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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening my fellow transporter lovers.
The Beast doesn't want to start when fuel getting just below a quarter of a tank, thought I might have a leak on or it was how I park the van at night thinking all fuel running back in to the tank.
Anyway I did a google search which brought the forum up straight away and there was an old thread about the fuel pick up on the sender unit which can become brittle and start drawing air in once the tank gets so far down.
Basically I want to know if many others have come across this and that if I whip the sender out could I do a repair or is it a case of buying a new unit?
If I can get away with using some rubber hose as a pick up instead of having to buy a new unit that would be great.
Times are hard and all that so would be nice to save a few bob and put it towards some insulation for the van.
Anyway any info would be great.
Cheers guys and gals
 

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I had this problem a couple of years ago,absolute bugger to start when it was under a quarter of a tank,it was fine when I filled it up,had a new fuel sender unit put in,never had the problem again.T:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i also heard about this. so went and removed it and striped it down. the metal pipes were fine. so replaced the O ring. no change.

faulty fuel filter.

my trip down this line. http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=274241
It just seems strange that when the tank is getting a bit low that's when the trouble starts, I've only had the van 3 weeks and it's happened twice now.
With me only having the van 3 weeks I'm intending on changing the filter anyway so prob sooner rather than later.
I'm also cleaning the cab out so already got passenger seat out so could be just worth whipping sender out just to have a nosey.
I'll have a read of your thread, thank you
 

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You may be lucky and get away with a short term botch but it is really not worth the hassle and risk of breaking down. Take the seats out and have a look at it. With mine it was very easy to see the crack and quite clear that a new one was needed. I got mine new from a trade seller on German Ebay and saved on UK prices. Make sure you get yourself a few new hose clamps to replace the originals that will probably need cutting off T:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had this problem a couple of years ago,absolute bugger to start when it was under a quarter of a tank,it was fine when I filled it up,had a new fuel sender unit put in,never had the problem again.T:
Yeah that's what I've read on another thread, just got me wondering about a repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You may be lucky and get away with a short term botch but it is really not worth the hassle and risk of breaking down. Take the seats out and have a look at it. With mine it was very easy to see the crack and quite clear that a new one was needed. I got mine new from a trade seller on German Ebay and saved on UK prices. Make sure you get yourself a few new hose clamps to replace the originals that will probably need cutting off T:
Yeah you're prob right with bodging it, suppose peace of mind if I replace with a new one.
I'll get on to TPS tomorrow and see what the damage is.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
before spending the cash get yours out and check it.

cracks in the plastic are fine it is just the metal pipes you need to worry about. Or the O ring.
The metal pipes shouldn't be too much of a problem i'd of thought, I could prob chop them out and replace with rubber hose.
I think that now the passenger seats are out the way then for what it's worth I might as well whip the sender out to inspect it.
I suppose the easy temporary fix is to just fill the van and keep the fuel above half just to be safe, any ideas how much a full tank costs these days :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I see what you mean by the metal pipes now I'm reading your thread, I thought they'd be plastic on top of the sender unit.
 

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I see what you mean by the metal pipes now I'm reading your thread, I thought they'd be plastic on top of the sender unit.
and it is sprung so it presses on the bottom of the tank. so it can take up any distortion in the bottom due to fuel levels or load.

a strip, a clean. a vacuum check on the pipes and change of suitable O ring. what have you got to lose? 2 fuel pipe clips and an O ring about a fiver if you are unlucky. new pick up unit £60 plus.
 

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before spending the cash get yours out and check it.

cracks in the plastic are fine it is just the metal pipes you need to worry about. Or the O ring.
I hate to correct you but cracks in the plastic are NOT fine! They are what is causing the problem.
Approx £62 on German ebay including postage to UK. Defo agree with checking it before buying a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
and it is sprung so it presses on the bottom of the tank. so it can take up any distortion in the bottom due to fuel levels or load.

a strip, a clean. a vacuum check on the pipes and change of suitable O ring. what have you got to lose? 2 fuel pipe clips and an O ring about a fiver if you are unlucky. new pick up unit £60 plus.
Yeah I'll take it out and see what I come up with, hose clips and o rings shouldn't be a problem as we've got a selection of them at work and I'm sure the gaffer won't miss a few.
The van runs sweet and starts every time when there is plenty of fuel in it, I can't really see it being a filter problem as I've been nowhere near it unless something has all of a sudden failed on it? Will get it changed though, it'll at least do some good.
 

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I hate to correct you but cracks in the plastic are NOT fine! They are what is causing the problem.
Approx £62 on German ebay including postage to UK. Defo agree with checking it before buying a new one.
yes they are fine as they go nowhere. lots of cracks around the pipes on mine. starts fine on 5 liters of fuel. how do i know. I is often run till it stops.

now if the bottom "cage" part has cracks in it above the openings (or the O ring is damaged) then yes you can have issues. but the cracks around the metal pipes. nope.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm thinking if it's the white plastic tube bit at the bottom of the metal pipes that's cracked then it'll be a case of a new sender needed.
I'll prepare myself for the worst.
 

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yes they are fine as they go nowhere. lots of cracks around the pipes on mine. starts fine on 5 liters of fuel. how do i know. I is often run till it stops.

now if the bottom "cage" part has cracks in it above the openings (or the O ring is damaged) then yes you can have issues. but the cracks around the metal pipes. nope.
I don't want to get into an indepth debate as you clearly know your stuff (read your thread) but mine had cracks in the plastic around the pipes and when I replaced it the problem was solved. Sure it may actually have been something else wrong with the unit but if the plastic fuel tank sender unit is cracking ( a key component in sealing the tank) then IMHO replacing the unit is both sound practice and will sort the problem as wellT:
 

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I have the same problem, and still havent remedied it so not much help but would be very interested to hear how this turns out. At the moment I have to keep it topped up above half a tank which is annoying on long joureys. I have changed the fuel filter several times with no joy, also changed the white valve on top (worth checking o-ring is present and correct).
Spoke to local independent VW garage the other day and mentioned the possibility of dodgy fuel sender but he thought this unlikely and more likely a small leak somewhere in the fuel pipe. He said that often people fold the pipe backwards when changing the filter which can cause a leak. He also mentioned that my fuel timing is way out which wouldnt help.
Getting it checked out in a few weeks when in for MOT so will post back.
Sorry for long reply!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have the same problem, and still havent remedied it so not much help but would be very interested to hear how this turns out. At the moment I have to keep it topped up above half a tank which is annoying on long joureys. I have changed the fuel filter several times with no joy, also changed the white valve on top (worth checking o-ring is present and correct).
Spoke to local independent VW garage the other day and mentioned the possibility of dodgy fuel sender but he thought this unlikely and more likely a small leak somewhere in the fuel pipe. He said that often people fold the pipe backwards when changing the filter which can cause a leak. He also mentioned that my fuel timing is way out which wouldnt help.
Getting it checked out in a few weeks when in for MOT so will post back.
Sorry for long reply!
Hey no worries for the long reply, thanks for reading my thread.
I've read it on another thread that the pick up on the sender can become brittle and crack resulting in drawing air in, I'm yet to have my sender unit out due to laziness and poor weather conditions but as soon as I get it out I'll take some photos if I can find any problems with it.
The sender being faulty seems more likely the cause to me as it only happens when my tank is so far down, I'd of thought if it was a filter fault or a leak it would happen all the time
 

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my thought process was the same as yours in thinking that as it only happens when half full it must be the sender and not a leak somewhere. However, the mechanic said that it could still be a leak somewhere and just something to do with pressue in the lines but I am still not convinced.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
my thought process was the same as yours in thinking that as it only happens when half full it must be the sender and not a leak somewhere. However, the mechanic said that it could still be a leak somewhere and just something to do with pressue in the lines but I am still not convinced.
I'd of thought it'd have to be a big leak for it to affect it starting, mine doesn't seem to drop anything though after cranking the engine.
I noticed dampness two weeks ago around injectors 1 and 2 so changed bleed off pipes, the bleed off pipes have got damp again but I think it's oil coming from the filler neck.
After reading previous threads and seeing it being cured by a new sender unit I'm more convinced it's the sender, not going to know until I've got it out.
Next couple of days I should have the unit out for inspection
 
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