/ Should I have the VW software fix?

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Pedro50 on 14 Jul 2017
Actually it's a Skoda, however they have now written to say they want to do the emissions scandal software fix. Should I accept it? There are some horror stories circulating re reduced performance etc. and some about the car suddenly going into "limp" mode. I am currently happy so why bother or will it make it unsaleable if I decline? - not that i was planning to get rid of it any time soon. Any views? Thanks.
George Fisher - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

If it was me and I was happy I wouldn't get it done.

(I used to write Diesel engine management software for VW-Audi group cars, albeit my time predates the current engine lineup)

robhorton - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I had it done (on a 2l passat) about a year ago and haven't noticed any difference. Your mileage may vary etc...
Pedro50 on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to robhorton:

Your mileage may vary etc...

Thanks. Are you implying mpg may decline? In which case a cast iron reason to decline.

sdw7300 - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I had it done about a year ago as the car (Seat Exeo 2.0tdi) had to go into Seat for something else. I haven't noticed any difference performance / MPG etc.
Toerag - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

What does the fix actually do? If it simply stops the ability to artificially lower emissions under certain conditions used in emissions testing then there's no point.
Pedro50 on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Toerag:

Yep that is part of my thinking too. Thanks
Tony & Sarah - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

the modification to the ea189 engine software is actually more involved than a delete of the cheat software, the fuelling map is changed & on the 1600 engines new gas flow straighteners are added to the induction system. In independent tests, slight increase in fuel consumption has been shown.
There have been a number of complaints about poor low speed acceleration especially in the 2 litre VW tiogan.
Skoda owners website has more on this (even more than Richie Simpson incident )
LastBoyScout on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

It got done on mine when I had it MOTd in November - Audi A3 2.0.

I do very little mileage in that car and haven't looked at the receipts yet to calculate fuel consumption, but the dash computer suggests it's a little better on MPG and it "feels" better to drive.
LastBoyScout on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Toerag:

The cheat artificially lowered the emissions if the CPU detected a test situation, because the real-world emissions were too high.

The update is to remove the cheat mode and change the map to get the real-world emissions down to legal levels.

In short, without the fix, you'll still be coughing out illegal levels of pollutants.
strudles - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

We had our 2010 VW tiguan done, immediately the engine felt rough and within 2 weeks it had a coolant leak followed by an EGR failure (coolant was leaking into the EGR)

total cost was in the £2k range but VW paid pretty quickly followed by letter saying it wasn't anything to do with the fix !

however if you google it you will find hundreds of examples of the same story. it seems the fix significantly increases the load on the EGR valve so in older cars it instantly fails:

wish we never had it done, it caused a lot of hassle and the car stranded on the other side of the country.. It must devalue the car too.. our VW was low mileage with full service history with VW too..

Swig - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I booked mine in for the EA189 update yesterday. Octavia 1.6 TDI.

I can't ignore the fact that it should reduce emissions. If that means a small degradation in performance then so be it I suppose.

But - if it causes a massive amount of grief and Skoda can't fix it then there are plenty of companies who will remap it.

I also joined the class action lawsuit
Swig - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to strudles:

Hmmm, maybe have to see how this thing is affecting people a bit more before deciding whether to turn up on 19 September!
ogreville on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

Don't do it.

I put my VW 1.6 Diesel in for the fix and within 6 weeks an fuel injector went. Broke down on the Motorway!
Took it to the Dealership and they brokered a deal with VW to pay 100% of the bill - £650 as a 'gesture of goodwill'. When I asked if the failure was related to the Fix, they said no, and explained it as 'parts fail sometimes'.
My friend has the same vehicle, same year, got the same fix and the same part failed within 6 weeks. He paid the £650 as he wasn't aware of any connection.

My question is, why did VW pay my bill? What do they know that they're not telling us? A business doesn't go chucking £650 of lost income away unless thy're hiding something.

I don't know enough about engines to be knowledgeable, but it's logical if the engine was designed to run based on a certain configuration, with the old software, then a re-mapping will alter the dynamic and could mean that the stresses and strains on certain parts could be different, causing premature failures.

My advice - Leave it another year until it all comes out in the wash.
Pedro50 on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Swig:

Thank you for all your replies, very helpful. I intend to postpone the fix indefinitely I think. If this causes continuing excessive emissions, well tough, I do normally try to behave in a reasonably green way.
Martin W on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> > Your mileage may vary etc...

> Thanks. Are you implying mpg may decline?

"Your mileage may vary" has been a standard form of words on the Internet dating back to Usenet days. It simply means "your experience may not be the same as mine". It is often abbreviated to YMMV. (I believe it derives from car adverts in the US where mpg figures would be quoted with that caveat.) I don't think that robhorton meant it literally in this instance.

I'm not going to have the fix done to my Yeti - I will make a point of telling the dealer not to do it when the car's next service is due. AFAIAC the car runs fine. The cheat is all about making the car do odd things when placed in the artificial situation of the laboratory emissions test. It's entirely unclear whether it makes any difference in real world driving. It's generally recognised - with supporting data collected by regulatory agencies and academic institutions - that the laboratory emissions tests aren't a good guide to emissions in real world driving. (But that didn't stop a recent shock horror "VW cars that have been fixed still emit high levels of NOx" story appearing in at least one newspaper recently. Next week's exclusive revelation will presumably centre on the defecatory habits of bears. Or Popes. I lose track sometimes. Aaaanyway...)

I've seen it asserted that the cheat wasn't even required to pass the EURO 5 test, only the more stringent US test, but VW were told to take it out anyway because it shouldn't have been there at all. (This reminds me of Bennetton's launch control software that was "present in the ECU but not activated" - they got away with that.) I've also seen it said that many of the faults that people report are due to poor implementation of the fix, and at least one reference to a key step often being missed out (this latter from a Yeti owner who had problems after the fix, who then found a mechanic who knew how it should have been done and got the car working properly again - yeah, I know, it's only anecdotal.)

As my car runs fine, and I've no evidence or reason to believe that the fix will make any difference to its emissions in day-to-day use, I am taking the stance of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

I doubt whether not having the fix will make much difference to a car's resale value. It might even enhance its appeal to buyers who are paranoid about the fix. Anyone who buys an 'unfixed' car can get it done for free by a dealer if they want to. (My understanding is that any second hand vehicle sold through the dealer network will be fixed before sale.)
Martin W on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to LastBoyScout:
> In short, without the fix, you'll still be coughing out illegal levels of pollutants.

No you won't. There are (currently) no legal limits on NOx emissions in 'real-world' conditions: it's all down to the lab test. It has been found that some vehicles which pass the lab test can have worse emissions in real-world driving than some VAG vehicles which passed the test by cheating - but that doesn't make them 'illegal' because there is no such legal limit. A VAG car which hasn't had the fix is still perfectly legal to drive. The DVSA have even gone on record as saying so.

Up until fairly recently there was no practical way to measure emissions from a moving vehicle, which is one reason why all regulations currently in force are based on testing under laboratory conditions. Now that some smart folks have come up with ways to gather emissions data on the move, the next challenge is to design a regulatory regime based on 'real-world' driving which is repeatable and consistent. The closer you get to the variable and unpredictable conditions encountered when driving in the "real world", the harder that is. But, as regulatory bodies all around the world already know all too well, the more closely you define how testing must be carried out, the easier it is for manufacturers to tweak their designs to perform well under those defined conditions. They don't necessarily have to go as far as actively cheating like VW did. It is, for example, widely accepted that manufacturers tune their engines and drive trains to give the best mpg at the precise speeds and gears specified for the fuel consumption tests.
Post edited at 15:33
Emily_pipes - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Martin W:

My partner has a 2013 Passat and had the fix done when he got the letter from VW. It didn't seem to effect the car immediately, but about six months later, I was car hunting and did a load of research on Tiguans and Yetis. I discovered that allegedly fix-related problems with VAG cars were common and a quick Google search for "VAG emissions fix problems" gives you hours' worth of reading.

Several months after that, we noticed a significant increase in the Passat's fuel consumption and it often made the humming sound that cars make during a DPF regeneration. Before everything could go tits up (and we were about to drive the car the Alps!), he found a garage willing to unfix the fix. The car's MPG immediately returned to what it should be, and it's low speed acceration improved as well.
icnoble on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I won't be getting my Skoda Octavia fixed.

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