How to remove and replace the HPFP and common rail: Audi, VW TDI 2.0L engine

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difficulty: 3/5


This article shows how to remove and install the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP) and common fuel rail on a VW Jetta, Golf, or Sportwagen TDI (Golf wagon TDI), and Audi A3 TDI engine.

The high pressure fuel pump HPFP is driven by the engine timing belt and supplies high pressure fuel to the common rail fuel line. The common rail holds extremely high pressure fuel for the fuel injectors. These items should last the life of the car but a few HPFP have failed, requiring replacement of the entire fuel system to clean out metal debris from the failed fuel pump. CAUTION: Maintain cleanliness during this procedure as dirt entering the fuel system can cause fuel system damage!

If the alternator/air conditioning/HPFP bracket ever has to be replaced, the HPFP must be removed.

This was performed on my demo engine out of the car. If the article needs any corrections showing this procedure in the car, please post in the TDI forums and help improve the article! This demo engine was partially paid for with site donations - please use the donate button above so that I can provide more great DIY!

Removal is easy but I rated this 3/5 difficulty because HPFP removal requires removing the the timing belt.


M8 and M10 triple square (12 point) bit
T30 Torx screwdriver
VCDS from ross tech
2 arm puller (power steering pump type puller)
VW tool T10051 (pic was reused from another article, you don't need T10052)

Procedure to remove the HPFP on a TDI engine

Wash the engine and blow it dry using compressed air. You don't want water standing in the pockets and contaminating the fuel. Washing the engine will help prevent dirt from entering the fuel system. Make sure to cover the alternator with a plastic bag.

Remove the coolant tube over the intake manifold (2x T30 bolts, black arrows below) and remove the hose clamp on one end. Gently wiggle one end off and plug the ends. Lay the remaining coolant hoses to the side. You shouldn't lose much coolant since the line is elevated.

Disconnect the fuel injector, common rail fuel pressure sensor, and glowplug plugs. The glowplug plugs are pressed on so take care not to damage the wiring! Pull from the plug, not the wiring! Also remove the fuel temp sensor and fuel metering valve plugs on the HPFP. (click to enlarge thumbnail)

Disconnect the 2x 17mm unions going from the HPFP to the common rail. Make sure to have a rag ready to catch the leaking fuel. Also disconnect the 3x T30, 1x m8 12 point, and 10mm nut holding the thin metal fuel lines (black arrows). The 12 point bolt is also an intake manifold bolt. Disconnect the clamps holding the rubber fuel lines (white arrows). If you're only removing the HPFP, use your judgement here on which lines you need to remove. (click to enlarge thumbnail)

If you're only removing the HPFP, skip this step. If you're only removing the common rail, remove the 2x M10 12 point bolts holding the common rail to the valve cover and the 17mm fuel line unions. Unplug the common rail relief valve on the right side.

Wrap the open fuel lines with plastic to prevent contamination.

Remove the timing belt. See 1000q: CBEA/CJAA engine timing belt removal for details.

Remove the HPFP sprocket (3x 10mm 12 point bolts). Note that there's an unused bolt hole under the sprocket. The unused bolt hole and the one directly across from it (that was used) is where the 2 arm puller will attach.

Use T10051 to counterhold the HPFP pulley underneath the sprocket and loosen the center 24 nut. Use a wrench to counterhold a 2 arm puller to pop the sprocket off. The manual calls for VW tool T40064 but you can get equivalent free loaners as shown below at Autozone and Advance auto. Do not try to pry or hit the sprocket off! It's a tapered fit with a key and is very tight!

It will look like this. Remove the single M8 and two M10 12 point bolts.

The HPFP can now be removed. If not using immediately, seal the open fuel lines with plastic.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Torque specs:
24mm HPFP shaft nut: 70 ft-lb (95 Nm)
3x HPFP sprocket bolts: first tighten each to 15 ft-lb (20 Nm) and then add 1/4 turn to each
fuel line unions:18 ft-lb (25 Nm)
3x HPFP mount bolts: unknown, if you know, please post in the forums! Otherwise, good and tight.

Since you only lost a little bit of coolant, you can top off the coolant with distilled water. If you need much more, use only VW/Audi G12 coolant and distilled water! See 1000q: coolant

When installing the HPFP pulley, make sure the tapered surface on the shaft and pulley are clean and free of grease or oil. Make sure to use T10051 to counterhold!

When installing the high pressure fuel lines, make sure they are not bent or under tension as you tighten the unions.

Make sure to fully prime the fuel lines or else the fuel system can be damaged! The HPFP relies on diesel fuel for lubrication and running it with no fuel can result in severe damage! Empty the fuel return line into a clean container while using VCDS to run the electric fuel pumps. This will get most of the air out. Once the system is closed, use VCDS to prime the lines for at least 60 seconds. Repeat this step at least 3 times. See 1000q: CRD fuel filter change for more details. Any time the fuel system is opened it must be primed!

Before installing the timing belt, turn the HPFP sprocket to the index position.

For timing belt installation, see CJAA/CBEA timing belt part 2.  The rest of the detailed installation procedure, pictures, and checks are in the premium content forum, please join our Audi and VW TDI forum and upgrade to a premium account for $2 to view! Here is how to upgrade your account:

If you have more questions about the HPFP on your Audi A3, VW Jetta, Golf, or Sportwagen, please post your question in the forums or search the site below: