View Full Version : Please help, diesel emergency.

2011.02.10, 21:31 PM
Ok, here goes, car in question is a '89 Jetta, 1.6 NA Diesel.

Symptoms are as follows...

2 weeks ago it got pretty cold up here overnight. That morning I couldn't get the car started. At first I thought it was gelled fuel but that turned out not to be the case.
Either way, that same day I managed to get it started.

Car was running fine after that, I did change the fuel filter last weekend and noticed the alternator belt was old/cracked so I changed that too.

It ran great before and after the filter change. Drove it for over 500 miles since.

Then the morning after all those miles, same thing. Had to crank it forever to get it going. Did get it started.

I noticed the fuel return line for injector #4 was leaking a little bit. Thought, maybe that's my problem.

So, last night, when the engine was warm, I changed that line. No fuel came out when I removed the old one. Tried the start the engine after changing that line, no dice. Ended up draining the battery, put it on a charge.

This morning I went out and changed all of the rubber lines and I mean all of them.

Filled the line going from the fuel filter to the injector pump with marvel mystery oil to prime it.

Cranked it over, nothing. Cracked one of the injector pressure lines, no fuel. But it is circulating fuel coming from the feed to the return on the injector pump itself.

So now I've been trying to get fuel to the injectors for numerous hours...good thing I have a brand new starter.

Nothing seems to work. I'm pulling my hair out at this point. I mean, it WAS running before I did this one little thing. :crap:

Please, any ideas, anything I could try?


2011.02.10, 21:42 PM
Izzy is good people, help her out please! :)

2011.02.10, 21:45 PM
or Chris...

2011.02.10, 21:48 PM
Are you using the cold start lever? Is it still moving the arm on the injection pump? Do your glow plugs come on? Is the temp sender for the relay in good (working order) condition? Is the glow plug fuse good?

2011.02.10, 21:56 PM
Yes, I always use the cold start lever and it's moving the arm on the pump.

Checked the glow plug relay, it's working fine. Power at the glow plugs, as far as I can tell they're working (fairly new). So yes, the glow plug fuse is good also.

I don't know about the temp sensor for the relay, what should be it's resistance reading?

I will add that I did disable the glow plugs and tried to start the engine on starting fluid. Probably a bad thing to do. But other than a few knocks it didn't start on that either.

Cranking speed of the engine is fabulous as my starter is only about a month old and I re-did all the engine grounds.

2011.02.10, 21:58 PM
have you tried starting it without the airfilter?

2011.02.10, 22:06 PM
Do you have power at the fuel stop solenoid?

2011.02.10, 22:36 PM
Do you have power at the fuel stop solenoid?

I do have power at the fuel stop solenoid.

Now, there's another solenoid looking thing in front the the injector pump, what does that one do? Or is that a temp sender?

The air intake is clean as a whistle...air filter is great. I haven't tried to start it without the air filter because everything is so clean it shouldn't make a difference...

Rabbit 16v
2011.02.10, 22:41 PM
Pull vacuum at the pump on the return line. Make sure all other fuel connections are tight. Once you get fuel in a consistent manner, put all the lines back to factory setting. then try and start. if it starts, you have a problem with air leaking into the fuel system. if it does not start, you have a timing, compression, or other problem. this information is gratis that you KNOW the glow plugs are working properly.

in the event that it does start, we will need to address why it is getting air into the fuel system. first things first though, try those suggestions and report back.

2011.02.10, 22:52 PM
Ok, I'll do that tomorrow.

I was also thinking of getting an in-line electric fuel pump as to aid the injector pump perhaps.

Now, I know I have power at the glow plugs but how can I confirm they are actually working?

Thank you everyone, I'll report back tomorrow.

Rabbit 16v
2011.02.11, 08:47 AM
you can test the glow plugs by taking the power bus off, connect one end of a test light to the positive terminal on the battery, then touch the tip of hte test light to the end of the glow plug (the part that the 8mm nuts go onto). If the light is illuminated, that glow plug is good. check all 4.

2011.02.11, 20:42 PM
I would like to thank everyone for the troubleshooting and advice.

The Jetta is back in business. I installed a cheap electric fuel pump in the injector pump feed line. It started right up.

So, that tells me I better start saving up to buy a reman injector pump.

Does anyone have any experience with how long this fix generally lasts?
I'd hate to get stranded out in the boonies somewhere as I average 800 miles a week on this thing!

Thanks again!!! :D

2011.02.11, 20:46 PM
My bro-in-law has been using a booster pump on his mk2 TD for a long time, his pump leaks a bit too, no problems yet (and he used to commute from Portland to Seattle with this car)

Rabbit 16v
2011.02.12, 18:27 PM
should last a really long time. but as the pump continues to leak, it will damage other things such as cooling hoses and stuff.