2000 Skoda Fabia Elegance 1.4 16v from UK and Ireland


A basically good car, but over laden with unreliable electronics


Like hundreds of other Fabia (VW and Seat) owners, my Fabia suffers the same power steering problems and headlight flickering. Skoda dealers offer a variety of solutions that invariably provide them with work and profit, but do not solve the problem. The most disturbing aspect is that SKODA UK refuse to accept that these problems exist. They just tell you to go to a SKODA dealer who will deal with it.

Below is a letter sent to the MD of Skoda UK drawing his attention to the varied problems encountered by Fabia owners. I stressed that the current Skoda policy of ignoring such common faults and merely telling owners to visit a Skoda dealer was not working because Skoda dealers do not have a common view on what rectification is necessary.

Mr Hazlewood does not think this matter deserves his attention and he passed my letter onto a lesser mortal who replied with the following suggestion:

"The issues you experience with your car can only be resolved by taking the vehicle to your nearest Skoda retailer."

We continue to go round in circles (assuming the steering angle sensor is still working)

General Comments:

Robert Hazlewood - Director

Skoda UK

Selecta Post 34


S97 3FA.

26th. October 2009.

Dear Mr Hazlewood.

Re Skoda Fabia Mk1 6Y AUB.

Why is Skoda UK so reluctant to pass on information about or even admit to common problems afflicting the vehicles they produce.

Several requests to Skoda UK to provide the benefit of their experience and research have failed to obtain any result other than “ please visit a Skoda dealer and ask them”.

The two principle problems that are affecting numerous Fabias across Europe are:

• Erratic power steering from almost no assistance to too much. Power steering warning light comes on for no apparent reason.

• Both dip and main beam headlamps flicker with varying intensity at idle and with power on.

The Skoda dealer who has serviced my wifes’ Fabia said that a new battery was all that was required to solve both problems. He sold me one but it made no difference.

There are a wide range of suggested remedies from renewing steering angle sensors to replacing the steering pumps power cables and even wiring looms.

Skoda has certainly been advised of these problems from many sources and dealt with some under warranty. Skoda has no need to hide or deny existence of these problems. Most Skoda drivers are grown up and recognise that engineering, quality control and mass production do not always produce the perfect product. I am not seeking financial compensation. I do think you should share the results of your investigations with your customers and advise them on what course of action has proved most successful in resolving these common problems.

The last time I spoke to your office re this matter they gave the impression that because our Fabia is nine years old neither they nor I should expect the car to still operate satisfactorily.

It is because my Wife has had good service from this vehicle since new that she wishes to continue using it.

Many Skoda owners will be even happier if you share your knowledge with them.

Yours sincerely.

Brian Hennessey.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th November, 2009

6th Nov 2009, 10:19

I see Volkswagen's influence on Skoda has now extended to their customer service department too.

6th Nov 2009, 16:40

God, I am so glad I don't have to bother with VW any more, you have my sympathy mate, get a Honda and you get a car you can drive other places and not just to the dealer.

2000 Skoda Fabia Classic 1.4 MPI from UK and Ireland


Honest and amicable!


Problems driving when cold – the engine struggles to tick over, and loss of power is so drastic that the car is virtually undrivable. Within a few spluttery minutes, however, everything is back to normal! I thought my local garage had fixed this, until the problem returned a few days ago.

Rattling engine is apparently not serious and due to a camchain tensioner that needs replacing. I am currently waiting for a replacement part to arrive from Germany so this can be fixed.

Slow coolant loss, needs topping up every few weeks or so.

Temperature gauge is erratic – it never seems to move off cold, although if you switch the engine off and then re-start it, the needle tends to be either ¼ or ½ way along.

Rear windscreen washer has stopped working.

Petrol cap won’t shut properly.

Headlights dim slightly when maneuvering at low speed.

Front and rear Skoda badges have fallen off!

General Comments:

Despite the above problems, I am delighted with my little blue Skoda. I bought the Fabia for less than half its market value through the motor trade - a little bit rough around the edges, in need of a (very) good clean and a service, but a bargain nonetheless.

Overall I think it’s a good-looking, highly amicable little supermini.

Considering the car is almost 9 years old and has done over 80,000 miles, I’m impressed with how solid it still feels. The VW build quality really comes through. Some may dislike the vast areas of plastic on the dash, but I rather like the clean, functional and modern look it has.

The Fabia feels composed and well-balanced on the road, as long as you drive it carefully. The steering is well-weighted too. The seat and the steering wheel are both adjustable and despite being 6ft 4 I quickly found a totally comfortable driving position.

Once it gets over its (frankly quite annoying) cold starting problem, it drives pretty much perfectly. You have to rev the little 1.4 MPI engine to get any kind of performance out of it, but the car seems to take everything you throw at it in its stride. Despite having a non-existent service history between 20,000 and 80,000 miles, the engine still seems to purr along (and rattles a bit) perfectly happily.

My car is the basic Classic trim with winder windows, no central locking and no sunroof. Surprisingly, I do have air conditioning. Apparently this is unusual for this trim level.

The only thing I would say is that the fuel economy is slightly disappointing – I usually get around 40mpg on a long run. I know this is by no means bad. But considering it is not a very powerful car, I was hoping for a bit more economy from such a small and fairly modern engine.

Overall I would say it’s an honest, inexpensive supermini that feels composed on the road, well put-together and easy to drive. It's also not expensive to run, so far. I would imagine it would make an excellent learner or first car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2009

7th Aug 2010, 07:24

Hi there.

I have the exact same car, bought this year (2010) with low mileage. It's perfect. Was just letting you know that it isn't a modern engine. The MPI engines are Skodas original engines, which were in the Felicia model before VW bought them over, so it's Skoda's technology. Nothing wrong with that.

It has been bullet proof so far, but is not very economical. It ticks over to stalling point at idle due to regulations and restrictions placed on the management system to get it through the CO2 emissions test.

Kind regards.