Skoda Fabia Elegance 1.9 TDi - Alternator? ECU? - YamaBlonde

I have a 2002 Skoda Fabia, 1.9 TDi. Car was fine for a few weeks (I bought it used) when suddenly the dashboard lights started to flicker, power steering died, and I had to limp home. First recharged battery, as engine would not start again, but that was a very short-lived fix. Replaced battery, and also had the regulator replaced on the alternator.

Car ran fine for about 500 more miles, and the same symptoms. Battery is dead, so now on recharge, as I type this question..

I have bought a new alternator now, but am wondering if that is the issue; I certainly don't want to use it if that is not the problem. I have heard it could be the ECU, but I am unsure how to check that. And do I have to go to a Skoda dealer to have the ECU checked, or...?

I am, obviously, not a Happy Camper, having heard all this great stuff about Skodas before (being part of VAG). GRRRR

Please help!

Debb. near Hinckley, SW of Leicester

Skoda Fabia Elegance 1.9 TDi - Alternator? ECU? - 659FBE

Remove the covers from the battery mounted fuse box. Run the engine for a while with a high electrical load and feel the crimped tag connection to the heavy black wire running to the fuse box. This is the alternator main output cable.

If the crimp is discoloured or is running hot, you have the absolutely standard VAG fault (which the dealers seem to know nothing about) of a high resistance joint at this point which requires rectification. A poor connection here will play havoc with the alternator and also cause heavy consumers such as the power steering pump motor to malfunction.

Get an intelligent independent auto electrician to make a proper repair as required. A dealer fitting new VAG parts will not address the design deficiency and this will simply result in a recurrence of the trouble. They will also take the opportunity to inflict disproportionate financial damage.

This is another example of a relatively trival VAG design fault (Passat water ingress is another) which any honest vehicle supplier would both fix and retro-fix. The parts costs involved for each job is a few pence. Instead, much difficulty and expense to their customers is caused.

Do VAG actually like their customers?


Edited by 659FBE on 02/01/2012 at 14:27

Skoda Fabia Elegance 1.9 TDi - Alternator? ECU? - oldroverboy

Do VAG actually like their customers?


1. extremely good reply, 659.

2. VAG in common with the rest of the manufactuers like their customers as long as they pay the price for main dealer servicing and accept the lies like the point above, and the injector problems and the braking system problems to add to the list. Back in the days when I had a jetta, I wish i could have flushed it away, it was that bad.Buy any audi, volks, seat, skoda or somesuch... Well Pigs will have to do london-new york under their own steam before I buy one, Over-rated, Over priced and over here!

Skoda Fabia Elegance 1.9 TDi - Alternator? ECU? - Avant

I wouldn't go quite as far as that, ORB (excellent advice from 659 as always). But the reputation of some basically very good cars in the VAG range is sullied by the big glass-palace VW and Audi dealers who seem to think they can still make money by ignoring their customers' wishes. Skoda have the advantage of a higher proportion of small family-owned dealers.

The one who supplied my Octavias, Jewsons of Oxford, would certainly sort out Debb's problem - but better still, as 659 says, to go to an independent auto electrician. A 9-year-old car is best taken to an independent garage anyway.


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