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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings UncleDave's Avatar
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    Jan 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    53719
    My Garage
    2002 S6 Avant
    Location
    NJ

    Water in Fuel/Frozen fuel pump?

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    Parked my car outside yesterday where it was below freezing all day. Came back to start it, same procedure as always: Cycle fuel pump, then start. Fired right up and died. Cycled key again and no fuel pump cycle.. My mechanic buddy was close by thankfully. He pulled the rear seat bottom and the passenger side panel above fuel pump. After a few bangs with a wrench the car started right up and ran like normal.
    So what do we think it is? A 'frozen' fuel pump? Water in the fuel that froze and blocked the line? Should I try any fuel additives to remove water? Drain/flush the tank?

    2002 S6

    Thanks for any input

    UD

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Aug 17 2009
    AZ Member #
    46503
    Location
    Pittsburgh

    how much fuel was in the tank? how cold was it outside? water will be at the bottom of the tank, closest to the pickup, so if there was any in the tank frozen, that could be your problem. just throw a bottle of yellow heet in the tank and fill it up with a good 93 oct. you should be fine then. if you think there is a lot of water in the tank, never let it go below 1/2, and do a bottle of yellow heet every 3 fillups through the winter. then in the spring drop the tank, drain it, and clean it. of course, if you have a garage, do that right now. it's not hard at all.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Four Rings A6Avant's Avatar
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    Mar 09 2010
    AZ Member #
    55781
    My Garage
    T4 Eurovan 2.5L 5spd (Currently under construction). MKII Jetta (GLI in the making :)
    Location
    Salmon Arm , B.C. CANADA

    Sounds more like the pump is on its way out.... It is not uncommon for what you described to be a peview to a complete failure. BUt it could just be way too much water. However I honestly doubt it.

    Jeremy

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings 4ringAR's Avatar
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    Sep 18 2006
    AZ Member #
    11642
    Location
    Colorado

    I would not recommend methanol(heet) as it is incredibly corrosive and the fuel lines are not meant to handle it. Drain the tank, then fill it up with some good fuel if excess water in the tank is the issue.

    I've been able to get my car started even when it had been sitting outside at -20*F overnight, it didn't want to turnover and start but eventually it did. Gasoline shouldnt gel/freeze until its WAY colder than you could even tolerate.

  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings UncleDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    53719
    My Garage
    2002 S6 Avant
    Location
    NJ

    The car is back in my garage. I have jack and stands. Will that get it up high enough to drain? Or is a lift recommended?
    Also, is the pump replaceable thru the access panel below seat bottom?
    I haven't added any additives yet. Just got it home and want to do more research/review suggestions.
    Thanks fellas
    UD

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Four Rings superman_006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 14 2007
    AZ Member #
    14887
    My Garage
    Porsche 996 C2
    Location
    WV

    100% Gasoline doesnt freeze untill -97F... Pump gas is between -120F and -40F....and for it to have enough water in it to freeze at this temp you would have to have so much water in it that it wouldnt run once you got it started

    My bet is that your fuel pump is dieing..... the few bangs on the tank just moved the brushes around on the aperture

    There is no drain plug on the bottom of the tank.... if your dead set on draining it, pull the pump and syphoin it out.
    2005 Audi A6 4.2L Black on Black, Bluetooth, Voice recognition, Nav, rain sensing wipers POWER SHADE (haha).... Smoked blinkers.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Four Rings superman_006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 14 2007
    AZ Member #
    14887
    My Garage
    Porsche 996 C2
    Location
    WV

    2005 Audi A6 4.2L Black on Black, Bluetooth, Voice recognition, Nav, rain sensing wipers POWER SHADE (haha).... Smoked blinkers.

  8. #8
    Established Member Two Rings UncleDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    53719
    My Garage
    2002 S6 Avant
    Location
    NJ

    Thanks for the link. Looks doable for sure.

    Looking at the write up for fuel pump replacement, it looks like my buddy just whacked the cover to the fuel pump... (the white plastic lid under the access panel) would that jolt the fuel pump enough to make it work? Or did it dislodge something?

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings superman_006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 14 2007
    AZ Member #
    14887
    My Garage
    Porsche 996 C2
    Location
    WV

    Just a little vibration to make the brushes in the motor make contact it all it takes.... once it moving it will keep moving. Im sure u heard of someone doing this to a old worn out starter. If it was -100 outside and ur gas was frozen/ your pump frozen... that wouldnt have done anything.
    2005 Audi A6 4.2L Black on Black, Bluetooth, Voice recognition, Nav, rain sensing wipers POWER SHADE (haha).... Smoked blinkers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 09 2007
    AZ Member #
    19411
    My Garage
    01 A6 4.2 QUATTRO
    Location
    Portland, OR

    bad commutator on the pump, its like russian roulette kinda, say there is 8 commuatator's on the apature, well if u turn it off and it stops on a bad on one that is an open circuit it will not start up, couple bangs on pump and rolls the apeture so its now got good contact with the brushes and your back in biz, only way to diagnose 100% is current ramping with a current clamp and oscilloscope, i agree with thinking its more likely your fuel pump is going out, however if you thing there is water in the fuel pull the fuel line off the fuel rail and crank it over a few times while running some fuel into a bottle, let it stand about 5 minutes, water seperates from fuel. but if there was THAT much water in the fuel, you would be having some serious driveability problems i feel.

  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings UncleDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    53719
    My Garage
    2002 S6 Avant
    Location
    NJ

    got a new pump overnighted. Pick it up tomorrow morning. We'll see if my wrenching skills are up to the install...

    Pump retails for $406.....my parts buddy hooked it up for $290.. Takes a little sting out of it :)

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings 4ringAR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 18 2006
    AZ Member #
    11642
    Location
    Colorado

    "We'll overnight parts from Japan, if we need to"


    Good to hear youll have your car back in good running condition soon.
    2001 Audi ur-allroad, Frankenturbo'd, 6-Speed Convert: BUILD THREAD

    "Forget Tibet, free the left lane."

  13. #13
    Established Member Two Rings UncleDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    53719
    My Garage
    2002 S6 Avant
    Location
    NJ

    ^^^^^lol. Good one.

    I'm glad too man. I was under the gun because I have to work Wednesday and am down to 1 car (giving my 2nd to relative for Christmas). But work just cancelled and bought me some time.

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings UncleDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    53719
    My Garage
    2002 S6 Avant
    Location
    NJ

    I have almosrt everything out and I am stuck trying to get the return line from inside the tank off. Any tips?
    here's what I'm looking at

    and a shot of the new one for better reference

  15. #15
    Established Member Two Rings UncleDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 21 2010
    AZ Member #
    53719
    My Garage
    2002 S6 Avant
    Location
    NJ

    Gave up and reused the hose shown above. New fuel pump in, car running in garage right now:)

  16. #16
    Registered Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jan 24 2011
    AZ Member #
    69914
    Location
    wilton me

    Thumbs up frozen fuel pump inside tank



    UD[/QUOTE]i woke up to -35 f van wouldnt turn over 1996 dodge caravan se no sound from the fuel pump so i took a hammer tapped on the middle of tank wich is plastic while my wife turned the key after 3 taps its started come to find out we were on empty put dry gas in filled the tank its fine i rem this from older vehicles with fuel pump on outside to give it a tap if was frozen hope this helps some 1



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