Rust/Corrosion in Fuel System - Golf Sportwagen

bballppaul

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Location
Easthampton, MA
TDI
2015 Golf TDI S - Buyback, replaced with new 2015 GolfSportwagen S DSG
I do not post very much in forums, but I have loved this community from the second I got my VW. My 2015 Golf Sportwagen has almost 58,000 miles and I have been diligent about all maintenance. I take her to the dealer for oil changes, but I do my own fuel filter, air filter, flushing brakes, etc. I did purchase my car when the stop sale was lifted in 2017.

As the title says, I have rust and corrosion in the fuel system. About a month ago I got a flashing glow plug light while accelerating up a hill, and I went into limp mode. After restarting the car, everything was back to normal. Yup, knew I should take it in, but time sort of got away from me. A few weeks ago, the same situation occured on my way home from work, and I planned to schedule a service appointment the next day.

Next day on my way to work, car did the same thing, but check engine light stayed on. Took her to the dealer the next day, and got a P0087 Fuel Rail/System Pressure Too Low code. Fuel filter was collapsed with lots of rust in the system. Fuel in the filter was black. There was also rust on the fuel metering valve. VW recommended a fuel system replacement, quoted at around $4000 for parts and $1800 labor. I did call VW customer service, and after a week of negotiating, they offered to cover parts but the $1800 for labor is on my dime.

VW claims that I likely picked up water contaminated fuel which caused corrosion. Has there been any other history of fuel system failures in MK7 Golfs or Sportwagens? Anybody else convinced VW to cover the repair? Is customer service offer a fair one?

Just sucks to have this happen under no fault of my own. Thanks!!
 
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tactdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
North Carolina
TDI
2005.5 Jetta
I don't have a TDI with the HPFP (High Pressure Fuel Pump), so I have not focused too much on threads discussing this issue.
You will need to search for HPFP and P0087 to read the many postings on this failure (not sure there are as many for later model TDIs).
Is the car still covered under the extended emissions warranty (4yrs/48K miles from emission fix), would that warranty cover the fuel system? Do you have the warranty book that explains that warranty to help you argue with VW on coverage? If not search for that warranty book (use threads in this forum, someone posts the link regularly).
 

funoutdoors121

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Location
CT (USA)
TDI
15 GSW S 6MT
Seems the "Extended Emissions Warranty" should cover both parts and labor.
It is the greater of:
11 years or 162,000 miles from in-servoce date,
or
5 years or 60,000 miles from Phase1
or
5 years or 60,000 miles from completion of phase 2
In most cases, the greater should be 11 years or 162,000 miles.
Don't take no for an answer and see if VW will honor their Extended Emissions Warranty Coverage. It covers the entire fuel system.
Check yours at www.vwdiesellookup.com or review in documentation provided with the car.
Good luck,
ML
 

bigb

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Location
Arizona
TDI
2015 Sportwagon S
I don't see how VW can be responsible if the cause was bad/contaminated fuel and I think the offer of labor only on the repairs is pretty fair.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 Jetta wagon BEW; 2015 Passat SE CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
VW have been chalking HPFP failures as water/bad fuel for the longest time. Maybe get a lawyer involved
 

bballppaul

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Location
Easthampton, MA
TDI
2015 Golf TDI S - Buyback, replaced with new 2015 GolfSportwagen S DSG
Got any photos of the filter, rust, etc?
Here are the photos I have from the service technicians.



Seems the "Extended Emissions Warranty" should cover both parts and labor.
It is the greater of:
11 years or 162,000 miles from in-servoce date,
or
5 years or 60,000 miles from Phase1
or
5 years or 60,000 miles from completion of phase 2
In most cases, the greater should be 11 years or 162,000 miles.
Don't take no for an answer and see if VW will honor their Extended Emissions Warranty Coverage. It covers the entire fuel system.
Check yours at www.vwdiesellookup.com or review in documentation provided with the car.
Good luck,
ML
I did push hard that this should be covered under the extended warranty, as it explicitly lists the entire fuel system as covered and it states conflicts concerning the warranty should be resolved in favor of the consumer. Problem is that VW pushed hard that this is the result of an "outside influence". I cannot remember the exact language, but the original warranty had some language to the effect that the warranty does not cover intentional or unintentional use of contaminated fuel.

My background is in chemical engineering, and based on those pictures, I'm pretty sure it is corrosion. I probably did get water contaminated fuel. It doesn't take much moisture for carbon steel to start rusting. I normally fill up at the busiest station in my town, but it is 2020. I would not be surprised at all if the fuel had been sitting longer than normal. When Massachusetts shut down in March for COVID-19, I was still driving to work everyday. My company was deemed essential due to aerospace and DOD contracts.

I did call up my insurance company, and they do cover bad fuel under comprehensive. With my maintenance records and documentation from VW they will cover the labor costs, barring some crazy surprise when the adjuster inspects the vehicle. So all-in-all I am not going to be out of pocket for much.

I could try to fight it more, but I've already been driving my wife crazy with sharing 1 vehicle. After almost two weeks, we are both ready to get it taken care of, and with a claim now underway with my insurance, I can use our rental car coverage. This is great, as my VW dealership never has enough loaner vehicles. Overall my dealership was very helpful, gave me very good documentation of their analysis and provided some advice on how to approach it with VW. They have had more luck with getting fuel system issues covered or partially covered when the consumer has called and complained.
 

bballppaul

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Location
Easthampton, MA
TDI
2015 Golf TDI S - Buyback, replaced with new 2015 GolfSportwagen S DSG
I don't see how VW can be responsible if the cause was bad/contaminated fuel and I think the offer of labor only on the repairs is pretty fair.
Agreed. I felt it was pretty fair, too after getting over the sticker shock of the repair. Just wanted to get some other opinions before accepting the offer.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 Jetta wagon BEW; 2015 Passat SE CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
Those pics are quite telling, that's not an HPFP failure.

I'm glad you found a way between VoA and your insurance. IMO that sludge looks more like something grew in your tank, or something grew in the tank of the station you fuel at.
 
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funoutdoors121

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Location
CT (USA)
TDI
15 GSW S 6MT
My thoughts: the fuel system components should not be so susceptible to corrosion and should be able to withstand some possible water contamination in the fuel, as this is not that uncommon...;)
 

ticaf

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Location
baltimore, MD
TDI
2015 Golf SW S Manual TDI
I'd just clean and put a new filter on, and see if the car drives fine.
If that's the case, I'd just clean out the tank. No doubt you took some crappy fuel. Scary stuff...
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
It wouldn't have been expensive of difficult to have incorporated a water warning light/alarm into the system. perhaps someone will figure out a retrofit of a water sensor to the fuel filter and a drain to drain off the water. ram cummins come standard with sensor and drain.
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
If you can prove you only bought fuel at one station, their insurance will pay for fuel damage. I have had several customers get reimbursed for bad fuel damage by oil companies.
 

bigb

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Location
Arizona
TDI
2015 Sportwagon S
Maybe the filter setup made by member 2micron would have prevented this but I heard he no longer makes them
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
Water sensors are fitted low in filter bowl so as to alert driver water is present before bowl completely fills with water.
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
What I saw in photos was long term water damage, could have occured from car sitting 2 years dormant before you even bought it. Local fuel retailer, WAWA has a dedicated fuel quality manager who tracks every delivery to their stations and handles fuel damage claims. some water is always present in diesel and all modern underground tanks have water sensors. Fuel is drawn from above the bottom of the tank so as to avoid sucking up the water. If water level is up to a certain level, tank is pumped out.
 

bballppaul

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Location
Easthampton, MA
TDI
2015 Golf TDI S - Buyback, replaced with new 2015 GolfSportwagen S DSG
My thoughts: the fuel system components should not be so susceptible to corrosion and should be able to withstand some possible water contamination in the fuel, as this is not that uncommon...;)
As an engineer, those were my thoughts exactly. Specifying materials based on potential failure modes, one of them being water contaminated fuel... I said that to VW customer service, too. But also as an engineer, I know full well that protecting against all failures is cost prohibitive, so there's always a balance.
I'd just clean and put a new filter on, and see if the car drives fine.
If that's the case, I'd just clean out the tank. No doubt you took some crappy fuel. Scary stuff...
Issue is the rust particles are coming from somewhere, something is corroding. I think just cleaning the tank and a new filter would only kick the can down the road on a vehicle I plan on owning for a while.
What I saw in photos was long term water damage, could have occured from car sitting 2 years dormant before you even bought it. Local fuel retailer, WAWA has a dedicated fuel quality manager who tracks every delivery to their stations and handles fuel damage claims. some water is always present in diesel and all modern underground tanks have water sensors. Fuel is drawn from above the bottom of the tank so as to avoid sucking up the water. If water level is up to a certain level, tank is pumped out.
This was my other thought, it is possible that this is long term water damage due to sitting 2 years before sale. I had to replace all rotors and brake pads a month ago, as they were corroded, too. They had been in bad shape for over a year, but I finally replaced them this year when I could notice my brake performance getting worse. I had never seen OEM rotors corrode like this after only a few years of use. Dealer I bought from (different than the one servicing my vehicle) of course said they had been storing their vehicles properly. After the brake issue, I don't believe them, but that is a difficult thing to prove.
 
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