Rust in the fuel system

jsds

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Location
Virginia
TDI
'09 Jetta
I took my '09 Jetta to the dealer today, for it's 40K service. A couple of hours after I dropped it off, the SR called and said that they found rust in the fuel filter and other parts of the fuel system. He's going to call VOA on Monday to see what they will do.

Thoughts?

-C
 

Seatman

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Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Location
Scotland
TDI
2007 Seat Alhambra 2L tdi
Maybe bad diesel? I mean it'll be a plastic tank and fuel lines. Maybe it's just sediment they found, I can't see how you could get rust in there other than putting it in down the filler neck.:confused:
 

tdiatlast

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Jan 21, 2009
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
TDI
2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
Do a search...and don't freak out with what you read.
Some have had colored sediment in the FF canister. I don't believe it's been determined yet if it's rust, or some sort of bacterial growth from biodiesel.
Where do you buy your fuel?
 

wild03

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Location
Miami FL
TDI
:(
I remember reading a while back some thread here of a member that pulled his fuel pump (one inside the tank)and found something on the assembly with rust. some rod or something,

Worth taking a look or at least searching for that thread
 

jsds

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Location
Virginia
TDI
'09 Jetta
Just got off the phone with the dealer; VOA is covering the cost to replace the entire fuel system (tank to injectors). Sounds similar to a HPFP replacement to me. FYI - the SR said the bill is over 6K.

He did mention that the fuel filter canister itself was rusted; I've been out of town since I dropped the vehicle off, so I haven't seen any of it myself.

-C
 

RebelTDI

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Nov 1, 2009
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Boston, MA
TDI
2016 Audi Q5 TDI, 2016 BMW 535d Xdrive
Had your 09 been having any problems, running rough, CELs, etc? It almost sounds like a preemptive fuel system change if not. Interesting story.
 

tdiatlast

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Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
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2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
Just got off the phone with the dealer; VOA is covering the cost to replace the entire fuel system (tank to injectors). Sounds similar to a HPFP replacement to me. FYI - the SR said the bill is over 6K.

He did mention that the fuel filter canister itself was rusted; I've been out of town since I dropped the vehicle off, so I haven't seen any of it myself.

-C
Where are you in Virginia? There's another HPFP failure in Winchester.
 

jsds

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Location
Virginia
TDI
'09 Jetta
I'm in Chesapeake, the car is in Virginia Beach. The dealer is Checkered Flag and they're on the Trusted Mechanics list. We've had very good service from them in the past too, but I don't think I'm getting the full-story of what went wrong with the fuel I've been putting in it or the components of the fuel system.

The vehicle has been running fine, with the exception that twice in 45 days, the MIL has lit, but then turned off after three emission-compliant trips. I don't have a vag-com tool (yet) just a normal OBDII scan tool, so what was soft-coding is a mystery to me.

This car has been serviced by the same dealer; 10K, 20K, 30K and now 40K. What happened in the fuel system between 20K and 40K is a mystery to me.
 

tdiatlast

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Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
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2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
JSDS: Any thoughts on where/when you might have picked up some questionnable fuel? Ar you using bio? Are you using an additive?

Curious that they'd replace the entire system based on "rust" in the system, with no HPFP failure.

I just changed my FF at 32k, and extracted all the fuel from the canister. I had a very small amount of rust-colored sediment in the bottom...what you might have in a tea cup after brewing a tea-bag amount of tea. Doesn't look terribly alarming (canister was shiny clean) but I saved the sediment in a bottle, with the fuel.

Also, absolutely ZERO water in the canister. Hmmm...using OptiLube XPD, a demulsifier...where IS that big glob of water? Plus, my FF canister is one of the tall ones, with the gap in the base below the filter...
 

jsds

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Location
Virginia
TDI
'09 Jetta
JSDS: Any thoughts on where/when you might have picked up some questionnable fuel? Ar you using bio? Are you using an additive?
Source: not sure, but the vehicle is usually filled at a high-volume Shell dealer in Chesapeake.
Bio: not in this region of VA
Additive: Stanadyne Lubricity
Curious that they'd replace the entire system based on "rust" in the system, with no HPFP failure.
Curious it is!
I just changed my FF at 32k, and extracted all the fuel from the canister. I had a very small amount of rust-colored sediment in the bottom...what you might have in a tea cup after brewing a tea-bag amount of tea. Doesn't look terribly alarming (canister was shiny clean) but I saved the sediment in a bottle, with the fuel.
It would be interesting to find out what your sediment is composed of.
Since water has always been an issue with diesel fuel, why isn't there a water separator in all diesel engines?
 

740GLE

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Aug 19, 2009
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NH
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2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
the fuel filter is designed to seporate water, how good a job it does compared to a stand alone system is anyones guess.
 

Jack Sprocket

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Location
Long Island, New York
TDI
2010 Sportwagon
rusty fuel system

I have a 2010 tdi wagon with 24000 miles.. For the last 4 months I have been to the dealer with a check engine light that keeps turning on. Over the period they changed several sensors and ordered a fuel rail sensor. Yesterday I dropped the car off for the sensor to be installed and when I called to check on the car they told me there was rust in the fuel system. They found metal rusty shavings from the fuel pump. They said this is a newly discovered problem and VW is going to fix it by replacing the fuel system. This will take at least 2 weeks so I have a loaner.
:mad:
 

dweisel

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Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Location
Wheeling, West Virginia
TDI
dweisel isn't diesel anymore!
I have a 2010 tdi wagon with 24000 miles.. For the last 4 months I have been to the dealer with a check engine light that keeps turning on. Over the period they changed several sensors and ordered a fuel rail sensor. Yesterday I dropped the car off for the sensor to be installed and when I called to check on the car they told me there was rust in the fuel system. They found metal rusty shavings from the fuel pump. They said this is a newly discovered problem and VW is going to fix it by replacing the fuel system. This will take at least 2 weeks so I have a loaner.
:mad:
There have been 3 or 4 hpfp failure where there was rust in the fuel system. A good while back IIRC. Not so sure how NEW of a problem it is. I wish you had more details on which fuel pump had rusty metal shavings? And where the rust in the fuel system was?
 

Jack Sprocket

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Location
Long Island, New York
TDI
2010 Sportwagon
There have been 3 or 4 hpfp failure where there was rust in the fuel system. A good while back IIRC. Not so sure how NEW of a problem it is. I wish you had more details on which fuel pump had rusty metal shavings? And where the rust in the fuel system was?
I only know what my dealer told me. Mine was the second car in their shop last week with the same problem and they expect more. They told me part of the fuel pump is rusting and causing metal shavings to clog up the fuel system. They also told me the fuel stations are adding water to the fuel but VW will pay for the repair. I find it hard to believe any service station would purposely add water to the fuel but the dealer is trying to make it seem like it wasn't caused by poor engineering.
 

tcp_ip_dude

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May 14, 2010
Location
Cape Fear area, NC
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI Sedan
I only know what my dealer told me. Mine was the second car in their shop last week with the same problem and they expect more. They told me part of the fuel pump is rusting and causing metal shavings to clog up the fuel system. They also told me the fuel stations are adding water to the fuel but VW will pay for the repair. I find it hard to believe any service station would purposely add water to the fuel but the dealer is trying to make it seem like it wasn't caused by poor engineering.
I'd find another dealer, they're feeding you a load of cr*p IMHO: 1) No station would purposely add water to fuel, 2) I call BS on the "rusting fuel pump", unless I'm missing something, it's predominately aluminum (doesn't rust) with a few steel sub-components..

I'll defer to Specs, Dwiesel and eddif, you guys have laid hands on the pump.
 

torqueit

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Location
Rochester, MI
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SE
Is there any really plausible explanation for rust in the fuel system except diesel with excessive water/moisture?

I'm not sure anyone's saying that it was added intentionally but it seems to me that this is one issue where it's hard to blame the manufacturer, unless there is something in their design that causes the rust in the face of otherwise typical water levels in the fuel.
 

dweisel

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Jul 28, 2006
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Wheeling, West Virginia
TDI
dweisel isn't diesel anymore!
I'd find another dealer, they're feeding you a load of cr*p IMHO: 1) No station would purposely add water to fuel, 2) I call BS on the "rusting fuel pump", unless I'm missing something, it's predominately aluminum (doesn't rust) with a few steel sub-components..

I'll defer to Specs, Dwiesel and eddif, you guys have laid hands on the pump.
Ferrous metal would probaly be coming from the roller or cam in the LP part of the pump. Usually a pump that far gone doesn't last long.Although the hpfp can maintain adequate fuel pressure even with a failing roller/cam because the pump stroke stays the same. When enough metal particles restrict fuel a 'low fuel pressure'' code will cause limp mode or stalling.Another source of rust in the fuel system can be the fuel sending rods. This rust shows up in the fuel sending unit and fuel canister.Without seeing this particular fuel system, we really don't know what rusted and where in the fuel the rust is.
 

MonsterTDI09

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
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Jul 3, 2009
Location
NoVa/NJ
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2010 Jetta DSG/ up keep on 2009 Jetta DSG 2006 Jetta Pag 2 in North SEA Green
Is there any really plausible explanation for rust in the fuel system except diesel with excessive water/moisture?

I'm not sure anyone's saying that it was added intentionally but it seems to me that this is one issue where it's hard to blame the manufacturer, unless there is something in their design that causes the rust in the face of otherwise typical water levels in the fuel.

Some have seen the support rods on the lift pump rust and in the fuel filter housing.With all the rain we had some water could got in station tank.I try to buy form a high voluming station.
 

dweisel

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Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Location
Wheeling, West Virginia
TDI
dweisel isn't diesel anymore!
Is there any really plausible explanation for rust in the fuel system except diesel with excessive water/moisture?
I'm not sure anyone's saying that it was added intentionally but it seems to me that this is one issue where it's hard to blame the manufacturer, unless there is something in their design that causes the rust in the face of otherwise typical water levels in the fuel.
Both our 09's had rusted fuel sending unit rods. I came up with a fix for that problem by replacing the rusted stock rods with stainless steel. There have been other members here that also had rusted rods. Is this a contributing factor in hpfp failures? We don't know yet. Although my rods were rusted NO water was ever visible in either the fuel tank or fuel filter. Check out my thread on myturbodiesel.com for instructions on replacing rusted fuel sending unit rods.
 

tdiatlast

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Joined
Jan 21, 2009
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Fort Worth, Texas
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2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
Dweisel, you probably answered this before, about the rust on the fuel sending unit rods. On yours, was there sufficient rusting to actually cause the rods to flake, or was it simply rust-colored stain? I don't recall you saying that the rods were scaling/flaking (whatever it's called). Is it possible the rods would just discolor to a certain point and remain intact?
It's probably very clear by now that I don't really know what I'm talking about here (!), just posing the question...
 

torqueit

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Location
Rochester, MI
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SE
Both our 09's had rusted fuel sending unit rods. I came up with a fix for that problem by replacing the rusted stock rods with stainless steel. There have been other members here that also had rusted rods. Is this a contributing factor in hpfp failures? We don't know yet. Although my rods were rusted NO water was ever visible in either the fuel tank or fuel filter. Check out my thread on myturbodiesel.com for instructions on replacing rusted fuel sending unit rods.
Dweisel, I'm aware of the rust that you found and your solution to it (which I may try to replace at some point but I was scared away by the install instructions).

Question is why would they rust in the first place unless there was both moisture and steel? Isn't diesel basically oil?
 

DanG144

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Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
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2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
There are several articles about ULSD being dried with salt beds (you can find them on this site and with google). Any salt left is obviously a bad corrosive agent. Many fuel storage and transfer facilities are concerned with this problem (corrosion in fuel systems.)
 

dweisel

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Jul 28, 2006
Location
Wheeling, West Virginia
TDI
dweisel isn't diesel anymore!
Dweisel, you probably answered this before, about the rust on the fuel sending unit rods. On yours, was there sufficient rusting to actually cause the rods to flake, or was it simply rust-colored stain? The rust seems to come off in very small pieces. Sand size or smaller. Actually almost looks like sand. Its only in the fuel sending unit and not the rest of the tank.I don't recall you saying that the rods were scaling/flaking (whatever it's called). Is it possible the rods would just discolor to a certain point and remain intact? No,the rust particles fall into the sending unit. MacBuckeye's rods were the same when we checked them.
It's probably very clear by now that I don't really know what I'm talking about here (!), just posing the question...
Here are a few pics.
Below pic: rusted fuel sending unit rods.

Below pic: rust from sending unit rods on fuel sending pickup screen.


Below pic: VW stock fuel sending rods that have rust.
 
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