2005 VW Jetta TDI - turns ove rebut won't start

We just drove our 2005 Jetta TDI (125k miles) from Portland to Denver area (relocated) and it ran great and has for the last 4 years. After sitting for a about a week or so as I was lining up a shop to do the timing belt it now won’t start. The battery is good, the engine turns over fine, it just seems like no fuel or fire is present to keep get it running. I changed the fuel filter about 30k miles ago. I don’t want to tow it to the dealer and potentially get taken for hundreds of dollars for a simple fix like a fuel filter or something simple like that. Any ideas on why it would suddenly not start?

I’m guessing the injection pump is on the fritz. Does this engine use glow plugs? If so, wouldn’t hurt to test how those are functioning too.

Thanks George, good call. I’ll check the glow plugs as well.

when a was the fuel filter changed last? has the timing belt been changed b4? if not its why over do. try a small shoot of starting fluid ,if it starts then a think we have a fuel problem .

Check if there is air or fuel in the line. I believe the 2005 is a PD Jetta, There is an electric lift pump in the tank. When you pull the line off the filter you should have diesel come out. That fuel goes to one of four PD units that are triggered off the camshaft.

There’s also an off-chance the OP had the bad luck to experience the timing belt break. The car was waiting to be taken to the shop for a timing belt service. Unlikely to break at 125K, but possible.

If you were lining up a shop to do the timing belt, why not go ahead and have it towed to the shop? They can diagnose it better than we can.

No need to take it to the dealer. A competent mechanic who can do the timing belt should also be able to figure out why it’s not starting.

If you haven’t already done so, take a look at the “Mechanics Files” area of this site to find a recommended local mechanic.