Doctor Diesel

Being Prepared for a Scout

Dear Doc,

First a Mitsubishi Shogun update ñ all is well, and we are very pleased with the vehicle.

We are considering replacing our Audi A6 2.0 TDI, with 190,000 on the clock, with a Skoda Scout 2.0 TDI, possibly spending up to £10,000. We are aiming for the youngest car under that price limit with perhaps around 70,000 to 80,000 miles, and year 2014/2015. Should I be too worried about the internet reports of some very expensive replacements of the EGR valve? Our local specialist non-franchised garage say the largest charge for this they have had to make is £900 ñ apparently this is because on some vehicles the EGR valve is very difficult to get at. Are these ìdifficultî vehicles identifiable? Your thoughts and guidance would be most welcome, as ever! 


Harry Taite

Hello Harry,

Glad to hear the smelly old Shogun is going alright! The problems I have seen with EGR systems have mostly been with the 1.6-litre TDI engine (see this monthís letter elsewhere) for some reason, that’s possibly best known to the Volkswagen Group. I am told that the Octavia Scout is one of those where the EGR system is difficult to get to though, due to the 4WD transmission getting in the way! As in the letter above, problems with high mileage 2.0 TDIs may well be solved by EGR cleaner additives ñ Wynnís and Bardahl, in particular, getting mentioned very favourably. One guy had a fault code come up, got rid of it with the additive, and has been trouble-free for 30,000 miles since. These additives do work!

But you would do best to try and establish what sort of former life any Scout had “enjoyed”. It’s a bit of a lottery, but a full service history is obviously a good thing, nay almost essential, I would say. Just as you have suggested, I agree that a high mileage young car would be better than a lower mileage older car. What you’re looking for is a car that has done good long-distance motoring, and probably not been too highly stressed when doing it, and to avoid low miles cars that may have done lots of short runs. Not too many low miles cars seem to be around though ñ people seem to use their Scouts!

I would avoid DSG, if I were you, although the wet-clutch unit used on the 2.0 TDI is generally problem-free, as long as the fluid has been changed at regular 40,000 mile intervals, so check this on the service records if you’re considering a DSG. Having had a quick look at Auto Trader, a £10,000 2014 car with 79,000 on the clock and a £10,000 2015 car with 69,000 miles look more appealing than lower mileage older cars. Not sure exactly what you’re looking for, but there are Estate 4x4s that are not Scouts, you know, with the lower stressed 148bhp engine that might be worth thinking about… and some come on 16-inch alloy wheels that ride better (and new tyres cost less!) than the 17-inch wheels on Scouts. I found a 64-reg one of these with 73,000 miles on the clock for just £8,300.

Hope this helps, but I think that you know what you are looking for!

Best regards,


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