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Hi all, I'm a bit new to this and not very mechanical (yet), so please be gentle.

We took our beloved and 100% reliable, 1995 T4 California Exclusive on a 5 week European tour this summer, and she broke down for the first time, at the first stop (Amsterdam), and has never really recovered. Luckily we did have breakdown cover and insurance.

  1. The van has no electrical or battery issues (checked repeatedly over the weeks), yet would respond to a jump start.
  2. The van would start fine as long as not left standing still for over 24 hours. Anything over this time would mean the van would try to turn over but never actually 'fire'.
  3. The van would sometimes start fine, even though left standing for 2-3 days, when in high temperatures (e.g. 35-45 degrees C).
  4. The van responded happily to 'Start Pilot', which we used as a last resort, but obviously don't want to use, due to how it damages the engine.

As part of our breakdown cover we tried to get it fixed in Germany at a garage covered by the insurance. Of course this ended up being a main dealer (Audi) and our van was older than most of the mechanics, let alone the vehicles they were working on. They tightened the timing belt and charged a fortune but didn't want to touch the diesel pump as they could not get a brand new one from VW, and that's all they would deal with. Their suggestion after a few days of inspection, was that air must be getting into either the pump or the diesel line, when the van was still, so to try swapping these out. However they could not find a leak (although they did not remove either pump or line for fear of leaving us completely stranded).

A friend suggested posting on here to see if:

  1. anyone else had experienced something similar.
  2. anyone had a different suggestion of what it could be or how to go about finding out.
  3. anyone knows a good place to get a diesel pump and supply line

I'm on a mission to get out and camping again asap (definitely not later than February), so thanks in advance for any help you can give.
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum. It's worth looking at the fuel lines that leave the fuel filter to the fuel pump. Can you see any air in the transparent pipes when your trying to start? If so you have a leak. I had this and is caused similar problems. Good luck
 

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I had this with mine I fitted a new filter and attached a priming bulb to the fuel line tank side of the filter

This acts as a one way valve, and also means that should this happen again you can prime the system by hand. Same applies when you change the filter.

I had loads of air in the pipe beforehand, none after so there was a leak somewhere. The filter looked like it had been there forever!
 
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