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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

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 June 3rd, 2004, 03:57   #1
benmarks
Newbie
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

I ran out of fuel yesterday. I guess the normal procedure is (after putting fuel in the tank) to pop off the fuel filter, fill it up and then crank the engine. But what if you are stuck on the side of the road with no tools? First, how much fuel should you put into the tank before attempting to get it started? Then, can you just crank the engine until it starts, and if so do you do this in short bursts or continuously? I know this isn't recommended, of course.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 04:09   #2
J_TDI
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Porto, Portugal
Fuel Economy: 7L / 100 Kms
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

Maybe not the most proper procedure...
But I've run out of fuel twice, on a European Passat Variant
110 bhp (1999 built), and after refuelling, following the instructions on the owner's manual, crank the engine until it "sucks" the fuel from the tank, and start.

Regard's

J_TD<font color="red">I</font>
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 05:35   #3
Vectorer
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Location: Southwestern Lower Michigan
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

First...DON'T run out of fuel. Cranking it dry is absolutely not good for your injection pump which is lubed by fuel. No fuel...no lubrication...

You should not need any tools to top-off the fuel filter. You do not need to remove the filter. If you keep a full quart bottle of Power Service or clean fuel in the back it can be used for this purpose.

Pull the retaining clip on the top of the fuel filter and pull out the o-ringed insert attached to the 2 lines. Carefully and slowly, pour in as much PS as the filter can take, replace the insert and clip, then crank.

Make sure to have a rag/paper towel handy for this job. Clean any spillage immediately.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 12:15   #4
Platinum_PD
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Wisconsin
Fuel Economy: 62.6/52.8/42.3
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

Vectorer-

Just to clarify, if one runs out of fuel, to prime the fuel filter as you describe, I can expect it to take 1 quart of fuel to fill?
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 12:50   #5
deltafox
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Yelm, WA
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

If you run totally dry, I wouldn't count on a filled fuel filter to start the engine. Having some experience in this area, here's what I did. (This was a planned event--I wanted to know how many miles between fuel light and flameout there were.)
Put a couple of gallons of diesel in the tank from the emergency container in your trunk, something that we all carry.
Put a vaccuum pump on the return hose from the fuel pump (the one that runs from pump to filter and is not see through plastic) and pump until you see fuel travel through the plastic tube running from filter to pump. This takes a while.
Crank the engine for a few seconds. Even after flameout, there will be enough oily diesel in the pump to keep it lubricated for some amount of time. Don't know what it is, but I believe it is longer than you think. (Mine did not start.)
Reattach pump and do some more pumping until you can get a drop of fuel out of the return line of the pump. This takes some pumping because now you're trying to pull fuel through the pump and not just air.
Crank again. Mine started.
If it hadn't, I probably would have cracked a fuel connector pipe nut, but I didn't have to.
Good luck
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 13:19   #6
gardentender
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Dullest Texxus
Fuel Economy: 53+/46/41
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

foremost, jump up and down three or four times, muttering "Oh, Gosh, fudge"
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 13:38   #7
Karmann-diesel
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Maine, A'yuh
Fuel Economy: 49ish
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

You can fill up the fuel filter through the "T" valve with diesel or powerservice. You have to add a little &amp; wait for it to settle, then add a little &amp; wait until its full. Then take off the engine cover &amp; loosen the 4 injection line union nuts where the steel fuel lines connect to the fuel injectors. You need a 17mm wrench for this. Crank the engine over a little until you can see fuel spraying out. Tighten down all four nuts &amp; then crank it over again. This should get you restarted.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 14:30   #8
scooperhsd
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Youngsville, NC
Fuel Economy: 39/36/33
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

What I'd like to know is HOW do people ever run out of gas / fuel in their vehicles ? (Excepting those of you deliberately doing this, of course). In 30 years of driving, I have NEVER run out, even on my motorcycles.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 15:33   #9
benmarks
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Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

I ran out because I recently moved. Before, I drove primarily on highways and could go about 75 miles after my fuel light came on. Now, I have a 3 mile commute through suburban streets and didn't take this into account, thus I ran out at 45 miles. I hadn't filled up my tank for the entire month of May, so I just sort of zoned out
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 15:42   #10
Rx_Stress
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Location: New Hampshire, USA
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

Quote:
so I just sort of zoned out
After 700+ miles it's hard to remember
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 17:34   #11
Karmann-diesel
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Location: Maine, A'yuh
Fuel Economy: 49ish
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

I have never run out of fuel but I did have a number of fuel sender check valve freeze-ups in the winter time. This causes fuel starvation &amp; the engine stalls, just like running out of fuel would.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 20:21   #12
tdibigd
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Fuel Economy: 44/41/37
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

Deltafox - so how many miles between low fuel light and no-go? I'm curious about this also. I've had some tense moments after fuel light as a result of pure laziness (maybe even 75-100 miles). Of course, just when I suspect I'm close to running out, I get in a traffic jam. I haven't run out yet...but I bet I've been close.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 20:26   #13
TDItech
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Lynnwood, WA
Fuel Economy: max. 60, avg. 53, low 35
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

tdibigd, I can most generally run about 150 miles after the light comes on. You really start sweating it about the time when there is about 50 miles left.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 20:34   #14
tdibigd
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Location: Dallas, TX
Fuel Economy: 44/41/37
Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

Wow...150 miles. The times I've been clinchin' in stop and go traffic I've turned the engine off to see if the fuel gauge goes towards the empty side any more. The times it hasn't moved a bit have been the scary ones!
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Old June 4th, 2004, 14:13   #15
deltafox
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Default Right thing to do after running out of fuel

My test gave me about 94 miles between warning and flameout. 150 miles is great, so I guess it varies some between cars. The important thing is to know what the range is on your own machine. If you want to find out and don't want to run out totally, I can tell you that a couple of miles prior to completely out, the engine lost some response, and it would idle high when I put the clutch in. I'm figuring I was starting to get air. If I had stopped right then and added fuel, I'm sure it would have been OK. But you have to be sensitive to what the car is telling you or you might miss the reduced response.
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