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Fuels & Lubricants Discussion all about Fuels & Lubricants. synthetic oil, conventional oil, brands, change intervals, diesel grades, gelling and such debated items like that. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed. This forum is NOT for the discussion of biodiesel and other alternative fuels.

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Old February 24th, 2012, 09:36   #1
whiplash willy
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Default Filling Fuel Filter Canister After Change

I have read several DIYs and manuals on changing the fuel filter on the CR engine. Some tell you to fill the fuel filter canister after putting the new filter in, as well as use VCDS to prime the fuel system. It seems doing both would be a good idea, especially with the HPFP issues.

It seems kind of like a pain though to have to get that small amount of clean diesel to fill it up though. I have heard of some people just filling the fuel filter canister with an additive like Power Service. Filling it with PS would be so much easier, but I don't know if it is a bad idea, and it would be safer to just use clean diesel.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 10:22   #2
JSWTDI09
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Following the procedure and using VCDS will fill the fuel filter canister. I do not believe that it is necessary to do both (fill & VCDS) because the VCDS procedure is called (in the service manual) filling the fuel system. I believe it is an either/or situation where you use VCDS, if available, or you fill the canister if VCDS is not available. Doing both will not hurt anything, but it might just be overkill.

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Old February 24th, 2012, 13:14   #3
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ww,

On my 2011 CJAA, I use VCDS and I WAIT.

You are supposed to prime three times ....

i.e. I prime twice with VCDS.... I hear the loud obvious fuel gurgles and then wait for 15 minutes.

When I come back, I do the last VCDS prime.

Overkill yes, but I feel this makes sure the FF is soaked and the fuel system is absolutely primed.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 15:19   #4
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Just fill the canister with diesel fuel close to the top- carefull not to overfill- Fuel level should come to the base of the lid- Keep a rag handy - Start engine- Used this method multiple times- No vcds- Car starts right away & runs smoothly-
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Old February 24th, 2012, 16:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgeorge View Post
Just fill the canister with diesel fuel close to the top- carefull not to overfill- Fuel level should come to the base of the lid- Keep a rag handy - Start engine- Used this method multiple times- No vcds- Car starts right away & runs smoothly-
...better yet...after filling with fuel, replace the lid, torque it down, BEFORE you start the engine...
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Old February 24th, 2012, 18:25   #6
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Common sense prevails!
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Old February 24th, 2012, 19:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdiatlast View Post
...better yet...after filling with fuel, replace the lid, torque it down, BEFORE you start the engine...
Picky, picky, picky.
Good catch.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 20:17   #8
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I have not changed the fuel filter myself but it seems to me that using the VCDS would be better because the fuel that fills up the filter cannister is filtered.

Might not filling the filter caniseter with diesel fuel from some unfiltered source cause contaminents to enter the fuel system (the HPFP and the injecters)? It wouldn't take much of a contaminent to screw all that up.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 22:07   #9
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my container i used for the fresh diesel, was exactly 20 ounces (just a little over half a liter).
that amount worked great since there was 0 splill when insterted the filter, and just by eyeballing it looked to be about the same amount that was in there after pulled out old filter...
hope this helps...
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Old February 25th, 2012, 04:33   #10
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Whiplash: Also, take the time to remove the canister and clean it thorougly. This will eliminate the potential for contamination...at least from within the canister.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 04:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurosport View Post
my container i used for the fresh diesel, was exactly 20 ounces (just a little over half a liter).
that amount worked great since there was 0 splill when insterted the filter, and just by eyeballing it looked to be about the same amount that was in there after pulled out old filter...
hope this helps...
This amount sounds exactly right as when I drained my canister I pulled about two cups or so .....

I still would not use this approach, but it seems as if others have successfully.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 07:03   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiplash willy View Post
I have heard of some people just filling the fuel filter canister with an additive like Power Service. Filling it with PS would be so much easier, but I don't know if it is a bad idea, and it would be safer to just use clean diesel.

I don't know why anyone would use a diesel fuel additive to prime a fuel pump and from what I know about fuel additives, I wouldn't recommend it for the following reasons:
  • Most of the additives do not burn well by themselves. They have a completely different burn characteristics than diesel fuel
  • Additives have a different viscosity than diesel fuel and this will have a negative affect on the injecters
  • The additives might and probably have a much higher ash content than the diesel fuel
For instance, one of the prime ingredients of almost any additive formulation is ethylhexyl nitrate used to lower the cetane rate of the fuel, when diluted at rations of about 1000:1, acts as a catalyst rather than a fuel. It is not a chemical that should be squirted through the injecters undiluted.

Another ingredient is a a heavy form of naptha (lighter fluid) for lubrication. It is very viscous and that is why it lubricates. Again, it is not a good fuel for the TDI in any form except very very diluted.

Another ingredient is xylene which helps break down the surface tension of the fuel allowing it to be better atomized. Xylen is extremely toxic, an extremely good solvent, and extremely corrosive. That stuff is a main ingredient of permanent maker pens. Should we be pumping that stuff through our injecters in any form except extremely diluted?

All diesel fuel additives have different forumulations, but they all are kind of basically the same as the ones I described. They work when diluted properly, but when they are not, they have completely different set of properties straight out of the bottle.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 07:53   #13
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when you are changing the fuel filter make sure that you tighten up the bottom screw as it screwed me over and squirted all the diesel out and letting air in till it lost its prime. with your model year should be easy to let the electronic pump do the work. as for priming the filter i just grabbed a bucket and filled it high enough to cover the filter let it sit for 15 minutes pull it out clean with rag and your done.

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Old February 27th, 2012, 10:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdiatlast View Post
Whiplash: Also, take the time to remove the canister and clean it thorougly. This will eliminate the potential for contamination...at least from within the canister.
What do you recommend cleaning the canister with? Also, if you do spill any diesel in the engine bay, or god forbid rubber hoses, what should you use to clean it?

I have VCDS, and if just priming it using VCDS is enough, and you don't need to add diesel as well, that would be great! I like CedarPark68 recommendation of priming it twice, then waiting 15 min, and priming it again.

I thought it was strange to prime the fuel filter canister with an additive as well, but then I "Heard" that Power Service is mostly diesel itself, so I figured it may be ok, I am not sure though.

It just seems that logistically, it would be a pain to fill up a canister with just enough diesel to prime the canister, so if it is not necessary (Because I am using VCDS) then it would be nice to be able skip this step. I do however want to do what is best for my car!
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Old February 28th, 2012, 09:03   #15
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i justed used napa brake cleaner, let it air dry for 5-10 min upside down. So far two changes by this method has worked, no issues. Another 5K and i'll be doing it again at 60K.
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