Question about 1987 Volkswagen Golf

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1987 Volkswagen Golf - fuel pump relay

Fuse is good.
Fuel pump is good.
There appears to be something flaky at the relay.
I can jump the relay (remove relay, connect two big sockets with jump wire) and the pump operates fine.
With either the old relay in place, or a new relay in place, the pump does not operate.
I removed the relay panel under the dash (omigosh, what a tight mess of wires) and everything there looks connected and it's as clean as the day it left the factory.
I'm stumped.
Thanks.

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  • veeweeart Oct 15, 2008

    To emissionwiz: Sorry, guess I wasn't clear enough. Ignition switch appears okay, by which I mean that when I turn it on, the starter motor does its thing. If the fuel pump relay is not jumpered, the engine won't start, but the starter motor still turns over. When the fuel pump relay is jumpered, the engine starts perfectly with the ignition switch. Do you mean there is a switch in the ignition switch that sends power specifically to the fuel pump relay? And are you thinking that it's faulty? Otherwise, I think the ignition switch is functioning correctly.

    To mondeo_man_!: No burnt connections at the relay, but you may be onto something, because the old relay had that burned electrical smell. On the relay, there are two big pins (the ones I jumper to start the car right now). There are two medium sized pins. And one small pin. One of the medium sized pins is right beside the small pin. Could you explain a little more which pins you want me to check?

    Thanks, both of you.


  • veeweeart Oct 17, 2008

    mdscntst suggested this:
    make sure you are getting the voltage (V) to the relay. Sure, you can
    easily bypass this aspect of the relay by shorting the contacts
    [enables V to relay] but that is entirely different V for the load
    rather than the V for the coil [which provides EMF, closes relay, makes
    contact, laaaa].

    Evidently, you are getting V to the load [pump turns on once bypassed].

    You
    aren't getting V to the coil side of the relay. Go back and recheck the
    wiring as well as the pump fuse. Take it out and do a continuity test
    [out of circuit].

    As a result, I checked this on the relay panel, with the relay removed. See image below.

    With the ignition on, 31b and 15 were both getting 12 volts.

    To emissionwiz: I haven't yet tried your suggestion to do this test with the ignition switch in crank mode. I'll do that, and report back.

    To mdscntst: is there more information you need? I may not have understood what you are recommending I test.





  • veeweeart Oct 27, 2008

    Thanks everyone. Problem solved. But not by me. A brilliant diagnostician (and a fellow with a lot more experience doing this stuff than I have) spent twenty minutes to figure out that the fuse was too loose in its connector. He fixed that and let me go for $20. I put all the wires and relay boxes and dashboard back together and all is well. (Except for the speedo problem and the dead stereo - you'll find those problems also under the 1987 Volkswagen Golf forum category).

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    Sounds like the ignition switch is defective, have you tested it?

  • Anonymous Mar 13, 2014

    my new fuel pump does NOT work when connected to the main wires-can it be the fuel pump relay?

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As soon you start the engine you can hear the feulpomp, if not, take out the feul pom and connect it straight to the battery, if the pomp works you can allways baypas the relais.
I has same problem, but i had a broken print in the relais and that i fixed, now the car runs 100%
(golf 1 cabrio 1986)

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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During the start/crank portion there is a separate signal sent to the relay, in other words you have a fuel pump crank and run circuits, all electric fuel pump cars are this way. This is why you need to check for the signal to the relay with the switch held to crank, disconnect the starter solenoid so you can do this test.

Posted on Oct 15, 2008

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Check for burnt connections where the relay fits in place.and check for 12 volt to one side of small pins with engine cranking and check for earth to the other small pin at fuel pump relay.

Posted on Oct 15, 2008

  • Liam Browne Oct 17, 2008

    is the car fuel injection, if i, it has an engine control unit .(e c u)this is what earths the relay u say there is 12 volt but you did not mention an earth.i will tell u what to do next.if you have a multi meter find a 12 volt supply next move the black cable (the earth)leaving the red wherever you fouund power and move the black lead to terminal 31 .Turn on ignition it should now read 12 v for approxtimately 2 seconds.this is what the e c u does to prime fuel before start up.if nothing happens its an earth problem.i will check if i can find wiring diagrams also.Best of luck.

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SOURCE: 1987 Volkswagen Golf - fuel pump relay

make sure you are getting the voltage (V) to the relay. Sure, you can easily bypass this aspect of the relay by shorting the contacts [enables V to relay] but that is entirely different V for the load rather than the V for the coil [which provides EMF, closes relay, makes contact, laaaa].

Evidently, you are getting V to the load [pump turns on once bypassed].

You aren't getting V to the coil side of the relay. Go back and recheck the wiring as well as the pump fuse. Take it out and do a continuity test [out of circuit].


Posted on Oct 15, 2008

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make sure you are getting the voltage (V) to the relay. Sure, you can easily bypass this aspect of the relay by shorting the contacts [enables V to relay] but that is entirely different V for the load rather than the V for the coil [which provides EMF, closes relay, makes contact, laaaa].

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