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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
T3 2011 Touareg TDI owner here. Recently tried to put diesel in tank like I've done hundreds of times before. Vehicle has some sort of dummy device at fuel filler opening that is essentially a flap to prevent gas nozzle from being inserted. In my case however, the diesel nozzle would not go in. So I pushed harder until I felt something break free. Good news is nozzle then went in and I fueled my vehicle. Bad news is the metal flap broke off and fell down the fuel tank filler pipe.

Dealer inspected pipe with lighted video probe. The flap is stuck in a curve in the pipe. Impossible to pull this piece back up due to nozzle restriction . Tried to push into tank but not successful.

So how does this get fixed now? Prepare for shock and awe. Only fixed is replace the entire fuel tank. None of the affected parts can be replaced individually. This involves a $2200 new tank and 13 hours of mechanic time!!! Total out the door nearly $4000. The rear axle must be removed as part of process. Shocking. Poor design of part that has high likelihood of failure--- and is not really needed.

Good news: I give credit to VW- they are going to cover this under warranty.

Not sure what the lesson learned here is except hope this does not happen to you. If it does, proceed carefully to get the restriction flap to cooperate.
 

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Hopefully this isn't a very common thing to have happen. BUT it is a good reminder when off roading or trying to drive over something, for me to be careful not to damage my fuel tank.

There was someone on here that had a hand truck (on highway) appear out of no place and ended up breaking their fuel tank when unable to swerve out of its way. I was amazed at the replacement cost and now I know why. I didn't realize that much labor was involved.

Need some tank body armor.
 

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if you can still fill the tank etc, why fix it.... having vw remove your axle to me is a far bigger issue than what you have now!
 

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Put a bit of explosive down the tube and see if you can blow it out. What could go wrong? It is just a fuel filler tube after all.kaboom

Seriously thank for the heads up. I will be sure not to force a filler nozzle into the opening. Generally I wouldn't have done that anyway, but you never know. Could be a bad day + in a hurry = try to force it. Definitely won't do that now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
if you can still fill the tank etc, why fix it.... having vw remove your axle to me is a far bigger issue than what you have now!
Well... VW is going to replace the fuel tank for $0 to me. The flap is stuck in the tank filler tube and restricts flow of diesel into the tank. Subsequently the nozzle auto-shutoff mechanism at gas station kicks off after about 3 seconds. I can fill the vehicle manually at maybe 30% of full flow rate so possible but slow.

If I had to pay for this I'd probably leave it alone, but since VW will replace tank why bother... and worry the flap might move and further restrict the filler tube-- likely at the most inopportune time.

That said, it does not warm my heart to think about such an extensive repair, but the mechanic at my dealer is German, trained by VW in Germany, also does Porsche repairs so I'm assuming all will be OK in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
+1

That said I might fish it up to the top and figure a way to remove it unconventionally past the inlet tight point. I wonder if it impacts emissions in some way during a tank pressure test??
Impossible. Nothing to grab on flap which is now wedged deep in the filler tube beyond a couple of bends. Also, filler neck at cap is heavily blocked with crimp fitted nozzle reduction collar. Nothing removable. Mechanic offered a long shot of removing back seat, then fuel pump, then reaching around to lower filler tube to try and grab flap and pull down and out. Not very likely to end in success so I declined that option. Flap is nearly same diameter as filler tube.

I have no clue about impact on emissions. No emissions testing done where I live (Sarasota, FL), and I don't think diesel vehicles are emissions tested anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Put a bit of explosive down the tube and see if you can blow it out. What could go wrong? It is just a fuel filler tube after all.kaboom

Seriously thank for the heads up. I will be sure not to force a filler nozzle into the opening. Generally I wouldn't have done that anyway, but you never know. Could be a bad day + in a hurry = try to force it. Definitely won't do that now.
Yes with 20/20 hindsight I'd have been more careful. But at the time it seemed reasonable to push harder. Very odd panic sets in when your vehicle is nearly out of fuel and you are unable to get nozzle in tank to re-fill. Assuming the flap had previously become damaged (why else would it be stuck) it is possible nothing could have been done better- my fate was already sealed!

Anyway-- point of posting is to give heads up to other TDI Treg owners to tread carefully if they encounter same problem.

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Understood. Well I suppose you could possibly push it into the tank via a flexible plumber snake or something then perhaps retrieve it via the second method.

The tank bleed down test is required for gassers (federal law as far as I know) but I have no idea if this applies to diesel or not. The test on gassers is performed by the cars ECU at a certain cycle and then measures the bleed off rate. No idea if this would impact that or not just a thought.

Like you said VW's bill, but good grief.
 

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You can do what you want that flap will not repair its self. Just happened to me yesterday. Flap stays closed and no way to get it to open. If stuck I would do what you did and break it. Mine is in for the fuel tank replacement at no charge covered by the new emission warranty. I just hope that they do a good job replacing everything.
 

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I stopped at a fuel station where I had the same issue...fuel pump nozzle would not open the safety flap. Thankfully I didn't try too hard...got back in the car and read the owners manual. I closed the tank up and drove 20 ft. to the next fuel station...different pump worked just fine as usual.
 

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Are you saying the emissions fix warranty covers the fuel tank? It seems far fetched. How did you convince them to cover this under warranty?

Thanks,
 

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Are you saying the emissions fix warranty covers the fuel tank? It seems far fetched. How did you convince them to cover this under warranty?

Thanks,
It was the Vw dealer that told me it was under warranty so I had nothing to do with it. I was on vacation in Florida when it happened. They gave me a loaner and had it for two weeks. They did a good job, no problems since.
 

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I've run into the diesel fuel pump issue and almost did the same thing out of frustration. I'm surprised they couldn't use one of those long 3 or 4 jawed spring claw devices to remove it from the tank.


If you've ever been to Europe they have a very special fuel nozzle that I don't think the US has. There is an SAE spec for fuel nozzles in the US and apparently some of the stations use a gas nozzle on the diesel pumps. I've run into this several times and simply find another gas station with the correct pump. In a total pinch you can still fill the tank without activating the flap it is a royal pain to drip the fuel in there.


I've also run into the other problem where some stations put diesel with their big truck pumps. Big truck nozzles are almost an inch in diameter and won't fit either. Fortunately most truck stops have one or two pumps with the correct size nozzle.
 

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Buy any chance were you filling at a truck pump? I have been to a number of stops on a highway trip where there are certain pumps that take truck only fillers that are too big for cars. ,but aren't marked as such. The filler wouldn't fit, first time I couldn't understand why,but saw a cars sign on another pump group.
 

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Good for you. Planning to get a 2012 myself. Hope that VW Canada honors the warranty the same way. One less thing to worry about.

It was the Vw dealer that told me it was under warranty so I had nothing to do with it. I was on vacation in Florida when it happened. They gave me a loaner and had it for two weeks. They did a good job, no problems since.
 
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