I have a 2010 Skoda Fabia 1.6 TDI that’s been in the garage a couple of times recently, due to flashing glow plug lights. My garage’s computer says it’s an EGR failure. To be fair to them, they’ve tried the cheap fix first (changing the EGR solenoid), but I’ve just had to limp home seventy or so miles, so I’m guessing it’s the main EGR and/or EGR cooler that needs replacing. I came across your e-mail on a forum complaining about similar failures, so before I phone up my usual garage and get the bad news, do you think you could possibly help, too?
A friend of mine reckons I should first give Wynns Xtreme Diesel System Cleaner a try. What do you think of that advice? Do you think it will work?
Not good news this, I am afraid Steve. I am wondering if you have had your car called in for the Volkswagen recall software update, and when. A significant number of owners of Euro-5 cars like yours, with the 1.6 TDI engine, suffered EGR failure after having the modification. There are reports that owners have been successful in getting a significant contribution towards the costs of replacement ñ like maybe all the parts costs and half of the labour costs. The same applied to some owners who suffered EGR cooler failure before all of the Volkswagen affair began, as long as they had a full Skoda service history, and the car was not too long out of warranty. A Skoda garage would need to submit a claim on your behalf, so do make sure this is done, and maybe ask to see it, or get a copy. If it is turned down, you then have a starting point from which to make your own representations. But with a seven-year-old car, I think the chances are a bit thin, but it’s always worth a shot. But if you don’t have Skoda garage full service history, I think you can write any hopes off ñ Sorry!
But I’m not at all clear when you mention “flashing glow plug lights”. Usually EGR problems will report as the orange engine fault symbol, and report on diagnosis an appropriate fault code that would identify the problem as related to the EGR. So try and get a bit more out of the garage before you dive into an EGR/Cooler replacement, because it just could be something else. If the car has gone into limp home mode, there necessarily will be a fault code recorded. Also, does the car start and run alright now that you have limped home? If so, it could be something entirely different, and some sort of annoying, but not too serious, temporary fault, that might just have an easy fix.
Regarding a quick fix with Wynns Xtreme Diesel System Cleaner, all that I can say is that for a mere £7 it is certainly well worth a shot if you can get the car into normal running order. I have had great feedback on their products. No use trying it in limp home mode though.
Keep me posted if you have time Steve, and I’ll do all that I can to support you. Best of luck anyway.
Hi Doctor, that’s such an incredibly helpful reply ñ thank you so much!
Indeed, my car has recently been in for that software update. However, that’s another story unto itself. Basically, the same problems with the fault lights started appearing about a week before it went in for that software update, but the dealer just cleared the fault lights, then did the update ñ they didn’t actually deal with the problem. So afterwards, when the fault lights came on again, I took it to my usual (non-VAG) garage who do all my servicing. Their machine reported an EGR problem, and as I understand it, they have tried the cheapest fix first ñ the EGR control solenoids that I mentioned. Anyway, funny you should mention the orange engine fault symbol, because that’s on now ñ boo! I have, though, managed to get the car running in normal mode (no flashing glow plug thingy), and I’ve put in a bottle of Wynnís magic additive. I’ve even managed to get the car onto the dual carriageway and boot it for about ten miles with no flashing glow plug coming on. However, the car still doesn’t feel right. In fact, although I’m no Lewis Hamilton, to my amateurish mind, it’s running like a dog… so perhaps I should give Wynnís a bit more time, but my gut feeling is that it may need to go back into a garage somewhere… Grrrrr!
A few days later: Remarkably, since putting in the Wynnís magic sauce, things seem to have improved. The flashing glow plug came on a couple of times immediately after feeding it to my Skoda, but I’ve since driven about 40 miles without that happening. When I switched on the electrics before driving home this evening, the engine management light had gone out, and what’s more, the drive was much smoother. I don’t want to count my chickens, but there appears to be some hope, thanks to Wynnís! I’m going to run this tankful down, then half fill the tank with diesel and feed the Skoda another bottle.
And after another week, when I asked Steve for an update… Yeah! All alright, it’s running really great. Thanks again for all your help!
The glow plug light flashing when driving means engine management fault, usually caused by EGR malfunction, and may be accompanied by limp mode. Restarting the car may turn off limp mode and extinguish the glow plug light. From what I’ve heard, the issue will only get worse over time, and the emissions fix increases the chances of this issue occurring possibly due to greater use of the EGR valve.