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How to Replace a Fuel Filter on a 2006 VW TDI

Updated July 19, 2017

The fuel filter on a 2006 Volkswagen equipped with a TDI (turbo diesel) engine is a crucial component that ensures that the fuel system is fed clean fuel. If the filter is neglected and not changed at the suggested intervals, dust and debris could potentially enter the fuel system and cause a number of problems, including rough running, poor gas mileage or even a non-start condition. Changing a TDI fuel filter is a simple process.

Park the car in a well-ventilated area. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection for this procedure as well. Open the bonnet and clean the filter with a rag. The filter is located in the front of the engine bay near the coolant reservoir.

Loosen the small bleed screw (skip if there is not one) with a torx bit to relieve the fuel pressure. Remove the five torx screws that hold on the lid for the filter canister. Remove the lid and wipe up any spilt fuel. Remove the blue seal (which looks similar to the Olympic logo) and the green lid seal.

Pry the old filter up with two screwdrivers, one on each side. The filter will pop out, so pry gently to avoid getting fuel everywhere. Remove the filter and compare it to the new filter you are installing to make sure it is the right size filter.

Remove the filter canister from the bracket to which it is bolted in the engine bay. Dump the fuel into the gas tank or dispose of it. Wipe up the old fuel in the filter canister with rags and clean the inside of it.

Bolt the canister back into the engine bay. Push the new filter slowly into the canister until it seats all the way down on the bottom of the canister. Fill the filter canister with clean diesel fuel. Reinstall the blue seal and the green seal for the filter cap.

Reinstall the filter lid. If there is a bleed screw, tighten the five torx screws to 2.2ft-lbs. (use a torque wrench) in a star pattern to avoid pinching the O-rings. If it is the style of filter with no bleed screw, tighten the screws to 3.7ft-lbs.

Turn the key to the “On” position for 30 seconds, but do not start the engine. This will prime the fuel system and bleed air out of it. Repeat and then start the engine. Check for leaks.

Things You'll Need

  • Torx bits
  • Screwdrivers
  • New fuel filter
  • Torque wrench
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About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.