Crap. Air in lines?

Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
Hey Folks -

Well, I made a mistake in thinking that my lift pump would refill the new fuel filter I put in. It mostly definitely did not. She just would not start.

Anyway, after filling it with the fuel from the old fuel filter, she still absolutely will not start. Tries to, produces some smoke, but will not keep going.

I've stopped now for the day as the battery is starting to wear down.

So, what's the procedure from here?

Thanks in advance!

Jud.
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
Very simple.

Remove the T fitting on the filter and make sure it is full of fuel.

Using a 17mm wrench, crack the nuts loose on the steel injector pipes on top of the Injectors ... just enough to allow fuel/air out. Place a paper towel or similar over each in case there is a fuel spray. Then, crank the engine over for about 10 seconds. Observe for fuel at each nut/line. If you see fuel, tighten the nuts and then attempt to start.

If no start, repeat. Depending on how much air is in the IP, it may start right off. When it does start hold the accelerator pedal down to achieve about 2000 RPMs for at least 30 seconds....
 

red16vdub

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Location
(617) City of CHAMPIONS
TDI
03 JSW 5spd
Hey Folks -



Well, I made a mistake in thinking that my lift pump would refill the new fuel filter I put in. It mostly definitely did not. She just would not start.



Anyway, after filling it with the fuel from the old fuel filter, she still absolutely will not start. Tries to, produces some smoke, but will not keep going.



I've stopped now for the day as the battery is starting to wear down.



So, what's the procedure from here?



Thanks in advance!



Jud.


If this was just a simple fuel filter change out, you shouldn’t have to mess with the injection system. I think the op needs to double check connections are in the correct place. I’ve never had any issues with either of my tdi’s after filter changes, especially with lift pump in line.


Bajan
 

Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
Well bled the lines but still won’t start. Lines are installed correctly - damned hard to mess those up anyway! I don’t even know one could do that.

Two thoughts: fuel filter isn’t completely full of fuel, and the clear line had a kink in it that I straightened out, but the line might be a little damaged. It does seem good now though. I think the line has been kinked for a long time but l straightened it out and adjusted the filter so it isn’t kinked.

I’ll wait until the morning now as she’s probably flooded.

Update: replaced the kinked fuel line with a piece of the correct type and length of hose that I had lying around in a box for no apparent reason. Doesn’t have the clear portion but who cares.

Still won’t start but she’s producing smoke out the tailpipe so may be flooded. Battery is getting tired so I’ll wait until the morning to try again.
 
Last edited:

wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen, 2014 Tiguan,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
If the battery is that low it may not be cranking fast enough.
Charge it before you fry the starter cranking it to much and kill the alternator when it has to go full power for to long to charge it.

Did you get fuel from all the injector lines when you had them loose and cranked it?

Last, your info indicated 2001 Jetta. Did you install the lift pump or previous owner?
Do you hear it running?
If you can temporary wire it to run it should fill the filter & lines.
 

KLXD

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Lompoc, CA
TDI
'98, '2 Jettas
Smoke indicates fuel is getting to the injectors but you still have air in the lines which causes late injection. More bleeding required.

Diesels don't flood the way carbed gas engines do.
 

Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
Well I posted my update in the “What did you do to....” thread yesterday. Doh!

Here it is for the record:

“Well, after trickle-charging the battery, I again tried to start the car to no avail. So, I figured I'd just start all over and put in another fuel filter, this time making sure it was filled to the brim with diesel first.

Sure enough, after a couple of tries, she started! Very odd, especially with a lift pump.

I don't think the pump is working right, though I hear it going when I first turn on the ignition. That diagnosis will have to wait for another time.”

I know the lift pump works or at least powers up and runs since I had a friend put a hand on it and felt/heard it with ignition on. Why it wouldn’t fill the filter I don’t know. I think I will pull the line from the tank off the filter and turn on the ignition to double-check if it’s pumping as it should.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Because it's pushing against trapped air.
I've noticed some folks have installed lift pumps on VE engines to solve issues or maybe it's to provide more robust fueling, don't know, but the fuel system design does not include that item.
 

KLXD

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Lompoc, CA
TDI
'98, '2 Jettas
Yeah, the path through the IP is pretty tight so the electric pump can't really fill the filter effectively.

if you had removed the supply line between filter and IP it whould have filled it right up.
 

Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
Ah that makes sense. I did remove the IP supply hose (it needed to be replaced anyway) and put the end in a bottle and ran the lift pump for a bit but nothing came out, so I assumed incorrectly that it wasn’t working right, when in fact it was probably starting to fill the filter. If I had been patient and let it run some more I would have fixed my problem.

Well, two good things came out of this: i bought a trickle charger, and the IP feed hose, which was kinked, got replaced.
 

tdidieselbobny

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
Stafford,NY (WNY)
TDI
'03 Galactic Blue Jetta TDI, '15 Silk Blue Golf Sportwagen TDI
Invest in a Mity Vac...... a couple weeks ago I changed my fuel filter, the fuel feed and return lines from injection pump to filter(replaced the clear oem lines w/ 8mm fuel line from IDParts), and the cloth injector lines from the pump to injector and between injectors. Fill the filter with Power Service or diesel. Take cap off last injector(furthest on right side)- hook small hose from mity vac onto that nipple and pull fuel through the injectors till you start to see fuel coming into mity vac line. Put cap back on that injector,then put the mity vac on the return line coming from the pump. It'll take awhile, but you'll eventually start to see fuel bubbles. Keep working it a little while longer,as usually it isn't an airtight connection between the mity vac hose and the return line. Put the line back on the thermo t , make sure all your clamps are tight,then start car. I did mine this way, car fired right up and didn't even stumble. The less you have to screw around with the hard fuel lines, the better.....
 
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