Doctor Diesel

Limping home…

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Web03Hello, I’ve just had the experience of having to replace the EGR cooler on my 60-plate, 41,000 mile SEAT Altea XL Ecomotive. It just went “phhht” and then went into limp-home mode on a dual carriageway, with no advance warning lights until the glow plug light started to flash at the moment of failure. It is just one month out of warranty and the extended warranty plan didn’t cover it. However, SEAT UK did pay 70 per cent of the parts and labour, so that was very generous. The car has a full SEAT service history and has always been run on either Texaco or Shell Fuelsave Diesel. I have never had a DPF light come on, so I assumed that I had done all the right things. However, the dealer informs me that the EGR fault “just happened”, there was nothing that I could have done to prevent the problem. Surely there must be something I can do to prevent this happening again? Do I run on Shell V-Power, use copious amounts of Millers? Your suggestions would be most welcome.
Maria

Yours is not the only example of the EGR cooler replacement that I have come across recently, the other one being on a Skoda Fabia 1.6 TDI, at a similar age, but lower mileage than on your Altea. The owner also received a substantial discount on the repair costs. Now that I’ve heard of your problem, I will see if I can get any further information or comment out of the Volkswagen Group. I don’t actually know in what way they are failing, which would be nice to know, and I’ll do my best to find out. I don’t think that the problem is necessarily directly related to any DPF issues, although EGR systems do often tend to fail for similar reasons – lack of regular long runs, or neglect of regular oil services, neither of which seems to apply in your case. I’m presuming that the net cost to you was then reduced from circa £1,000 to £300 or so? Many thanks for your e-mail. I’ll get back to you if I learn more, but at present, I don’t know what more you could do, if anything, without knowing why these EGR coolers are failing. Best regards,
Doc Diesel

Maria replied:

As far as I can work out, we had a leak from the cooling system which then affected the EGR. I must admit that the temperature gauge had been taking longer to rise to normal – like approximately 15 minutes at least in town driving. However, it was winter and I didn’t attach any great significance to it. Had I read my past edition of DC, where there was a feature on EGRs, DPFs etc., I might have done so. I’ve read it now! I suspect this is probably a design fault in reality. In the old 1.9 TDI PD engines, the EGR was accessible for repair, whereas on the 1.6 TDI this is not the case. However, I suspect that a modification would be impossible and that the same engine is used across the Volkswagen Group range, meaning that a mass recall would cause major consternation and be ridiculously expensive to implement. I look forward to hearing from you further, not least because we also have a Roomster 1.6 TDI 90, luckily still in warranty for another year.
Maria

 

13 Responses

  1. I have a 2011 Seat Altea Xl diesel which has only done 5,500 miles. The same thing happened to me as to Maria above and I have taken it into the Listers Garage Coventry. After waiting they said the parti needed to be replaced. The cost would be £1,200 but they had been on to Seat who agreed to pay for the parts. Listers will be charging me £750.!!!! Surely this is extremely expensive. I have always had it serviced at the main dealers where I bought it new. Surely if it is a manufacturers fault Seat should stand more of the cost? Any advise, please?
    Jane

    1. Hi my wife has a 1.6tdi Skoda Roomster on a 62plate with 34000miles. The EGR cooler failed and allowed coolant to flow into the engine. this caused significant damage to the turbo and caused the engine to overheat and damage the block and pistons.We are waiting on a verdict from the warranty company as to the repair costs as this only happened last week.

  2. Same fault just appeared on my vw passat at 35000 miles but a week before the warranty expires so being fixed by dealer. One week later and bill would have been £2000.

  3. I have been quoted £1200 by an Audi dealer to replace my EGR valve but this will come down to £850 as there is a contribution from Audi. I didn’t realise that there was an issue with these valves. I have an A3 140bhp 2 litre engine with only 65000 miles traveled. I once had a V reg Bora 1.9 that covered 185000 miles with no issues at all. Not too happy about this but I guess that there is no alternative – I need the car!

  4. I have a 1.6 deisel fabia, which has done 60.000 miles and the EGR needs replacing. Have been quoted a reduced price by my local Skoda Dealer of £655, but says part of the replacement is a Computer Systems upgrade to ensure the new EGR is working properly….seems there is little choice. There appears to be problems with the EGRs in this engine. If I could turn back the clock I would not have bought it. My older fabia is still going strong on a 1.9 engine and many many more miles.

  5. I have a 2011 Audi A3 1.6 TDI with 45000 miles on clock and have just been told the EGR cooler needs replaced at a cost of £1104 from Audi Dundee.Is it worth asking them any contribution from Audi ?

    1. With the car out of warranty for two years or more, we wouldn’t expect Audi to contribute at all, even if there was a full service history.

  6. Yep, same problem on a 2012 31,000 mile VW 2.0 TDI engine. Appears these egr valves are now failing on a lot of VAG cars that were fine before the emissions software update because it has to work a lot harder in which was an inherently dirty engine in the first place. If you ask me it spells big trouble for VW reputation and diesel engines in general.

  7. Vw sirricco 2.0 tdi 13 plate ERG value being replaced with Goodwill from VW.
    Joining VW claim group as apparently next problem may be replacement of DPF.
    Emmissions fix was done earlier in year. Seems to be related.
    Expect car resale value will be impacted.

  8. I have just returned from France where my EGR decided to give up the ghost. This meant that it had to be changed in Poitiers. On having this done, I noticed that the engine stuttered all the way back to St Malo home as if it were a petrol engine suffering from an ignition lead breakdown. I checked the car into my local garage who changed the air mass flow valve, but the problem still exists although the effect is less jerky. The EGR valve appears to hunt rather than producing a graduated flow but does not produce any adverse readings on the car instruments or the external fault finding equipment. Please have you any ideas before I end up having to consider replacing the valve once more?

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