97 Jetta TDI - Fuel Filter Change

bobcat518

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Location
California
TDI
1997 Jetta TDI
I'm planning to change the fuel filter in my 97 Jetta TDI. Before I start disconnecting fuel lines I thought I would post this message seeking advice on the best approach for changing this component. Any advice is welcome,

Thanks in advance,

Bob
 

ALCO

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Location
Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
TDI
1999 A3 Jetta, silver/2005 B5 Passat, silver
bobcat518, I just changed mine for the first time and it was easy. On the picture of the filter: "A" is the feed line from the tank to the filter, "B" is the feed to the pump, "C" returns excess fuel from the injectors to the thermostatic tee and "D" is a return line to the fuel tank.

You need to loosen the clamps on "A" and "B" and slide them off the filter nipples. The A3's came with crimp type hose clamps which I have replaced with A4 style clamps. Slide out the blue pin and lift the tee out with "C" and "D" still attached. Take the filter out of its bracket and put in the new filter. Prime the filter using your preferred method, eg, fill using a small funnel or suction method with a hand vacuum pump and reconnect lines and tee (no need to bother with o-rings since the o-ring should already be mounted on the filter's tee mount. Put tee pin back in.



I used a hand pump and had a few bubbles at start up which quickly disappeared.


Edit: Ahem...my tee pin is now inserted all the way in. Good thing I looked at the picture after posting!
 

dzcad90

Rolex & gin
Joined
Mar 15, 1999
Location
Joliet, IL USA
TDI
Jetta - 97 (RIP), '03 (Sold), '09
Fill the fuel filter up with something before you put it back in the car. Diesel works. I like to fill mine up with Power Service or whatever other additive I have available.

If you try it dry, it takes a lot of cranking to get it going.
 

Roundy47

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2000
Location
Appleton WI USA
TDI
'98 Jetta white
ALCO - I'm about to do the fuel filter myself for the first time. Dumb question: where do you fill the new filter? I'm assuming you just pour new fuel into the t-fitting socket, right? P.S.: Nice picture of the RS-3? RS-4? Or is that one of those Canada-only RS-10's?
 

ALCO

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Location
Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
TDI
1999 A3 Jetta, silver/2005 B5 Passat, silver
Roundy47, I used a hand vacuum pump but yes, the other way is to pour fuel in through the tee housing on the filter until it's full.

Good eye on the loco! It's an RS3, one of two RS3's and an RS11 in the yard.
 

Ricosuave

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2002
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
TDI
See signature!
Nice job ALCO, a couple of more questions...
1-Is this the same for a 97 TD, not TDI?
2-How much is a fuel filter and do parts stores ususally carry them?
3-When you take off the fittings, does the fuel spill out, or spray, or dribble or what?

Thanks,
Rico
 

tonyp

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2002
Location
MA
TDI
96 Passat Sedan
1. Not sure - does yours look the same as the picture?
2. Around $30 from germanautoparts.com or vwparts.com. Stores don't carry them, at least around here they don't.
3. It dribbles a small amount. Have some paper towels handy.
 

Rick P.

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Location
Barrie, Ontario
TDI
'97 Passat, Tornado Red, RIP Feb 17, 2006
If the filter looks like the Bosch filter above - $23 from Canadian Tire. You'll have to ask for it at the parts counter since they don't keep them on the shelves (at least not around here).

Rick
 

TDIBrian

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Location
Ottawa, Ont.
TDI
Jetta, 98, blue
1. Remove filter clamp, hoses, filter...
2. Pre-fill new filter with Diesel or Powerservice etc..
3. Install new filter.

That's about it! Take it easy with the plastic piece so you don't snap it.

Brian
 

Bookerdog

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
St. Louis, MO
TDI
2000 Golf GL TDI - BLACK
One more suggestion. Get some disposable latex gloves from the hardware or drug store. You will get diesel on your hands, but with the gloves, you won't announce your recent turn as a mechanic with your scent.
 

bargainhunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Location
Central Valley, CA
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI, original owner
It doesn't leak much at all just lift the hoses upward and they'll stop leaking. I find it's easiest first to unhook the air intake hose and get it out of the way so you can access the bracket tightening bolt. Just loosen that one phillips head bolt on the bracket and the whole filter shoulder lift right out (once the hoses have been unhooked).
Don't break the plastic T (it costs $50 to replace at idparts.com).
I used to replace the fuel filters dry then crank the starter (for a couple of minutes) to fill it. Perhaps that's why my starter failed at 155K? :)
Today when I changed my fuel filter I pre-filled it with fresh diesel. When I started it, it immediately started and there were zero stumbles due to air bubbles, just smooth idling. It took me 181k miles to learn this. Ha! With each project I'm learning more...
 
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Houpty GT

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Location
South Carolina
TDI
Corrado
I purchased the ALH style plastic T and buy ALH fuel filters now. The T is a lot cheaper and the fuel filters are cheaper too so it will eventually pay for itself. The clip is also shaped like Mickey Mouse if you are into that type of thing.
 

rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
The MM Clip is also call the "oh s**t" clip after the first words out of your mouth when it springs away. Put some string on it so you can find it when it happens.
 

bherman13

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Location
Ohio
TDI
2006 BRM 5spd
Yeah. Haven't been on tdiclub much lately. This one was still on the first page though, and I was curious what somebody was asking about fuel filters that wasn't already well covered. Then I saw they asked the question in 2003. :eek:

I was 12 then. Don't think I had ever even driven anything by then other than maybe a lawn mower. It would still be a couple years before I got a go-kart. :D
 

G60ING

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Location
Alexandria, VA
TDI
No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
Does anybody realize that was an 11 year thread bump?
Thank you for calling it out,




I went with a cat fuel filter on my swap because oem only filters down to 15 microns iirc and injectors can be damaged by particles smaller than what oem filters block. Fitting the cat can be a challenge.
 
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