skoda fabia electrical problems  
skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
please read this its a good tale!

I have a skoda fabia tdi which is now 3.5 years old and out of warranty. The car has had the usual electric faults throughout its life.

It has now developed another major fault which I need help with. It started with the power steering light comming on and the pump turning itself off when you are driving! After you reset the ignition its okay. Then it developed into the temp gauge starting to give false readings, then the dash lights started to flicker along with the headlights. The car has had the usual faults with the windows and mirrors swaping round, and all of the dash gauges doing strange things which has ment several electrical control units being replaced about 8 months ago under warrany.

I took the car to the dealer where they were totally disinterested and because the car was out of warrany refused to help without £44 + vat per hour, and thats to connect it to the computer, which he tells me would not say what the faults are anyway!.

The dealer did say that skoda knows of the problem and suggested replacing the wiring loom at £800 due to water getting into the loom, hmm thanks, I was told to ring skoda and ask about a good will claim, I have called but the operator lied to me and said they have had no other cars with this fault before, and they would call back, so far no call.

has anyone got any idea's on how to fix this. or success at good will claims? anything is greatly received.

Tags: technical issues legal and consumer advice steering goodwill

skoda fabia electrical problems - Aprilia
I seem to recall that in one of the Which? surveys (maybe last year's) this car was identified as having lots of electrical faults.

Water ingress into the loom itself is unlikely to cause these problems unless the insultation is breaking down. It is more likely that the fault is one of the following:

1. Charging systems fault - have the alternator output checked, preferably on a 'scope (an autoelectrical factor may well do this for a modest charge).

2. Grounding faults - check all the vehicle's ground points. Check they are not corroded and maybe use some copper grease or electrical grease to keep them pristine.

3. Check for corrosion or water ingress into the multipole connectors on the loom. Connect/disconnect each one a couple of times and maybe give a spray with 'Electrolube' contact spray.

Your PAS problems is more likely to be with the PAS pump or ECU - rather than a simple connection problem, and it will not be cheap to fix. But its worth checking the basics.

skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
yes thats extreamly good advice, and i'll act on it straight away.

I though that its a little odd how the 2 faults started at the same time?

About a year ago the drivers window motor gave up, It was replaced under warranty at the time, but when it died it damaged the main the electric control unit for the whole of the car, which again was replaced,

I wonder if all of this water or grounding faults will or might have damaged it again, hence the PAS going faulty - just a thought! and not a plesant one at that.(£££££££)

but the way that the skoda dealer who you bought the car from, had all servicing done at, treats you it leaves a bad taste.
skoda fabia electrical problems - Aprilia
Should add that you might want to go along all the fuses too, checking for poor/tarnished contacts.

I\'ve had plenty of interaction with main dealers (from a \'trade\' perspective) and like any business they are there to make money. Selling/servicing cars is just a means to that end.

Most manufacturers\' \'customer services\' are there to protect the brand and the dealer - not to help you.
skoda fabia electrical problems - robN
Having just posted a similiar question just a few days ago on this forum (and on the briskoda.net forum), I am told that the usual cause of the power steering warning light coming on is the steering angle sensor...about £60 + 1 hour to fit apparently ! I will try and investigate doing this myself, as I don't want to go near another incompetent Skoda dealer again. (I've tried 4 so far in 3.5 years!).

My Skoda, like "chrisa"'s, is about 3.5 years old, and has most of the problems described above, including the window switches swapping around (look on www.peachorlemon.co.uk if you want a laugh - one owner complained to the dealer about this, and was told that he was imagining it).

If there really is a known fault, and it is such a big (& expensive) job to fix, then Skoda should really be responsible to sort it out, irrespective of the warranty expiry. I have copies of letters I wrote to Skoda when the car was still in warranty, complaining about many faults - hardly any of which they acknowledged, let alone fixed. Maybe we should start a campaign !?

I certainly won't be buying another VW product (Seat, Skoda, Audi, VW.....) again.
skoda fabia electrical problems - robN
If Skoda really want to protect the brand, they could start by offering some decent (and fair ?) customer service. I've used 4 different dealers so far, and none of them I would classify as competent in knowledge or customer service. I even complained to Skoda UK, and they were simply arrogant.

Clearly there are some quite serious & (significantly) common faults on the Fabia, which Skoda know about. Since the Fabia (like all Skoda cars) are built on VW platforms, I think it is reasonable to assume that the same problems will manifest themselves on their sister brands? Therefore they have successfully tarnished all their sister brands with the same brush.

Does anyone know if the new Polo and Ibizas have similar problems...or was the Fabia a prototype ?
skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
I completely agree with everything you have said. In the north east skoda has 3 garages, 1 is a multi brand garage which could not even give me the price of a service for a tdi skoda and I even rang several times, eventually I went to it, a shed is the only way to describe it.

The second is a main agent who is booked solid for months and closes early everyday and had no idea what I was talking about with the car? The last is where I bought the car, its a small agent who seemed to like servicing and work that the customer pays for, but not warranty work. Thats it, no other place to go to. When the radio lost all MW reception (another common fault) this dealer said that there was no stations on MW (truth!)

I have gone through the web search engines and I have found constant references to VW electrical problems, even people it seems who have bought there own VAG com service tools?

my problem I feel is now economics,

car out of warranty + £230 next service(40,000)+ no breakdown cover + probably several hundred £££ repair for this + possible future problems = trade the car on now! before its to late.

which is extreamy sad and not what I bought the brand for. I bought it for skoda's apparent customer service, VW quality and build. The words buy jap seem to be growing ever louder in my head.

Skoda have said they have never heard of the fault before. I wonder if we should get our correspondances togther and call there bluff. I think we should.

skoda fabia electrical problems - robN
I have started a new post in the hope of polling other honestjohn forum members.

I am convinced that we have a case to Skoda here. Of course there will always be "oddball" and "one off" faults on all cars. However, the following are just too common to be classifed as such :

1) Power steering warning lights / faults

2) Flickering headlights (charging ?)

3) Electric window switch gremlins

I have copies of written correspondence to Skoda, listing all of my complaints. For the above, I was told :

1) No fault found.
2) No fault found.
3) My imagination, no fault found.

Given that internet forums suggest that 1) is usually the steering sensor, that 2) is a charging fault, and that 3) can happen....I think that Skoda have some tough questions to face before I put my hand my own pocket.

Alternatively, I could always flog it quick, and go and buy a Honda Jazz.
skoda fabia electrical problems - Canon Fodder

Chris

If the car has been consistently faulty then consider suing the retailer. As others have said Customer Services is a misnomer and a waste of your time.

You legal grounds would be to sue for damages in the form of compensation under the Sale of Goods act 1979 possibly for the difference between the value of your car in good condition and the value as it is with its past and present faults.

The expiration of the warranty is irrelevant in this case as you have up to 6 years to take action in the case of faulty goods.

It will take guts to see this through but its your only recourse.

CF
skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
In this country its a hard thing to do, does anyone what sort of guarantee replacement parts have. Several major electrical parts were replaced a month before the cars original warranty ran out. These parts are now suspect. Skoda customer services say that "they believe the guarantee for the parts expired with the cars warranty". They also will not even check these parts unless I pay for 1 hours labour to inspect the car at the garage, which will be around £50. otherwise tough. and thats from customer services, and they deny knowledge of any similar electrical faults being reported to them. hhhmmmm
skoda fabia electrical problems - Collos25
If you read the German motoring press electrical faults all across the VAG range are nearly bankrupting the company along with there suspension and steering faults.Get rid of them as soon as the warranty expires is the concensus of opinion
skoda fabia electrical problems - Aprilia
If you read the German motoring press electrical faults all across
the VAG range are nearly bankrupting the company along with there
suspension and steering faults.Get rid of them as soon as the
warranty expires is the concensus of opinion


Unfortunately Andy is correct. VAG are getting a bad name in Germany. IMHO this is down to the big push to relocate suppliers into Eastern Europe. The manufacturers are learning that there is more to car making than just low labour costs - you need a well-trained and cooperative workforce (which you don't always get in Eastern Europe - I've been to suppliers there).

If you have a VAG car then get shot of it when the warranty expires. In a few years time they will have sorted out their supplier and QA issues and it will be safe to buy VAG again.
skoda fabia electrical problems - robN
Unfortunately, it can't just be blamed on the people who build the cars and their components. Most of the faults everyone is complaining about are system design faults. These things are happening because the design and engineering teams have failed to test the systems thoroughly, and therefore have not discovered fundamental flaws with them. Of course, you might argue that with fleets of, what I would imagine would be, hundreds of prototypes they would have found these faults. But if they did, that means that they signed the car off for sale without fixing them. As someone who used to work in the automotive industry years ago, I would say that that amounts to gross incompetence ?!
skoda fabia electrical problems - Aprilia
Unfortunately, it can't just be blamed on the people who build
the cars and their components. Most of the faults everyone
is complaining about are system design faults. These things are
happening because the design and engineering teams have failed to test
the systems thoroughly, and therefore have not discovered fundamental flaws with
them. Of course, you might argue that with fleets
of, what I would imagine would be, hundreds of prototypes they
would have found these faults. But if they did, that
means that they signed the car off for sale without fixing
them. As someone who used to work in the automotive industry
years ago, I would say that that amounts to gross incompetence
?!


As someone who works in the automotive industry right now I can say that a lot of these problems are due to an over-eagerness to move design and production to lower cost countries.

I was recently involved in a job for a manufacturer (Japanese, as it happens) who were having major problems with switch units. The unit itself was a perfectly good design (designed in UK, by a US 'transnational' supplier). The supplier was then having some internal components made very cheaply in China. Unfortunately the Chinese supplier, having started out supplying components to the required spec., started cutting corners and using inferior materials etc. We had a heck of a job locating the exact problem (its a long story, but basically due to use of inferior contact material).
The design was fine - it was let down by poor QA/QC (call it what you will) at a supplier in southern China.
I have seen exactly the same thing with electrical/electronic parts and sub-assemblies made in Eastern Europe
A lot of folks keep talking about China and Eastern Europe - but these countries don't have the people to do the job properly. Its one thing to turn out bits of moulded plastic for a kids toy; its another to manufacture parts that will operate reliably over millions of cycles and 10+ years.
skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
I agree, but what does this mean for the long term future of these cars. Modern cars have at least 15 to 20 year life expectancy, these cars will be uneconomical to repair after 4-5 years.

but all this doesn't help me!
skoda fabia electrical problems - Legin
Just to add my name to the list of those encountering this problem. I have a Fabia 1.9 TDI PD 100, since July 2003 (new) and had this fault 3 times in 15 months. Always resets after a short time when ignition switcing off / on. Not sure I could state that due to external temp but twice happened on a hot day, without much heat from the car itself.
skoda fabia electrical problems - WipeOut
I had a Fabia TDI elegance. Great car, but I had some electrical problems as well.

1) Flickering lights
2) Temperature control on heating system had an intermittent fault
3) Occasional swapping of electric window control (left button would operate right window)
4) Replacement of suspension bushes.

The garage was quite helpful except for point 1 and 3, which they thought was my imagination.

Interestingly my wife now has 1.2 Seat Ibiza, and that to has problems with suspension bushes!

With increasingly complicated electrical systems in the car, it seems that these problems are going to be the norm.

WipeOut
skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
yes i've had all of the above, the electric windows are reset by resetting the central locking. I had the problem from new, it took 2 years for the dealer to believe me, and only when other electrics went off (central locking, mirrors not working etc). The electrical control box is to blame, it doesn't show up when on the computer, its a warrany job around £500.

my dealer has said that I need to check the earth clamps attached to the car. There are 2 main ones, the first is under the battery which is known to work itself loose. The second is behind the front wheel arch cover on the passenger side. its located next to the washer bottle behind the liner, it requires lots of plastic bolts to be taken out, which you know will not go back in again. it gets covered in dirt etc, thus making a poor connection. Apart from that, the only solution is a new engine loom at £800 which you need to pay for. hmmm

suspension bushes are standard replacement items on these cars, my dealer said that they change them when the cars come in new, they don't even wait for them to go bad.

hope some of this helps


skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
well just an update to the long skoda problems list. I've just had the second brake light switch fitted, in 3.5 years and 40,000 miles.

apparently thats good going, around 20,000 miles seems to be the average life span,

£6 for the part and 20 minutes labour + vat

hmmmm.

if everything in life was as reliable as a skoda
Same Skoda Fabia electrical problems - Dan from Bath
Chrisa,

we've just gone through the same performance with our car, except our main problem was intermittent cut-out and starting (either from cold or in the fast lane on the M4 at 90mph!!). turns out the problem WAS the wiring loom - water got in and corroded the wires through tiny holes (part of the manufacturing process) leaving bare metal in lots of places. the mechanic showed me all this when he found it.

our main problem was that we had already paid £300 to have the car fixed and it broke down half a mile from the dealer who had guaranteed our problems were over. we had the individual wires replaced instead of the whole loom, but still had to fork out anotehr £300 to get our car back - no sympathy whatever for their earlier 'repair'. similarly, customer care weren't interested, apparently they had run out of goodwill!

so I'm curious to hear what you did with your car in the end, and whether or not Skoda gave you any help in the process...
Same Skoda Fabia electrical problems - chrisa
the simple answer was I got shot of the car! with all speed. I had just given up. I liked the skoda, german type build quality, what was hoped to be VW engineering. TDi was quick and good mpg. but the amount of faults was staggering. and they couldnt be fixed, I detailed most of them on the website, the mechanical ones like the brakes only lasting 15,000 miles and he bushes wearing out, at 10,000 when they should last 100,000 miles. they can be fixed, okay I had to pay, although the car was still under somekind of warranty. but the electrics was just silly. I first noticed it when the power windows and mirrors reversed hemselves, the dealer said the fix was to stop the car and get out, use the key and lock and unlock the door, this resets the ECM unit. worked for a little while, then the guages started showing weird readings, doing 50 mph when I was actually doing 40, minor safety things like that.couldnt be fixed the dealer told me, even when both power modules were replaced. the final straw was when after a few months of nothing it all came back again, and it was out of warranty. By this time I was on first name terms with the mechanics at the dealer. he told me in confidence I should get rid of the car, they had new octavias in, many of them taxis, few months old, couldnt be repaired without full wiring changes. everything was stripped out of them, was shocking. just before xmas last year the car electrics went nuts, it started blowing headlamp bulbs at an alarming rate, and the electric window motor packed in on the drivers door, for the second time, also a gearbox seal had gone and was leaking oil, was told, electrics was a blank cheque repair, winder £400, gearbox £300. silly money. car had only done 42,000 miles.

went to motorpoint on the second of jan this year still, bought an 05 mondeo est tdci, put skoda straight into the paper, found someone who didnt look to hard and sold it. I was sad to see it go, had a lot of good memories in that car, but its only metal and the repair to make it right was silly,

I later learned from people that they had exactly the same problems, it seemed to depend in whch factory the car was assembled and what batch of parts were used, vw went to some cheap places for the parts. and it shows. the best measure is what the taxi trade has done now, octavias were all the rage for cabs, they got rid of them and bought those fiat doblo things. they only buy what works.

hope this helps a bit, please email if I can help more, will keep checking back. and yes the mondeo is good, but the skoda had soul.
skoda fabia electrical problems - ALEXHIM
Hi Chrisa maybe its to late to contact you , but i just found this website , im having the same issues with the Power sterring , same situation coming up , did you found out what was the issue . how i can resolve this .

thanks

Alex
skoda fabia electrical problems - chrisa
the answer is the angle sensor, a common fault. the steering should go really light. bits a bit much when you are doing 70mph. it depends upon who old the car is. mine was still under warranty, but it isnt covered, I had to pay for parts, only the labour was paid. bill was about 70 pounds to me. takes a couple of hours to fit because it has to sit on the computer and be calibrated.

my advice is get rid of it. mine was a time bomb waiting to explode looking back on it. I bought mine new, should have bought a mondeo from a supersite, much better value.

if I can help anymore please contact me,
good luck

chris
skoda fabia electrical problems - AB
We bought an 03 Fabia last year, first the power steerting light kept coming on (whilst driving) and the steering cut out, easily fixed it seemed by restarting the engine. The garrage (a skoda dealer) reckons its just a low battery issue. Now the entire engine is cutting out and not restarting - which is a bit annoying (not to say dangerous) when you're driving.

Reading the above I think I might just sell it - a grand to try and fix with no guarantees seems like Skoda have a major problem that they need to resolve pretty quickly.




skoda fabia electrical problems - malteser
Been there, done all that, got the Tee shirt!

A pound to a pinch of porridge it's just the power cable connecting the alternator to the connections to the battery. it is subject to chafing/wear because of its routing. Changing it is a lot cheaper than a new pump or steering angle sensor and cured the exact same series of problems on our 200i Fabia 1.9tdi.
Our local dealer tried to take the easy way out by trying to sell us a new pump and/or a new angle sensor, but I was able to drive there with the PAS not working (just after a steering angle sensor change) and demonstrate that the fault lay elsewhere. After some head scratching the electrical techie. thought of the power cable ( a well known fault!) and since then, fingers crossed it's been OK.
--
Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
skoda fabia electrical problems - mcm
Just to add my tuppence worth - I have a Skoda Fabia Comfort 2002 and over the last few months it has developed various electical faults (temperature guage, automatic windows and door lock gremlins following rain, which are causing water in the loom). So far has cost me £250 but still happening. Garage say it will cost £500 to replace loom and suggest as it is a known fault Skoda may be willing to contribute. However, from what I've read of the problems you're all having even to get them to be civil, it doesn't look hopefull !!
skoda fabia electrical problems - righthackedoff

Oh joy, i have recently received a Skoda Fabia 2002 left to me by my grandad in his will about a year ago and as i have never had a car that is so relatively young.I remember how excited i was what with it being a VW which in turn meant reliability, build quality and good old fashion piece of mind that it will hold its value.

Now i have had nothing but trouble, expense and many a time pleading with god to make this all stop and take the bad ( Fabia man ) away.There are even times when i wake up and think that i dont really own a Fabia and its all a bad dream, then i look out the window and there she is looking back at me with her shiny outer skin and her unoffensive looks i curl up in a ball to start another day of hoping will she get me home in time for the start of the world cup!

The problems started with the engine started running lumpy then the lights started to flicker and now you can hear the electrics buzzing in idle and when you turn the steering it gets louder i think thats it.................erm no did i mention the complete loss of power steering at really inconvenient times like over taking the few cars you can, due to the engine having about as much power in it as a mouses sneeze erm? oh and not forgetting all the dash lights come on like i have just won the jackpot. I have just put it up for sale and it breaks my heart to see the same make, model age with more miles on the clock than mine going for £2999 and i have put mine up for £1399 because of the problems. I have been offered £1000 and with all its problems please tell me im doing the right thing by accepting the offer as low as it is and cut my losses, because that old devil is telling me" get it fixed just give her time "

I always knew deep down inside grandad hated me! oh how he is laughing now.

Many thanks for listening to me bleet on, please post some advice i need reassurance im doing the right thing ;-(

skoda fabia electrical problems - cfc2000

I have been working on the mother-in-law's 2001Skoda Fabia 1.4 today. Series of electrical gremlins have been flattening the battery for a while. I fixed the nterior light problem by replacing it - it had stayed on beyond the timer period, or come back on after it had gone off. Then the in-law said the number plate mysteriously came on. I tend to take her interpretations with a pinch or even bucket of salt. I attempted to replicate the fault to not much avail and I was just about to count it as yet one more example of looniness, until I found the same thing. The number plate light would stay on with the ignition off, and light switch set to no lights. I wondered if this was a feature, and the hatchback rear door was not closing properly - a sort of number plate light courtesy switch as on some Vauxhalls. On some VW / Audi forums they say that the lights only come on if you switch the ignition off with the lights still switched on, and then switch them off. I found the lights stayed on pretty much in a whim. Switching the lights on and off again sometimes resulted in the number plate lights going out, sometimes not.. I suspect the light switch, but really I'm at a loss. I'll probably wire the lights into the sidelight circuit, as the number plate light seems to have a circuit of its own. Quite puzzling - this Skoda seems to have a number of electrical issues similar to those people have raised on this forum, and similar to ones on my own Seat Cordoba. The other car in our household, a Mazda Bongo, has been superior in every way, despite being far older. Just a thought.

skoda fabia electrical problems - geoff118

I have an X reg 1.4mpi comfort that I bought 6 months ago vas a run around from a good dealer. I have just had the same problem; battery drained for no apparent reason. The other night walking home I noticed the rear licence plate light on which went off as I approached the car! Next morning, all ok but the following day, another flat battery. Any ideas please, I am not a car techie and at present I am in France.

skoda fabia electrical problems - Avant

"I have put mine up for £1399 because of the problems. I have been offered £1000...."

I think it's worth finding a good independent garage who can give it a look over and advise whether repairs would be expensive or whether it's something simple like a loose connection. If your grandpa did a low mileage, this may be something to do with its uncertain condition: a few good long runs will do it good.

If the former, then sell it, but bear in mind that the right price is what someone else will pay for it. As a private seller, under the Sale of Goods Act you don't have to give any implied guarantee about its condition.

skoda fabia electrical problems - righthackedoff

"I have put mine up for £1399 because of the problems. I have been offered £1000...."

I think it's worth finding a good independent garage who can give it a look over and advise whether repairs would be expensive or whether it's something simple like a loose connection. If your grandpa did a low mileage, this may be something to do with its uncertain condition: a few good long runs will do it good.

If the former, then sell it, but bear in mind that the right price is what someone else will pay for it. As a private seller, under the Sale of Goods Act you don't have to give any implied guarantee about its condition.

Thanks Great advice Avant really helped. In the end i sold it for a little bit more than bottom offer and i did explain it was cheap because he may have to spend out on it and he was fine with that, I now have about 5 thousand to spend and i think by the reviews the audi a4 is gonna be my next adventure. Thanks again for you response and advice you were very helpful.

Kind Regards.

skoda fabia electrical problems - cfc2000

Just to say thanks to Roger from Spain for the suggestion about the power cable from the alternator to the battery. It applies to other VW models as well, such as the SEAT Ibiza, VW Polo etc. Another low quality (or badly routed) cable is the one to the starter solenoid, which is more obvious, as the car won't start.

Edited by cfc2000 on 14/05/2010 at 09:58

skoda fabia electrical problems - Sazelle

then suddenly on the 29/03/2010 it would not start and told me I needed oil which was a blatant lie on behalf of the car lol, I had it recovered to the local dealer as the ECU was loose with a broken bracket ( suspiciously after they had cleaned my engine due to EGR valve leak),

The dealer told me it was the main engine wiring loom and would take 6 to 8 weeks to repair and cost £1600!!! Inc vat and labour, as we can see its 9 weeks on and I am still waiting, has anyone been in this position and how long does it actually take?

Thank you

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