2015 TDI - Complete fuel system failure at 50,900 miles - Club Touareg Forums
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post #1 of 30 Old 03-19-2019 Thread Starter
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2015 TDI - Complete fuel system failure at 50,900 miles

Well, it happened to us. We were driving down to Temecula yesterday and I thought I noticed a very slight hesitation in the engine while on the freeway. It was a barely noticeable pulsing and I wasn't sure what it could be - no lights or messages on the cluster. I thought maybe it could just be the uneven road or even the old steering wheel shake working its way back. I made a mental note to pay closer attention when I was on smoother pavement and kept going.


Maybe 10-15 minutes later I get a significant loss of power, and then an almost total loss of power a few seconds later. MIL is on and the glow plug pigtails are flashing, although I can't remember if the MIL came on before I lost power or right afterwards. Got over to the side of the freeway and shut her down. I let it sit for about 10 minutes while I consulted the manual, then decided to try and make it to the next offramp, which I did. Pulled into the nearest lot and shut it down again. I did not get any messages on the cluster - I cycled the ignition a couple of times to make sure I didn't have a workshop message, as I know that to mean something is seriously wrong.


I thought the hesitation might be a dirty or loose MAF sensor, so I popped the hood to check. Didn't have any tools at all on me, so I wasn't even able to pull the sensor out. Just made sure it was seated all right and that there wasn't anything wrong with the pipes / hoses that I could see. I'm no mechanic, but I didn't see anything.


VW Murrieta was less than 5 miles up the road and I decided to try and limp the car there. We made it about 300 yards before the car died in the street. Got it started again and limped into the closest parking lot to call a tow truck. Got towed to the dealer and took a 60 mile Uber ride home as they had just given out there last loaner (I literally watched the guy drive it away).


Got the call this afternoon - total fuel system replacement needed. I didn't press for details, so I am assuming I got some bad fuel. We had just filled the tank a day or two ago and we were maybe 100 miles into the tank. I almost always pump Shell, although this time we pumped at an unfamiliar station. I thought it'd be all right since they had quite a few diesel pumps (more than the typical 2 or 4 around here), plus I use power service additive when filling up (although my fiance does not...and it's her daily).



Thank goodness it's being covered under the powertrain warranty. VW Murietta has been absolutely fantastic thus far - our service advisor Jennifer has been great! Parts are on order and the ETA is ~1 week. They even offered to cover a loaner, but due to some accounting / systems issues we're having some trouble getting hooked up with a local Enterprise branch. Not their fault though.


I'm surprised this happened. CA is supposed to have some of the highest quality diesel in the country (I know that's not saying much). The only thing I can think of is we've been having some crazy (for us) weather here in SoCal with a ton of rain and temperatures way below normal. It only just heated up in the past 3-4 days, so maybe there was some condensation inside the station's tank? Or worse, maybe some rainwater somehow made it in? Really beats me...I try to make sure I put some power service in at least once a month.


3rd break down since December. I love this car, but of the 4 VW / Audi's I've owned, it's the only one that's ever had a mechanical issue...and it's had quite a few.
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-19-2019
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Sorry to hear of your problems.

Total fuel system replacement needed due to what???
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post #3 of 30 Old 03-19-2019
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Does not sound good.

What engine designation and what model fuel pump?

MY08 V6 TDI, Shadow Blue, Beige Interior, Towbar, Air Suspension, LED Load Box (not used).
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post #4 of 30 Old 03-20-2019
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What is a "complete fuel system failure?" I never heard this term. And before blaming "bad diesel," what does the mechanic say? Unnecessary "Diesel Kleen" is as likely as bad diesel. How can you trust anything named "Kleen?" haha. Good luck and report back please.

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post #5 of 30 Old 03-20-2019
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Back when I had first gotten my 2012 TDI in 10/2013, there were some HPFP's that were being destroyed. Back then there were many and some lengthy threads on the High Pressure Fuel Pumps and the people who were having them self destruct-there were not all that many and the problem was, and still not is, rampant with any 3.0L TDI.

VW was investigated by I think the NHTSA or whatever regulatory agency oversees all the mfgr's.

The conclusion to the entire mess of HPFP's failing?, people were putting gasoline into the diesel engines. The other positive for consumers?, that VW had to extend the warranty for the HPFP and related components.

There were two takeaways I got from the entire drama, from "Niner" -remember Niner?, he said 1. Avoid redline and stressing the HPFP and 2. Do not run the tank down into the red/orange of the fuel tank.

I'd be so happy that the fix is covered under warranty.
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post #6 of 30 Old 03-20-2019
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It's most likely a failure of the High Pressure Fuel Pump [hence HPFP failure] which grenades when it lets go and sends swarf fragments out through the entire fuel system including the fuel tank.

It's a well known issue to regulars on here but really only seems to occur in the US where reports of the cost of repairs have been up to $16,000.

It seems to be caused by three things:

1. Never run the fuel tank on a Tdi below 1/4 full.

The pump heats the fuel during pressurisation but the engine doesn't use all the pressurised hot fuel so it has a return to take unused fuel back to the tank.

There is a small cooler on the return but the system also relies on using the contents of the tank for cooling too.

2. Poor lubricity in the diesel being purchased which would include any water condensation of course.

3. Inadvertent mis-fuelling with gas / petrol.

So as above, follow Niner's advice [he's well and happy by the way and it's good someone else remembers him too, Ben!] and treat 1/4 full as EMPTY.

Buy the best quality diesel you can from high volume stations and use an additive.

Should it happen to you I wouldn't raise any of these points with any dealer asked to repair the car and especially anything about mis-fuelling or fuel quality.

Why would you give them a possible get out of jail card to your potentially grave $16,000 disadvantage?

Just keep schtum and get your car fixed under the VW warranty!
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post #7 of 30 Old 03-20-2019
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Niner was good. I had learned a lot from him, and from you(noobytoogy), over the years.

I have not seen one single post or thread over on the Cayenne Diesel forum on Rennlist in the two years I have been on it. There have also not been many on CT in the past few years now.
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post #8 of 30 Old 03-20-2019
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There needs to be a list started on exactly how many people have had this happen to them and model year they have. This is becoming ridiculous.
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post #9 of 30 Old 03-20-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric1285 View Post
Got the call this afternoon - total fuel system replacement needed. I didn't press for details, so I am assuming I got some bad fuel. We had just filled the tank a day or two ago and we were maybe 100 miles into the tank. I almost always pump Shell, although this time we pumped at an unfamiliar station. I thought it'd be all right since they had quite a few diesel pumps (more than the typical 2 or 4 around here), plus I use power service additive when filling up (although my fiance does not...and it's her daily).
As others have identified - this isn't a bad fuel issue. Your HPFP fragged and took out your fuel system. The only way to fix it is replace the entire fuel system - those little pieces of metal and plastic will destroy your injectors. There are lots of theories why (Nooby and Ben list them), but the exact cause is unknown. I subscribe to the "lack of lubricity in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel" theory - the system was designed before the fuel spec changed.

So happy they are taking care of you - they are amazing machines for sure!

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post #10 of 30 Old 03-20-2019
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I sure love my new warranty now that my Treg is conforming to emissions. Got it registered on vwgoa and all.

Glad to hear the dealership is taking care of you. Peace of mind.

2014 Touareg Exec TDi - Black on Black - Purchased 2/2019 with 60k mi. Mods: Splash Guards and some coding so far. Own ODBeleven and VCDS HEX-V2

"Life is not about how you handle the straight aways. It is about how you handle the corners." TreadLightly
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