Doctor Diesel

The Superb saga continues…

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dd2I thought I would forward the latest update to you that I have from the Skoda dealer (Superb service? Maybe not! Issue 349) – a short message saying “We are now on the case that the engine is OK – and the fault is being caused by the turbocharger. We are looking into the parts to order a new one. I will call or email tomorrow to let you know our findings.” It’s getting all a bit technical for me Doc! Could a turbocharger really be the cause of excessive oil consumption? If so, where was all the oil going, as the car wasn’t particularly smoky – although I noticed that the exhaust tail pipe is thick with black soot. 

D.S.

I was veering towards oil loss through the turbocharger oil seals. This can obviously happen if the seals are faulty, or have failed for some reason, and can also happen if the crankcase pressure is not vented in the appropriate manner, as it might then prevent the oil draining properly from the turbocharger bearings. The latter seems unlikely, so it would seem that you have faulty oil seals. Let us hope that you will soon be back on the road and that all will be well. But I would press for some goodwill gesture as compensation for your inconvenience. Free service when next due? Point out how much you have spent on buying oil! Best wishes for a satisfactory outcome.

Doc

Then a week or so later…

Doc, I have the car back and it now seems to be going OK. I have attached a copy of the (Skoda garage) report for your perusal. It seems like a fairly major job, and quite an expensive one, I would think. Have a good look and see what you think. 

D.S.

Who can say what generated the excessive play in the turbo bearings? Faulty manufacture or assembly can really be the only answers, in view of which Skoda UK has accepted liability and fitted the new turbocharger. I feel that the catalytic converter, DPF, and EGR system might all have suffered some collateral damage, or erosion of their normal service life, with all that carbon from the burnt oil passing through them, or in the case of the EGR, having excessively oily and carbon-rich exhaust gases fed back to it. It might be worth making this point to them, and should there be premature replacement of any of these items required, you would look to them for the costs. Otherwise, let’s hope you are now set for some trouble-free and enjoyable motoring!

Doc

Then, some ten days or so later…..

Just an update. The low oil (yellow) warning lamp has come on. I’ve done 440 miles since leaving the dealership, and it’s taken roughly one and half litres to bring it back to where it was when I left the dealership. Whilst that is far better than 70 miles to a litre, I still think it’s too high. Your opinion?

D.S.

Very much the same as yours! There will be a figure quoted in the owner manual for what is considered excessive oil consumption, probably 0.5 litres per 1,000km. Your consumption rate of 1.5 litres in around 700km is around twice that level. I feel that you have to put it to them that a full brand new engine, with a new block, crankshaft, pistons, valve gear etc. – the whole lot – is the only way to go. I know that you have sympathies with the garage and good relationships that you want to maintain, but you need to protect yourself. I think that you must call Skoda UK Customer Care and speak firmly to them. Point out the loss of service time that you have suffered, with no assurance of a satisfactory result now, and further loss of service of the car. Kick up the proverbial stink! I wish there were better news, but I fear that you still have a problem car. You can’t even set out for a day’s driving without two litres of top-up oil. The high oil consumption has not been solved by replacement of, what the garage had diagnosed as, the problem component.

I hope that you have some better news next time that you write, and I’m here to help in any way that I can with advice. I wish I could get my hands dirty and sort your engine out for you! Very best regards,

Doc

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