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Skoda Octavia 1.9TDi PD Premature Turbo Failure

Discussion in 'Car Repairs / Maintenance' started by David666, 4 Sep 2011.

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  1. David666


    4 Sep 2011
    Thanks Received:
    South Glamorgan
    United Kingdom
    I currently own a 2006 Skoda Octavia 1.9TDi PD Ambiente which has only just completed 41,000 miles.
    It has a FULL SKODA DEALER service history, the timing belt was replaced at 36,000 miles, everything
    has been done EXACTLY as Skoda recommend.

    The car has NEVER been thrashed or driven in anger.
    I used to regularly get 60mpg over a tank of diesel.

    3weeks ago whilst driving home, at a busy motorway junction, I was pulling out onto the roundabout and
    suddenly, without any warning, noise or indication the car lost ALL POWER, engine dead, electronics alive,
    but no engine, no brakes, no steering!!! It could have killed me!
    Fortunately the oncoming vehicles managed to avoid my car and eventually some people pushed me to safety.

    I have AA cover, so they assisted but the OBD2 laptop didn't report any engine fault codes whatsoever?
    The engine still wouldn't start and some smoke was coming out of the turbo air-intake ducting as the AA
    turned the engine over. He couldn't fix it at the roadside, so the car was taken to my nearest Skoda dealer,
    the same place it goes for all services, timing belt exchange e.t.c.

    After 2 days they diagnosed that:

    (i) Turbo seized
    (ii) Catastrophic turbo failure - turbine/fans disintegrated
    (iii) Metal parts from turbo ended up inside intercooler

    Their recommendation, to replace turbo £1200 + intercooler £500.
    Cannot guarantee this will completely resolve issue, meatal parts may have reached engine!!

    Now, given that the car is only 5.5 years old, has only done 41,000 miles and has a FULL SKODA DEALER
    SERVICE HISTORY, I would expect that Skoda would take some responsibility for this PREMATURE TURBO FAILURE.
    However, they are saying that as the car is out of warranty (only 3 years with Skoda!), they are not
    willing to pay anything towards the £1700 repair costs! The car is probably only worth £4000, so basically
    it's half the value of the car!

    I have heard that this particular Volkswagon Audi Group (VAG) turbo design has a known design fault, but
    VAG are not admitting to it. The design fault is this:

    The turbo relies entirely on engine oil to spin freely, it has no additional bearings, just oil.
    The problem is that engine oil is fed to the turbo via a single braided pipe.
    If the turbo is starved of oil for just 1 or 2 seconds it will seize and/or destroy itself.

    It is easy to imagine that the likelyhood of this happening is fairly high, just a kink in the pipe,
    some oil sludge or air bubbles is all it would take!

    THIS IS A SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE! There is no warning at all, then complete loss of engine power, brakes &

    I would like to know if anyone has experienced similar issues with early turbo failure.
    I personally would NEVER buy ANY VAG car again!

  2. Burnerman


    7 Feb 2008
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    What a sad story this is.
    For some reason, the turbo has failed, and that has to be due to lubrication breakdown. Its true, the shafts on these turbo's are floating, and rely on a steady pressure of oil to keep them that way......if you wobble the end of the shaft its amazing how much play there actually is.
    I feel that the oil drain interval is too long on these (and most other diesels) but who are we to argue with Skoda?
    If the car was mine I'd try to give the manufacturer a hard time too.
    Also if the car was mine, I'd try hard to get it up running again. Turbo Technics will rebuild your turbo for a fraction of the new price, and an intercooler can be sourced elsewhere......in fact I had one rebuilt for an Audi A3 very recently......cost for a new core, £80.
    Its also curious that when turbo boost fails, far from the car just going into non turbo mode, its actually hardly drivable and only then in first gear. Incidentally, the brakes and steering don't actually fail, they are just not power assisted because the engine is dead - but it sure feels like it!
    I don't know of any turbo issues with these vehicles, apart from the turbo pipes vibrating loose.
    I wish you the best of luck with your quest, whichever way it goes.
    John :)
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  4. Belle427


    16 Jan 2006
    Thanks Received:
    Newport, S Wales.
    United Kingdom
    is it on the longlife service schedule
    how many oil chanes has it had since new?
  5. Peter.N.


    26 Sep 2006
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I would agree with the oil life syndrome, this recent crop of turbo failures only seems to have come about since the intervals were considerably extended. I have covered some half a million miles in turbo diesels and have never had a turbo fail but I have also changed my oil at 5000 mile intervals.

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  7. JohnD


    15 Nov 2005
    Thanks Received:
    Crossgates, Europe
    Cook Islands
    not sure I agree with your assessment that "It is easy to imagine that the likelyhood of this happening is fairly high, just a kink in the pipe, some oil sludge or air bubbles is all it would take! "

    I don't have a turbo now, when I did, it had frequent oil and filter changes (using expensive fully synth oil) so not much chance of sludge, and there is no reason for the hose to kink. I don't think air bubbles, either (there is high pressure oil squirting through) And with frequent servicing and driver checks there should not be a shortage of oil

    At this time of year I wouldn't expect water sludge even if you were doing lots of short journeys, and the turbo gets quite hot,although short journeys are not good for oil.

    Did you know about idling the engine after a run for the turbo to cool down?

    By your numbers the car is only doing about 8k miles a year. Did you have the servicing done at the milage intervals or the time intervals? Is it left standing much? Have you had it from new or are you trusting a previous driver?
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