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1998 1.9TDI - fuel pump relay missing?

5533 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  cloudstreet
I recently purchased a 1998 TDI Beetle with 86,000 miles on it. Had the timing belt replaced immediately as I was informed they were notorious for destroying themselves before the 90K maintenance. About 800 miles after the timing belt was replaced, the check engine light came on shortly after starting. I stopped the vehicle, restarted, the CEL came on after about 30 seconds. I would estimate about 10-12 starts before the CEL started appearing, the car was slow to start but only when it was hot. Cold start it fires up immediately, warm start it cranks for 5-6 seconds before firing (but never fails to fire). CEL now comes on every time, about 20-30 seconds after start up.

I got hold of an ODB-II reader and checked the codes, I got the following:

01237 - Fuel Shut-Off Valve (N109)

Did some more research on this and other forums and I found a lot of info suggesting this was most likely the fuel pump relay or the fuel pump itself. I was able to source the fuel pump relay online for $20 (New, Volkswagen original part!) so I thought why not try it. I found many photos and directions online showing the location and access to the relay panel so yesterday I did the contortionist trick to get to the relays above the clutch pedal and imagine my surprise when I found the '409' fuel pump relay is not present in my vehicle, see here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/koupk1wunjbddoy/No Fuel Pump Relay.JPG?dl=0

This is opposed to the photo I found online:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kx3daj6ljtf99wz/relay one.jpg?dl=0v

So, clearly I'm missing something. Before I go too far down the rabbit hole, can anyone tell me, is my 1998 TDI Beetle supposed to have the 409 fuel pump relay? If I am supposed to have one of those and I don't, how is my car running?

Any insight greatly appreciated before I start 'fixing it until it's broke' :)
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The ALH TDI's don't have an electric fuel pump and don't have a fuel pump relay. The second picture you posted is for a car with a gas engine. The code you are getting is for a valve that is located on the mechanical fuel pump under the hood.

Below is a link with pictures of the valve. Cleaning the electrical connection on the valve may help.

The Dreaded N109 - Fuel Cutoff Valve... - TDIClub Forums
Well that clarifies the first point, thank you very much!

I'll try cleaning up the connection and post back how it goes.

I checked the wire that runs to the fuel shut off solenoid, the nut on top of it was not very tight when I put an 8mm wrench on it. I cleaned up the conductors (although they were not dirty) and tightened it up. When I started the car, I got 3 loud beeps which I have not heard before. Then the CEL came on after about 30 seconds, same as before.

I'm sure it's due to me disconnecting and reconnecting the wire to the solenoid, but what do the 3 beeps at startup mean?

I looked through the thread regarding the N109, thanks for passing that on, but I'm not experiencing the loss of power or engine racing at startup that is described there. My only symptom so far is the 5-6 second engine turn over when the engine is hot. Is it possible the code I'm getting regarding the solenoid is just a symptom of something else?

Regarding the slow start when warm I found this thread at TDI Club, with no less than 750 posts in it...

Hard to start when hot issue..... - TDIClub Forums

There seems to be two fixes for the hot start, either a $300 - $400 tune up that also re-flashes the ECU, or a $5 fix by wiring a switch to the coolant temp sensor to effectively disconnect it when the engine is hot, tricking the engine into injecting fuel sooner than it otherwise would.

I will update this post when I have more but if anyone has any input that would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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