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I have a 2003 Jetta TDI. I drove it last night with no problem. This morning I cannot start the car. I popped the hood, and discovered air in the fuel line between the fuel filter and injection pump. In fact, I don't see any fuel in there at all!

The only thing I've done to the car recently was have an oil change, about a week ago.

I also don't see any sign of fuel on the ground.

What may have caused this?

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3 Answers

Pinhole leaks in the low-pressure lines from the tank to the pump can cause this - the pump sucks in air through the hole instead of fuel from the tank. Check the condition of all the fuel lines, and the connections between rubber flexis and solid lines. Check any seals on the filter for the same reason.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The problem turned out to be a leaking seal in the injection pump. I came across this video which explains how to replace the leaky seals relatively easily and far less expensively than replacing the injection pump (which is what the dealership does).

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When you replace a diesel filter, the air should be removed by using feed pump. If you don't apply the pump until the filter is full, the system will suffer with air.

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If this was the case it would prime itself quickly, maybe a few minutes of running. –  Andrei Rinea Aug 27 '13 at 15:23
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