Hello, 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.
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,
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.