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    Thread: Fuel pump going bad?

    1. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-03-2008 02:48 PM #1
      How can I tell if the fuel pump is going bad?
      I was driving home last night and the car started to jerk every once in a while.
      Not really jerk like bucking, but almost as if the clutch had slipped.
      It made me sorta nervous so as I headed back home, I turned onto a road right by my house and ran it pretty hard in second gear.
      It was fine right until it hit 3000 rpm and then it did it again.
      So I slowed down and made the next corner, and did it again, 2nd gear, and again at 3000 it cut out for a short second...
      Could this be the fuel pump?
      Anyone ever have this problem before?

    2. 02-03-2008 03:21 PM #2
      When you're car is running, how loud is the under car fuel pump? Does it buzz loudly?

    3. 02-03-2008 03:34 PM #3
      unless u hear a really high pitched noise comin from the back of the car,...probly not... its only doing it ramdomly..around 3000...i duno..check the hose from the airbox to the intake see if its tight, and check ur distrubitor cap see if thats in the right spot and tight, and unplug the maf and other sensors and clean the prongs on them...im not really sure what would do what ur talking about...

    4. 02-03-2008 03:37 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by st.germain »
      unless u hear a really high pitched noise comin from the back of the car,...probly not... its only doing it ramdomly..around 3000...i duno..check the hose from the airbox to the intake see if its tight, and check ur distrubitor cap see if thats in the right spot and tight, and unplug the maf and other sensors and clean the prongs on them...im not really sure what would do what ur talking about...

      I had a fuel pump go out on me with the same symptoms he's having. Reason I asked if the fuel pump was noisy. When mine started to go out, the pump sounded like a ball bearing or something in the pump was loose. Also, at certain RPM's, the engine would buck pretty bad.


    5. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-03-2008 03:39 PM #5
      Yeah, its really awkward and it makes me nervous because I dont want to go out driving now to diagnose the problem in case something happens and I would have to tow it home.
      And no, no buzzing that I can hear.
      At least not over my rattling, plugged up catalytic converter, haha.

      Anyone else?


    6. 02-03-2008 03:54 PM #6
      well mine was doing what urs is... cut out at 3 and 4500 rpm, then it kept gettin worse....it was the ecu not the fuel pump.

    7. Geriatric Member VegasJetta's Avatar
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      02-03-2008 05:27 PM #7
      Sounds like what my car did last week, I was low on fuel and made a right turn onto the freeway and the car cut out. Turns out the transfer pump was angry and didn't want to cooperate with the main pump, starving it of fuel.
      I changed the transfer pump and everything is fine.


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    8. Member Soccerpromaz's Avatar
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      02-03-2008 05:40 PM #8
      mines been doing this too, i am changing the pump as well as the filter...mine also bucks at idle really bad, just started doing that though.

    9. 02-08-2008 11:54 AM #9
      my car is doing the same thing. I put a fuel pump in but it ended up being a defective one. so im waiting on the new pump now as we speak

    10. Member Jetta A2 1989's Avatar
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      02-08-2008 01:39 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by brandonrosensteel »
      At least not over my rattling, plugged up catalytic converter, haha.
      Anyone else?

      If your cat is rattling and plugged why worry about it............ha ha



    11. 02-08-2008 07:06 PM #11
      I donno if you still have this problem cus everyone posted what i would say. For me i unpluged the plug going into the mass air sensor an cleaned it with electrical cleaner and it was perfect right after.

    12. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-08-2008 08:55 PM #12
      It was dielectrically greased a few days ago.
      I dont know whats wrong with it, seriously.
      Its making me nervous because I dont know what could cause it and I really dont have the money to pay a shop to look it over, but its something I feel deserves a little bit of attention.
      I didnt find anything personally yet.
      I just bought a new valve pan gasket and spark plugs and a fuel filter.
      Im going to put them on either tomorrow or sunday and then start messing with the rest of it.

      Oh, but driving home tonight, I noticed it was cutting out in every gear consistently at 2,500 and 3,000. I didnt dare rev it higher becuase I didnt know what would happen, but it seems like when I would run it hard over 3,500, it would stop...

      EDIT: It cut out in every gear except first. Thought maybe I should mention that. First gear runs good and strong.

      I changed my oil today though, and after I did, my idle is perfect now?
      It was fluctuating all over the place previously and now it runs great sitting still.


      Heres a picture of my Jetta, by the way.
      Just to help with the views...



      Modified by brandonrosensteel at 9:20 PM 2-8-2008


    13. 02-08-2008 09:31 PM #13
      so it only happens while you turn?

    14. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-08-2008 09:38 PM #14
      No, 3000 rpm. Any gear.
      And tonight I noticed it around 2500 too.

    15. 02-08-2008 09:39 PM #15
      i think you might have spark problems man. maybe bad plugs or wires. how old is the distributor.

    16. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-08-2008 09:41 PM #16
      Not sure.
      I have only put 3000 miles on the car and got it in October.
      I bought new plugs and Im going to put them in either tomorrow or sunday.
      Someone else told me the distributor too.
      I was told to just replace the cap though and see if that helps...

    17. 02-08-2008 09:45 PM #17
      yeah, if you want to change the fuel filter also it is pretty much as easy as changing the plugs. just takes a little longer.

    18. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-08-2008 09:48 PM #18
      Yeah, I got to get all the bugs out of this thing soon.
      I think one mount is bad too...
      Im leaning towards the tranny mount but Im not positive.

      Anyone else have any info?


    19. 02-08-2008 10:25 PM #19
      Not to be an ass, however, have you been using a Bentley at all? Before you throw money at parts you think are going to fix it, do some troubleshooting.

    20. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-08-2008 10:35 PM #20
      Well, its not really just throwing the money, but its just the money for the basic maintenance stuff.
      I have been trying to update all of the things as I go along.
      As for the Bentley, no, unfortunately I dont own one.
      Im going to be placing an order from GAP within the next few days though and I plan to get one.

    21. 02-09-2008 02:53 AM #21
      Well i think after you change you fuel filter, cap and rotor, spark plugs an clean the mass air sensor plug you should be good an i dont think its a waste of money cus ive done it to my car an it runs better then b4. Hey just to say when you change your oil ive been told to use a vw oil filter cus something about oil pressure. An so affer doing that work you should out high octane gas an give your a nice rip get everything blown out. let me know what happens.

    22. Member Deutschbag's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 04:10 AM #22
      It's not just the plug you've gotta clean, it's the whole airflow sensor. Mine was corroded inside, which caused it to get stuck every now and then. Make sure that the flap moves all the way without a hint of grinding or anything like that. The tolerances in there are pretty tight, any sort of corrosion in there could bind things up. The symptoms sound MAF related, try a spare or one from a buddy's car, see if that helps. And definitely do the full tuneup (plugs, cap, rotor, wires, air/fuel filters).

    23. Geriatric Member steveo27's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 04:15 AM #23
      as long as the pumps not making noise, id try changin the fuel filter first. not to mention checkin out the plugs wire and rotor
      Crooked Euros

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    24. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 12:31 PM #24
      Thanks guys, Ill take the MAF sensor apart today
      Ill post again to this after I get all of this changed over and we'll see how its doing then
      Thanks a lot!

    25. 02-09-2008 02:35 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by steveo27 »
      as long as the pumps not making noise, id try changin the fuel filter first. not to mention checkin out the plugs wire and rotor

      what does it mean when the fuel pump makes noise? and what does it sound like?


    26. Member Seax_Smith's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 02:51 PM #26
      Most likely thing is the fuel pump relay (weak point in the system). use a fused jumper and see if you have the symtoms. Wierd thing to check is the bundle of wires to the ECM up by the wipers... the bundle can get loose and have that actuator arms wear off the insulation which can lead to shorts at wierd intervals..... other than that clean, check and dielectric all your connections and grounds. a quiet pump is a good pump, and if the fuel filter was glogging up, the cut out would probably be more severe.
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    27. Geriatric Member steveo27's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 02:52 PM #27
      it could be a real loud buzz (louder than normal) or high pitched screeching type noise...hard to describe
      Crooked Euros

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    28. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 03:39 PM #28
      Well, one thing is for sure.
      I just changed the spark plugs and they were all covered in oil.
      Solid black.
      So now it will probably get better spark.
      I cleaned all the oil out of the individual ports for the plugs and wiped the oil off below the valve pan so that it wasnt so bad for the new plugs.

      Right after I finished, I started it and it fired on the first crank instead of cranking over 4 or 5 times beforehand.
      I gotta go to work at 5 so Im done for now, but tomorrow will be a new valve cover gasket, fuel filter, and reverse light sensor.

      Thanks again for all the help guys!


    29. 02-09-2008 06:04 PM #29
      yeah the valve cover gasket was the reason i had oil on my plugs. although it was only a loose nut, it would drip oil in low gears from one corner on top of the plugs.



      Modified by WC2LT at 3:08 PM 2-9-2008

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      02-09-2008 08:48 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by steveo27 »
      it could be a real loud buzz (louder than normal) or high pitched screeching type noise...hard to describe

      my fuel pump sounds like a pansy supercharger right now.. its going out.


    31. 02-09-2008 09:18 PM #31
      Gotta check the small things before spending a boat load on the fuel pump. Symptoms could mean a lot of things. What type of injection? Have you checked fuel pressure? ISV? Coolant temp sensor? fuel filter? If you can hear the pump click over when you turn the key to auxillary or listen by the passenger rear wheel while the car is running you should be ok. Maybe poke around other places?

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      02-09-2008 09:58 PM #32
      especially since digi pumps cost upwards of $280

    33. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 11:32 PM #33
      So, I changed my plugs and it all went away.
      When I drove it to work, it still stuttered a bit, a slight jerk at the most, but I think it was wearing the plugs in.
      It went away after about 5-10 minutes.
      Then on the way home from work, it ran awesome.
      The best it ever has.
      Seriously, all 4 plugs were fouled so bad that when I took them out, little particles fell off of the electrodes.

      Today was a great day for my MK2.
      Now I just need to change my valve cover gasket tomorrow and Im golden.

      When I changed my plugs today, I took the time to wire brush and clean the front of the block so I could see where the oil was leaking from and how much was coming out after about a 15-20 minute drive.
      Turns out both the left and right corners are leaking oil.
      So now to fix that...

      But yeah, anyone with this problem, I recommend checking your spark plugs first.
      It worked great for me.


    34. Member brandonrosensteel's Avatar
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      02-09-2008 11:36 PM #34
      And on another note too, about the plugs...
      The car starts WAY better, and it seems like the shifting/RPM change has gotten better.
      Before, the RPMs used to drop real fast and you had to tap the gas in between gears to keep them a little higher.
      Now I can shift nice and slow and the RPM's will only drop about 500 or so.

      It feels like there was an increase in running power now too.

      Great outcome for a whole $9.00


    35. Member Deutschbag's Avatar
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      02-10-2008 01:37 AM #35
      Sounds like you have other small problems, but continue with your tuneup, find any broken vacuum lines, clean your ISV with WD-40, and she'll be running perfectly. It takes all of 2 hours and about 100 bucks worth of parts to get these cars running damn near perfect if you just replace all the wear items in the ignition system.

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