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Tdi does not like water


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Out driving a few green lanes on Thursday with a friend and after driving a lane and splashing through a lot of standing water and puddles his Defender 300 Tdi started to play up - he had 1/4 tank of fuel. The symptom being that it would not rev beyond about 1000RPM and misfired terribly - making it all but undriveable. After a few minutes of head scratching we wondered if it was a fuel shortage and opened the bleed on top of the filter. There was a small amount of air in there but there was NOT a shortage of fuel being delivered! After doing this the problem seemed to be better. I did wonder if it was a problem with water getting in through the snorkel somewhere but a check of the air cleaner suggested not.

We went and filled up with diesel and carried on our day with the problem not recurring until we were on another wet lane in the afternoon. This time there was plenty of diesel so it was not air being drawn through due to the sloshing motion of driving in and out of puddles - as I had wondered about earlier in the day. Once dry the problem disappeared again and did not recur for the rest of the, mainly dry, day.

So what is causing this problem? Any ideas? There are no electronics other than the stop solenoid which may be affecting it and the connection to the solenoid seems secure.


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Examine the solly wiring for chaffing or possible just sucking air from the tank while low on fuel,I've been in deep water this weekend & didn't have any problems.

Same thing happening on a full tank Ralph. Wiring is a possibility but unlikely IMHO.


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The symptom being that it would not rev beyond about 1000RPM and misfired terribly - making it all but undriveable

Sounds like a blocked fuel filter to me though it wouldn't normally go away again! I towed somebody back to the road with exactly the same problem on Friday, it would idle fine but as soon as you put your foot down it would misfire and smoke like hell.

Otherwise I'd guess air getting in somewhere maybe on the filter seal? I also saw a Discovery 200tdi a few years ago with similar symptoms and it was a perforated fuel pipe on top of the fuel tank, sucking a small amount of air in.

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