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Our up till now faultless 2.0 GT TDi konked out about 1/2 a mile from home whilst waiting on a slight incline in a main road to turn right into our road. I got it going about a week later thanks pretty much to trawling through these uk-mkvs.net forums. Thought I'd pass on my experience in case it's any help

Wife & children had to abandon it in the middle of the road & phone me for assistance whilst huddled together at the top of the verge. Having bought the car for wifey six months earlier without consulting her I wasn't very popular to start with, when it died in the middle of heavy traffic she hardly spoke to me & when I announced I just wanted to try a few things before phoning a mobile mechanic...

It was a bit of a pain getting the car home as it turns out it hasn't got a front towing eye & I'm at a loss to explain the logic behind that omission. Eventually the car was back on the drive; although it had 120,000 miles on the clock when I bought it, it looked in great condition, had been a company car & the engine sounded as sweet as a nut but now would only turn over on the starter motor

Apparently my wife had got it to start a couple more times before it gave up the ghost completely so as it sounded like fuel starvation to me I thought I'd change the fuel filter as it looked easy to get to & about £14 from GSF. The old one was fairly black but the alarm bells should have begun ringing when I persuaded it out of the filter cannister - the cannister was only half full of fuel. After putting the new filter in & reassembling the gubbins I tried to start the engine with no joy. Bought some Easy Start & squirted it into the intake ducting via the connector from the "cam cover". It ran for about a second, the first signs of life in a couple of days & confirmation I suppose that it might not be a timing belt problem

Having watched a few of "DrDansBioDiesel" troubleshooting videos on YouTube & reading a lot of posts on these forums it very slowly dawned on me that I should've probably first checked the fuel flow from the tank lift/priming pump. I disconnected the return line at the tank end under the rear seat squab, fed it into a can & turned the ignition on- nothing. I had a look on eBay & it would seem you could pick up the sender unit for anywhere from £20 to over £100, there's a photo of the duff one underneath

I'd probably risk a fuel sender unit of uncertain origins if it was my car however as it is the main transport for my wife & children I bit the bullet & ordered one from VW - a snip at £155 (!). Two days later VW phoned to say it had arrived so I fetched it, inserted it into the tank & connected the electrics & fuel lines. Turned the ignition on & off about ten times for the lift pump to prime the fuel filter then started the car which with a cough & splutter eventually burst into life. What a sweet sweet sound that was! The steering wheel & ESP lights were on in the instrument cluster, due, I think, to getting the battery pretty flat during several days of diagnosing. However after about 5 mins idling & deciding to try it out driving round the block, as soon as I engaged first gear & moved off the steering wheel & ESP lights went out & it all looks & behaves normally. Result!

 

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Just a word of advice. I would never put Easy Start in a modern engine. It might be fine on a caterpillar bulldozer or an old Lister but it could wreck your TDI.To paraphrase an American acquaintaince of mine "This aint your daddy's John Deere tractor"

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=224557&highlight=ether+starting

Failed lift pumps are unfortunately fairly common on PD engines. Getting a genuine new one is expensive, but better for peace of mind than some Chinese knock off from Ebay. Also if you don't know for sure when the timing belt was last changed I would get it done asap. If it blows up on your wife I doubt she will be amused.
 
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