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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 November 29th, 2004, 21:05   #1
Specop_007
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Kansas City
Default What happens if you run out of diesel?

On older diesels, if you run out of fuel you either have to manually pump fuel up to the injectors again or spend ages cranking it and risk burning up your starter.
What happens on the TDI's if you run out of fuel? Do you have to spend forever cranking it, is there a manual pump somewhere or is it designed to quickly pull the fuel back up to the pump?
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Old November 29th, 2004, 21:58   #2
GotDiesel?
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pacific NW
Fuel Economy: 60/46/38
Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

There is no manual pump.

From what I've read, it does take a fair amount of cranking to get a completely exhausted fuel system reprimed, etc.

So yeah, you'd have to be careful about the starter. But there is also the potential of doing damage to the injection pump since it is lubricated by fuel and only by fuel.

If you happen to be home when you run it out of fuel and happen to have a "Mity-Vac" you can remove one of the fuel hoses and get the fuel most of the way back to the pump without cranking the engine or damaging the pump.

The bottom line is it is (obviously) much better to not run out of fuel in the first place.

The low fuel warning light comes on at ~1.9 gallons prior to empty. You have to be somewhere pretty remote to not be able to find fuel before running out.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 22:01   #3
Specop_007
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Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

Quote:

The low fuel warning light comes on at ~1.9 gallons prior to empty. You have to be somewhere pretty remote to not be able to find fuel before running out.
Ever been to Nebraska?
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Old November 29th, 2004, 22:20   #4
Long_Range
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Arthur, IL , USA
Fuel Economy: 54/45/41
Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

What year of car do you have?

The 04 and later PD's have a boost pump in the tank but I don't think it would prime the system without opening lines at the injectors to let the air out. This assums you have not burned out the boost pump by running it dry. I burned up the in tank fuel pump on my Chevy gas truck just by running it down to almost empty. I found out the gas cools the pump.
I'd like to know myself what happens to the in tank pump on the PD if it runs low on fuel.

In the pre 2004 TDI's Your going to need a vacuum pump or a way to pressurize the fuel tank. A wrench for the fuel lines and pliers.

Main thing is not to do that. Once you run it out of fuel you have abused the system. In diesels the fuel is what lubricates the injection system. Run the pump and injectors dry and you have done harm. Crank it until it primes and you do more harm. Not to mention the fact that you are dead along side of the road.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 22:28   #5
Long_Range
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Fuel Economy: 54/45/41
Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

P.S.
I used to fly airplanes. The single most inexcusable thing a pilot can do is run out of fuel. Guess where that leaves you.

AT over $700 each for my PD injectors I will try not to run them dry. With the range this car has I will kick myself in the but if I do. You can drive all the way across Nebraska with one tank of fuel so that aint no excuse.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 22:36   #6
Specop_007
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Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

I didnt run out, and dont plan too. But, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Mainly just curious though. I dont believe I've ever run ANY vehicle out of fuel, except for my lawnmower. I was being facetious in my comment about Nebraska.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 06:36   #7
kregars
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Waldorf, MD
Fuel Economy: so far all highway, and ~50
Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

At the very least, have some PowerService handy and a means of transporting from bottle to filter (via the 'T'). Then at least it will have _some_ lubrication while it pulls up fuel from the tank.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 06:55   #8
zanzabar
 
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Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

If you run it dry, fill the filter back up as described and make sure you add at least one full gallon to the tank (not just one or two liters). It will start up with only a few seconds of cranking if you fill the filter, but it may also stall again after you get it running (air in the fuel lines). No worries, just crank again until it goes and you'll be ok.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 12:57   #9
StumpyNB
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sturbridge, MA
TDI(s): 2003 Jetta
Fuel Economy: 48/45/43
Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

Oooh Oooh, I know this one... The engine stops.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 20:00   #10
outatime
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Location: Bridgeport, WV
Fuel Economy: 59,52,39
Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

Where could you get the Mity-Vac?
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Old November 30th, 2004, 22:04   #11
alex wetmore
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Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

I've never run out of fuel, but I did have a leaky injector line break the siphon and cause all of my fuel to drain back into the fuel tank, leaving the fuel pump and lines empty.

The pump isn't self priming and the car won't start this way (maybe if you crank it forever it will, but I didn't crank it much because I didn't want to damage the pump).

I don't own a Mityvac, but my Topsider (usually used to suck oil from the oilpan) worked great. I hooked it up to the return line from the fuel pump and sucked until I had pulled fuel through the entire system.

This is covered in the Bentley and they show using a Mityvac to do it.

alex
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Old November 30th, 2004, 22:36   #12
tadc
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Fuel Economy: 45/42/37
Default Re: What happens if you run out of diesel?

Mity-Vac can be had at many/most auto parts stores as well as Harbor Freight, where it comes on sale from time to time. It's simply a hand-operated vacuum pump with a gauge and an assortment of fittings and adapters.
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