It must be 3 weeks now since my beloved 2.5 V6 TDi Passat brokedown on me. Actually, that’s not entirely correct. The injection pump broke down on me, the Passat just happened to be cursed with the not so popular Bosch VP44 Injection pump.
My car was running great, freshly serviced by myself, I had no complaints – smooth and effortless, it was business as usual. Then, at the drop of a hat, it was crippled. The power rapidly faded away to nothing. It didn’t even have the guts to top 5mph.
“That’s it” I said. “The Passat is dead!”. Well, I was pretty much correct. The injection pump had pressurised its last atom of fuel before packing up for an extended holiday.
The gear indicator which usually displays the currently selected gear lit up red and the gearbox started shifting really violently. Initially I thought this could be a gearbox fault, but I later discovered this is simply a side effect of the car entering “limp mode”.
The car made quite a lot of smoke and the engine also sounded a lot more rough than usual. I noticed air in the fuel line too. A quick scan with Vagcom revealed 00550 – Start of Injection Regulation – Control Difference – Intermittent (also known as error code p1248).
I was genuinely hoping for a straightforward repair of the pump, but the reality was I needed a whole new one. I found a guy who really knew his stuff when it came to Bosch VP44 pumps, his name was Peter over at King’s Lynn Auto Diagnostics. He offered a prompt testing service for £70 and discovered the body (housing) of my pump was worn beyond repair, causing loss of fuel pressure. Wear in the pump housing means the pump is pretty much a write-off.
dieselbombers.com describes a similar problem:
The housings on the VP44 wear out due to low fuel pressure from weak lift pumps causing the diaphragm in the front of the VP44 pump to rupture. This causes the steel timing piston to vibrate in the aluminum bore of the housing and the result in a short time is the housing wears to the point that fuel bypasses the piston and full advance cannot be accomplished
Peter managed to source me a replacement pump, although he made sure I was sitting down before telling me the price, because it came in at an eye watering £762. He thought the damage to the housing was probably due to mileage more than anything.
I must admit, that was almost enough for me to seriously consider writing the car off. It has 180,000 on the clock and market value of the car is probably not more than £2000. But anyway, I decided I needed my car repaired. The exact model of the pump was 0470 506 002 – These seem rare and consequently expensive.
I’m still waiting for the pump to arrive (should be early next week). Peter assured me the new pump would be “virginised” so that it didn’t need to be coded to the car (watch out of this if you get one from a scrap heap)
It took the local garage about 3-4 hours to remove the pump, which just happened to be on a separate belt on the V6 TDI, so the cambelt did not have to be removed.
So the grand total for the pump failure comes in at about £1152 including fitting. I can only conclude this article by saying that under no circumstance buy a car with a Bosch VP44 injection pump, although if you’re reading this, the chances are it’s too late, you already did. Just take a quick look on the internet and there are pages and pages of people with similar problems. Good luck, you’ll need it.