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Altea tdi lack of power / limp mode

Discussion in 'Altea - includes XL and Freetrack' started by Agent1979, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Agent1979

    Agent1979 Guest

    I am having a very intermittent but annoying issue with our '56 plate 2.0 TDI (140) Altea DSG. Done about 83k miles if that helps, and last serviced 12 months ago at 79k.

    This has happened 4 times now in about the last 8 weeks. Basically it runs fine and pulls well most of the time until occasionally for no reason the car seems to enter a limp mode where it will simply not rev properly.

    At first we thought is may be a DSG box issue as it seems to get stuck in gear, however when it happened last night to me I tried to perceiver and drive it in manual. The car initially lost power and stuck in 2nd accelerating from a roundabout. The revs seem to top at just under 2500, and so I changed into manual and changed up into 3rd. As I was only going about 25mph it went up into 3rd no problem, revs dropped to about 1500 and it pulled (very slowly) up to 2500 again and wouldn't rev further. Did the same to change up into 4th and exactly the same characteristic.

    When this happens we have had to pull over, turn off ignition and re-start within a few seconds and the car drives perfectly! It's been into my local garage who has checked for leaks in boots pipes which he thinks are OK, but as he couldn’t recreate the problem there was little he could do. As it hasn’t throw up any error lights when it happens either, he said it may be difficult to find the fault.

    The only other thing I have noticed is that sometimes (not often) if you rev the car round when sat in neutral it revs to 4k, and as the revs drop back there is a noise like a whoosh / suck / whistle (difficult to describe) almost like air is being sucked in. Again my local garage couldn't identify the noise on the day, but I know it’s there sometimes.

    I have done some research and nothing I have found seem to match my problem exactly. I'm hoping someone on here may have experienced something similar and could give some advice?

    Thanks in advance......

    Adam
     
  2. iain1970

    iain1970 I ♥ TDI

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    Sounds like the sticking turbo vane problem, particularly if you think you have the ghost of an owl behing your dashboard at idle. I've had it once but it hasn't returned yet. If it is that, the only sure fire way of solving it is to fit a new turbo and do some pipework jiggery pokery.
     
  3. CrispDust

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    If it goes into limp mode, which you are describing from symptoms, then it will definitly record a fault code, but not necessarily a dashboard light. get if on vagcom and all should be revealed. Overboost is the most common cause of limp mode. The causes of this are numerous. A fair while back i had it happen several times on motorway for no apparent reason - tootling at 70ish in cruise and car justs starts to slow down. Turn of engine restart and its fine. Loose intercooler intake pipe is a common cause.
    Check oil level too. I think overfill or too little in sump can throw a fault on turbo.
    Coked up egr can cause the problem.
    Just hoofing it full throttle especially uphill, has caused limp mode on mine several times. Mines mapped but it has done it when on original too.
     
    #3 CrispDust, Mar 9, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  4. Agent1979

    Agent1979 Guest

    Hi

    Spent a few hours on this at the weekend with a mate on his VAGcom. Had the Overboost error - as mentioned above. The oil was changed and topped up to correct level, and we completely remvoed ERG and cleaned (which was fairly black and coked!) and all back running. Clearled all codes, and now just waiting to see if we've solved it. As the fauly only occurs every week or so it may be a while before we know.....

    Copy of the error below - if anyone know how to read these errors correctly and has any other advice I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks

    Saturday,10,March,2012,10:35:07:10074

    VCDS Version: Release 10.6.4



    Address 01: Engine Labels: 03G-906-016-BKD.lbl

    Control Module Part Number: 03G 906 021 LP HW: 03G 906 021 LP

    Component and/or Version: R4 2,0L EDC G000AG 9188

    Software Coding: 0050078

    Work Shop Code: WSC 06402 785 00200

    VCID: 78FBECD37243

    1 Fault Found:



    000564 - Boost Pressure Regulation: Limit Exceeded (Overboost Condition)

    P0234 - 000 - - - Intermittent

    Freeze Frame:

    Fault Status: 00110000

    Fault Priority: 0

    Fault Frequency: 1

    Mileage: 134470 km

    Time Indication: 0

    Date: 2000.00.00

    Time: 18:50:10



    Freeze Frame:

    RPM: 2541 /min

    Speed: 74.0 km/h

    Load: 58.8 %

    Voltage: 14.44 V

    Bin. Bits: 00101000

    Absolute Pres.: 1907.4 mbar

    Absolute Pres.: 2233.8 mbar



    Readiness: 0 0 0 0 0
     
  5. mac music

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  6. bigsacs

    bigsacs Active Member

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    Hello,

    When l first got my 2007 Altea 1.9tdi (32k miles) it went into limp mode several times in the first 10 days with much the same symptoms. The seat dealer claimed no fault code was showing and basically didn't care however one of the mechanics told me it was a common fault if the car hadn't been driven above 40mph for a while. He suggested adding Forte diesel treatment to an almost empty tank and leaving it in 3rd gear while booting it down the motorway!! So l did and its not happened since. Search wikipedia and you'll find these VW engines are particularly prone to limp mode. I also use Millers additive now each time l fill up. No more limp mode in the last 17 months.
     
  7. mac music

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    humm interesting do you have a link to the additive you use ?
     
  8. mac music

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  9. bigsacs

    bigsacs Active Member

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    It's probably also worth saying l was doubtful l'd keep the car after my limp mode encounters but following the 'booting' the whole engine seemed much crisper and loads more responsive. I'm now enjoying how the car accelerates and my own garage recommends using Forte (£14) at every service. I later found out it had been a mobility car which was used only in town for shopping!!!!
     
  10. mac music

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    i had a same situation i think, my 2006 only had 28000 on it when i got it and the turbo vanes were stuck , ended up getting a new turbo paid for by the trader i bought it from , fitted by my local indie vw seat place,

    it seems poodling around trying to get the best possible mpg is the worst thing you can do , every once in a while a heavy right foot and S mode on the dsg are called for !
     
  11. bigsacs

    bigsacs Active Member

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    mac music, absolutely agree with the poodling around bit, these diesels need to be worked to heat up the innards and blow through all the crud from the fuel. I had a 1999 diesel Espace and did over 100k without a moments bother but this Altea and a Nissan Pathfinder l drive at work and even a friends Vectra have suffered from Limp Mode. It seems to affect more modern diesels more than older less fuel efficient ones.
     
  12. mac music

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    its making the simple engines more complicated i have heard that there are loads of unsold diesel cars in germany cause people are not wanting the agro of dpf filters etc

    we had a polo blue motion so economical but every once in a while it need a 30 mile thrash in fourth gear with out stopping so all the money you saved went up in smoke or not if the dpf once was hot !
     
  13. dhart600

    dhart600 Guest

    Quick and easy fix

    Ola
    Mine has being doing the same - bl**dy limp mode!!
    My garage (volksparts) that i've used for 20+ years recommended diesel treatment before changing the turbo

    I stuck in the Wurth diesel treatment and give it a thrash for a while --- needless to say it has cured the problem (for a tenner in old english pounds)

    Put it in with just a small amount of diesel though!!

    Failing that - inotec od a turbo cleaner at around 40 quid
    Saves a fortune when the only thing wrong is a flat plate with soot on it (would you spend £1000 on your oven cleaner!!!!)

    Try it first before the garage takes your hard earned






     
  14. Devoured1

    Devoured1 Active Member

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    Whilst I don't seem to have a limp mode problem I decided to buy some Forte Diesel treatment and use it as a preventative, I'm not one for thrashing around in the car and like to get as much mpg as I can. Earlier posts have said to add it to a nearly empty tank, is a quarter full tank empty enough? Also, leaving it in third gear and booting it down the motorway!!!! Not sure I'm happy/comfortable doing that, what speed and for how far should that be done for?
    By the way I've got a 56 plate Altea Stylance 1.9TDi with 56k on the clock, any advice would be greatly appreciated,

    Allan.
     
    Hooter likes this.
  15. bigsacs

    bigsacs Active Member

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    Hi Allan, a quarter tank is fine. Take the car out and get it up to normal temperature, about 90 degrees, then stop and add it to the fuel tank. I found about 70 in 3rd gear was enough to work the engine hard enough. I'm amazed how many times without thinking l changed up a gear! I did about 30 miles in total. Like you the thought of thrashing the engine didn't appeal too much but the transformation has been total. On the way to work l drive up a steep hill and always boot it as my contribution to keeping the engine in fine form. Apart from that l drive carefully and get mid 50's MPG. After booting it don't just pull over and stop the engine. Let it tick over for a minute to help it cool down. Good luck. No doubt some SEAT Guru will be along shortly to expand on this.
     
    Hooter likes this.
  16. Devoured1

    Devoured1 Active Member

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    Thanks Big, I've a 75 mile trip tomorrow so will give it a go, after doing the 30 mile blast will then have appx 30 odd miles of normal driving for the engine to cool down,will post what the outcome is, if indeed there is any,

    Allan.
     
  17. alyweb

    alyweb Active Member

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    Glad I found this article. I bought a Seat Altea Sport 2.0 TDI 140 about a month back. Driving home up the motorway from the garage, I thought 'what nail have I bought here?!' as it struggled to accelerate and get over 70. It's only happened once before, but after pulling over and starting it up it was fine.

    I too have 'an owl' hooting somewhere in the engine!! Shall definately try some of that Forte cleaner.
     
  18. Hooter

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    Thanks guys, all your comments have been very enlightening. I first hit this problem in my Altea 2 days ago. On the A38 near Burton on Trent dropped out of cruise control for a 60 speed restriction. I noticed something happened but I wasn’t sure what it was. At the end of the restrictions, I tried to get back up to 70, no dice. Top Gear would have recorded it as 0-60 in 3 weeks. I had never heard of ”limp home mode”, it did resemble how the car had been 9 months before when there had been a split in a turbo hose only she wasn't making a smoke screen. No power, not too bad downhill. No warning lights. Once she was switched off and we started again off she went like a rocket. Yesterday, a diagnostic check showed no fault so my BIL and I were bamboozled.

    It has happened twice more though not the finish of the original journey. Ishall try the additive path before she goes for her service, glo plug replacement in 2 weeks, though my nearest motorway/dual carriageway is 20 miles away!
     
  19. SeatJay

    SeatJay Active Member

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    Mine does it every now and then but never constantly. One of those irritating niggley things although it did throw up an error code of over boost.
     

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