Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Fuel problem


Active Member
Feb 21, 2014
Country Flag
Just started getting this problem today. I had to prime the diesel pump to get the diesel through and when I started it it fired up and took me a few yards then cut out, I pumped the pump again and got a few more yards and had to drive home like this having to keep priming the pump every 150 yards or so. Luckily not very far but any ideas as to what might be wrong. Is there another pump that has failed? I have not had this problem before. Any help would be appreciated. Oh and the tank has diesel in it and I can't see any leaks.
check for water contamination...
check filters?
maybe the last fill was not (clean/pure) diesel?
try putting a transparent hose between filter and injection pump and see if you get air bubbles. if so, work your way back to fuel tank.even fuel filter cap can let air in. I had fuel tank pipes corroded at the tank inlet, with lots of air coming through.
Could be lift pump, hence the need for priming or just a filter change. has the filter got a drain on the bottom as could be water in the filter? Any similarities like on the 80 with blocked breathers?
Thank you for the replies guys. will check these things out.
I have a horrible feeling that the attendant (yes we have them here) might have put petrol in the tank instead of diesel when I filled up last as this has gradually got worse since then. I drained the filter and it doesn't look like diesel. Trouble is have no sense of smell but my wife and a friend of mine seem to think it smells like petrol so the only way I can test it is to drain the tank and refill. Would that have the same symptoms?
Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them
It would certainly cause rough running. Probably stalling too and pinking (I'm told). The more petrol there is, the more chance there is of problems. Does it say on the receipt, if you received one?

Be VERY careful draining the fuel out. In case it is petrol guard against ignition, static sparks, that sort of thing. Have an extinguisher (ideally foam or AFFF) to hand with someone useful that can operate it if necessary.
Last edited:
Might not be Petrol as the contaminant - could be paraffin, furnace fuel, off spec jet - any one of these things (whatever was last carried in the delivery tanker)?

3/4 fill a clear glass jam jar with the stuff out of your vehicle tank - and observe.
water will separate out quite quickly (water at the bottom). Most of the other hydrocarbons will settle out according to density
compare to known clean diesel for colour and clarity. if in doubt, drain and refill with the good stuff. then change filters, prime and go.
Ok got a definative answer on the fuel and it is definately diesel. Can manually pump fuel up to the filter but the engine when it turns on is not sending fuel up to the filter pump. I have found a cover at the back over the tank which I thought might be another pump but it looks like its a tank fuel sender. Is there another pump and, if so, where is it? Thanks for all your help guys.
I have changed the fuel filter and primed the lift pump but it still does the same thing. When it stalls I can hear the fuel running back into the fuel tank and am wondering whether the lift pump is failing to maintain a vacuum.
Is this the 3l 1kz-te engine because i'm thinking spill control valve ?
no signs of a leak?
after fully priming the diesel line (hand pump) - try cracking a line, in turn, at or near each of the injectors to release any pent up air/bubbles (similar to bleeding brakes). this will entail priming again for each cyclinder. continue bleeding until just liquid appears (no bubbles)
Check for leaking o-rings at the ip.
Did you try alexy's trick with the transparent hose?
Update. I have fitted a small electric fuel pump just before the primer/filter pump and that seems to have cured the problem. I took it for a short drive and it responded correctly. The only problem is that the primer pump is leaking slightly at the top of the pump where you manually pump it to get pressure. It gives resistance when priming so I assume it is working but I am wondering if I can do away with it and get an inline fuel filter now that the electric pump is in service? Or is this showing up a fault in the primer pump now that diesel is flowing through?
the small leak where the fuel gets out might well be the leak where the air gets in...
That thought did occur to me Firewout or is it pushing fuel against the seals the wrong way?
Just a quick update. I have connected an inline diesel fuel filter and put in the electric pump and its working a treat. I can now search for a new primer pump in the meantime but at least I can get around.