SKODA Octavia (2004 - Present) Fault Guide


Year Change or development
2004 New Skoda Octavia 5 door hatchback launched. See facts & stats section for full range of engines and specifications.

Bodywork and External Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Inidicators Make sure that the wing mirror mounted indicators work – put the indicators on and get out and check. The LED lights in the mirrors can suffer from water ingress and need replacing. It may be fixed under warranty if the car is less than three years old (last year of warranty has a 60,000 mile limit). Otherwise try to negotiate a £100.00 reduction off of the price of the car for each defective indicator or, if the car is a dealer, have the issue rectified as part of the deal.

Engine Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
2.0 TDi 140 and 170 engines with DPF filters – post 2008 Check the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) warning light on the dash comes on with the ignition and goes off after a few seconds. Check that the engine management warning light is not on at the same time as the DPF warning light. The DPF is there to remove harmful particulates from the exhaust when the car is running. The DPF is not really suited to small runs and town driving/school runs in particular as the filter does not get hot enough to burn the particulates off and it gets clogged up. Running the car at 2500 rpm for 5/10 miles in 4th gear should allow the DPF to get hot enough to burn off the particulates clogged up inside. If doing this does not cause the DPF warning light to go out and/or the engine management is on at the same time as the DPF light it means either that the sensors on the DPF need to be replaced or the DPF itself needs to be replaced. If this fault is left unchecked it can cause major damage to the exhaust system. If either the DPF warning light or engine management warning light stay on (or the car goes into Limp Home mode) then have car inspected by a qualified mechanic.
Turbo engines Test drive the car and look for loss of power/sluggishness or a very loud whistling sound from the top of the engine whilst it is running. All turbos whistle to some degree but you are looking for a very loud, ragged whine. Open the bonnet and listen to the top of the engine whilst it is being revved. When driving, check carefully for power trailing away after 4000rpm. These faults indicate the turbo may be blown. It may be fixed under warranty if the car is less than three years old (last year of warranty has a 60,000 mile limit). If there is any suspicion of the turbo being blown then it would be advisable to have the vehicle professionally inspected at the vendor’s expense. Otherwise try to negotiate at least £1000.00 off of the asking price or have the repair carried out as part of the deal. Make sure the EGR (Exhaust Gas Re-circulation) valve is replaced at the same time. This part can often be the cause of turbo problems on these engines.
Servicing Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. The 1.6 FSI petrol engine requires a cam belt change at 40,000 miles, 2.0TDi is at 95,000 miles or 4 years and 2.0 FSI petrol needs inspecting at 40,000 and changing at 80,000. The 1.9 TDi diesel is at around 60,000/70,000 miles. If the cam belt and associated parts (such as water pump and tensioner) have not been changed, and the mileage is over these boundaries, the cam belt is likely to fail soon. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built after a cam belt failure. 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 £200. It will cost £1,000+ to have the engine repaired if the belt fails.
Engine (1.9/2.0 TDi turbo diesels) Test drive the car. At low speeds, especially in town. Check for the engine running roughly at idle. Check for the engine running hot and an engine smell entering the cabin. Also pay attention to any hesitation from the engine at low speeds. If you find any of these faults then there may be a problem with the EGR (Exhaust Gas Re-circulation) valves. These valves are there to use exhaust gas to regulate the temperature and running of the engine. If they get stuck open then you might expect to see the faults specified. If you find this fault try to negotiate a £400.00 discount off of the price of the car.
Servicing options: The Octavia 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 Octavia 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
DSG gearbox (automatic) Test drive the car and check it changes gear smoothly. Whilst stationary, with the engine idling, listen for knocking sounds from the gearbox. Check the service history to make sure the DSG oil and filter change has been carried out as per the schedule at 40,000 miles. This can mean issues with the DGS gearbox which may need to be replaced or at the very least have an oil and filter change. If the car has not had its DSG filter change at 40,000 miles then it is advised to have the car inspected by a professional mechanic.
Leaks Check around the passenger footwells for signs of water ingress. Also check the plenum chamber (which is the hole next to the wiper mechanism at the bottom of the windscreen on the outside of the car – open the bonnet to see this) is not clogged up with leaves and road debris. If you find water ingress or a blocked plenum chamber then there is a chance of damage to the cars control units which are situated under the front seats. At the very least the carpets will need to be professionally cleaned and dried. If you find evidence of a lot of water in the front footwells then it is advised to have the cat inspected by a qualified mechanic. Otherwise try to reduce the price of the car by £350.00
Glovebox: Check that the lid of the glove box opens cleanly and is properly connected. Check that it locks shut and does not rattle. The Octavia can suffer with premature wear of the glove box lid. If it’s broken then it will need replacing – it cannot be repaired. If the car is under warranty (3 years/60,000 miles) then Skoda may fix the problem for free. Otherwise try to negotiate £150 off of the price of the car.

Wheels, Brakes and Suspension Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Bushes Test drive the car. Listen carefully for a squeaking or rattling from the front suspension as the car passes over speed bumps or an uneven road surface. This could be a problem with the front anti-roll bar bushes, a common fault on the Octavia. If you find this fault try to reduce the price of the vehicle by £100.00 or have the issue rectified as part of the deal.


Date Model Recall
26 Aug 2004 The wires for the Air Bag Unit block connector were incorrectly located for the side airbags which could result in the opposite side air bag being ignited
17 Feb 2005 Built: 01/03/2004 - 31/08/2004 It is advised that, on some vehicles fitted with a 3 and 4 cylinder pump injector engine, the bolts of the tandem fuel pump cover may break due to a bolt production fault. As a result, the pump housing will not be tight, and a diesel fuel leak may occur.
19 Apr 2006 Built: 01/02/2004 - 30/06/2005 It has been identified that the two mass flywheel can become damaged because of a not optimally aligned through-flow restrictor in the clutch pressure pipe. This situation can lead to total failure of the flywheel and under unfavourable conditions a fire
14 Dec 2009 Built: 01/09/2008 - 31/08/2009 In rare cases an incorrect interpretation of the clutch temperature can occur which results in the clutch opening unexpectedly with loss of drive.

Recommended Garages

Name Phone Address Website
MOT ANGEL (Nationwide) 0800 131 0030 3 The Minster, Portman Road, Reading, RG30 1EA.