Hello all, I have a 1990 Jetta GL with the 1.8L 8v, completely rebuilt engine, in great running order. Everything works great (power, gas mileage good, etc), but sometimes (currently, very rarely) after driving for 45min-1hr+, there is an audible whine from the underbody of the car. It seems to get louder and louder, especially when I'm sitting in traffic, until suddenly the car will sputter and die. Most times, the car will start right back up, but sometimes it takes a couple minutes of cooling off before it will again.
I'm guessing this means the fuel pump is struggling/overheating (this is Arizona, and its 108 degrees out, and I think the pump is cooled by the fuel in the tank), so I just wanted to get feedback from other people on what I should do.
I'm guessing first step is simply replace the pump. Should I go Bosch for $200? ECS has a VDO pump for $60, is that a no-go? What should I expect in labor? Thank you all for your help.
Yes, it sounds like one or both of the fuel pumps are going bad (there are two). Often the transfer pump in the fuel tank will go bad and then the main pump follows due to the strain placed on it from the first pump failing. Sometimes it is just the main pump which fails but for the extra cost and sleeping good at nights I would think about just doing both. Your car does not use an "in-line" pump which are most often the cheaper ones listed. The main pump sits in a plastic box under the car which is feed by the transfer pump in the tank. You can modify things to use one of the cheaper in-line pumps if you like.
Side note: This is a CIS forum and your car has Digifant II (Digifant I maybe if on the west coast) which is an EFI system or Motronic system.
Start with the intank pump (70.00 shipped to me). My 84 had the exact same symptoms. Not difficult to install yourself. Took me about an hour but it was easier than I made it. There should be a circular plate held by three screws in the trunk. Undo that and you will see the fuel lines and top of sending unit that goes into the tank. Check on line for pictures on knocking the ring back to access the pump. Make sure you have less than half a tank of fuel and you clean the area if you are going to do it yourself.