SEAT Leon (2000 - 2005) Fault Guide

Evolutions

Year Change or development
2000 Leon front drive Hatchbacks: 1.6 8v S/SE (100 bhp); 1.8 20v SE (125 bhp); 1.8 20v T Sport, Cupra (180 bhp); 1.9 TDi 90 S (90 bhp); 1.9 TDi 110 SE (110 bhp).

Bodywork and External Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Boot lock Check that the boot lock opens the boot. If the boot lock is jammed it needs cleaning and adjusting. Negotiate a £50 discount or have the repair completed.
Central locking Check that the remote control and central locking work. The control unit sometimes stops recognising the remote and has to be replaced. Negotiate a £230 discount or have the repair completed.

Engine Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Cam belt Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most engines the cam belt must be changed within 40,000 or 60,000 miles. If the cam belt and associated parts (such as and tensioner) have not been changed, and the mileage is over these boundaries, the cam belt is likely to fail soon and will cause expensive damage to the engine. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built. Ensure that the cam belt is changed before the car is driven anywhere if it is coming close to its interval. Changing the belt will cost £90-195.
Ignition coil Leave the engine on and listen to see if the engine misfires (rather than the revs being constant when on idle and the engine making a consistent noise, it splutters and spits). Check that the engine management light (yellow) comes on with the ignition and goes out when the engine starts. If the car has a reasonable service history and has been in regular use then the most likely reason for misfiring, especially if the engine management light is on, is a faulty ignition coil. The car may also cut out. Negotiate a £55 discount or have the repair completed.
Coolant temperature sensor Start the car from cold. Leave the engine on and listen to see if the engine misfires (rather than the revs being constant when on idle and the engine making a consistent noise, it splutters and spits). Wait to see if this improves as the engine gets warm. If the poor idling improves as the engine warms up, the problem is usually the coolant temperature sensor. Negotiate a £40 discount or have the repair completed.
Air flow meter on TDI engine Test drive the car on a main road. Check that there is no intermittent loss of power, or lack of power at high speed. If the car starts to run out of acceleration at 70 m.p.h. or there is any form of power loss, the problem is usually the air flow meter. Negotiate a £75 discount or have the repair completed.
Servicing: (post 2001 cars) The Leon has the option of two servicing programmes - the initial choice of which is up to the first owner but a buyer of a second hand Leon can swap from one to the other. The first option is “LongLife” servicing programme. One this option the servicing is up to 20,000 (petrol) or up to 30,000 miles (diesel). The other servicing option is “Time and Distance” servicing which is every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. If the car has been on "long life" servicing then it is crucial to check the the factory specifications for oil have been maintained. Check the mileage/servicing option to make sure there is no service due. Be aware that the “LongLife” servicing is mainly for high mileage users and the “Time and Distance” for lower mileage users. This can give an indication as to how the car has been used. It is crucial that the correct oil has been used because the sensor for the service indicator uses engine oil to dertermine when a service is due. The wrong oil can cause that sensor to malfunction If there is a service due then negotiate £150.00/250.00 off of the price unless the car is on “LongLife” servicing and close to 60,000 miles – in this case try to bring the price down by £600.

Interior Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Door seals Check that the front footwell carpets are not damp. If they are damp then the cause is usually faulty door seals or a badly fitted pollen filter. Negotiate a £55 discount per seal or the repair (s) completed.
Door kick plates On all Leons, if there has been a heavy rainfall you will get a build up of water around the kick plates. When you open the door to get in the water pours out onto your feet. This is a design fault and there is no official remedy. However a number of specialists have developed their own solutions. Take the car to a specialist and ask them to help reduce the problem.
Condensation During the test drive, check that the windows do not mist up and that there isn't a build up of condensation. Feel the footwell carpets for dampness. This symptom indicates that there is a leak and water is getting into the car. Check the door seals and kick plates (see kick plate check). Or the problem may be a badly fitted pollen filter. Negotiate a £50 discount or have the repair completed.
Rear washer Look for wet carpet in the boot or back seats. A leak in these areas is usually caused by a faulty rear washer. Negotiate a £30 discount or have the repair completed.
Windows Check that the windows wind up and down smoothly. If the window stops working it is normally the regulator. Negotiate a £50 discount or have the repair completed.
Door trims Ensure that the door trims are all properly fixed to the doors. They can peel away. the clips that hold the trim to the door are not strong enough and break. Negotiate a £50 discount or have the repair completed.
Radio Check that the radio works. Test all the functions including volume and the tape deck. If it doesn't work it needs replacing. Losing volume is a common fault. Negotiate a £240 discount or have the repair completed.

Wheels, Brakes and Suspension Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Rear wishbone bushes As you drive the car over rough surfaces or bumps (e.g. speed bumps) listen for a knocking noise coming from the rear suspension. A knocking noise from the rear suspension usually indicates that rear wishbone bushes need replacing. This usually happens on cars that have completed over 60,000 miles. Negotiate a £65 discount per side.

Recalls

Date Model Recall
28 Feb 2001 1st October 2000 to 30th November 2000. The passenger airbag may not release correctly because of a leak in the pressure reservoir of the gas generator. VINs: VSSZZZ1MZ1R038111 TO VSSZZZ1MZ1R045624, VSSZZZ1MZ1B036908 TO VSSZZZ1MZ1B044227
23 May 2002 VINs:VSSZZZ1MZ1R075989 TO VSSZZZ1MZ1R087819, VSSZZZ1MZ2R000100 TO VSSZZZ1MZ2R008410, VSSZZZ1MZ2B000008 TO VSSZZZ1MZ2B015104, VSSZZZ1MZ1B005779 TO VSSZZZ1MZ1B073502 There is a risk than an electrical fault in the anti lock brake control unit (ABS) can cause overheating of related electrical components. This may lead to fire damage and cause the service brake to revert to a non-anti lock mode of operation.

Recommended Garages

Name Phone Address Website
MOT ANGEL (Nationwide) 0800 131 0030 3 The Minster, Portman Road, Reading, RG30 1EA. http://www.motangel.co.uk