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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 98 Beetle that is having some issues. When I start the car, about half the time it won't start on the first try. I have to press the gas pedal while I turn the key to get it to start. I am also having issues where it hesitates upon pressing the gas. I actually almost got in a wreck because not only did it hesitate today, but it also stalled. I was turning into traffic and both lanes had to stop while I got my car restarted. I changed to fuel filter today, thinking that may be the issue, but my problem is actually worse. As of right now, I'm not certain if the fuel line was brittle and cracked just enough that we didn't notice it when we put it back together or if it's something else. It drove just fine for about half an hour, with a little hesitation but not much. I thought maybe it was just because there was so much gunk still trying to filter through and it was much less than before. I got home and realized I needed to run to the store, so I got in my car to go. It required me to pump the gas to start it again. I pulled out of my driveway onto my street and it stalled and shut off. It took four tries to get it to turn back on to get back in my driveway. My driveway has a bit of an incline. It shut off again and almost didn't start. I was considering putting on the emergency brake and just leaving it since it was out of the road, but got it to start on what was going to be my last attempt. I got it parked and am waiting a bit to see if it leaks any and will post an update. The check battery light came on when it stalled the last time for just a moment but wasn't on when I started it back up. I recently changed the terminals on the battery because I was having issues with it. The check engine light has been on since I got the car and the last owners said it had been for the three years they had it. I have issues with it starting when I fill up my tank. I had to turn the key nine times before I could get it to start and get it home. That was five days ago. It had never been that bad before, but the last time I filled up, it took two or three tries to start. What do you think? Is it the fuel pump or something else? I would love to get it to AutoZone to test the engine, but I can't move it right now, it's too dangerous to drive. I have done a decent amount of maintenance on her since I got her in March. I've changed transmission filter and fluid, oil filter and oil (that's been done twice actually), a couple of new fuses, new wiper blades, added coolant, new air filters, new rear bulbs, new battery terminals, new fuel filter, and some cosmetic stuff. My boyfriend and I have done all of the work ourselves. We've both worked on cars our whole life and know pretty well what we're doing. If anyone has any thoughts on what it could be, I would love to hear them. My thought is fuel pump based on it having real difficulty after filling up, hesitation, and stalling especially when not going in a straight, flat line. My boyfriend's dad is letting me borrow his SUV that he uses primarily when family is in town, so I do have something to drive, I just have to give it back whenever he needs it and put gas in it. It's a real gas guzzler too, so it's just an added expense I really don't want to have for long.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Okay, there wasn't a puddle. I tried to start it and it started on the first try, I let it run for a moment with the door open so I could hear better, and smelled gas. I turned her off and looked again. there was a very small puddle of gas, maybe the size of a quarter, under where the fuel filter is. I am going to jack her back up once my boyfriend is home and see if it's just not on right or if the line is cracked. I wouldn't be shocked if a line was cracked with as old as she is. The last owners didn't do much maintenance so she wasn't in the best shape when I bought her, but she was cheap and I needed a car. I'll update when I know more.

Side note I did not mention earlier, I did hydroplane into a deep ditch about a month ago and required a tow truck to pull me out. There didn't appear to be any serious damage, just cosmetic, and I was only going about 25 MPH. She had already started hesitating some before this, but the issues have worsened over the past month since the incident.
 

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Well, initially, it sounds like you may have a failing fuel pump or fuel pump relay. Needless, to say; you need to fix your fuel leak and then go from there. Scanning for codes is always a good troubleshooting step and then, do a fuel pressure test and see if things are in spec.

free online service manual; fuel pressure specs and testing info:


If you end up needing to replace some fuel line ends; on the pump or the fuel filter, you can replace the hose ends with a repair kit.

More info here:

Report back on your trouble codes, leak repair and fuel pressure test, we can go from there. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fuel lines are replaced, fuel pump is replaced, all relays and fuseshave been checked. I'm currently waiting on a new code scanner because my old one wasn't turning on. The car cranks but won't start. The battery reads normal, there is power to the fuel pump. My fuel pump did need replaced, my old one was indeed dead, but it appears that that wasn't the only issue. I'll update once I have the codes.
 

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What brand fuel pump; did you install, stick with oem Bosch or VDO and did you replace the fuel filter, test or replace the fuel pressure regulator? A 409 fuel pump relay; maybe a issue as well and will cause a non start issue, plus throw a bunch of "short to ground codes..


Checking for fuel pressure, ignition spark and good compression would be next, tests to perform.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I used the code scanner and it said I had no codes. I'll get back to you on the fuel pump brand, I'll have to dig through emails to find it. The fuel filter is new, I changed that before the pump. Compression is good, there's a spark. It's been raining so I haven't gone and checked anything else the past few days. I bench tested the fuel pump and it's fine. Where is the 409 relay located? Under the hood, under the steering column, by the door, or is there somewhere else I'm missing?
 

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A malfunctioning fuel pump; typically does NOT throw a trouble code, specifically related to the fuel pump. However, you may get a lean code, indicating possible low fuel pressure/volume issues and a malfunctioning 409 relay will throw many "short to ground" codes; for many parts that are fuel system related, parts powered on the same electrical circuit, as the fuel pump.
 

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The 409 fuel pump relay; is under the dash; where your knees are, if you are sitting in the drivers seat (it is secured by several torx screws).

As to the fuel pump, testing should be done in the vehicle with everything installed inline and using a proper fuel pressure gauge test kit.

For identification of the fuel pump; pull ip the rear sear cushion; unscrew the Phillips screws on the black cover plate to see the brand it is (look for a label on top with a logo and/or part #'s).

We continue to see sub par quality aftermarket fuel pumps cause drivability problems (they cannot maintain full fuel volume under load). Modt fuel pumps sold at your typical auto parts store and sub $100 sold online; are going ti be poor quality and will just be a waste if time and money (in house brands and airtex; are particularly notorious for failures).

Stick with high quality fuel pumps from vdo and bosch; that have been proven to work and confirmed by members installing/using them on daily driven cars here. Go ahead and replace the fuel filter and fuel pressure regulator; if you haven't already.
 
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