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Common problems with the Skoda Octavia

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 month ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • Repair
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WhoCanFixMyCar covers the most common Skoda Octavia faults, including average repair costs

The Octavia is by far Skoda’s best selling car. It has wide ranging appeal as an affordable family hatchback and a history of success spanning all the way back to 1996. Buying a Skoda Octavia is, by this measure, a good decision. 

However, buying a car is one thing, and owning it for a number of years is another. That’s why it’s important to take into consideration any known faults with a particular vehicle model before making a purchase.

What common problems does the Skoda Octavia experience?

Generally, Skoda Octavias have a strong reputation with regards to reliability, but a few common problems have come to light over the years relating to:


Skoda Octavia 1996 to 2003 faults

The first generation Skoda Octavia was an immediate hit thanks to its refinement, solidity and overall value for money, though it didn’t quite achieve the same popularity as its established competitors, the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra.

Here are three common problems with the Skoda Octavia, including how much a repair is likely to cost.

1. Faulty ECU

The engine control unit may make certain diesel engines lose power and efficiency. 

What repair is needed to fix an ECU fault?

The ECU can often be repaired by plugging it into a computer system and reprogramming it. This should always be done by a trained professional with the correct equipment. 

Based on data from the last two years, ECU repairs cost £87.21 on average for a Skoda Octavia when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

2. Stuck turbocharger

One of the most important things to check when buying a first generation Octavia is its service record. If the oil hasn’t been changed at regular intervals, the turbocharger could stick on both turbo diesel units due to excessive dirt.

What repair is needed to fix a turbocharger fault?

Turbochargers are extremely expensive to replace, so the best way to avoid this issue is to buy a model that has been properly looked after, and book an oil change regularly. The average cost of an oil change for a Skoda Octavia is £80.22 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

3. Worn timing belt

This issue is common in 1.8 20v engines. If the timing belt isn’t changed every 70,000 miles, it becomes so worn that it can cause serious engine damage.

What repair is needed to fix a timing belt fault?

The timing belt needs replacing when it becomes excessively worn. On average, this costs £353.89 for a Skoda Octavia when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.


2004 to 2013 Skoda Octavia faults

The second generation Skoda Octavia (which, despite having the silhouette of a saloon car, is actually a hatchback) came out in 2004 and was joined a year later by an estate version. That same year, Skoda added four-wheel drive versions of the Octavia to its lineup.

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Here are six issues associated with second gen Octavias.

1. Software problems

Some Octavias of this generation have software problems, so you should always check the engine warning lights switch off after the engine has started. This can also cause problems with the car’s electrical systems, so make sure everything is in working order before purchasing an Octavia. 

What repair is needed to fix a software fault?

The fault will need to be diagnosed - this costs £52.11 on average for an Octavia when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar - then the software in the car may need to be reprogrammed depending on the exact issue. 

2. Faulty door seals

The door seals in Octavias of this generation are prone to failure, allowing water to leak into the car.

What repair is needed to fix faulty door seals?

The door seals will either need to be fixed or replaced. This should be a quick and affordable job. It costs £47.99 on average to repair a Skoda Octavia leak according to WhoCanFixMyCar data.

3. Rear washer system leak

In some Octavias the rear washer system can leak, making the boot of the car wet inside. 

What repair is needed to fix a washer system fault?

It shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive to get a mechanic to patch up the leak. In fact, our data indicates the average cost is just £47.99. 

4. Blocked DPF

If you drive a diesel Octavia on too many short journeys, the engine doesn’t get hot enough to burn off excess soot, causing a build up in the diesel particulate filter. This results in symptoms such as decreased engine performance, stalling and uneven revs.

What repair is needed to fix a DPF fault?

It may be possible to fix the car with a DPF clean, which costs £145.27 on average for an Octavia when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar. However, if the blockage is too severe then a DPF replacement may be required.

5. DSG automatic gearbox failure

The DSG gearbox in automatic models tends to become less reliable over time, sometimes resulting in total failure. It may be uneconomical to repair at this stage.

What repair is needed to fix an automatic gearbox fault?

If the gearbox can be repaired, this is likely to be a very expensive job. On average, it costs £674.87 on average to repair a Skoda Octavia automatic gearbox according to WhoCanFixMyCar data.

6. Timing chain failure

Some Octavia owners have reported timing chain failure in 1.6 and 2.0 litre petrol engines. This is particularly worrying since the reported failures happened at relatively low mileage.

What repair is needed to fix a timing chain fault?

Replacing the timing chain is often extremely expensive. According to our data from 2021, the average cost is £816.96 for an Octavia.


Skoda Octavia 2014 to 2020 faults

In 2014, the Octavia underwent significant changes to make room for its sibling car, the Skoda Rapid, which was introduced as the compact family hatchback of the range. As a result, the Octavia became bigger - considerably bigger than the VW Golf - and more expensive.

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1. DSG automatic gearbox issues

Problems of this kind are reoccurring for the Octavia, so if you’re buying an automatic, make sure it can switch up and down between gears smoothly. 

What repair is needed to fix an automatic gearbox fault?

If the fault isn’t too serious, it might be possible to carry out a repair rather than replacing the whole gearbox. It costs £674.87 on average to repair a Skoda Octavia automatic gearbox according to WhoCanFixMyCar data.

2. Unreliable sat-nav system

Many drivers have reported minor electrical issues, often relating to the Octavia’s sat-nav system. 

What repair is needed to fix a sat-nav fault?

Taking your Octavia to a main dealer may be the best option if the built-in sat-nav isn’t working as it should. In general, electrical repairs cost £54.99 on average based on WhoCanFixMyCar data.

3. Manual child lock

The child lock may disengage without the driver being aware, giving occupants the opportunity to open the door from the inside and exit the vehicle. 

What repair is needed to fix a child lock fault?

Skoda recalled all affected models, so you should always make sure the necessary repairs were carried out. 

4. Rear wheel bearing

The housing that surrounds the rear wheel bearing could shatter. This is because, during manufacture, the metal wasn’t hardened properly. 

What repair is needed to fix an ECU fault?

Skoda issued a recall of affected vehicles; if yours is one of them and it hasn’t already been repaired, you’ll need to take it to a Skoda dealer. The average cost to replace a wheel bearing on a Skoda Octavia is £378.87 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

5. Slow airbag inflation

Some Octavias made during 2018 have airbags that don’t inflate quickly enough in the event of a collision. 

What repair is needed to fix an airbag fault?

A new airbag unit will need to be fitted by a dealer. According to our 2021 data, airbag repairs cost £130.25 on average.


Skoda Octavia 2020-present faults

This generation of the Octavia definitely represents a step upmarket, with more tech - including an impressive media system - and hybrid powertrains on offer too. Though all of this culminates in a slightly higher price tag, the car is still well positioned as an affordable alternative to certain models by the likes of VW.

1. Engine cover fault

The engine covers may be loose. If they become detached, there is a risk they could come into contact with extremely hot parts of the engine like the exhaust gas turbocharger, causing a risk of fire.

What repair is needed to fix an engine design cover fault?

The engine design covers will need to be properly secured. Skoda recalled affected models in 2021, so a repair should already have been carried out.

2. Faulty fuse

Some models manufactured between 2019 and 2021 may contain a defective fuse which could produce a voltage flashover into the interior, resulting in fire or an accident. 

What repair is needed to fix a faulty fuse?

The repair is fairly simple; the fuse just needs to be replaced. Again, Skoda recalled affected models, so the repair has likely already been carried out.

3. E-Call service fault

The E-Call service, which is designed to bring rapid assistance to motorists who have been involved in a collision, may not function properly in some Octavias. 

What repair is needed to fix an E-Call service fault?

Affected vehicles needs to be repaired by a dealer because Skoda issued a recall in 2020


Skoda Octavia recalls

Below you can find a list of recalls for each Octavia generation.

Skoda Octavia 1996-2003 recalls

Recall DateIssue
14-May-99Incorrect brake vacuum servo may have been fitted
25-Jun-01Fuel leakage concern
10-May-02Anti lock brake unit concern
26-Mar-03Brake vacuum supply pipe concern
31-Mar-03Rear window wiper may break

Skoda Octavia 2004 to 2013 recalls

Recall DateIssue
26-Aug-04Side air bag wiring may be incorrect
17-Feb-05Bolts of tandem fuel pump cover may break
14-Dec-09Clutch may operate inadvertently with unexpected loss of drive
15-Dec-11Fuel may leak

Skoda Octavia 2014 to 2020 recalls

Recall DateIssue
07-Jul-16Manual child locks may disengage without warning
28-Jun-17ABS/ESC system may fail
28-Nov-17Rear wheel bearing housing may be incorrectly manufactured
07-Feb-18Welded connection of rear seat bench may not have been correctly formed
15-Feb-19Airbag may not inflate quickly enough
22-Aug-19Camshaft adjustor housing bolts may come loose
12-Sep-19Primer may not have been added to rear window seals

Skoda Octavia 2020-present recalls

Recall DateIssue
05-Jun-20E-Call system may not be functional
23-Mar-22Engine compartment covers may become loose from attachments
07-Apr-22Fuse in plug-in hybrid vehicles produced with insufficient fire extinguishing sand

How many miles will a Skoda Octavia last?

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Skoda Octavias are known for lasting a long time while remaining relatively reliable, hence their popularity amongst taxi drivers. It isn’t uncommon to see a second hand Octavia with over 150,000 miles on the clock looking like it has plenty of life left in it. 

As with all vehicles, you can increase the lifespan of a Skoda Octavia by taking good care of it. This means driving with care and keeping up a regular servicing schedule.


Having problems with your Skoda Octavia? WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find the right garage at the right price.

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