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Fuel filter change - no start

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Dear All, 

I had an intermittent fault whereby the check engine light would randomly appear, then the engine would suddenly run like *****. Then it would be fine for 5 days and randomly come back.

After research, decided best place to start would be the fuel filter. Have no tools so bought the filter online and paid a mobile mechanic £20 to change it. 

He couldn't get it started after changing. With lots of priming + few squirts of easy start it finally started but he quickly got me to switch it off. There was fuel ***** out everywhere from the metal high pressure lines that feed directly inside. He had attempted to undo them before to check if they were receiving fuel. The one on the far left is really awkward to get to so he couldn't quite get a proper grip on it.  He said it would be fine yet on my drive to work this morning the car was smoking and stunk of diesel. After work I got home to check and was horrified at the amount of diesel on the same side (left as you look) around the pipe that was ***** oil before.  Have just spent the last hour trying to tighten it up but can't see how you're supposed to get any grip on it to tighten. 

Even stranger, the engine does not start now. I unclipped the connection (see pic) and it starts fine but does not rev past 2,000rpm with it unplugged (+ check engine light on). I tried starting it up then plugging it in but it just does as soon you do that. Somehow it's all connected. Of course he has not returned my message. I do remember him saying oh ***** when he saw the fuel ***** out everywhere. I guess he had broken it and instead of owning up to it got it tightened quickly for a temp fix. 

Does anyone have any ideas as to why the engine won't start with the connection plugged in? But starts absolutely fine with it disconnected? + how is this related to the fuel inlet pipe that he has clearly damaged?


(Connection unplugged in pic. Fuel inlet  pipe was ***** around the brown joint)


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Air in fuel line mate, due to that not been tight enough, you will need to go through the whole process again.

loosen each one off to free air make sure you got plenty fuel still in the filter n get it all primed through again n air out.

make sure all tight this time then get the engine bay jet washed down don't want fuel sitting on your engine mate can cause serious problems.

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Thanks for your response Damien. 

Why is it starting with the electrical connection unplugged though? Wouldn't that mean there is no air in the system? It's only when you have the electrical connection plugged in that it doesn't run?

I still don't know how to tighten the metal connection as i've barely turned it anything and from the amount of fuel that has leaked, assuming it would need to be tightened hugely. 

Any thoughts?

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To be fair in the pic you posted I just looked again, it looks dry the nut your showing???

looks more wet further down to your left of pick recheck mate, look to where most fuel is sat this will locate problem

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i'm pretty certain it's leaking from this pipe as this was where it was leaking out when it finally did start up. 

He tightened it enough that it was no longer leaking. But after driving it for a bit I could see it was leaking badly. 

Will check again tomorrow morning in day light but pretty sure it's leaking from there. 



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Update - Since changing the fuel filter, engine will not start with injector 1 electrical connection plugged in. This was also the cylinder where fuel was leaking out of the main metal fuel line in (When he attempted to undo it before realising he hadn't properly bled the system). Mx has scanned the car and ECU fault code coming up. He wants to replace the ECU but as it's a cheap car, reluctant to spend money on it as no guarantee it will fix it. I still believe it was down to a fuel leakage that may have shorted an electrical connection somewhere as there are 4 connections under that left side that were drenched in diesel with the leak. He's adamant the fuel leakage was down to residual fuel from the first leak. Yet can't explain why the top engine cover was drenched in fuel.... Apparently he checked the fuel return lines and said there was fuel meaning all cylinders are properly bled.. But can't work out why it starts up perfectly with injector 1 unplugged and as soon as you plug it in the engine dies.? 

Any thoughts?

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