catch the particles shown in OP's photo.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 23:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbine Suburban
I would love to see pics of a failed and healthy pump side by side (guts). I have to think there has to be some wear in as the pump wears in initial sealing. Sadly, I think it will be a long time before such pictures are available.
For one, who is going to take apart a perfectly good pump?
But that would be useful data!
I hope to never find a totalled CR TDI, but that would be the only opportunity I would pursue.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 02:07   #11
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does sound like they are at least acknowledging that there could be a problem with your HPFP.

Something I would do on these C/R is put a filter on the return to the tank. That way, at least, the contamination from a HPFP failure would be limited to the HPFP, injectors and lines upstream of the added filter.

If there is contamination in the return filter but not in the supply filter, it would definitely rule out miss- fueling as the cause of the problem.

Your dealer may even buy into it. If you do have a failure, isolating it would be a snap.

Oh ya, miss-fueling with gasoline could be an issue but only by a stretch. Gasoline does after all have a lower lubricity the D2.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 03:09   #12
dweisel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomie
I hope to never find a totalled CR TDI, but that would be the only opportunity I would pursue.
Take your pick of the following engines,but it will cost you!
Year
Part
Model Description Miles Part

PriceDealer Info2009 Engine
Volkswagen Jetta2.0L, VIN L, 5th digit (dsl), eng ID CB-10,000 ZW0807 $4000.22 USA-GA

2009 Engine
Volkswagen Jetta2.0L,AT,RUNS NICE,LESS TURBO,4K,1U4, 547AK0985 $4000 USA-MN

2009 Engine
Volkswagen Jettadiesel 12K Y14A02 CM12,000 00011123 $3960 USA-MO

2009 Engine
Volkswagen Jetta2.0L TDI AUTO GREAT SHAPE 8K MILES 09TDI $3950 USA-NJ

2009 Engine
Volkswagen JettaGOOD 2.0TDI--JW,CODE-CBE,NTS,--3K--- 3,063A090982 $3650 USA-IA
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Last edited by dweisel; March 18th, 2010 at 03:18.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 03:30   #13
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Originally Posted by Plus 3 Golfer
Remember, there was and never has been any metal at the HPFP pressure regulator. Maybe the metal did not originate in the HPFP. If that's the case, the fuel filter is doing it's job and maybe at 30k miles the metal contamination will be a thing of the past on my TDI.
For there to be metal at the fuel quantity regulator it has to have already made the full return and made it past the fuel filter,since the quantity regulator is actually before the pump parts of the HPFP. In other words the supply fuel goes thru the FQR before it get pressurized by the HPFP and sent to the rail. Remember those tiny little specs of metal in the fuel filter. Its the ones you can almost not see with the human eye that end up in the FQR. HPFP sheds metal which gets sent to the rail and injectors and then back to the fuel tank where it is picked up by the fuel sending unit and sent to the fuel filter. Any particles small enough to make it past the filter end up going thru the secondary electric boost fuel pump and back to the fuel quantity regulator and HPFP.

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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:06   #14
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I'll be curious to see what happens at 30K and if VW steps up to the plate.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:36   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAvocation
I thought all modern fuel station pumps include an in-line filter -- many of the ones I use have it on the near end of the hose. I doubt they are micron class, should catch the particles shown in OP's photo.
Yes,all fuel station pumps have a filter that filters the fuel before it enters your fuel tank.
Fuel station pump filters are in the 10 to 15 micron range.
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