29th Nov 2010, 07:09

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one! I bought my Ibiza in 2004 with 39,000 on the clock.

After about a year of having it, a new pedal box, clutch and gearbox went in. Luckily it was under warranty, so I paid nothing.

After that, I had no problems until the beginning of this year. Alternator went, so replaced it, then in Feb this year, oil and engine management light came on flashing whilst driving, and I couldn't pull over in time to find out what the problems were, and the engine blew! Apparently they are also known for the oil pump to stop working, so engine was knackered, that was at 127,000, so done OK I suppose. So luckily got another engine cheap; got that fitted, but still having problems since.

Pedal box has gone again, and clutch and cable. I had my pedal box welded, and seems to have done the job so far.

A new power steering pump.

Now the temp. gauge goes up in traffic, and goes back down whilst driving, so as you can imagine it's freezing at the moment, as the heater works better when thermostat works properly.

Also, all the dials on the dashboard stick when turning the car off, then reset when turning it back on.

I have no central locking anymore.

Also the car runs very ropey when damp or wet. I think they do have an electrical fault, as my engine management light has come back on, but can't go and get a diagnostic, as where you plug the machine in, there is a fault with the socket.

I'm starting to feel the gears getting stiff, so what shall I do? It's on 141000 now, so maybe it's time to say goodbye I think.

3rd Jan 2011, 10:50

I've had a 1.4 Chill for about 7 years. Until last year I've never really had any problems. Done the usual change of exhaust, brake pads, and filters.

Had some minor electrical problems, last year I kept getting an engine management light on. I took it to my local mechanic who reset it and it was fine for a few weeks. It came back on and when off whenever it felt like it, for the last 6 months it's been off.

I have also in the last two months had problems with the wipers staring on their own, this was probably due to the extreme low temperatures playing with my electrics. I did book it in for a service where we discovered a split air pipe which cost nothing to fix. After the service, my mechanic loosened my clutch a bit and since then I get grinding when I release the clutch, it was stiff when I got it but I'd got used to it. He's quoted me around £200 if it goes.

In all honesty I would recommend getting one as mine hardly ever got serviced and it's on 71000 miles and other than a little grinding, it's doing fine.

My Mrs picks up her new Ibiza in two days!

30th Jan 2011, 12:55

Hi everyone, I have read all the comments on this site with great interest, and I have to say I am astonished at the level of gearbox and clutch problems, along with all the other items.

First my daughter, and then me, have owned our 1.4 Chill since new in March 2002 (current mileage 80.000). I carry out all my own service and most repairs, so the operating costs have been minimal.

Apart from the consumable items; brakes, filters, tyres and similar, I have only replaced the radiator at 70.000, but this appeared to be damage rather than failure and the rear silencer, yes a very heavy clutch, I was just thinking about replacing it, but having read all the comments, I think I will live with it until it starts to slip.

After all, these cars are VW Polo's in drag, so where has all the unreliability come from?

I would also say my youngest daughter ran a 2 litre CUPRA SPORT for several years, using it in rallies and similar heavy usage; the car was virtually unbreakable. She now has a LEON FR, so would we buy another, absolutely yes, we have found them to be great cars.


I have not changed my mind from the foregoing comments, BUT I have had a read a chunk of the VW Polo site, and OMG, they seem to be worse than the Ibiza, so I can see where the problems arise.

Best of luck to all.

1st Feb 2011, 14:40

My son has a Seat Ibiza 2000. Guess what, the clutch is stiff and the radio comes on by itself.

19th Feb 2011, 17:15

Clutch problems and engine light problem... BUT that's it.

Clutch seems to have a higher bite than most cars, but it's fine really.

Good solid car, seeing as it has done 82000, it's running well, good engine.

15th Jul 2011, 14:48

Same problems. Stiff clutch. Stiff power steering. Engine management light stays on. Still getting used to the car, but can cope with it at the moment. Comments are scary though.

2nd Dec 2011, 07:41

I have recently brought a Seat Ibiza 1.4 (3 days ago), and was very pleased with it till I read all these problems, and now I am worried.

My clutch is mega stiff as well, but if it's something I'll have to put up with, and it's a typical problem, then it will be fine. A bit scared though, LOL.

8th Mar 2012, 16:33

I got my girlfriend a 1999 1.4 Cool/S. It was a cheap banger at £500.

From the receipts, I could see the previous owner had paid a lot to have the gearbox rebuilt, so I wasn't surprised when I then had to rebuild the gearbox again, as the pinion bearings fail pretty regularly, and the clutch thrust bearing guide had also cracked.

10000 miles later, the gearbox is making those same nasty noises, so I guess it's gone, and needs new bearings again.

The model 085 gearboxes in these and the Polo are prone to eating pinion bearings. Also the display on the radio half works, and you can't replace it because the air con controls are part of it.

I really regret buying this; Polo or not, it's a lemon for sure.

20th Mar 2012, 20:20

I got a 1.4 Seat Ibiza Chill 2002 5 doors (petrol) with 75000 miles about 4 days ago for 780 quid. Thought it was a decent deal, what do you lot think? (read further first)

The exhaust is now leaking, so it sounds a bit loud, and the engine now sounds like a diesel (which I heard is kinda normal for these cars). The clutch is unusually high (I don't know if that means it is stiff or not), the gears are a bit loose, but work fine. The ambient temperature sensor doesn't read anything, so I guess that will affect the climate control function.

If anyone has had any of these problems, could you estimate how much each would take to repair? The car still drives fine (starts once), and the electricals are fine as well.

And also, how I could replace and reprogram the key fob?

20th May 2012, 13:06

I have had my Seat Ibiza Chill 2002 1.4 for 8 years now!

I love my car, but my bank account doesn't.

To list just a few; 3 clutches, gearbox, shock absorbers, wishbones, driver's window fell in so new window mechanism, new door handle. Fuel sensors gone twice. HT leads. And now can't remember the rest of the repairs, plus the usual wear and tear on top of this too.

Oh, and it's a juicy car on fuel.