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David, VW Master Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 2366
Experience:  VW Master Technician Certified for 9 years, ASE Master Technician Certified
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2001 VW bug: Started running..000 miles..engine died

Resolved Question:

2001 VW BUG TDI. Started car, then on the way to walgreens, car running as normal, 148,000 miles on car. Was on street to turn into Walgreens and engine died. Would crank but would not start. Pushed car into parking lot. Called tow truck. Had key in ignition to unlock stearing wheel when car was pulled onto tow truck. Key stayed in ignition while car was on truck. Back at the house driver put the car down in driveway. Noted diesel had leaked onto the tow truck bed. Guess this is because steering wheel was still unlocked with the key in the igniton. In driveway leaked some deisel but key is out of ignition. Seems to have stopped but car will not start. Can smell diesel fuel more than usual. Cheap fix I bet. HA. Any ideas or suggestions?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  David replied 4 years ago.
Even with the key on fuel should not leak out of the car. First I would check to make sure something did not hit the floorboard on the right (Passenger) side of the car. Since the fuel lines go on the right side anything being kicked up can puncture a line. Next is to check the fuel filter to make sure the water drain valve is not leaking out. Filter bracket need to be loosened and the filter lifted to check the drain valve under the filter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Checked under the Bug. Did not see any damage to the underside of the care on the passenger side. Covers underneath look intact, but there is fuel dripping from the passenger side in the right front of the car. Looking under the car, the leaking appears to be going from the left side near the firewall on the left side extending all the way over to the right front where it is dripping. If it is the filter how do I check it, and where is it. Let me know if that is not included with the question. Thanks for your help. Perhaps it may not be as drastic as I expect. Could a leaking fuel filter cause the car to die suddenly and not start. It never did that before.

Expert:  David replied 4 years ago.
The fuel filter is located on the right side under the hood. It will have four lines that connect to it. Looking down on the fuel filter you will see a Phillips screw, if you loosen this screw it will loosen the clamp and allow you to raise the filter up. If it is wet under the filter, replace the fuel filter. Here is the problem, the injector pump has sucked air into the system, which makes it extremely difficult to purge the air out. Normally in the shop we connect a vacuum tank on the return line, and it will pull fuel through the injector pump allowing it to be easier to start. You may have to crank the car a long period once you repair the leak. Keep in mind not to crank more then 45 seconds allowing some time for the starter to cool down. You may end up having to have a shop purge the air out of the system.
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