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Old 04-27-2014, 02:19 AM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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How To Change diesel Fuel filter and properly bleeding system e70 x5 30d

Hi all,

I finally mustered the courage to tackle this job this wk end and completed it successfully.

I actually bought the new fuel filter many months ago.. but was alway uncertain about the procedure to bleed the fuel system of air. I didnt want to risk running the High Pressure Fuel Pump dry and causing premature wear to it or worst damaging it.

I have heard many conflicting ways of going about it. Many say to just simply switch the ignition on (by key in, pressing the stop/start button without pressing brake) and it will activate the electric lift pump in the fuel tank and self prime/bleed. I was quite unconvinced by this method as when i normally do this, i do not hear the fuel pump or anything whir or run at all. its all silent.. on my car any ways. In fact, after doing the bleeding procedure the correct way, it confirmed to me that i never actually heard the fuel pump running doing the above mentioned method. As the electric fuel pump actually makes a very distinct whiring sound.

so i held off and invested in time to research and invested in the software itself plus the cable. It took me a while to actually get the software (DIS v57) up and running and actually become familiar with it enough to be confident in using it.

Finally with all the right parts and all the right working software, i set about changing the diesel fuel filter. during my research, i never got a straight answer or any real specific detailed information/instruction as to how to use DIS to bleed the fuel system (many sites just merely mentions "to use DIS to bleed system" without any further details. I took the risk and did it myself with success so hence here i want to share it with you all..

I dont have any pics this time round, as i didnt know what to expect and was just very anxious to get the thing done. stoping to take happy snaps was the last thing on my mind. but the nx time i change it, promise to have some pics. So apologies for no pics, and please bear with me as i try my best to describe it using plain old english.

***If you already know how to physcally change the filter itself and want to skip me rambling on about how to do it and just want to know how to bleed using software then skip to step 6 below.

Disclaimer: The following is provided as a GUIDE ONLY, and neither myself nor Bimmerfest take any responsibility for the outcomes of someone else doing the following. You follow these steps at your own risk!

To change the fuel filter u will need the following:

8mm socket
10mm socket
needle nose pliers
flat head screw drivers
DIS v57 diagnostic software plus cable plus laptop to run it all on
new diesel fuel filter
new hose clamp
catch pan
rags

1) u can choose to jack up the vehicle, however my x5 had pretty good ground clearances and im not the biggest bloke in town so i didnt have to jack up my vehicle. please use jack stands and common sense when jacking vehicle.

2) The fuel filter is located on the passenger side (my car is a Right Hand Drive) towards the rear door underneath the vehicle. there are two large plastic covers that needs to be removed to gain access to the fuel filter. u have a foward large plastic cover and a rear large plastic cover, you will need to undo the retaining bolts, they are a combination of 8 and 10mm. Also along the bottom of the side step railing plastic that meets the large plastic panels underneath, there are retaining clips that are just pushed into place. use ur needle nose pliers to grab at them and just pull them directly down. once all the bolts and clips are removed, remove the foward and rear plastic covers. u should now see ur fuel filter.

* i actually spent more time mucking around with the removal and installation of the plastic covers than i did actually swapping out the fuel filter.
** i apologise for the lack of photos.

3) now u can see the fuel filter, it is held in place by two brackets with 2 x 10mm bolts. remove these and remove the brackets completely. the fuel filter should be free to move around slightly now. it will only be held on by the pipe on one end and the inlet/fuel heater assembly on the rear of the filter. to remove the inlet/pre heater assembly from the filter there will be a metal retaining clip. use ur flat head screwdriver to pry it off by pulling it down. grab the filter with one hand and the assembly with the other. give it a wiggle and good pull away from filter, it will come off.. abit of diesel will pour out, at this stage have ur drain pan handy. To remove the other hose from the outlet of the filter, it is fitted with factory one use only clamps. use a combination of small flat head screw driver and needle nose pliers to pry this off. it will be destroy to remove.. doesnt matter as we will be replacing this with a hose clamp anyways. If ur reading this forum, it means u are a DIY'er, therefore i have faith in you that u can and will figure a way to pry that fatory clamp off. Just take it slow and be very patient.

4) once the old filter is free of all the connections, remove it completely and place the new one next to the old one side by side. You will now have to remove the two rubber sleeves from the old filter and install it on the new one. make sure they are installed in the exact location as where it was found on the old filter, u ensure this by comparing them side by side. install the inlet/fuel preheater assembly on the filter first. When i bought the new filter, for some reason i was not given a new rubber o'ring, however the old filter has an o ring, so i removed that o ring and installed on new one. push the inlet/preheater assembly onto the filter and then reinstall the retaining metal clip by simply pushing it into the slot all the way. re-position the filter but dont install the brackets yet. reinstall the rubber hose on the outlet side of the filter and use a new hose clamp. now when everything is connected.. then reinstall the brackets that hold the filter as well as the 2 x 10mm bolts.

5) before u reinstall all the plastic panels, we will now bleed the system, and check for leaks.

6) connect the diagnostic cable and run DIS v57. once the QUICK TEST is completed in DIS, hit the next button (green arrow on the bottom right hand side). Press FUNCTION SELECTION button on the bottom left hand side of DIS. under FUNCTIONS, select SERVICE FUNCTIONS, then select DIESEL ELECTRONICS. Now under the Diesel electronics menu, select BLEEDING, FUEL SYSTEM, then press TEST SCHEDULE button which is located at the bottom.

7) Now by the time i got to this stage i was too excited and didnt take photos or screen shots or remember exactly what the system displayed however let me try to describe it to u, and when you guys get to this stage, u will know what i mean. so please bear with me.

there will be some text that says something along the lines of " the fuel pump will be activated for at least 3 minutes to ensure system is bled of all air" something like that. When u see this press the next button (green arrow on bottom of right hand side).

now u should hear ur electric fuel pump in the fuel tank run, its a distince whirring sound, and u will hear sloshing/hissing/splashing sound as well, as the fuel is pushed into filter, up to the high pressure fuel pump and back into the tank via the return lines and back into the tank.. that is the sloshing sound ur hearing.. the diesel returning to the tank. let this run for about 3 minutes. whilst that is going on, feel around the rubber outlet hose and also the inlet/preheater assembly for any leaks. there should be none. If there is tighten the clamp and check the clip for the inlet assembly to ensure it is installed correctly. Im not sure if the software automatically stops electric pump after three minutes, however I just waited for what seemed like three minutes and press the next button in DIS, this takes us to the next step of the bleeding/priming process. DIS will tell u something along the lines of "ensure park brake on and vehicle is secured for next step". Press next, DIS will now tell u to start the engine. Press the brake pedal and hit the start engine button, ur engine should fire up straight away like normal. At this stage DIS will say something like " Ur engine RPM will be raised to set fuel rail pressure and ensure all air is bled from system" something along those lines, i dont remember the exact text word for word. Once engine is started ur rpm will automatically rise to about 2000rpm. This is DIS at work. leave ur car in this state (idleing at 2000rpm). DIS says to leave it for 10mins. after around this time i pressed the next button in DIS, the engine rpm dropped back to normal idle speed. DIS then said to switch off engine, and that was end of bleeding procedure.

8) once bleeding proceedure is completed, and u have verified there are no leaks. replace all the plastic panels underneath.

doing the proper bleeding/priming procedure above ensures that the High Pressure Fuel Pump is never run dried causing wear to it. after doing it the proper way above, and watching my car fire up straight away like normal, i cringe thinking of all those who changed the filter and didnt prime the system, when they went to start the car it cranked for "an eternity" before it fired up. Think of the poor High Pressure Fuel Pump with all its tight tolerance internals running dry with no diesel to lubricate it - yikes.

Please post feedback, questions or just your own experience with changing fuel filter.
all the best and happy DIY-ing
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2014, 06:48 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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Good write up.

Did you care to open the old filter to check its condition?
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2014, 07:17 AM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Thanks.. No I didn't, would had been interesting tho, as this filter is the original filter from the factory, my car has done 55,000km since new. First owner didn't bother to change it at all, I am the second owner. Tipping the filter on its end, the side where the diesel comes in, the diesel was very black and there was some wat appears to be very very fine particles/dirt. However when I tipped it on the outlet end first the diesel that came out was pretty clear and was almost the color of fresh diesel. So I guess it did it's job right till the end surprisingly. I may fish the filter out from my rubbish bin and cut it up lol.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:41 PM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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Excellent write up!!!!

I'd add one thing from my personal experience.

After doing the fuel filter on my dad's 325d a "clogged fuel filter" error appeared in DIS and could not be rest (I would reset and it would come right back)

I thought was a defective filter, so I changed it again to no avail.

After some Google research I found other with the same issue: a clogged filter code after replacement.

If that should occur, simply remove the connector on the fuel heater (that also serves as a fuel pressure sensor) and wash it with some contact cleaner.

Moving the contact while replacing the filter can cause a poor connection; contact cleaner removes possible oxidation and clears the code.

I did this on my dad's and the code is gone; I found another person on a UK forum who had the same problem and results.

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Last edited by lpcapital; 04-27-2014 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:14 PM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Thanks for sharing IP, another good thing to keep in mind when changing.. Thank goodness I didn't run into that issue when I changed mine otherwise I would had freaked lol.
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2014, 10:45 AM
Nonsuch Nonsuch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xceller8r View Post
2) The fuel filter is located on the passenger side (my car is a Right Hand Drive) towards the rear door underneath the vehicle.
This video shows the fuel filter in a similar location:


The fuel filter was located in a different location on my X5 35d (MY2012, US model). The filter was much closer to the engine compartment, below the area of the driver seat floor mat. Only one panel needed to be removed, closer to the center (not next to the side skirts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xceller8r View Post
8) once bleeding proceedure is completed, and u have verified there are no leaks. replace all the plastic panels underneath.

doing the proper bleeding/priming procedure above ensures that the High Pressure Fuel Pump is never run dried causing wear to it. after doing it the proper way above, and watching my car fire up straight away like normal, i cringe thinking of all those who changed the filter and didnt prime the system, when they went to start the car it cranked for "an eternity" before it fired up. Think of the poor High Pressure Fuel Pump with all its tight tolerance internals running dry with no diesel to lubricate it - yikes.
I did not bleed the system, and have not had issues. I will likely follow the correct procedure next time.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:12 PM
BMW_Canuck BMW_Canuck is offline
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What is a contact cleaner?
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2014, 11:04 PM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post

I did not bleed the system, and have not had issues. I will likely follow the correct procedure next time.
Some diesel BM actually starts the electric lift pump when u put the car to ignition on. this will prime the filter and fuel system.

However there are cars like my one where the lift pump doesnt seem to run when i put the ignition on (key in, press start button with no brake pressed). therefore i had no choice but to use the software to activate electric lift pump to prime/bleed.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:07 PM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yching View Post
What is a contact cleaner?
its electrical contact cleaner. used in electronics. u can get from any auto store or electronic shops.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:40 AM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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I actually want to correct my prior post.

The X5 and the 325d (as well as the US 335d) have a different low pressure fuel system.

The X5 doesn't have the low pressure fuel pressure sensor built into the fuel heater: it is actually built into the fuel temperature sensor right in front of the high pressure pump.

Basically my earlier post only applies to the 335d, NOT the X5 35d.

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  #11  
Old 05-08-2014, 09:24 PM
[email protected] stvnchng@gmail. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
This video shows the fuel filter in a similar location:


The fuel filter was located in a different location on my X5 35d (MY2012, US model). The filter was much closer to the engine compartment, below the area of the driver seat floor mat. Only one panel needed to be removed, closer to the center (not next to the side skirts).


I did not bleed the system, and have not had issues. I will likely follow the correct procedure next time.
The bloke in the video doesn't mention bleeding the system. Is it really necessary? Anyone know of issues?
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:53 PM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Like many others.. I wrestled and agonized over the decision whether to bleed or not.

The BMW diesels are equipped with an electric in tank lift pump which supposedly activates when the ignition is in on position.. Some cars like mine it did not. However these lift pumps definitely activate when the engine attempts to start up. So technically ur system will self bleed/prime EVENTUALLY.

It is those few seconds during start up after a filter change that worries me. Because at this point the fuel system is full of air at that point, the high pressure fuel pump at the engine is starved of diesel, which is the lubricant for it.

Without the diesel lubricating the the high pressure fuel pump you could POTENTIALLY wear the pump (the pump contains very tight tolerance parts) and risk causing premature failure.

Many people have stated that they changed filter and never bleed the system and have had no issues. However I already have the software and know how to bleed it with it - so why not take the extra step and just do it. It gives me peace of mind knowing I'm doing everything I can to ensure the health and longevity of my high pressure fuel pump. They are a very expensive item and would hate to be doin anything to put it at risk of premature failure.

So at end of day it's up to individual if they want to bleed/pre prime the system. Me personally I'm not willing to take the risk. I know for a fact that my fuel system will be bled and high pressure fuel pump will be primed and never run dry of diesel (even if it's only for a few seconds during initial startup of engine after the change) those few seconds could be enough to wear ur high pressure fuel pump.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:05 AM
glenlivet glenlivet is offline
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Diesel fuel filter change

Hi
What diagnostic cable did you purchase? My son is about to change the fuel filter on his e46 330cd 2005 and as a precaution I would like to purchase the relevant diagnostic cable.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:44 AM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Hi I purchased the cable and software on eBay off a seller named cable-shack. They are in the UK. This is the link to the exact item that I purchased http://bit.ly/1kXuLgk

However just confirm with him if this particular cable and software combo will work on ur e46. Not sure if Ull need the 20pin round connector. Maybe someone here can confirm?

Last edited by Xceller8r; 05-09-2014 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:15 PM
glenlivet glenlivet is offline
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Thanks for the information, I'll have a look.
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  #16  
Old 05-10-2014, 04:43 PM
Nonsuch Nonsuch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xceller8r View Post
...The BMW diesels are equipped with an electric in tank lift pump which supposedly activates when the ignition is in on position.. Some cars like mine it did not. However these lift pumps definitely activate when the engine attempts to start up. So technically ur system will self bleed/prime EVENTUALLY....
My X5d took about 30 seconds to start after changing the filter
I did turn on the "ignition" without starting for a few minutes, so the tank pump does not run until the engine is actually started.

Executing the BMW "bleed" procedure is the safer way
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:24 AM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
My X5d took about 30 seconds to start after changing the filter
I did turn on the "ignition" without starting for a few minutes, so the tank pump does not run until the engine is actually started.

Executing the BMW "bleed" procedure is the safer way
That's exactly like my vehicle also an x5d. Switching ignition to on does nothing. No lift pump nothing. Hence why I never wanted to change the filter without the software to bleed it.

30 seconds is way to long to be cranking away with no diesel in the high pressure fuel pump
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:43 AM
BMW_Canuck BMW_Canuck is offline
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I have the fuel filter ready, but I need to complete the prep work prior to doing the actual fuel filter replacement. Any additional words of wisdom or bleeding instructions?
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:30 AM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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The one thing I can suggest everyone is send an email to the developer of BMWhat, the developer of the iPhone and Android app for BMW, to add the filter bleeding procedure to his app. It would be a very good alternative for the DIYer...

However these days DIS and cables are cheap and very well documented, so if anyone wants can figure out hot to make it work

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Old 05-13-2014, 10:04 PM
O8 BMW O8 BMW is offline
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There is a supply and a return line from the tank to the high pressure fuel pump. This allows you to change the filter without worrying about air bubbles or bleeding as air will be carried along with the fuel back to the tank. Cleanliness is paramount downstream of the fuel filter as dirt may make it to the high pressure pump and damage it. Using Using new Oetiker hose clamps makes for a professional looking job. Well worth it in my opinion as these clamps don't damage the hoses like screw clamps. I would rather see a filter and sediment bowl in the engine compartment, than the inline filter bolted to the rail under the car. I was even thinking of adding a secondary fuel filter but I couldn't find any room to install it. I was worried about adding a restriction in the fuel line and how it could affect the primary fuel pump.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:48 PM
nszzya nszzya is offline
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The OP suggested a new hose clamp and another poster suggested Oetiker clamps. Is it not possible to reuse the existing clamp? What about using the OEM part? Couldn't find on RealOEM. Maybe 4 or 11 in the first diagram?
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2014, 01:31 PM
Nonsuch Nonsuch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nszzya View Post
The OP suggested a new hose clamp and another poster suggested Oetiker clamps. Is it not possible to reuse the existing clamp?
Oetiker clamps are "one time use" part number 16121180240


The correct size BMW hose clamp is 07129952104 (12-15mm)



I just used a "fuel injection" hose clamp from the local parts store, which had a smooth inner surface to avoid damaging the fuel line.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:08 PM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nszzya View Post
The OP suggested a new hose clamp and another poster suggested Oetiker clamps. Is it not possible to reuse the existing clamp? What about using the OEM part? Couldn't find on RealOEM. Maybe 4 or 11 in the first diagram?
Oetiker clamps cannot be reused once removed. To install new ones Ull need a special pair of pliers to crimp them on properly. Around where I am the local parts store don't stock Oetiker clamps. Hence why suggested just using normal screw type hose clamps. Like the previous poster I also used good quality ones which are smooth inside. I have had no issues with these clamps. If you want the factory lookin finish then by all means use Oetiker.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:22 PM
Xceller8r Xceller8r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O8 BMW View Post
There is a supply and a return line from the tank to the high pressure fuel pump. This allows you to change the filter without worrying about air bubbles or bleeding as air will be carried along with the fuel back to the tank.

I would rather see a filter and sediment bowl in the engine compartment, than the inline filter bolted to the rail under the car. I was even thinking of adding a secondary fuel filter but I couldn't find any room to install it. I was worried about adding a restriction in the fuel line and how it could affect the primary fuel pump.
Yes correct the fuel system will eventually be bled via the return line. However that could take seconds (in some posters cases as much 30 seconds or more) Precious seconds that the high pressure pump WILL be running dry.

I 100% agree with you about the filtration set up of these cars. Other diesel set ups that I have come accros have multiple diesel filters, sometimes as many as 4 filters and a dedicated water separator. And they are all the bowl types too which aids in collecting sediment at the bottom
Of the bowls. Not a fan of this single inline filter on the bmw either.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:30 PM
O8 BMW O8 BMW is offline
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The BMW OEM clamp is really an Oetiker clamp, Oetiker part number 16700015. Not too concerned about running the pump "dry", as the fuel starts to circulate once the switch is in the on position even before the engine tries to start. I'd really like to splice in a nice big Racor fuel filter with water separator in there somewhere between the BMW filter and the high pressure pump just for my peace of mind. Until then, I try to avoid and dirty filling stations just in case. The new Jetta TDI has a nice big fuel filter in the engine bay. I think the engineers at VW had their bad experiences with poor quality diesel years ago.
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