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Good evening, everyone! I am having problems with my 96 Passat. It will start but not run very long before it stalls. It was a daily driver about a year or two ago, but it has sat in a driveway for the past year. I have started it and driven it short distances before it dies. One thing I've noticed is large air bubbles flowing back and forth in the clear lines from the filter. I tried to bleed the system by cracking the injectors and cranking the engine, and I thought I was successful when I saw fuel spurting up out of the injector ports, but afterwards it only still stalled out after a short while. I have done a little research on this forum and combined it with my limited knowledge of diesel motors to come up with a rough plan of action.
1) Look at the fuel tank
I know that diesel fuel is hydrophilic and that algae can even grow in it, so where the Passat sat outside for a year, contamination might be an issue. I've read of people finding their sending units full of algae, and I even read one guy claim that algae growth in fuel tanks promotes gas in fuel lines.
2) Work up from fuel tank to front end and inspect lines/fittings for bad rubber and cracks
I read multiple people who said the plastic t-fitting on top of the filter could have hairline cracks or bad o rings. Other people complained that the clear plastic fuel lines that run from the filter to the injector pump were cracked and once they were replaced their stalling problem disappeared.
3) Maybe mess with the injector pump?
The injector pump housing is aluminum, and I'm ashamed to say that I stripped the fitting on the lines leading to the injectors trying to bleed the system. Too many ugaduggas with a long handled 10 mm. I tightened it down as much as I dared, and after I cleaned the area I smeared RTV all over it. Seemed to make a pretty good seal so I didn't worry about it. I might look at it again, though, if nothing else fixes the problem. Has anyone else done that? I looked at buying a replacement and the rebuilt ones are a small fortune online. If anyone has any ideas about a fix or an affordable replacement, or if I shouldn't worry about it, please let me know.
And so that's it. Anything I haven't thought of or should consider as a possible problem please let me know. I'll let you know how my progress goes.
Thanks,
Tennessee Steve
 
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