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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2016 Touareg TDI Lux with just under 37k miles and the other day the car suddenly barely had power and limped 1/2 a mile then stalled in my parking lot with a glow plug warning light. After this, the engine would turn over fine but not start. I had the diesel recall fix done in June, city mileage has been significantly worse since the fix but overall mileage has only dropped a bit. I had recently filled up a full tank of diesel after being pretty low, probably 2 gallons left in the tank so initially I was concerned about bad diesel.

So after calling roadside and having it towed to a local dealer, they're telling me the high pressure fuel pump failed which requires an entire fuel system rebuild and suggesting it's potentially an $8-10k job which will fortunately be covered by the extended warranty as part of the recall. I did a bit of research and I do see some others saying that the fuel system does need to be rebuilt after the fuel pump fails but this seems strange to me, can anyone confirm this? Also, I did not buy my car from this dealer although I have taken it to them for oil changes in the past and I'm just concerned since the car is just over 3 years and I'm still making payments and don't want to be stuck with a problematic car. The extended warranty seems to be fairly comprehensive though which was part of why I decided to accept the recall fix.

Anyway, I just wanted to post this and see if there's any suggestions from other members in terms of how to ensure this is truly what needs to be done? I assume VW has some process to verify the dealer is not trying to do extra work cuz it's covered under this extended warranty but I really don't know. Is there anything I should make sure they look at or anything I should ensure they stay away from while this is being done?

I find it hard to believe that a failed fuel pump causes this much damage but i have heard these are expensive cars to maintain, this seems a bit ridiculous.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated. Also if anyone has had this issue, I noticed this seemed to be a problem on some older models but I'm surprised it still seems to be a weak point on the car...
 

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If your high pressure fuel pump has failed there is no doubt that it would be catastrophic with bits of metal distributed throughout your fuel system, from the tank through to the injectors. There are a few other threads about HPFP failure in this forum. It requires a complete cleaning out and rebuild of your fuel system, replacing anything that needs to be replaced.



One piece of advice is to not let your diesel tank run low, below 1/4 tank, as the pump has to work harder and the recirculating fuel will heat up and reduce the lubrication properties even more.


This potential problem is a worry for many of us.



The dealer/VW may deny responsibility if they can, blaming mis-fueling (using gasoline) or poor quality diesel fuel that does not have enough lubrication as a cause, not their fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply! The dealer initially speculated that it "could be" bad diesel and I immediately told them to not dispose of the completely full tank I had just put in as I would need it to prove the gas station was liable. The next day they said HPFP failed but there's no reason to suspect bad diesel and it's all covered under the warranty extension as part of the diesel recall. My concern was more around whether this work truly needs to be done, it sounds like it does but not knowing the dealer well, I want to make sure everything is done properly so I don't need to continue to worry about this. I don't want to still owe a ton of money on a car that is problematic but hopefully this is a one-time occurrence.

I typically always fill the tank completely but since last year, in CA where I'm living, diesel prices went up about 30% to $4/gallon but the price is volatile so I wasn't filling up every time over the last year or roughly the last 7-8k miles. I'm still finding it hard to believe that the failure of one of the fuel pumps can be so catastrophic, seems to be a serious design flaw.

It seems like this is unavoidable but now I'm stuck trying to decide whether I want to keep this car. I really like it and the warranty extension is pretty nice but I don't want to be dealing with this kinda stuff. Even though they've verbally told me it's all covered, I'm still a bit nervous they'll try to charge me for something but the writing in the warranty seems clear. Fortunately I also have comprehensive insurance on the car since it's financed and I should be covered for bad diesel if it goes that route.

I'll dig around for the other threads, I read a bit about this but thought I would post my experience. I'm still wondering if the diesel fix some how exacerbated this issue or if it's just a coincidence...
 

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When the fuel pump goes out it grenades and sends metal through the whole system. That is why they are doing all the work they are doing. It is not just a simple pump replacement. Once fixed I would not worry about it. Seems like it was more common on the newer Touaregs. I am driving mine and have owned it from new. Still works fine. I never run my tank real low and buy my diesel in high traffic areas that or more likely to have their tanks filled regularly. I have not even ever used any additives in my tank since owning it. I do use a fuel system cleaner, but that is it.
 

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I had this happen on a 2010 TDI, and had to have it towed 400 miles from out of state back to my dealer. VW refused to pay for the $600 tow, but did cover the repair. Replacing most of the fuel system components and removal and cleaning of the tank is the standard repair procedure. If you don't do this, any remaining metal fragments could cause failure of the new pump.

There are many incidences of this problem documented here and in other forums. The fuel pump runs at very high pressures and any fuel contamination can lead to failure. The earlier pumps seemed to be more prone to this and there was some strong evidence that they were not designed to handle the poor quality diesel fuel that is generally available in the US. I am surprised that this happened on a 2016 though as the newer pumps are supposedly more robust.

I would let the dealer do the repair and keep the car. You might want to think about what caused the failure though. Water contamination and using fuel with low lubricity have been identified as factors in the failures. I was in the habit of running the tank down below 1/4 on my 2010, but I avoid doing that now. I also use additives to remove water, clean the fuel system, and increase lubricity. Power Service sells some excellent products for this. But since you will never know for sure what caused the failure, it's difficult to know if these preventive measures will prevent a repeat.

Wishing you good luck in getting your Touareg back on the road quickly.
 

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This problem is all over the TDI sites with 2.0 engines, not nearly as frequent with the 3.0 engines. I have had and still have 3.0 Treg 2016 bgt "new" when I traded my 2012 TREG back to VW. I have used PS grey bottle for all my TDIs and never had any trouble with the pumps.I also don't let the fuel get below a 1/4 tank. I have no way to prove the PS saves my HPFPs,but I haven't had an issue with 200,000 miles on these engines. Lubricity is an issue with ULSD,so to me this is a cheap insurance policy.

Everyone has to make their own decision as to how to handle their cars. These are good engines that will go 100,000s of miles if handled with reasonable care.
 

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I use PS white in winter months and PS grey in summer....with every fill. Does it work? Who knows. As posted earlier, cheap insurance. 61k on my 2016 with no issues...fix, heater recall performed.

Good luck with the repair
 

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Known issue as you now know..

VW are replacing all the parts and, from other reports on the HFPF failure, it could cost up to $16,000!

One of the tips from previous occurrences is not to let the fuel tank go under 1/4 full.

The diesel is under high pressure at the engine and thus is hot.

Unwanted hot fuel is returned to the tank.

It does go through a cooler on the return but it also seems to rely on the cooler fuel in the tank for further cooling.
 

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Yeah, I hear you about the increase in diesel price in CA... CA sucks! Mr. Brown sucks... Anyway, thanks for the thread since my wife is running the tank fairly low before fueling.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the information, everyone! This has been an interesting experience. Yeah it seems I don't have much choice other than to let the dealer sort through this but just wanted to get some validation from other owners. I probably never really let it run down low the first 2 years but like I said, once diesel went up, I started letting it run lower over the last year so obviously I will not be doing that in the future. I will also be looking at the PS products that you guys are using, I'm still really bummed this happened and I'm losing confidence in the car. The extended warranty is nice but I need to rely on my vehicle and I was hoping the dealer would be able to explain WHY the HPFP failed. As mentioned earlier, when it first came up they seemed to think bad diesel but they backed off that when I asked for a sample, I think I'm still gonna ask them to keep some of the diesel in case something comes up though I don't there's anything to worry about.

I'll keep this thread updated when I get more information from the dealer. Hoping for some good news next week...

Zach
 

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My advice is to let sleeping dogs lie. Do not test the fuel and find that it is contaminated, so giving your dealer/VW an excuse to duck the liability. You would have the inconvenience and expense to try to nail the fuel depot.


Thank your lucky stars that they have agreed to pay.


In future take the precautions suggested and hopefully you will avoid any similar problems, just like the rest of us. There is no point being too worried about this problem because it does not happen that frequently. However, sympathy for being one of the few who have been affected. Hope they fix it properly.
 

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I also have a 2016 Lux - mine with 71,000. Suddenly stopped and I had it towed to the dealership. Same problem - high pressure fuel pump shot, sending metal throughout system. Dealer quoted $10,000 - $12,000 but VW taking care of it because of the diesel-gate issue. Hoping it doesn't happen again.
 

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My advice is to let sleeping dogs lie. Do not test the fuel and find that it is contaminated, so giving your dealer/VW an excuse to duck the liability. You would have the inconvenience and expense to try to nail the fuel depot.


Thank your lucky stars that they have agreed to pay.


In future take the precautions suggested and hopefully you will avoid any similar problems, just like the rest of us. There is no point being too worried about this problem because it does not happen that frequently. However, sympathy for being one of the few who have been affected. Hope they fix it properly.
+1, I would also make enquire with the dealer which is doing the replacement if exactly the same HPFP will be used or if an upgraded pump is going in.

TonyB
 

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A couple things about these HPFP failures.... Why would you buy a $50 to 60K diesel, and then run the cheapest, crappiest fuel through the HPFP system?

Two things I have observed, in all the research in the NHTSA investigation done on Common Rail diesels.... an extremely high number of the failures occured with people that ran Shell and Valero branded diesel fuel. So I stay away from those brands. The best quality fuels I've run in CA, NV, UT, AZ, WY and ID have been Conoco, Phillips, 76 Unocal, Chevron/ Texaco, and Mobil brands of fuel. In UT, Sinclair, Conoco Phillips 66 are good brands.

Stay away from any of those food brand discount outlets that offer $0.10 to what ever off per gallon, based on whatever your food purchases were last month at food king, Krogers, Vons, whatever, also Costco branded diesel.

If you want more assurance, find a way to add a quart of B99 biodiesel to every fillup in your fuel tank. Also, top your fuel tank up every time, to prevent condensation from forming in your fuel tank over night.... fuel tanks "breathe" due to changes in temperature, moisture condenses on the sides of the fuel tank, out of the air, and runs into your diesel fuel. Nothing will kill a HPFP faster than water or condensation in your fuel... keep your fuel dry, use Diesel Kleen white bottle 4 to 6 oz with every fill up.

Being cheap and being a Touareg owner is a bad combination... they are expensive to maintain, as are all German branded cars, it's really a Porsche, and the parts are priced accordingly. You can NOT neglect recommended service on them. If you want something more reliable, get something more utilitarian and japanese or Korean for an SUV, if the operating expenses are more than you can bear between paychecks. You can always ask to see a sample of the fuel from your fuel tank in bright sunlight... swirl it around, and if in sunlight it looks like a "Glitterbomb" of very fine sparkle in your fuel sample, you'll know your HPFP grenaded and contaminated your whole fuel system, that "Glitterbomb" metal filings will be throughout your whole fuel system, and require a complete scrub and purge of everything. Those metal shavings can seize in your injectors in a common rail diesel, leave an injector stuck open, and you'll have a hole melted in the piston it's stuck open on in no time flat, and then need a whole new motor. So, VW replaces the whole fuel system, almost everything that contaminated with HPFP bits of metal touches.
 

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What a bummer! I hope they get it done for you soon. Speaking of additives, look into Schaeffer's products. It's very cost-effective. You get more for your money and a gallon jug lasts a long time
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for the information. I just got the call that my Touareg is finally ready, this dealer has been a disappointment on every level, zero communication through the process and the "we're waiting for parts" excuse every time I stopped by or emailed them. So with that in mind, is there anything I can or should inspect when I pick up my car today? It's raining here in LA so it's going to be tough to do much but when I had the recall work done at a different dealer, I had a big scratch on the car that they took zero responsibility for, I buffed most of it out but still it's lame.

I'm not sure I'll be able to look at much but I've seen the usual Adblue spills and sloppy engine oil fill, from what I know these are different techs than those replacing the whole fuel system but still it's not cool.

Also, is it possible that some metallic particles still got into my engine? I tend to drive to pretty remote areas in the mountains here in SoCal regularly and don't want to get stuck out there where my phone doesn't work and an unreliable car. Or is it safe to assume if it's running now, I'm good?

Thanks again!!

Zach
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good point. I assumed it was the exact same part since they're not admitting it's a high failure component. If it happens again, it will still be covered but I absolutely do not want to deal with this ever again!
 

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Don't put cheap, crappy fuel in your TDI. In my research on HPFP failure... several brands of fuel came up consistently.... Shell, Valero, and any cheap Supermarket branded discount fuels, like Ralphs, Kroger, etc. The brands of fuel you do want to buy that seem to cause less problems are 76 Unocal, Conoco, Sinclair, Phillips 66, Mobil, Exxon, and Texaco.

Also, always keep at least 1/4 tank of fuel in your Touareg at all times, don't run the fuel tank low. Fuel is used as a coolant in these pumping systems, running your fuel low is the same as running your fuel pumps, all of them, low on coolant.

The leading cause of HPFP, in my engineering backround estimation with failure analysis, is extreme trailing throttle cut off of fueling. This is releasing the throttle completely after full throttle applications. The fuel pressure in the common rail spikes, from high fuel flow under very high full throttle operating pressures in the fuel rail at close to 30,000 psi. There is nowhere for the fuel to go when you chop the throttle off, the HPFP has a lag time cutting back the fuel pressure and bleeding it off, back to the fuel tank.

The best thing to do is avoid abrupt throttle changes on any common rail diesel TDI. It's not a race car, it's really designed for steady state cruising on roads, highways and freeways, not city type driving, which it only tolerates.

Hope this helps you.... drive it a little less enthusiastically, use good fuel, not the cheapest crap you can find, and your touareg will let you down less often.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks TurdBurgler! Any thoughts on those additional diesel additives that have been mentioned? I can't recall the brand but some have said they add it to every tank and want to make sure this is something I should be doing to keep everything in working order?

Zach
 

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Thanks TurdBurgler! Any thoughts on those additional diesel additives that have been mentioned? I can't recall the brand but some have said they add it to every tank and want to make sure this is something I should be doing to keep everything in working order?

Zach
I run Power Service white bottle, most every other fuel up, 5 to 7 oz added, depending on how much fuel I bought for the fillup. I also usually try to fill up with 18 to 21 gallons, every fillup, and I buy 12 gallons of B99 biodiesel at Dal Soglio's in Salt Lake City, every 12 to 18 months, and add 32 oz every fillup, from an Arizona Ice Tea 40 oz, plastic bottle. I believe that the lubricity of current diesei fuel in CA is inadequate, it's not low enough. So 1 to 2% or somewhere in between is what I blend at, every fillup. Add a qt of B99, then top the tank with 18 to 21 gallons of D2.

Power Service White keeps your fuel dry, biodiesel adds lubricity.

That, and drive it nice and gentle, easy going on the throttle and easy getting off the throttle.

Diesel engines are best run in a steady state RPM and load. Think of Boats, Trains, tugs, heavy equipment for mining, heavy equipment for farming. If it runs diesel fuel, try to keep the rpms and throttle positions near constant, with out making changes.

I realize there are a lot of driving enthusiasts here, that drive TDI's. TDI's work great if you drive like a big rig truck driver, lots of miles between warm ups and shut downs, on freeways and interstate, steady state. TDI's don't work so well if you are on and off the throttle a lot, drive enthusiastically, or come from American V8 cars, or little japanese 4 bangers that you rev to 7 or 8000 rpm with their overhead cams, before they start making any horsepower.

Moderation.... lot's of moderation, and will power, makes a VW TDI diesel last a long, long time. Driving hard, burning up brakes, burning up rotors, getting low MPG's compared to others in the same vehicle, those are your signs the Touareg is being driven hard and used hard.
 
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