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Old 26th September 2021, 16:05   #1
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Default Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

Hi Team-BHP

As we are all aware of the recent Kushaq's Fuel Pump issues from fuel adulteration, however, it looks like its not just limited to Kushaq, but other Skoda cars as well.

So 2 weeks back I filled my car (2018 1.5 DSG Rapid) with a tank full of diesel from a nearby small Indian Oil bunk, which was a first for me as I always go to a company operated HP bunk but I was in a rush this time.

I went to Hyderabad from Vijayawada (300 KMS approx.) and after 2 weeks there I was returning yesterday, and when I was approx. 25 KMS from reaching Vijayawada, the car started to vibrate and the pickup started to fall off rapidly, so I pulled it to the side and noticed the car was vibrating badly in idle as well.

I turned it off and started again and the moment I slot the car in D, the car would vibrate a lot and wont go beyond 10KPH.

I called the service executive that sold the car to me, and he instantly asked if the display was blinking a spring icon, which it did, and without confirming how he reached to that conclusion he quickly said he will ask service execute to call and help. This made it obvious they are getting a lot of these a lot lately.

The service executive called and said this looks like a Fuel Injector failure due to fuel adulteration. He asked me to turn off the AC roll down all the windows and drive at 50-60KPH and come to the service center as it was safe to do so. He confirmed he was getting a lot of these due to fuel adulteration lately when asked.

A quick review of the manual revealed that it was indeed safe to drive so I decided to do that.

However, they never asked if it was an automatic and kept saying I can drive it back while I kept telling them that my car won't go beyond 10 KPH, after a little back and forth and trying to call RSA, and a friend, it hit me maybe to try it in manual mode, and by changing the gears manually it started to pick speed and we reached home in an hour by driving at 50 KPH as advised (slotting into 4 at max).

I am yet to give to the service station, I will do that tomorrow perhaps, but the key takeaways from this experience are

1. All Skoda cars are prone to fuel injector or fuel pump failures, the SA was saying it is Injector failure, while the recent news from Kushaq's said pump (I am not aware of the technical differences and if one is more expensive than the other? Please enlighten me so that I can see they don't overcharge me)

2. They seem to be getting a lot of these, I got that from the way they dealt with the issue and also it looks like a lot of fuel pumps are now adulterating the fuel, I filled it from a small Indian Oil outlet, just FYI.

3. If you have an Automatic, the car won't slot itself to the next gear coz of the degradation in performance as the RPM & Speed won't co-relate (just a guess, correct me if I am wrong) so you have to manually work the gears to make it move.

I will keep you guys posted with the workshop experience, but this is quite concerning, as it looks like with the massive price hike in fuel one has to deal with fuel adulteration issues as well

Last edited by autohead115 : 26th September 2021 at 16:14.
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Old 26th September 2021, 17:10   #2
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Default re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

I feel your pain.

It is not only Skoda, we terrano/duster owners are also left on our own due to injector issues. ( that too since 2013). That too they charge 25k per injector for replacement.

Atleast skoda is trying to do something (atleast for Kushak)

Last edited by SideView : 26th September 2021 at 17:12.
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Old 26th September 2021, 17:34   #3
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Default re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

The issues in kushaq are weird. I really hope the robust fuel pumps being dispatched now are better.

Coming to injectors, vehicles with the 1.5/1.6 TDi have been notorious for injector failures. The common issue with most cars that had the injector failure was less usage. A close friend is running a stage 3 setup on his 2014 rapid which has done 275k kms. He never had any injector trouble. On the contrary, someone in my apartment complex had a 35k kms done 2015 Rapid which had injector trouble. Some 2.0 TDis also had this issue but it's pretty rare. Replacement of the fuel filter, injector cleaning at fixed intervals & regular usage has helped a lot of people stay away from this problem.
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Old 26th September 2021, 17:41   #4
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Default re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

Has the feedback pinpointed any one vendor? I usually avoid Indian Oil bunks just for this adulteration issue.

BP / HP are a lot better among the PSU oil marketers.
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Old 26th September 2021, 18:55   #5
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Default re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

I would say this failure of the injectors due to contaminated fuel is only partially true. There's another angle to it, one that VW/Skoda service advisors either don't know of or don't shed light on.

The Continental injectors used on the 1.5 and 1.6 TDIs are known to be a troublesome lot. The same company makes injectors for the Figo 1.4 TDCI and the Duster 110PS 1.5 K9K, both of which are infamous for the same sort of issue as well.

Coming to the reason for failure, it is a lesser known fact that diesel is hygroscopic. The longer you have it sit in the fuel tank, the more it will be susceptible to absorbing moisture. In general, this isn't good for any injector irrespective of make, but these Continental injectors are extra sensitive to moisture. Thus, you will find a 4K km run Skoda Rapid which is 4-5 years old facing severe injector issues, but a 1.6L km driven Vento which is a daily will almost never have such an issue. Regular usage is key to not letting the diesel sit for long and absorb moisture.

Whose fault is it in the end? I would say majority of it is VW/Skoda and their lack of depth in engineering certain components. If fuel contamination was such a huge issue, why aren't so many other turbo diesels facing the same issue? Atleast a few of them? More importantly, why is the 2.0 TDI using Bosch injectors chugging along just fine? I own a Jetta and my dad isn't really considerate towards where he fills up diesel from. Even then, my injectors have not given me a single issue and I know of so many other 2.0 TDIs which have varying odo readings but have never had this problem. VW should have atleast sorted this out on the 1.5 TDI, but it seems they will never mend their ways.

Last edited by vishy76 : 26th September 2021 at 18:56.
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Old 26th September 2021, 19:30   #6
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Default re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

1.6 TDI is infamous for injector failure. I have a 1 lakh km run Polo 1.5 GT TDI and so far it doesn’t have any injector issue. Usually I fill up when the diesel reaches 25% of the tank capacity and always stick to one pump or company authorised outlets. Driving with near empty diesel tank causes most issues. I also had a 1.4 TDCI Figo. I used it for 1.1 lakhs km and it never had injector issue.

Last edited by anb : 26th September 2021 at 19:33.
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Old 26th September 2021, 19:37   #7
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Default re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

From Octavia mk1 Skoda was infamous for fuel pump and injector trouble, the replacement for Octavia for the owners who had drivers was - Innova.

Skoda sold more Innovas that way.
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Old 27th September 2021, 08:25   #8
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

If cars from other brands are doing just well in terms of reliability and only you have a problem with "adulterated fuel", it's a problem with your cars and not the country. When other carmakers are able to find workarounds to a prevalent issue, why can't you? Skoda clearly hasn't done its "localization" properly for some of its engines.

My philosophy is simple = if you sell the car in India, for God's sake, make it work in Indian conditions!!! If you cannot, then you have failed. This includes engines, gearboxes (I'm looking at you, DSG), tyres, ground clearance etc.

Last edited by GTO : 27th September 2021 at 11:00.
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Old 27th September 2021, 09:53   #9
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

This is a common problem with many high bhp/lit engines. A Duster / Terrano 110 BHP has the issue, where as the same engine with 85 BHP does not. Tata had it with Varicor400, but the 320 NM torque tune did not have it.
Leave alone high speed engines in cars, even Bharat Benz bus chassis, and Scania buses had it, but the larger sized injectors are serviceable.
Also note that many cars that ran lakh's of km trouble free, started having injector issues when restarted after the last years total lock down.

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Old 27th September 2021, 10:50   #10
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul Rao View Post
This is a common problem with many high bhp/lit engines. A Duster / Terrano 110 BHP has the issue, where as the same engine with 85 BHP does not. Tata had it with Varicor400, but the 320 NM torque tune did not have it.
From my observation It is Delphi & Continental injection systems that have problems. Renault K9K 110, Skoda TDi, Tata Dicor \ CR4 - all had trouble with injectors.
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Old 27th September 2021, 10:53   #11
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
Coming to the reason for failure, it is a lesser known fact that diesel is hygroscopic. The longer you have it sit in the fuel tank, the more it will be susceptible to absorbing moisture. In general, this isn't good for any injector irrespective of make, but these Continental injectors are extra sensitive to moisture. Thus, you will find a 4K km run Skoda Rapid which is 4-5 years old facing severe injector issues, but a 1.6L km driven Vento which is a daily will almost never have such an issue. Regular usage is key to not letting the diesel sit for long and absorb moisture.
+100 to this. My Vento tdi injectors went bust after a long period sparingly/non-use (across ~2 years). Had to replace 3 out of 4 injectors on my own as the car was well outside warranty. Other few owners I know with cars of similar timelines who have been regularly using their cars (now into 1L+ kms) have not faced any such issues.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:34   #12
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post

Whose fault is it in the end? I would say majority of it is VW/Skoda and their lack of depth in engineering certain components. If fuel contamination was such a huge issue, why aren't so many other turbo diesels facing the same issue? Atleast a few of them? More importantly, why is the 2.0 TDI using Bosch injectors chugging along just fine? I own a Jetta and my dad isn't really considerate towards where he fills up diesel from. Even then, my injectors have not given me a single issue and I know of so many other 2.0 TDIs which have varying odo readings but have never had this problem. VW should have atleast sorted this out on the 1.5 TDI, but it seems they will never mend their ways.
The Continental Injectors are piezoelectric injectors while the Bosch ones are not. Same difference in Renault/ Nissan as well. The 110 PS has Continentals and 85Ps are Bosch ones. Continental Piezoelectric injectors are way way more delicate and are Euro V injectors. They are also sensitive to electrical inputs, so any minimal extra load on the system like an amp or high power bulbs can also spoil the solenoids etc. Apart from that there is also the humidity aspect. So it is always better to change the diesel filters in 7.5k to 8k kms to ensure proper filtration and extend the life of the injectors.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:39   #13
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
Coming to the reason for failure, it is a lesser known fact that diesel is hygroscopic. The longer you have it sit in the fuel tank, the more it will be susceptible to absorbing moisture. In general, this isn't good for any injector irrespective of make, but these Continental injectors are extra sensitive to moisture. Thus, you will find a 4K km run Skoda Rapid which is 4-5 years old facing severe injector issues, but a 1.6L km driven Vento which is a daily will almost never have such an issue. Regular usage is key to not letting the diesel sit for long and absorb moisture.
Very nice point.
Just to add on to this,
some manufacturers provide a fuel filter, which can separate some limited amount of water, if it is present in the Diesel.

Hyundai provides this functionality in it's Diesel Engines.
There is even an indicator in the MID which will glow if the fuel filter has accumulated substantial water.

Once this Indicator glows, the user has to drain the accumulated water and carry on.

I wonder, if VAG has skimped on this water separating filter, thereby resulting in such failures.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:46   #14
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

I don't think any reason the company gives is valid. Let's for a moment think the adulterated fuel is the reason, then what about other brands? How is TATA and M&M running for decades and famous for their diesel engines? I have not seen such issues in their vehicles. Why is it that only Skoda or VW has such issues? Also, people sharing tips about which fuel pump to go to, how much reserve fuel to be maintained, vehicle to be driven regularly - looks like these are all traits of a brand that can go horribly wrong if not adhered to. The build quality of these cars is great but the spares are super sensitive to Indian conditions. When did Skoda enter India? It's been more than 2 decades, yet they don't give two hoots about what factors go into troubling cars in Indian climate. The engines may be smooth but if I have to keep visiting the service station for issues like this, it's pathetic.
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Old 29th September 2021, 10:26   #15
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Default Re: Fuel injector / pump failures due to fuel adulteration in all Skoda cars?

Not just on TeamBhp, but I see a lot of owners bashing a senior marketing executive from Skoda on LinkedIn too. I mean, he has become the face of the brand now!

On a serious note, I concur with @GTO. If others brand cars are running fine then it's just the specific brand to think about and make the cars safe and sturdy for the market they are selling.

Moreover, it's not that these are affordable or below 10L rupee cars, it's hard-earned money spent on these, for some they are a once-in-a-lifetime buy.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 29th September 2021 at 12:57. Reason: Changed from “I comply with” to “I concur with”. Thanks
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