The man at the parts counter asked me, “do you have a fuel filter on your car?”
When I replied that I did, he asked if I might remove it in order to show him. When I did, he tried blowing through it from the nether end and could not force even air through it! There was the problem all the while! Was my face red!!! He did not have a VW filter so we altered the ends of a Honda one and, after installation, we were on our way like a shot out of a gun! We made the rest of the trip without incident.
However, the next day in Lubbock, I drained, removed and cleaned the gas tank. Here’s what we discovered later. We had been unaware of the addition of Ethanol to the gasoline at the station where we were trading. This was in the beginning days of that gasoline mixture. The Ethanol dissolved moisture in the “dirty” tank and carried it and all impurities through the mesh sleeve at the bottom of the tank, through the line and right into the unsuspecting filter.
You can bet that I cleaned the tanks on my other Volkswagens (we had several). And…installed clean in-line filters. This led us to the abandoning of that line of gas stations and took us to another, which, at the time, added no Ethanol to the gasoline.