Over the last 20 years, Skoda has offered many trouble-free and cheap-to-repair engines. We recommend the best of them – both gasoline and diesel. Used Skoda cars enjoy unwavering popularity in several countries.
When looking for a car for themselves, many buyers ask themselves about the best Skoda engines. This applies to both gasoline and diesel engine. Durable engine are not lacking under Skoda bonnets.
Not only that – the least successful engines (e.g. 1.4 TSI having problems with the timing drive or 1.8 / 2.0 TSI burning oil) are not very popular at all. They went to quite expensive versions that sold at a moderate pace. The most popular of the failed engines is the 2.0 TDI PD diesel.
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Below we present engines that are economical, durable and possibly cheap to repair. We emphasize that the “armor” of the engines was not the only selection criterion. We also point out successful and popular engines on the secondary market that have some drawbacks. Unfortunately, these cannot be avoided with the increasing pressure to improve exhaust gas purity, reduce fuel consumption or increase power.
1. 1.0 MPI engine (EA211) – naturally aspirated engine with indirect fuel injection
The basic source of power in Citigo and Fabia. The engine is available in versions developing 60 and 75 HP and 95 Nm. You can confidently choose the weaker of them, because the differences in power are the result of changes in the software of the engine controlling the engine – electronic tuning is enough to release the missing 15 HP.
The 1.0 MPI engine is not a speed demon, but it is enough for a smooth ride, consuming about 5 l / 100 km. To get dynamics out of it, the tachometer needle must be driven beyond 4000 rpm. Even then, fuel consumption does not start to increase drastically. Indirect fuel injection and hydraulic valve lifters facilitate the installation of the gas system (there are many cars on the market with a factory-fitted LPG system).
The 1.0 MPI gasoline engine withstands mileage well. Among the cars for sale, you can find cars with mileage in excess of 200,000 km. km. The record holder we found had over 360,000 km. Burning of oil occurs sporadically, and between lubricant changes you need to add a few “hundreds” or the oil level on the dipstick does not drop below the minimum level.
The biggest problem with the 1.0 MPI engine turned out to be the 5-speed gearbox connected to it. In some cars produced before 2014, the gear ratios (in particular, the “one” and “reverse” gears) come in with drag and a hitch, and sometimes even scratch. It mainly concerned cars from the first years of production.
2. 1.0 TSI engine (EA211) – turbocharged, with direct fuel injection
Downsizing isn’t always bad, as evidenced by the 1.0 TSI engine – found on the Fabia, Rapiga, and even the Octavia. In Skoda, it replaced the 1.2 TSI engine with a weak timing chain, which in turn replaced the older, naturally aspirated 1.6.
In the most powerful version, the 1.0 TSI engine offers 115 HP and 200 Nm. It just seems like a lot. Many variants of the 2.0 TSI engine have higher parameters per liter of capacity. For now, however, car mileages are too low to assess the durability of the crank-piston system or other engine components.
Among the cars offered for sale, you can find those that have driven a maximum of 160,000 km. km. Usually, however, the mileage is lower, and there are still no reports of serious breakdowns. The ailment in the form of large amounts of oil burning, known from older TSI engines, does not yet occur in the 1.0 TSI.
The common feature of 1.0 MPI / TSI engines is the timing belt drive. Depending on the model, as well as the brand, the replacement interval was determined by companies belonging to the Volkswagen Group at over 200,000. km, recommending only prior checks of its condition (when introducing the engine, it was even said that the service life of the belt corresponded to the assumed period of use of the vehicle).
Considering that a brand-name belt replacement with a roller and tensioner can be purchased for about $86, it is worthwhile to shorten the period between replacements as a preventive measure. The coolant pump is driven by a belt from the exhaust valve shaft.
As a replacement, it costs $53-$86. Most of the vibrations accompanying the operation of the three-cylinder engine are absorbed by the airbags. Their replacement will be faster than in cars with larger engines. You have to pay $53-$58 for engine pillow replacements.
3. 1.4 16V engine – the entry-level gasoline engine in many models
Although in many base models the engine was a three-cylinder 1.2 HTP, due to the low work culture, poor performance, relatively high fuel consumption and a few problems (e.g. problems with the cylinder head), buyers were more willing to buy the 1.4 16V engine.
The engine had a slight mishap at the beginning of production – in the 75 HP version it was able to freeze the accumulating water emphysema, which led to the oil being pushed through the oil dipstick hole. The engines have been improved or improved as part of a service action.
Since then, 1.4 16V engine are very brave in driving smaller Skodas. In some engines there is the so-called piston slap, i.e. the knocking of pistons before reaching operating temperature. You cannot forget about frequent oil level checks – in cars with higher mileage it starts to burn. Malfunctions also affect sensors, e.g. liquid temperature.
The power level (75, 80, 86 or 101 HP) does not significantly affect the dynamics in everyday use. All engines offered 126-132 Nm developed at quite high revolutions. The engine was used in 1999-2015.
The 1.4 16V engine should not be confused with the archaic 1.4 8V OHV Skoda (fitted to the Fabia I and Octavia I), which was a development of the aged 1.3 Czech engine, and has problems, e.g. with timing chain, coils and oil leaks.
4. 1.4 TSI (EA211) engine – successor to the unsuccessful 1.4 TSI (EA111)
Repeated problems with the poor durability of the tensioner and timing chain, oil burning, and even piston cracking meant that the 1.2 / 1.4 TSI engines from the EA111 family tarnished the image of Volkswagen’s gasoline engine, which were also offered by Skoda.
A completely new deal is the 1.4 TSI EA211 engine with belt timing. We will find her, among others in Octavia III, Superbie III, as well as Rapida and Yeti after facelift. For now, the mileage of cars is not monstrous, but it is already known that without unpleasant surprises, the 1.4 TSI engine is able to cover over 200,000 kilometers. km.
The problems that arise are limited to accidental failures of accessories (e.g. sensors), sometimes oil burning (however, it is not as powerful as in the unsuccessful 1.8 / 2.0 TSI engines in this respect).In order to enjoy the 1.4 TSI engine for many years, you may be tempted to change the oil more often.
Especially when the car is used primarily in the urban cycle, 30 thousand. km between changes may turn out to be destructive, e.g. for the valve timing variator, turbocharger or shorten the life of the bushings.
The 1.4 TSI engine is available in versions that differ in power, which is largely due to the driver settings – chip tuning will release a lot of power (especially in the variant generating 125 HP).
Attention! You have to check exactly which engine works under the hood of the car you are interested in. While in the Octavia III or Superbie III all 1.4 TSI are EA211, in Rapida or Yeti until 2015 EA111 was installed, and then EA211 (the difference that can be found in the registration certificate are the capacity, respectively 1390 cm³ and 1395 cm³).
5. 1.6 MPI 8V engine – works perfectly on LPG, it is cheap to repair
For those who are not aware of the subject, the high offer prices of the Octavia with 1.6 MPI engines may come as a surprise. Sellers, however, know very well that sooner or later they will find a buyer for the car. The inactive engine works perfectly with gas installations, which, together with its simple structure and extensive base of replacements, translates into symbolic costs of maintaining the vehicle.
The subsequent ease of resale is also important – most drivers attach the greatest importance to the cost of maintaining the vehicle, not its performance, so anyone willing to buy a car with a 1.6 8V engine under the hood will always be found.
The pool of common 1.6 MPI engine faults is limited. These include oil leaks, burned out coils and dirty throttles. During the inspection and test drive, it is worth paying attention to the color of the exhaust gases. Some 1.6 MPI engines have worn piston rings – the repair cost will be more than fitting a used engine.
In Skoda, the 1.6 MPI engine remembers the times of Felicia and Octavia I. Modernized versions of this engine went to Octavia I and Octavia II, in which the engine ended its career only in 2013. Do not delete the 1.6 16V engine found in Fabia or Roomster.
It is also successful and works well with gas installations, but there are sometimes coil failures or dirty throttle.Neither of these engines should be confused with the Octavia II’s 1.6 FSI, a naturally aspirated direct injection engine that is unlikely to be equipped with gas.
6. 1.8T (1.8 Turbo) engine – flexible, dynamic, LPG-tolerant
One of the best gasoline engines available in the Octavia I and Superbie I was the Audi engine 1.8 T. It was available in Octavia until 2010. The supply of such configured cars on the secondary market is limited, but well-kept vehicles with documented mileage sell out quickly, although their prices are usually far from attractive (especially the 180 hp Octavia RS).
Potential buyers know that it is a dynamic and tunable engine that consumes approx. 8.5 l / 100 km (which is not much more than the weak 1.6 8V engine). What’s more, the engine works perfectly with gas installations, and a good supply of spare parts reduces service expenses.
The weak points of the 1.8 T engine are the thermostat or the average lifetime of the coils and the chain connecting the camshafts. It is worth remembering that the main timing drive is carried out by a belt that is periodically replaced. Workshops are perfectly familiar with the 1.8 Turbo engine, so they will be able to estimate the costs of necessary service activities.
7. 1.6 TDI engine – diesel even better than the legendary 1.9 TDI
The 1.6 TDI diesel provides comparable dynamics to the 1.9 TDI, but is more fuel-efficient, and thanks to Common Rail power and hydraulic mounting bolts, it is quieter and less vibrating. The accessories are quite complicated ( Common Rail with piezoelectric injectors, EGR, soot filter ), but the 1.6 TDI diesel does not disappoint with its durability.
Probably this is due to the not too thin construction – for example in the 1.6 TDI EA189 diesel injection system there is a pressure of 1600 bar, while in the newer 1.6 TDI EA288 – 2000 bar. The reserves mean that chip tuning brings good gains in power and torque. In Skoda with 1.6 TDI EA189 engines, DPF and dual mass flywheel have moderate durability.
Users of such cars also remind about the need to refuel with good quality fuel and shorten its filter replacement – book 180 thousand. km is definitely too much. The aforementioned 1.6 TDI EA288 diesel made its debut in 2012. It was intended for models based on the MQB plate, but it was successively installed also in older cars (for example, it appeared in Rapida in 2015).
8. 1.9 TDI engine – indestructible turbodiesel
Probably everyone has heard the legends about the 1.9 TDI diesel, which is dynamic, armored, cheap to repair and can burn almost anything. It was built by 90- and 110-horsepower VP engines, i.e. equipped with an injection pump, which Skoda offered in the Octavia I until 2005, but successively introduced from 2000 more modern 1.9 TDI PD engines with engine injectors.
In addition to the 1.9 TDI VP, the 1.9 SDI (Octavia, Fabia) naturally aspirated diesels are also truly armored. However, it is better not to be prepared to buy them. The available cars are not only 20 years old, but also have a monstrous mileage (often over 0.5-0.7 million km) and years of neglect.
For the same reasons, it is worth approaching the more noisy and harder working 1.9 TDI PD with engine injectors. A well-groomed car is more likely to be found. There is no chance for this – especially among cheap cars with no service history, you can find models whose real mileage exceeds 0.5 million km, which means that it will be necessary to regenerate the turbocharger or engine injectors.
When deciding to buy a car with a diesel engine produced after 2005 (e.g. marked with the BXE code), it is worth considering the prophylactic replacement of the bushings. The factory ones are not an example of durability, and turning it destroys the engine.
The youngest Skoda 1.9 TDI diesel comes from 2010. Then the engine disappeared from the hoods of Octavia I / II, Fabia II, Roomster and Superba II, and its place was taken by a successful 1.6 TDI diesel.
9. 2.0 TDI CR engine – improved successor to the 2.0 TDI PD
In larger Skoda models – eg Octavia II, Yeti or Superbie II, the main source of driving power are the 2.0 TDI CR diesel engines with Common Rail. This engine, introduced from the turn of 2007 and 2008, replaced the flawed 2.0 TDI PD (EA188), in which the engine injectors failed, the heads broke and there was seizure caused by the lack of lubrication ( the oil pump drive was wiped off ).
Thanks to the Common Rail power supply, the newer engine has a higher work culture than its predecessor. At the same time, it is economical and dynamic.
There is no need to count on the low mileage of the available cars – the real ones often exceed 300,000. km. Some of the vehicles come from fleets where they were intensively used. Many cars also came from Germany, where annual mileage amounts to 40,000 km are nothing shocking.
However, this value on the odometer is not a judgment for the engine. After purchase, it will require more service control – including checking the oil pump drive (it wipes, but not as much as in the 2.0 TDI PD), and it is possible that also replacing the EGR, DPF, turbocharger or dual-mass flywheel.
The biggest blow to the pocket may be the defect of the injectors, which are piezoelectric, so it is more about replacing them than regenerating them. Skoda users with 2.0 TDI CR diesel engines recommend frequent fuel filter changes and refueling with good-quality diesel fuel.