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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having a problem with my 2001 2.0l (automatic) that when it gets to about 210 miles or 1/4 tank it will stall from fuel starvation.

If I'm on the freeway this can manifest itself as a loss of power then re-surge as the fuel supply returns.

However if at slow speeds on city streets it can completely die out and after a minute or two and a few tries, it will start up and continue on.

It's like some sort of fuel feed valving is changing and causing the line to go dry. It fairly consistantly happens near the 1/4 tank mark.

I was having this problem a few months back and changed the fuel pump. I thought it solved the problem but it seems to have returned.

I can't be the only person to run into this.

Thanks,
Jamie
 

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I had a similar problem with a minivan that I used to own. It turned out to be a plugged EVAP line not letting air back into the fuel tank. A vacuum was forming in the tank and it was actually crushing the tank. The next time it does it try removing the gas cap and see if air rushes into the tank.
 

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Have you changed the fuel filter?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The next time it does it try removing the gas cap and see if air rushes into the tank.
Interesting test to try. When it next happens that's what I'll try. I'll also check the evap system again. I've replaced one of the re circulation valves a few times.

Smileybug said:
Have you changed the fuel filter?
Yes, not that long ago and the problem didn't go away.

Right now the best way to prevent it from happening is to not let the tank get near 1/4.
 

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Couple of thoughts; sounds like a fuel delivery issue:

1. have you tested the fuel pressure?

2. what brand fuel pump; did you install? Many sub $100 aftermarket pumps; prematurely fail or cannot maintain correct pressure under load in all conditions. Go with a high quality oem VDO/Siemens or Bosch fuel pump.

a. did you replace the tank seal?

b. did you replace the fuel level sending unit? Many times, if you reuse the old one; it will end up malfunctioning and give you the wrong fuel level (you could be empty or near empty with the gauge reading, that you have sufficient fuel left). It maybe more cost effective; to replace the whole pump with a Bosch unit; as they have designed their pump with a integrated fuel level sending unit.

3. be sure to test and replace the fuel pressure regulator. I just replaced mine; it was the original stamped vdo/vw part and it made a substantial difference in how, the engine ran.

4. Scan the car for trouble codes; see if there are any codes and post them (the codes; not just the descriptions), many times you will get misfires and lean codes, for a fuel starvation issue.

Here is the service manual link; to test the fuel pump and the fuel pressure regulator:

http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswa...essure_vacuum_and_temperature_specifications/

Do the fuel pressure testing, tell us the fuel pump brand/part number and run a scan on the car. Let us know, what the results are and we will go from there. Thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Couple of thoughts; sounds like a fuel delivery issue:
There is no question it is a fuel delivery issue, the engine is running dry despite there being 1/4th tank remaining.

And the problem occurs fairly consistently - when it occurs.

In response to your list

1. Yes, I've tested the fuel pressure, it's normal.

2. I did buy an under $100 pump (but just barely) HFP-A35.
2.a - It came with a new tank seal. I'm loath to blame the pump as the problem is the same as before I replaced it.

3. I've tested the fuel pressure regulator. It seems to be functioning properly. It is the original. What sort of difference did you see by replacing it?

4. I've been scanning the car with no luck, sometimes I get a misfire error but that's not been consistent with this problem. I haven't gotten a lean error though.

Thanks for the link to the VW service manual, I have it in hard copy, I've been saving this little beast for a few years now and that was one of the first things I picked up.

What is curious about this problem is how quickly it clears up. It's easy to accept a theory that a build up of vacuum in the tank is reaching the point that the pump can't pull against it and that relieving this buildup allows things to return to 'normal'.

That sort of points to the evap system.

But I'm kind of surprised that if that system has a problem the car still passes smog.

I've also replace (a couple times) the Emissions Purge Valve, if this valve is responsible for keeping the tank vented (will look at the flow chart), perhaps there's something wrong with that system still.

Thank you for your detailed message!

Jamie

PS: I've been documenting the Resurrection of this Beetle - still planning to make a little doc film of it all. Saving Beetle Joose
 

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Well, we have had continual problems with aftermarket inexpensive fuel pumps and they gave members around here, all kinds of drivability problems. A quick search, of the pump you installed; has revealed "reviews" off of amazon, that sound exactly like what you are experiencing (e.g. "This pump works fine until I get under a quarter tank. It'll just cut out and stall.").

https://www.amazon.com/HFP-A35-Replacement-Fuel-Assembly-Sending/dp/B004M6AQWU#customerReviews

So, I would say, that if others are having the same issue as you; it is a good possibility, that it is a poor quality fuel pump, that cannot provide the needed pressure to run correctly. There are more and more cheap parts; coming out for our cars. Some, you can get away with but others, just cannot perform at the same level as the original oem parts! This is particularly important: for fuel delivery, electrical and ignition parts.

Cheap aftermarket parts, can in the long run; cost more money and brain damage, in downtime, replacements, "do overs", frustration, ongoing troubleshooting processes, that can be confusing, as you assume a "new part", cannot be the source of the issue. Do it once and do it right; get quality vw/oem parts and you will be rewarded with better reliability and saved time, money, sanity! :)

For the fuel pressure regulator; when I pulled it off, it had black debris under it, just like you see in a fuel filter. After replacement, the car ran smoother, was more responsive, had more power and was an overall big improvement in drivability performance. In my case, I had the original vw/bosch part and it was over 14 years old. Even though it "worked" and wasn't leaking, it wasn't performing as well as it did; when it was new. This "soft failure", can be hard to detect; as it will pass norming "hard failure" testing procedures but the part is just worn out. Everything on most of our new beetle's is getting to the 10-15 old range and it makes sense, when repairing performance related parts, to replace old parts, that are crucial to how the car runs.

I recommend, that you replace the pump with a oem VDO/Siemens or Bosch fuel pump. Amazon, typically has excellent pricing with free shipping.

You can look up the correct fuel pump here:

VDO Siemens

http://showmetheparts.com/vdo/

Bosch

https://www.boschautoparts.com/en/auto

By the way, I have chatted with you before and watched the videos of your New Beetle restoration! Hello, from another SFO/Bay Area/marin county kid (Bolinas/San Rafael area)! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks - it's interesting that one customer had the same problem, I asked him if that's why he originally replaced the pump. (too soon for an answer)

The VDO number(s) give me a pump that according to Amazon isn't compatible with my Beetle. And the one 405-058-005-011Z shown on Amazon shows the level sensor in the picture where VDO on their site says that one doesn't include it. I hate it when this stuff doesn't jog. (I couldn't find the pump listed on the Bosh site, not sure what was up there.)

I bought this pump in June, we were having problems where the car wouldn't start, as well as the problem with it stalling. Replacing the pump seemed to solve that problem. Note: this pump has a lifetime warranty (partly why I got it). I just noticed they offer a higher performance version, I think I'll contact HPF and see if I can 'upgrade'.

I wish I was 100% convinced this was a fuel pump issue versus some other vacuum / vapor / emissions issue.

I'll take a closer look at the regulator but I think I'll try to run the tank down to 1/4 this weekend and try to look closer at what's going on.
 

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The fuel feed problem I had with the plugged EVAP line wasn't that the pump couldn't pull against the vacuum, it was that the tank deformed and the fuel pickup no longer was at the bottom of the tank. The level gets down to a certain point and that's all there is. The tank was plastic so it pulled itself back into shape after the vacuum was released.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
...it was that the tank deformed and the fuel pickup...the tank was plastic so it pulled itself back into shape after the vacuum was released.
Ah, I don't think that's the issue for me. So the tank was pressurizing then? Or was it crushing? The Beetle tank is fairly strapped in, I can't imagine it could flex enough to cause that sort of problem.

But I'll keep it in mind when I examine it this weekend.

Thanks!

So did you ever resolve the problem?
 

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The tank was pulling inward. The flat bottom pulled up so the low part of the tank was around the edges and the pump in the center got pushed up. The straps won't prevent it from pulling in.

The problem was in the vacuum pump unit that does the leak checks.
 

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When, finding parts; do not rely on amazon's parts finder, it is notoriously inaccurate. This is what I found:

VDO: (two part numbers; differences, seem to be with or without the fuel tank level sending unit)

405-058-005-011Z: wo/Level Sensor; Does not include tank seal; The exact OEM part as supplied to the vehicle manufacturer

https://www.amazon.com/405-058-005-011Z-Siemens-VDO-FUEL-PUMP/dp/B00C7QE9NO

228-233-001-003Z: w/Level Sensor; Does not include tank seal; The exact OEM part as supplied to the vehicle manufacturer

Bosch:

BOSCH 69740 Fuel Pump Module Assembly; Does not Includes Sending Unit or float; 4.8 In. Outer Diameter Flange Info Engine Code AEG; Engine Code AZG

I just installed one of the Bosch fuel pumps recently; on a 2.0L Jetta and it came with a integrated fuel level sending unit and includes a new rubber tank seal.

https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-69740-Original-Equipment-Replacement/dp/B001C602HW

If you want to confirm the problem; I would get a fuel pressure tester and test, when you have the issue. When purchasing a new fuel pump; stick with VDO or Bosch, both have proven records on this site with other members and I have installed them myself with excellent results.

Here are the service manual fuel pressure testing procedures:

http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswa...essure_vacuum_and_temperature_specifications/
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again, I'm contacting the pump manufacturer to replace the pump, while that's in motion, I'll replace the Fuel Pressure Regulator. It's the original, 150k miles on it, couldn't hurt.

Man, living in CA is a bitch, for some reason sellers on Amazon can't ship that part to CA, (must be a smog thing) so I have to buy it locally at almost twice the price for the same part. Not sure why that part is restricted but pumps aren't.

Anyway - more to come.
 

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Hmm, that is strange; I would chat with amazon online and see what is up with that. If I try to purchase a fuel pump and send it to my dad in silicon valley, there isn't a problem or shipping restriction. There is typically multiple vendors; that you can purchase from the amazon site, see if that help?

You might try these vendors and see if shipping is an issue:

http://www.autohausaz.com/ (they sell the vdo pump with free shipping)

http://www.rockauto.com/ (they sell the bosch pump)

http://www.bmaparts.com/ (they sell the vdo pump)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I found it (Fuel Pressure Regulator) at the local O'Rileys so I'm going with that. I did find a vendor on Amazon that didn't immediately reject the shipping but that might have been changed by today had I not canceled the order. I canceled because it wouldn't arrive until Wed. (if at all)

Like I said, no problem getting a fuel pump shipped here, just the regulator. Go figure. Oh an in the past any A/C fluid. It's all about protecting the environment. (hey, could be worse)
 

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There is no question it is a fuel delivery issue, the engine is running dry despite there being 1/4th tank remaining.

And the problem occurs fairly consistently - when it occurs.

In response to your list

1. Yes, I've tested the fuel pressure, it's normal.

2. I did buy an under $100 pump (but just barely) HFP-A35.
2.a - It came with a new tank seal. I'm loath to blame the pump as the problem is the same as before I replaced it.

3. I've tested the fuel pressure regulator. It seems to be functioning properly. It is the original. What sort of difference did you see by replacing it?

4. I've been scanning the car with no luck, sometimes I get a misfire error but that's not been consistent with this problem. I haven't gotten a lean error though.

Thanks for the link to the VW service manual, I have it in hard copy, I've been saving this little beast for a few years now and that was one of the first things I picked up.

What is curious about this problem is how quickly it clears up. It's easy to accept a theory that a build up of vacuum in the tank is reaching the point that the pump can't pull against it and that relieving this buildup allows things to return to 'normal'.

That sort of points to the evap system.

But I'm kind of surprised that if that system has a problem the car still passes smog.

I've also replace (a couple times) the Emissions Purge Valve, if this valve is responsible for keeping the tank vented (will look at the flow chart), perhaps there's something wrong with that system still.

Thank you for your detailed message!

Jamie

PS: I've been documenting the Resurrection of this Beetle - still planning to make a little doc film of it all. Saving Beetle Joose
You probably have this fixed by now, but just to let you know, your symptom of having issues at 1/4 of a tank in something I've seen others complain about in the 2001 VW Beetle. My daughters car does it often (but randomly) when it's at 1/4 a tank.

When watching a video on Briansmobile1 Youtube channel he is working on a Blue New Beetle and as I was watching he stated that the customer said that when the car gets to 1/4 of a tank it sputters, which is what was happening to my daughter...you'd be cruising and all of a sudden, no power no matter how much you pressed the gas. In his video, Brian shows video inside the tank and the fuel pump seal which is eroding and dropping bits of rubber into the tank, which he concludes is the problem. The bits of rubber are only an issue when below 1/4 of a tank.

As long as my daughter kept it at 1/2 or higher, never a problem. Of course, she would routinely test this out, much to my dismay. Easy request.

But I've read of this same exact symptom by no less than 5 others.
 

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Status?

Did replacing the pump solve your problem? Also, were you getting an engine light warning, prior to stalling?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For the most part, yes replacing the pump seems to have solved the problem - we did have to try more than one. The first pump they sent had a fuel level problem. The second one resolved that and we've not had the failure since. (knock on wood)
 

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Good to hear

That's great to hear. I'm about to dole out several hundred on a quality pump. So, maybe we'll avoid going through several. Did your problem ever cause the engine light to come on? That's another symptom we're having, and the diagnostics aren't giving us a definitive answer.
 

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I'm having a similar problem with mine. Apparently this is a problem with all Mk IV Golf/Jetta/Beetles, and is usually a sign of a failing fuel pump. My car has 125,000 miles on it and the fuel pump is likely the original.

Also you can have crud floating around the fuel tank clogging the pump when the tank gets below 1/4 full. Commonly this is debris from a deteriorating pump gasket. When you pull the pump, you'll have an unobstructed view into the tank. You might want to shine a flashlight into the tank and check for debris.
 
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