Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Momo92

Hi all,

A bit of a longer post to explain a difficult problem I am experiencing with my Seat Altea.

Last month I bought a used Altea 1.6TDI DSG Auto, 2011, 61k miles from Cargiant with full Seat service history. The car came with pre-sale check from Cargiant and a new MOT.

After around 2 weeks of driving (around 600miles - mainly on the motorway), the car suddenly broke down on the motorway. The glow plug warning light came flashing on and the car lost all power and came to a standstill. I restarted the motor and the warning light disappeared and the car drove again for another 3 miles before the same warning light came flashing and I lost all power again. Restarting the motor allowed me to move again and I was luckily close to home and didn't experience any further issues.

I contacted the dealer who told me to take it to Halfords for a diagnostics test which I did. The mechanic did a cold read which indicated that there was a fault with the EGR valve. However, since he didn't have any capacity to check if there was any problem with the EGR valve (as it was a big job) he told me to try another Halford branch for an earlier appointment. In the meantime, he reset the ECU.

When I took it to the other Halfords, I was told that their diagnostics did not pick up any error (even after they drove it around for 10 miles) and that it might just have been a sensor error. They then told me that I should drive it around and take it back to them if the error occurred again. I did another 60 miles or so (again mostly on the motorway) and everything seemed to work fine. The next day, I took the car to the shops and when I started it again it went into limp mode, doing maximum 20 mph and jerking heavily back and forth when I hit the accelerator. I also noticed that the Emissions Control System Light (check engine light?) came on. Restarting didn't help either and the problem stayed.

I brought it back to Halfords who this time told me that the diagnostics indicated a Gear Box fault (gearbox not engaging gears 1 and 3). They then told me that they don't deal with gear boxes and I would have to take it to a Gearbox specialist. They then reset the ECU and gave me the diagnostic report. The dealer authorised me to take it to an auto gearbox specialist for a 1h diagnostics. However, the specialist couldn't find any error codes, even after driving it around for a while. Again I was told to drive the car around and bring it back when the error occurred again (being the third time now!).

The specialist told me that the diagnostic checks would unlikely have shown that gears 1 and 3 weren't engaging if it was an electronic problem. He told me that the problem was likely to occur again and he was surprised that the car was still driving at all. Anyway, that was last week and I have done around 80 miles (mostly motorway) since then and haven't had any issues to date. However, I cant use the car much as I am avoiding longer trips with it, in case it breaks down.

Any ideas what it could be (I am suprised about the gear 1 and 3 fault, since the first breakdown occurred while I was in gear 7)? And do you recommend returning the car at this point or what other steps can I take to ensure that the problem is identified soon?

Thanks in advance.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - RobJP

Take it back to Cargiant. Tell them to either fix it, or, as per Consumer Rights Act, you wish to reject it.

No arguments, no discussions. No you, running around getting sent from pillar to post.

Oh, and next time you buy a car, do NOT buy anything from VAG with a DSG gearbox, and do NOT buy anything from VAG with a 1.6 diesel. You picked one of the worst possible combinations for problems.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - daveyjp

Search out reports of EGR problems on VW 1.6 diesels. Lots of them and as VW have designed the car to make maximum revenue out of the punter once it fails rather than a 20 minute job it takes hours to change and costs a fortune.

Off back to Cargiant - it is not for you to spend hours trying to diagnose the fault. It should go to a Seat dealer, not Halfords.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - craig-pd130

I'm sorry to say this but you are being taken for a ride by Cargiant. As the others said above, please stop listening to Cargiant. You need to take action NOW.

Use the FAQ secton of this website to find out how to reject a car because of faults, and follow the instructions that it gives very carefully, to either get Cargiant to fix it, or refund your money.

Under the Sale of Goods Act and consumer protection law, any fault that develops within 6 months of you buying the car is ruled to have been either present, or developing, at the time of sale. So it is not your responsibility.

Therefore the supplying dealer has to either a) fix it at no cost to you or b) refund your money. If Cargiant are going to try and fix it, you should get a courtesy car, at no cost to yourself, and no arguments. If you choose a refund because the dealer cannot fix it, do NOT accept any reductions in the refund for 'wear and tear', or 'administration costs'. You've only had the car a few weeks.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Stanb Sevento

A pound to a penny your problems are caused by the VAG emissions fix. The problems you describe are typical, including the DSG issue. The car needs to go to a Seat dealer for proper diagnostics, Halfords have no chance. The good news is that the diagnostics and any subsequent repair should be free of charge if the service record is up to date and maybe even if it is not. The most likley thing is the EGR valve is faulty and if not sorted the car will go into limp mode. VAG have now given a two year warrenty on the full exhaust emissions system and fuel system.

VAG are currently replacing thousand of EGR valves, DPFs and fuel injectors FOC. If you have a problem at the main dealers contact Seat directly and ask to speak to their emissions team who are the ones that OK the repair. Lots of information and other owners with the same type of problem on the Facebook group "The Volkwagen Diesel Customers (emissions scandel)"

Do not let the dealer try to charge you for anything at all even the doiagnostics, tell them you need to speak to Seat directly first. dont be fobbed off. So rejecting the car altogether or letting Seat fix it are your only two options.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 20/06/2017 at 10:07

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - craig-pd130

@Stanb - no disrespect intended, but the original poster needs to deal with Cargiant directly as they only bought the car from them a month ago. It's Cargiant's problem to solve.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Stanb Sevento

Yes I agree craig, it will need to be Cargiant that returned the car to Seat and reject the car meantime. I stand corrected.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 20/06/2017 at 10:23

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Momo92

Thanks for all your advice. I have now contacted Cargiant and hopefully I can take it down to them this weekend. I also hope the car doesn't break down on the way to London (I am in South Wales) but I have already arranged breakdown cover.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - RobJP

Good luck with getting it back to them !

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - craig-pd130

Good luck, and make sure you get all the details of Cargiant agreeing to investigate the fault & give you a courtesy car etc etc IN WRITING before you set off. An email from them will do. Don't set off down there on the basis of a phone call only.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Momo92

So after a long back and forth (and another breakdown), Cargiant agreed for me to take it to Seat who then diagnosed it as an EGR problem. This is what the diagnostic said:

"EGR VALVE/COOLER ASSEMBLY REQ'D - EXCESSIVE COKING EVIDENT AFFECTING FLOW RATE BETWEEN EGR AND AIR MASS. PLEASE ORDER ASSOCIATED PARTS."

Cargiant agreed to pay for the repairs (replacing the EGR Valve) and I am now waiting for these to be completed.

However, I am wondering why one of the previous diagnostic checks (using VAG equipment) showed up as a problem with the gearbox (gears 1 and 3 not engaging). Is it possible for an EGR problem to affect the gearbox?

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Stanb Sevento

However, I am wondering why one of the previous diagnostic checks (using VAG equipment) showed up as a problem with the gearbox (gears 1 and 3 not engaging). Is it possible for an EGR problem to affect the gearbox?

Its not unheard of but there is probably nothing wrong with your DSG it seems its one of the random fault codes thrown up.You will find out when you get your car back and all the fault codes are cleared.

If you look on the BBC iPlayer, BBC4 there is a feature about this problem on the latest Warchdog.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Momo92

Its not unheard of but there is probably nothing wrong with your DSG it seems its one of the random fault codes thrown up.You will find out when you get your car back and all the fault codes are cleared.

Thanks Stanb. I have watched the BBC program and it looks rather scary. I hope after the EGR Valve replacement it doesn't go into limp mode while on the motorway again.

I have read up a little on the DSG problems and that too looks worrysome. The car has around 63k miles on the clock and was serviced by Seat. However, I do wonder if Seat routinely service the DSG gearbox and when this was done. From what I've read it needs to be serviced every 40K miles. Is it worth taking it for a gearbox service just in case?

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Smileyman

@ Momo92 - possibly, but let Cargiant deal with the gearbox issue

I was speaking with a technician at my local Seat dealer last week, I'd seen a Leon for sale and wanted to know if the transmission was manual or auto (no salespeople about, but that seems to be normal for this dealership 10 minutes before home time) ... when he told me the car had an auto gearbox I immediately withdrew my interest much to the technician's amazement ... I explained the reports of problems with these, he replied that this is a historic matter no longer affecting cars and I could purchase such car without worry for the gearbox. I look forwards to reading driver comments confirming this fact!

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Stanb Sevento

I explained the reports of problems with these, he replied that this is a historic matter no longer affecting cars and I could purchase such car without worry for the gearbox. I look forwards to reading driver comments confirming this fact!

That seems to be the way it goes Smileyman, Car maker has a problem, car maker fixes problem, bad reputation hangs about for ten years because car maker denies there ever was a problem in the first place so no one trusts them.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - KB.

@ Momo92 - possibly, but let Cargiant deal with the gearbox issue

I was speaking with a technician at my local Seat dealer last week, I'd seen a Leon for sale and wanted to know if the transmission was manual or auto (no salespeople about, but that seems to be normal for this dealership 10 minutes before home time) ... when he told me the car had an auto gearbox I immediately withdrew my interest much to the technician's amazement ... I explained the reports of problems with these, he replied that this is a historic matter no longer affecting cars and I could purchase such car without worry for the gearbox. I look forwards to reading driver comments confirming this fact!

------------------------

Strangely enough I had a very similar conversation recently with a technician/mechanic in the car park of my Skoda main dealer. He also suggested that DSG problems of old are now overcome and now consigned to history. Don't imagine for one moment that this would stop the anti DSG contingent from disparaging comments though. And it could be said of the the mechanics in question "they would say that, wouldn't they?" However I can only speak as I find and regulars here know what I think.

However I still see the occasional reference to the same old faults on Hyundai transmissions recurring. To be sure you would have thought Hyundai would surely have had long enough to iron out problems with clutches. Haven't owned a manual Hyundai since the i10 that developed clutch judder after a few miles from new so can't speak from experience now. Maybe they're OK and it's just the occasional rogue that gets highlighted?

Edited by KB. on 17/07/2017 at 12:56

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Stanb Sevento

I have read up a little on the DSG problems and that too looks worrysome. The car has around 63k miles on the clock and was serviced by Seat. However, I do wonder if Seat routinely service the DSG gearbox and when this was done. From what I've read it needs to be serviced every 40K miles. Is it worth taking it for a gearbox service just in case?

If it was serviced there should be a record in the service book and if it was done by Seat they will have it on record. Go into any Seat dealer and talk to them about it. Its an important service, too important to miss.Its an expencive thing as well costing around £200.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - RT

I have read up a little on the DSG problems and that too looks worrysome. The car has around 63k miles on the clock and was serviced by Seat. However, I do wonder if Seat routinely service the DSG gearbox and when this was done. From what I've read it needs to be serviced every 40K miles. Is it worth taking it for a gearbox service just in case?

If it was serviced there should be a record in the service book and if it was done by Seat they will have it on record. Go into any Seat dealer and talk to them about it. Its an important service, too important to miss.Its an expencive thing as well costing around £200.

I don't know about Seat, but there's no service book for a VW or Skoda - the service record is held electronically and can be printed out by the respective dealer

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Stanb Sevento

I don't know about Seat, but there's no service book for a VW or Skoda - the service record is held electronically and can be printed out by the respective dealer

I did get one for my 64 plate VW, the dealer even asked for it at service time. They dont have the importance they once did but still nice to have.

Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - SLO76

I don't know about Seat, but there's no service book for a VW or Skoda - the service record is held electronically and can be printed out by the respective dealer

I did get one for my 64 plate VW, the dealer even asked for it at service time. They dont have the importance they once did but still nice to have.

When buying a new or used car you should always ask the dealer to provide one (and stamp it up to date if used and it has a dealer history) otherwise you'll find you'll take a hit when you come to sell on or trade in. Part of this game is to encourage main dealer servicing (which is fair enough with complex modern motors) and part of it is to cut the common practice of fake service records. It's all too easy to have a factional garage stamp made up and stamp up your book. Rogue traders routinely do this and so do some private owners, I know a few who do and regularly see cars passing through auction halls with no history that then appear on Autotrader at dealers with a full mysterious service history.
Seat Altea - Seat Altea Breaks Down Randomly - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

When a VW is serviced correctly by an independent garage how is the overall service record err recorded? I can imagine a scenario of dealer service untill warranty is up, then an independent for routine work, then main dealer for a cam belt change and so forth.

Well actually I have done that myself for two VW group cars.

 

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