Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - volvoman
Hi gang, writing this for HF who's here with me at the moment. We've noticed what appears to be a diesel leak emanating from what we assume is one of the glow plugs of which there are 4 running left to right across the engine. It is the right hand plug as you look into the engine bay and the diesel is dripping out quite freely. We've only noticed the problem when her car is parked facing down the hill outside (as it was last week when we met Mark and is again today). Last week I noticed a large diesel stain on the road as the car was left overnight so the leak is quite
substantial.

Can anyone out there in 'techieland' help her PLEASE !
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - bazza
Glow plugs can't leak diesel, they're electrical. Must be an injector you're looking at. Is the union tight, or maybe a fractured pipe? Start the engine and have a look, is it spraying out? Is the car running normally? Regardless, not too serious and shouldn't cost the earth. I'm not an expert on Isuzu diesel so can't be more specific.
Baz
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Hi, Bazza, thanks for your reply.

It's dark now so I will have to check if it's spraying out tomorrow. As far as checking if 'union' is tight or pipe is fractured, I'll need someone to do that for me as I wouldn't begin to know where to look or what to do.

But it's fantastic to know it's not too serious or costly.

Just to add to what V wrote earler, noticed when I got home that there's a massive patch of the stuff where I usually park. However, when parked on the level, there doesn't seem to be any visible dripping as opposed to when it was on the hill - so I guess sloping downwards must make it worse.

I'd noticed, curiously, over the last week or so that I'd been using more fuel than usual, so I guess this is why. Apart from that, the car is running normally.
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - volvoman
Hi Bazza and thanks for the feedback. I should point out that I only know marginally more about cars than HF does and I've never seen a diesel engine before so hence my earlier 'description' which may have confused you.

The 4 'plugs' I mentioned look a bit like spark plugs and are mounted in a row of 4 about 3-4 inches apart across the top/front of the engine. IIRC they are connected one to another by a thin reinforced pipe of some description. The leak was dripping from the region of the plug on the far right. If these are the injectors that would explain the presence of the diesel. We could not see exactly where the leak was but narrowed it down to either the 'injector' body or the pipe running into it.

The leak was dripping freely even though the engine had been off for some time but, as I said before, the car was parked facing down a steep hill. The reason I mention this is only because HF hasn't noticed any signs of leaks outside her house where the road is level so we thought it might be a factor.

HTH a diagnosis 'cos HF has enough to worry about right now ! Thanks all.
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - volvoman
Ahhhh. Just read HF's note that there is a patch of spilled diesel outside her house. Apart from that, my previous post stands.
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - IanT
Just to clarify things for you - the injectors look like great big spark plugs, and the glowplugs look like tiny little spark plugs. You should have four of each.

The injectors are connected together by little rubber fuel pipes (used to return excess fuel to the fuel tank), and the glowplugs are connected together by a fairly hefty electical cable.

The most likely cause of a diesel leak in this area is from the rubber fuel pipes between the injectors. These can perish with age and are very easy and cheap to replace.

(This description is based on my 306, but it is probably right for you as well).

Ian
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Thank you Ian - from what I remember there were rubber pipe connections, the leak could well be coming from there.

Will check further when it's light.

Are these rubber pipes widely available? ie somewhere like Halfords, or would I have to get them from somewhere more specialised?

In case that sounds like I'll be doing the job myself, I won't! Might have to ask the nice friendly man in the garage up the road.
Thanks for your post,
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - IanT
Rubber pipes for a 309 from a Peugeot main dealer - £3.63 inc vat, in 1999.

Ian
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - volvoman
Just a thought - Is there any risk of fire with all this diesel around in the engine bay ? Can HF safely continue using the car until she sorts out the problem ?
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Thanks for the info, Ian - even I can budget to that!

V, I sincerely hope there's no risk - the same thought had crossed my mind, but had decided that since diesel's not so flammable it would be ok. Am just off out in car in a minute so fingers crossed!
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - RichardP
My 1994 astra 1.7d leaked diesel from the return pipe 'stop bung' recently. On one of the end injectors you'll see a small piece of rubber piping, about 3cm long, leading from the injector return pipe which is just a plug. This had perished and was leaking diesel. The replacement was about £1.00, so I wasn't too put out!
I replaced the return pipes myself using just plain rubber piping, not the braided stuff, and it was available off the shelf in my local motor factors.
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Thanks, Richard - it's strange, I'm not at home, and using unfamiliar computer!!

IIRC the rubber tubes were a lot longer than 3cm - nut that's immaterial, when you realise my technical knowledge!

Thanks also for mentioning that you replaced said rubber yourself - however the difference between a motor ignoramus (oops not suggesting you're one of those!!) and myself is that the ignoramus will always win hands down - I couldn't replace the rubber tubes even if I tried.

BUT, thanks, this is valuable info, and is likely to become even more valuable as time goes on.

Thanks again
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - bazza
Hi HF!
Sounds like we nearly have a diagnosis from all the above. I would take it down to your local man, point out the problem visually and you'll probably find he has some tubing to hand. If not it won't take him long to get some. Should be a very cheap job, I would expect a few quid, especially as you know him!
As for the fire risk, diesel has a much higher flashpoint than petrol, so the risk is a lot lower. But it would be wise to check that it's not dripping onto any hot parts, particularly the exhaust system. But a short story might put you at ease- i once drove a Mini 1275GT 250 miles up the motorway with petrol dripping freely from the carb onto the very hot exhaust manifold, and I'm still around (so was the car!) so although i wouldn't advise this kind of cavalier approach, I got away with it!

Good luck
Baz

Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - RichardP
Perhaps I didn't quite explain it properly. The braided return pipes are about 15 cm long which run between each injector, but there is one 3cm long 'bung' on one end injector's return nozzle. if you replace the pipes, like I did myself, make sure you purchase the bung also as this was leaking on my car. My dad's 'M' reg Astra 1.7d ('V' grill model with the low pressure turbo engine) also has began to leak small amounts of fuel from the return pipes. I imagine this problem is common on many cars of a similar age? If anyone fits them themselves, dip the pipes in hot water first (not boiling) as it makes it a lot easier to slide the new rubber pipes over the return nozzles on the injectors!
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Richard, I'm sorry, it's not you not explaining properly, it's just me being completely thick about these things.

I will try to remember what you say about the 'bung', and to ask local man if he can replace this as well. It's dark again now so I can't actually look and check to see the 3cm pipe - but will certainly do so tomorrow.

I wouldn't dream of trying to fit it myself - I *must* do that car maintenance course someday!

Thanks for your advice,
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Thanks Baz!

The diesel is leaking at the front of the car, so (bearing in mind my tech knowledge) it's nowhere near the exhaust system? I wouldn't actually know what the other 'hot points' are - I'm really sorry to sound so ignorant, (which I am), but that's why all this help is so valuable to me.

Monday I will try the garage man, see what he says. He doesn't really know me as such, but remembers me from past experiences.

Glad you're still around after your Mini experience!!!

Thanks again,
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - Andrew-T
HF - glad you seem to be sorted now. But an exhaust starts at the hot noisy end before running under the car to the back!
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Andrew - ok!!!!

Thanks, am embarrassed that I didn't know that!

I don't suppose you would be able to tell me where the exhaust system starts, ie how close it is to the diesel leak?

Just hoping we don't blow up before I can visit nice friendly local man. Am I ok to still keep driving it until then?
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - bazza
HF

I'm pretty sure it will be OK to drive around until you can get it fixed. I wouldn't worry too much. Even if the diesel was dripping freely onto a hot exhaust, it still needs a source of ignition to light it, ie a spark, fag end, etc and the chances of that are remote. Just take care until you get it fixed, and keep a careful eye on things.

Take care
Baz
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Ok, thanks Baz.

In response to previous questions, btw, when the engine's running there's nothing actually spraying out, but you can see a steady drip of fuel coming down from near the right hand plug (?).

Also, there's no 3 cm piece of rubber tubing. What I have is material tubing connecting the 4 plugs, and beneath that a fairly long piece of rubber tubing surrounding what seems to be some sort of cable. It looks like it's either this rubber or the plug above it that are leaking the diesel.

Anyone got any more thoughts? And many thanks to all who have helped so far.
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - Andrew-T
HF - the exhaust system 'starts' either at the front or the back of your engine block. However geography and space mean that it will almost certainly be on the side away from all the diesel injectors and other hardware where your leak is, so the drips are unlikely to land on the hot manifold, IMHO.

However in view of the uncertainty about exactly what is leaking, I suggest you get it fixed by a knowledgeable person - it's not likely to cost much. The worst problem is probably the smell of diesel - if it's not noticeable, the problem can't be that bad. And one thing you won't do is blow up!
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Thanks, Andrew - that's very reassuring to know I won't blow up!!.

I do need to get a manual, don't I, which hopefully will at least explain to me where things are and what they do.

But it's good to know that fuel dripping isn't landing anywhere that it shouldn't be.

Definitely going to ask local garage man tomorrow to sort it out, oh and btw I haven't noticed a diesel smell, other than when I put my fingers in the deposit on the road.

Thanks very much for your post.
HF

Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Hi all,

Just got back from friendly garage man, who took one look and immediately said it was a something-or-other (didn't catch the name) pipe that needs replacing.

If I take it in first thing tomorrow, (when I was hoping for a rare lie-in:( then he can sort it out for about £20, but that I shouldn't drive it *too* much in the meantime.

So, hopefully and end in sight for this particular problem.

Thanks for everyone's input.
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - Dynamic Dave
said it was a something-or-other (didn't catch the name)
pipe that needs replacing.


It's called a Thingummyjig ;o)
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Thanks for that, DD. Now that I know the technical term, I'm going to phone round a few other garages in the morning asking for quotes on fitting thingummyjigs, before commiting myself.

Heavens, I don't need that manual after all, do I, when I can get such informative assistance here ;)
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - Mark (RLBS)
Dave knows nothing, its actually the watchamacallit. The thingummyjig was not fitted to cars without a wossname.
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - PhilW
Actually the correct term is a "wosname"! don't get the wrong part!
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Ok, well seeing as I'm now gettiing such conflicting advice, I think I'm going to have to speak to a Vauxhall dealer first to find out whether it's the thingummyjig or the watchamacallit that I need, and whether my particular model is fitted with a wossname or a wosname.

Actually I'd quite like to do that - have you seen that Hoax Caller site, it has some quite amusing things. Sadly, they now require a registration fee.

Veering wildly off-topic, I'll shut up for a while.
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - Andrew-T
HF - since you are looking at a cost of ~£20, don't make too many calls or any small saving will have disappeared (unless you have a good free-call phone of course).
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - HF
Hi, Andrew,

Job done this morning, £25, with no calls made beforehand! Hoping it's now sorted, will keeping checking for leaks for a few days but I think it's ok now.

Thanks again, to you and others, for your help with this.
HF
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - bazza
Well done, we weren't far out with our guesses then! I'm sure it will be fine now.

Baz
Astra fuel leak - urgent help for HF! - Chris TD
I don't know whether to stop reading threads like this (as it tempts fate) or read them avidly (for fast diagnosis) - the very same stub pipe has just gone on my 97 P Astra! A nice diesel spray with the engine running will be doing wonders for the mpg and the environment etc...

Thanks all.

Chris "Leaky" TD
 

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