View Full Version : MK3 VR6 possible fuel pump issue

2014.04.06, 13:01 PM
Hi all, had a shop replace my fuel filter and lines this last Friday. Drove the car home fine. Saturday car sputtered while driving in 3rd about 3200rpm. Got it home and now when driving it will die when I come to a stop, car out of gear and idling.

I am able to smoothly drive it around but I can feel the sputter at times. The worst is it dieing when idle.

I assume this is a fuel issue... What do u think?


2014.04.07, 17:46 PM
Seems to happen more when the engine is warm.

I checked for codes today and got two.

p0102 MAF Sensor and p0301 Cylinder 1 misfire.

Rabbit 16v
2014.04.08, 10:14 AM
Yeah, I would lean toward MAF. However, you say they replaced your fuel lines. What engine is this? If they replaced the lines under the hood, they will have needed to mess with the airbox and as such, the MAF. Perhaps its not plugged in all the way?

2014.04.08, 16:22 PM
I once screwed the pooch by forgetting to fit the boot all the way back onto my throttle body. Motor ran lean because air was pulled in, bypassing the MAF. Live and learn.

2014.04.10, 17:22 PM
Egnines a VR6 12v. I think its the MAF thanks. Def not the work the shop did as the codes are MAf and misfiring cyl. p0301 Cyl 1 misfire and p0102 MAF sensor volume low...

I cleaned the MAF and have ordered new spark plugs. Hoping these things fix both codes. Going to be looking into the coil pack tonight. Anything else I should be looking into? Sorry really two different issues im talking about here.

Rabbit 16v
2014.04.22, 22:19 PM

2014.04.27, 19:31 PM
Car has been running good now for a week. I am thinking the MAF code was a loose MAF connection but I replaced the MAF with a used one and havent had any motor running issues since. No more stalling and loss of power.

The Cylinder 1 misfire is hopefully resolved with the new sparks put in a few days ago.

Now the issue is I am hearing chain noise that I did not hear when I bought the car. Owner reported chains were done and receipts checked out, clearly wasn't done right as timing case is leaking too. Damn damn damn.

2014.04.28, 10:18 AM
can always stop by Fine Tuning and have them tell you what they think :thumbup:

2014.04.30, 18:04 PM
Thats the hard part, living in Everett and working Mon-Fri. The car isnt a daily

2014.05.07, 10:13 AM
If the tensioner gets clogged with oil sludge the chains can start to get noisy. I cleaned mine out and it made a difference.

2014.05.10, 20:23 PM
The chains were recently done but I fear incorrectly/badly. Should I consider changing the sprockets as well?

2014.05.12, 13:28 PM
I'd think just changing the guides and chains would do it. If the sprockets are worn, you'd probably be able to see it.

2014.05.13, 05:46 AM
I had to change a sprocket...

But it's out of the ordinary. Think the valve keeper went through there and busted off a tooth. :facepalm:

And this is why people, you run HD valve springs when running aggressive cams. :rolleyes:

2014.05.13, 17:42 PM
I'm buying a timing chain kit from GAP. Should I buy anything in addition to it? Im considering the Valve cover and intake manifold gaskets. I read but could not find the thread again about some type of little green looking little grommet/gasket looking thing that someone had mentioned needing to buy. Anyone have any clue what im talking about?

Info on the car, it is a stock 12valve VR6. Engine number AAA 266 616 (single row chain)

Rabbit 16v
2014.05.13, 21:07 PM
you will not be able to do the job without the valve cover gasket and intake manifold gasket. while you are there, I would do a head gasket as well since its pretty easy at that point and you can upgrade to an MLS unit. the green oring is something to get as well.

2014.05.14, 21:07 PM
great thanks!

2014.05.15, 06:00 AM
Make sure to verify the chain does NOT have a master link in it. Most of the chain kits GAP sells do not...however a friend of mine did receive one with a master link. Fortunately he caught it when inspecting the parts prior to starting the job, so he was able to have it exchanged for the non-link type.

2014.05.19, 20:53 PM
I ended up buying a new upper tensioner bolt. I have head that these sometimes are installed wrong or faulty so I thought this would be a good try before doing a full chain job. Thoughts?

Rabbit 16v
2014.05.20, 17:33 PM
I have heard the same about the tensioner.. only from the internets. I have never tried it since all the cars that I have dealt with making chain noises actually need chains. Sounds more like a vortexpert repair, but since you have it, might as well try it. I would plan on doing chains though in the future..

Installing the tensioner wrong is pretty much impossible. If it was installed wrong, we probably would have mentioned Valdez, Exxon, Halliburton, or some other disastrous calamity.

2014.05.20, 19:45 PM
If it was installed wrong, we probably would have mentioned Valdez, Exxon, Halliburton, or some other disastrous calamity.


2014.05.21, 18:12 PM
Alright, I'll let you guys knows what it looks like when I open it and if the new bolt fixes the lil noise im hearing.

2014.05.25, 14:11 PM
When we did the chains on my old '99 Mk3 VR6. The chains and guides were fine, the tension bolt had seized and wasn't tensioning. It was still piece of mind doing all of the chains and guides though.

2014.06.04, 18:12 PM
Do the newer upper tensioner bolts need the crush washer?

Rabbit 16v
2014.06.05, 12:43 PM
upper tensioner bolts?

2014.06.05, 17:43 PM

Rabbit 16v
2014.06.05, 19:04 PM
Ahh. Yes it does. Unless you like oil leaks.

2014.06.23, 20:31 PM
Looking at my bolt it looks like a coppered color washer comes with it. Newer style chains.

After soaking in oil getting the air out can I just simply remove the current bolt and replace with the newly purchased one? I thought I would have to remove some parts to get it out. Is it that easy to replace?

2014.06.24, 11:32 AM
Yes, it is. 2 minute job.

2014.07.05, 14:24 PM
Anyone know the torque spec for the upper tensioner bolt? I've read 22 and 30ft-lbs but can't find an answer in the Bentley.

2014.07.05, 16:40 PM
I installed the new bolt and from cold start the chain clicking noise seems to be gone. After it warmed up the clicking is back.

Did the bolt work at first and as the car warmed up at some point it started to fail thus the clicking noise is back?

Cold Start


Warmed Up

2014.07.06, 07:49 AM
I've successfully "bled" a tensioner bolt before, by sticking it in a cup of oil and pushing to cycle it. If the oil that comes out during this process is dirty, that might be clogging up the small oil holes in the tensioner.

Incidentally, the reason I did the above was because I bought a brand new tensioner and it made a worse racket than the old one on installation.

2014.07.06, 08:31 AM
I've never done it before until yesterday. I pushed the bolt in 10 times or so but never had it completely stiff. About 1/4 to 1/2 of movement when I pressed on it. I couldn't get any more oil in. So today I have taken the old one cycled the air out a bunch of times and have left it in a can of oil.

When I pulled the old one out of the engine I immediately pushed on it and no oil came out. I had resistance but didn't see oil.

My main question now is what is the noise in the videos above? I think the bolt isn't working thus the clicking sound. OR a broken guide.

2014.07.06, 18:16 PM
Could the oil in the engine be a cause of the ticking? Currently has 20w-50 non synthetic.

Going to put 5w-40 in next change

2014.07.06, 19:52 PM
Anything's possible, but that seems a little backwards to me, given that the problem is worse when warmed up. If the oil being too thick was the issue, I'd think it would be worse when cold.

The tensioner won't get stiff when pumped by hand [so many jokes!], because it needs a continuous supply of pressurized oil. My goal in doing that was to get the air out, so the motor didn't take so long in doing it. For some reason this was a struggle on my motor.

Rabbit 16v
2014.07.09, 10:20 AM
I have never bled the tensioner on these and never had an issue. It sounds to me like a broken guide more than anything..

2014.07.09, 20:59 PM
If the upper guide is the only thing broken will finding the pieces only be done by pulling the trans and opening the entire upper and lower areas?

Adam Lee did the chains in February but either installed lousy or I have some bad luck.

2014.07.10, 11:12 AM
Broken pieces will most likely be in the oil pan. I'd drop that first.

Rabbit 16v
2014.07.10, 13:10 PM
Unless only the upper chain was replaced...

2014.07.13, 14:36 PM
I think the previous owner was trying to hide the clicking noise from me. Putting that heavy oil and and a bolt was missing from the rad fan making a clicking noise. Maybe im being paranoid. Sounds like I need to open the upper timing area to look from broken items before buying a chain kit. I am just worried the clicking noise isn't timing chain related.

2014.07.20, 19:05 PM
I have never bled the tensioner on these and never had an issue. It sounds to me like a broken guide more than anything..

I hear two different things in there. The chain noise and the clicking. What could the clicking sound be from?
I am trying to find youtube clips where I hear the click but no results. Only audible after engine is warm.

2014.08.18, 19:57 PM
Opened it up and took a look. Guides seem fine, nothing broken. No wear on the guides and everything is intact. Are some engines chains noisier than others? Any thoughts on wat the click would be?

I want to drive this thing with less worry, I don't go more than 5 miles from home.

2014.08.20, 08:58 AM
AAA that's how I roll.

2015.02.25, 22:14 PM
Update: Been a year but have only put 2k miles on it. Haven't redone the chains yet. Changed the oil last week and noticed some copper color flakes. I assume these are rod bearing flakes. Which leads me to think low oil pressure that also effects the upper tensioner bolt causing the bolt to fail which could mean the chain slapping/clicking the upper guide. I really just need to pull this thing and get in there but looking for your opinions and thoughts as always.

I am going to pull the motor completely so I can also drop the pan and check the bearings before ordering any parts.

Few questions:
1. If I have a rod bearing issue when I replace them will I need to order Rod bolts too?

2. On a chain kit is it necessary in addition to the upper intake mani gasket to also purchase a lower mani gasket?

3. Are new crank bolts (flywheel to crank) needed if I do a chain job?



2015.02.26, 06:58 AM
Main bearing and rod bolts are stretch bolts IIRC, and will need to be replaced if you pull them. Unless you swap out to the ARP hardware, which are reusable assuming you don't over-torque and stretch them. Flywheel bolts are stretch bolts as well, and should be replaced. I know some people have re-used them in the past, but after having them loosen up on my Mk2 years ago, I always replace them. Minor cost compared to hassling w/ pulling a trans again. The lower manifold gasket will be dependent on whether or not you pull the lower manifold (I don't think it's required...but I'm going through a full rebuild so I don't recall for certain) and the condition it's in.

2015.02.26, 13:15 PM
I don't think the main bolts are stretchy, but the other ones, yes. I did ARP rod bolts when I put mine back together, and 12.9 SHCS for the mains. The machinist that resized the rods recommended ARP because they can be fully torqued during the resizing process. Bently says to torque, but not stretch them during resize, and I don't know if it really makes a difference or not. I'd replace that gasket while you're in there, and the fuel injector o-rings. They're cheap, and don't last forever.

You ought to be able to pull the oil pan with the motor in the car; I've done it plenty of times. If the oil passages in the motor/crank are plugged up, the new rod bearings won't last long. That might be the reason the bearings are failing (assuming that's the issue).

2015.02.26, 20:51 PM
Im going to inspect soon, if bearings I guess I will have to spring for the ARP knowing its very likely ill need to get in there again. Where do you guys buy oem from? I am typically looking at GAP and Uro tuning but recently was introduced to Halsey in Portland.

I also have access to a shop that can order my parts for me but they aren't VW, anyone know who the better whole part suppliers are?

Thanks all! I hope things go well for but either way its a fun learning process.

2015.02.26, 22:24 PM
I often get parts from Fine Tuning..

2015.02.27, 12:44 PM
Fine Tuning (Chris / Rabbit 16V)
1st VW Parts / Auburn Vw (Zeb / Zeblor)
ECS Tuning (faceless corporate types ;))

While you're in there mucking about, try pulling the front sway bar out and throwing it in the recycle bin. Best. Mod. Ev4r.... and it's free!

I ended up cutting mine in half and welding it to a socket to use as a crank pulley removal tool. Just got that back from somebody I loaned it out to. If you need it, or other VR6 tools, let me know. I see you also reside in the Ever-moist suburb of North Boeing.

2015.03.09, 20:39 PM
Does anyone have any ideas on how to bolt the engine once to the stand so that I can have the timing chains and crankshaft exposed at the same time?

2015.03.09, 21:12 PM
Sorry, I think I worked on one end at a time.

2015.03.10, 06:19 AM
I'll try to get a pic of the setup I'm borrowing now. You will likely have to make an adapter to fit the engine stand.

2015.03.26, 20:36 PM
Please post those pics when you have them.

My help is 2 weeks or so out from being able to pull the trans and do the chains so in the mean time I thought checking the oil pressure may be able to tell me something. If I have low oil pressure the upper tensioner bolt would fail right? This could create slack in the chain resulting in the noise in my videos previously posted? At cold start no noise... when the oil thins out and warms up you hear it.

If the pressure checks out then I guess try to pull pan and look for chunks of broken stuff.

2015.03.30, 05:46 AM
Oh crap, sorry. Spaced it. Essentially it's a plate welded to some round pipe to fit the engine stand. The plate bolts to the block at the rear (in car) motor mount locations.

2015.03.30, 05:48 AM
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3847/14641655400_38c6e96b30_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oiQj3u)

2016.02.18, 18:36 PM
Finally got around to the timing chains. Replaced it all, found a few things that could have been the problem.

1. Decent amount of play on the lower tensioner. When chain was tight i could move the guide the tensioner was pushing on.
2. The bolt holding the lower sprocket was only hand tight! I think bentley says 74ft lbs.
3. Found a spot where i assume the chain was slapping the block. I think this explains the copper flakes in engine. Photo below:
4. Zero sealant was found on any of the timing case.

Havent driven it yet but fired it up and let it idle for 10 mins, almost no chain noise at all and to my releif no more clicking sound! :thumbup:

2016.02.18, 19:24 PM

2016.02.21, 11:48 AM
Thought it would be nice to post the before and after in case anyone ever runs into a similar sound. I had a ton of fun learning but hope to never have to do this again! The transmission is an ahole.

The chain noise is typical but the click sound was something unique I hadn't heard in any youtubes videos. The chains had just been done on my car maybe 5-10k miles ago, pulling all parts all guides and rails appeared unmarked and in good condition but we still replaced everything.

I believe the clicking sound is a result of the lower sprocket bolt being loose thus allowing the lower chain to slap the bottom of timing case area as seen in picture in previous post above.






2016.06.09, 17:12 PM
Hey all, its been a few months cars been running great. Replaced the crack pipe, deleted SAI and plugged it. Noticed recently though an oil leak coming from an unknown source that drips just below the flywheel from the case that covers it.

When i removed said case and start the car the leak doesnt seem to show, after turning the engine off or after getting the oil really hot it shows a good leak. My thoughts are either the rear mainseal or oil pan. I replced the oil pan gasket as the PO was missing 4 bolts, stripped 2 more and put way too thick sealant on it. After properly replacing the pan it still leaks so that wasnt the problem. My guy that helps me says maybe the PCV valve is acting up which could cause this leak, does that sound possible to you guys?

See pic to follow. Does anyone have ideas before i remove the tranny? Also, if i do have to remove the tranny to get to the seal will i have room by only removing the tranny? Id like to avoid pull the lower timing case off.


2016.06.09, 21:36 PM
that the backside of the flywheel? Sounds like a rear main seal to me...

2016.06.10, 10:29 AM
that the backside of the flywheel? Sounds like a rear main seal to me...

Yes that picture is from me laying underneath the car taking a pic of the flywheel from the engine side after removing the flywheel cover piece