Common SEAT problems

Recalls for SEAT vehicles in the UK do not happen too often, which is due to the fact they sell far less than its rivals. However, with sales increasing year-on-year over the past four years, all that could soon change. Having said that, if they stick to what they have been doing, then build quality could stay very high.

Common SEAT problems

We do know from time-to-time that SEAT has to issue a recall due to faults, but when they do the numbers are low, which is indicative of its overall sales. From what we know there are six models in the SEAT fleet, although limited edition models are being added every now and then, and so could be a chance for the company to let its guard down in terms of build quality.

Let’s say you have come across a problem with your SEAT Ibiza, LEON or ALTEA in the UK, then we ask that you share those with us in the comments below. However, if you do have a complaint, then we ask that you reach out to SEAT through official channels.

SEAT UK issues up to February 2017

You will find SEAT car recalls insight in 2017 below, thanks to owner reports.

Problems with SEAT? Share with Car Recalls UK readers:

  • Wayne

    While driving my 1.8T mk1 Leon Cupra4 rather fast up a hill i seemed to have lost power, after which several warning lights lit up on my dash. Had the car run through a diagnostic and there are no faults, so I am clueless.

  • Gary

    I have a MK 5 SEAt IBIZA and when I let the throttle off in I’m in 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th it seems jerky, but in 2nd, 4th or 6th it is fine.

  • Dez

    Every now and then my throttle stops working and also the EPC light comes one, I have to switch the engine off and on again to get it to work. I have been told it could be the throttle position sensor, is this true? – oh by the way, I have the 2001 SEAT LEON.

  • Sandy

    I have a 2013 SEAT Toledo and there is a glow plug warning light that keeps flashing, what could be the cause?

  • Nigel

    For some reason the automatic gearbox in my Seat Ibiza 1.2 TSI is not as smooth as it used to be, and yes, I have checks the fluid.

  • Kelly

    My 2011 SEAT Altea seems to have a problem starting when warm, has anyone else had such an issue?

  • Elroy

    I cannot understand why my Seat Toledo has a boosting problem.

  • Martin

    Why is it that my 2013 SEAT Ibiza takes several seconds to turn over, surely it is meant to turn on the button?

  • Nick

    Can anyone tell me how to change from mpg to 100km/l on my Seat Altea XL 1.9 TDi please?

  • Jill

    It’s a little annoying the the seats don’t return to their position once moved on my 2013 SEAT Mii 1.0 Sport.

  • Mel

    if you do not like a car that gives you a firm ride, then steer clear of the Seat Leon X-Perience.

  • Mary

    Please help, I have a 2002 Seat Leon 1.6, which has problems starting. It will turn over and start up, but then cut out right away. However, if I give it a few more revs I am able to keep the engine running.

  • Phil

    For some reason my 2007 Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi keeps going into Limp Mode and a Volkswagon/Audi software diagnostic check found no problems.

  • Kelly

    I’m having a problem with the radio in my 2005 Seat Leon MK2, because after it has been on for a few seconds the display goes all black. Could this be an issue with a setting?

  • Angela

    The external temperature sensor has stopped working on my 2011 Ibiza, is it cheap to replace?

  • Jerry

    My 2000 SEAT Alhambra 1.9tdi has suffered a complete loos of power to the engine and brakes. I’ve since been advised to replace the vacuum pump, maf sensor and belt tensioner, but do you think these will work?

  • Richard

    Has anyone else had central locking problems with their SEAT Toledo, as they keep opening on their own?

  • Jackie

    Is it a common problem for the clutch pedal clip to snap on a Seat Leon Cupra?

  • Sandra

    There seems to be a condensation build-up in the interior of my 63 plate Seat Mii S, what could be causing this problem?

  • Amy

    My 2011 SEAT Ibiza has started to have its fair share of problems, such as the starter motor needing to be replaced, and also the timing chain starting to rattle, what’s next?

  • Mary

    Why is there an excessive amount of wind noise in my 2009 Toledo?

  • Gavin

    I have a 2005 SEAT Leon and just recently it has started to smoke from the exhuast the the engine seems to be shaking. By the way, the smoke is white.

  • Alison

    There has been a sudden loss of power with my Seat Alhambra. I have heard that this could be caused by the MAF sensor. Would I need to replace or just repeat it?

  • Cassy

    My 2012 SEAT Ibiza is not a nice place to be while driving, as there seems to be a bunch of horrible sounds, which i can only put down to a cheaply made interior. Is this a common fault, or have I just got myself a lemon?

  • Des

    Every now and then my 2007 Seat leon goes into its Safe Mode for no reason. When the engine is turned off and on again the warning lights go away. I have taken the car to the dealer, where they changed all the filters, yet the problem keeps happening.

  • Jake

    I have been told that the airbag sensor on my 2007 Seat Altea is faulty and so needs replacing. Is it east to get to, as I would rather try to replace it myself?

  • Kendo

    My Seat Ibiza 1.2 diesel will turn over but not fire up for several attempts, any ideas ???

  • Anne

    The stereo in my SEAT will not turn off, neither will my windscreen wipers. I am at a loss here.

  • Rachel

    I have an automatic Seat Arosa and for some reason I just cannot get it out of park. I had this issue before, but after a day it resoled itself. This has now been like it for a week – am I missing something simple?

  • Sean

    After leaving my 2005 Seat Cordoba for several days it no longer starts right away, and takes several attempts to do so. Once the car is running it goes like a dream, but have the same issue once left for a few more days.

  • Jayne

    My seat Ibiza 03 can start fine first time, then when I park up for a bit it won’t start . Ther is a orange light the shape of a car on the dashboard if this is flashing it won’t start Any ideas please

  • chantelle

    SEAT IBIZA TDI 2012, KEEPS GOING INTO SAFE MODE NO WARNINGS ON DASH! BEEN IN AND OUT OF DIFFERENT SEAT FRANCHISES AND THEY CANNOT FIND FAULT ( MECHANIC HAS DRIVEN AND SEEN FOR THEMSELVES) BUT STILL CANNOT FIND THE PROBLEM. RESTART CAR AND WORKS FINE! VERY ANNOYED AS CAR NOW OUT OF WARRANTY AND THEY WILL NOT COVER THIS PROBLEM BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT FIND THE ISSUE WHILST UNDER WARRANTY! VERY SAFE WHILST DRIVING TO WORK EACH DAY ON MOTORWAY I MUST SAY!

  • Simone

    When my Seat Altea is not moving but the engine is on the car radio will turn itself on with the volume to the max. This keeps happening, and can become rather annoying. I have since removed the fuse so this issue cannot happen again until I have found out what the issue is.

  • Robert

    With my 2002 Seat Leon the epc light came on then went off after about 5 minutes, the next day I started the car and the epc light came on again I went to pull away and realised I had no throttle. I put my foot to the floor and the Rev meter just stayed at idle. Is this a common problem, is it an easy fix?

  • Joanne Blair

    Hi, I have a 2015 Seat Leon FR and on three separate occasions the central locking has unlocked itself whilst driving and the front passenger door opened ajar. I know how far fetched this probably sounds but when you are doing 70 mph on a motorway and it happens, it is a scary moment! Has anybody else experienced this as I have telephoned my Seat dealer and they have confirmed that they have not heard of this fault. Car going in for checking just in case but would like to know if anybody else has experienced anything similar?

  • Michelle

    There’s a flat spot while driving my Seat Cordoba, which happens all the way through the gears. It gets rather annoying and not very good because it makes it seem as though I cannot drive while other people are in the car. What is the first things that i should look at that could be causing the problem?

  • Stephen

    While driving my 2005 Seat Altea sounds perfectly fine, but the moment I press the clutch down there is a strange sound as though something is dragging, which can be felt through the clutch pedal. However, if I press the pedal down a few times the noise goes for a while. What could it be?

  • GUS332 KEV

    sounds like the thrust bearing to me.

  • GUS332 KEV

    egr valve

  • GUS332 KEV

    sounds like its going into limp mode.blocked egr,maybe.a clean out of an egr valve dont come under a service and these valves get so clogged they want cleaning once a year,you could also blank it off.

  • GUS332 KEV

    sounds like the wiper stalk wants changing to me.

  • GUS332 KEV

    before spending 90 pound i would get a diagnostic on it to see if any codes are in the brains,go buy your self a cheap 20 pound code reader off ebay they work and it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

  • GUS332 KEV

    because you have the door or windows open.

  • GUS332 KEV

    again egr blocked biggest problems of most cars.and its not to say its going to find a code.

  • GUS332 KEV

    i think every one in the world has the same problem its a common fault with this car i have the same problem too.you need to go into vag com into adaption channel 1 and change value 0 to 2 test and save and the work is done easy as 123

  • GUS332 KEV

    in 7th it would feel very jerky if your only doing 10mph

  • GUS332 KEV

    sounds a bit ghostly to me i think you may have company.

  • Jenson

    When I stay in one gear all is fine with my Seat Cordoba, but the moment I change gear the engine seems to over rev, and there is a slight loss of power. Is this a clutch issue, or something related to the throttle itself?

  • Keifer Straker

    I got the word safe by my mileage what’s does it mean and how can I solve it ??

  • Maureen

    Why is it that the front and rear wipers on my SEAT Arosa are no longer working? I have checked the fuses, and they are fine. I now have a feeling that it could be to do with the relays, but I have been unable to find them.

  • Andy

    Hi, i have a 2000 plate seat leon 1.8 20v turbo. It has recently started cutting out and when i try starting it again epc light comes on and wont start. After disconnecting battery for 20 mins it starts again, there is a loss of power but still drives ok but has started cutting out alot more often over last couple of days sometimes as much as 4 times in a 22 mile trip. What could this be. Thanks in advance.

  • Richard

    I have a 2012 Altea XL 1.6 semi- automatic and am having problem convincing anybody there is a definite fault with the gearbox – changes up far too quickly and this makes the car vibrate. So far we have been told there is an inherent fault but can’t believe that Seat are unable to do anything to resolve the issue and are willing to shrug their shoulders!

  • Richard

    Sorry if I was a bit harsh in my last comment about Seat but have been very frustrated over this problem. Will hopefully get some good news from Seat about their ability to put things right.

  • Christine

    I have a seat Leon fr tdi 2011. Losing gearbox oil, have discovered Part of clutch plate has broken and Worn hole a in the gearbox bell housing, now need New clutch and gearbox, only done 44,000 miles. Anyone heard of this problem??

  • Ian

    Hi I have just lost my radio internal lights Windows and I can only lock with a key any ideas ??

  • Sue

    Smoke has started to appear from the exhaust of my Seat leon, and also the engine has started to shake. There are no faults when the car is connected to a diagnostic machine, and the ear value has also been cleaned, yet the issue still persists.

  • Andreea

    Hi..i have a seat leon fr 2013..It keep showing an error (tp Eco.check gear display).somebody knows what is about??thank you

  • Christine

    Why is it that my Seat Altea 1.9 TDI is always damp when I touch the windows in the car? They are never dry when the car is parked for a day or more. However, if I have parked the car for any longer, then mold begins to appear on the steering wheel, seatbelt etc. One other thing, the carpets are never wet.

  • anthony

    Did you manage to sort your problem think I have the same

  • denise

    Hi christine did you get an answer on this problem? I have a seat leon 12 plate 52 000 and have just had to get a new gear box and clutch parts due to gearbox oil leak. Only to have the same problem after getting car back from the garage..now being told its the gear selector!

  • John

    Have you turned eco tips off ?

  • Mastertech

    Have you had the timing belt done recently? Or atall?

  • Paul Salt

    06 Ibiza 1.9 tdi fr started to act strange one day it was fine the next it took 10 minutes turning over before it started then it cuts out while driving and now it won’t start at all, it’s been on the computer and shows no faults or codes , any ideas , thanks

  • Heather

    I have a 3 year old Seat Ibiza 2.0 FR TDI which is leaking water and I have been told by the garage that the radiator has been worn away by part of the frame causing it to leak. They say it a design problem. The car has only done 40K and I now need a new rad. Anyone else has this problem or heard about it.

  • wassa

    Changed engine on cupra 1.4 tsi dsg now saying gearbox broke help saying wont code .

  • Katherine

    I’ve just experienced this in my 2011 Sea Leon tdi. £2400 for a reconditioned gearbox with nothing forthcoming from the dealer in terms of ‘goodwill’.

  • Jennifer

    How come when the my Peugeot 106 is cold it runs perfectly fine, yet once the engine is warm it seems to lack power. When you take your foot of the accelerator it’s ok again, but once you try to accelerate again it starts to play up once again.

  • Paul

    I was driving my seat leon fr 1.9 tdi 54 plate tonight and the battery light came on it went on for about 1hr thnks I tryed started it again and it wouldn’t start but when I bumped it it did could anyone tell my why this is please

  • Christine Ferguson

    Have a 61 plate ibiza copa 1.2 automatic deisel. EPC lite and engine management lite keep coming on and I have very little power. Engine management lite also comes on. This is intermittant. Had to get new turbo February last year when car had only done 23000. Is this the same thing again?

  • Steph

    What does SAFE mean on the dashboard? Seat Ibiza

  • jokoolluk

    Just to update, workshop able to recreate the problem of door unlocking and opening. Since then my hazard light switch has been replaced twice and is faulty again. I have vibration and rattling from driver door. Replaced a part but problem now worse!

  • Sonia Hutchinson

    ecu light went off after fitting brake light but engine management light still on have seat Ibiza 2005

  • Andrew

    my partners seat mii has just started to shake when she turns the engine on any ideas

  • mary

    I I have a a bad water leak from the back if the timing belt on my seat Ibiza Leon 1.9 turbo diesel what is the problem please

  • Chris Startin

    my power steering has gone and the light on the dashboard is on constantly

  • Lesley Rowe

    I have a seat Cupar 53 plate, was driving it yesterday and suddenly I hear a large popping sound it immediately lost power and thick black smoke was coming out of exhaust any ideas anybody .

  • Andy

    I have a 2009 ibiza sc still running like a beast, On for its cam belt now :( but hopefully it will keep it running for two more years then will be time for an upgrade probably to an FR

  • Aldo

    I want to buy a Seat Toledo 2002 .full options 1.8 engine .
    But i heard lot of bad stories about gear box and electrical problems.
    What should i do ?
    Do i buy it or no ?

  • Jemima

    Seat Ibiza 1.2 SE TSI 2011 – EPC light on and car not starting? Anyone else having this problem?

  • Carrie

    Power steering on my Seat Ibiza 2012 FR keeps dropping whilst driving, becomes heavy & steering light comes on (after its gone) on the dash. Mechanic says a total module replacement… Please help!

  • Syed Usman

    Hi Christine 😉 i have same problem if you have successfully solved your problem can you please guide me…my email address is yausman@gmail.com

  • disqus_7mJd2JytOp

    I have a 54 plate ibiza cupra tdi while driving on the motorway at about 80 mph theres a loud tapping noise coming from the engine bay from the inside it sounds like it coming from behind the drivers side dash any ideas

  • Dan

    I have a 2003 Ibiza 1.4 and engine light on, fault code was for map sensor, so replaced but light still on. Sometimes struggles to start. Been told to clean throttle body, any others had this issue? And how do I fix it? Thanks

  • Leighem

    Hi did you sort your problem out with your seat as I’d like to no what it was as I’ve got the same problem with mine thanx

  • Steven Kelso

    I have a seat ibiza 1.6 tdi sport.. bought it a year on February ago. When I first got it is was told it had been serviced and MOT’d but when I drove out the garage onto the by pass my spark plug light was flashing and the car started to loose power and then my EML (engine management light) came on. So this got fixed.. however over the last 2 weeks my car sometimes doesn’t have any power in it when I start the car then other times its fine.. then just recently the day before I went on holiday my engine light came back on and I couldn’t get past 40mph..any ideas?

  • Nii Nortey

    Got a Seat Leon 1.2 TSI which I took for a mini service. Simple I thought, anyway when I picked the car up from the garage it had develop a rattle at low revs. They could not work out where it is coming from. Has anybody had such a strange event. The car was running well before the oil change.

  • Ricky Lee

    I have just had a repair on my 09 seat Ibiza 1.4 sport done to the side wing after a colleague reversed into it :( job is a good one but after straying to drive away all my dash lights, revs counter and speedo all turn off! Anyone know any possible causes? Thanks

  • ross

    Did you ever find out what the cause of the vehicle loos of power was i have the same issue with mine need help?

  • Steven Kelso

    Yes I can help. So you need to drive up a by-pass or motor way at 3000 revs it’s the dpf filter that builds up carbon. That should clear it

  • Steven Kelso

    It’s a wiring fault. Sounds like when your colleague bumped into you they’ve nudged the wiring in the car that controls the electronics. The garage that repaired this haven’t checked. Take it back to the garage

  • Steven Kelso

    You need to rev it at 3000 revs down a motor way it’s also to do with the dpf. Try that

  • Steven Kelso

    It’s your timing belt mate. Need to get that checked, could be due to snap

  • Mike

    Hi I’ve just got into my 2010 1.4 tsi cupra and as I drove of there was a massive thump ! Noise it’s now overtime I move from a stop position could I have an problem with my clutch ? It’s the 7 speed DSG

  • Charlene Cunningham

    I had my diesel filter changed in my 2009 seat Leon and my car hasn’t been going right since..it keeps cutting out and is very difficult to start.can anyone help?!

  • Luke Cooper

    Hi, have an annoying problem with my 06 Leon tdi. The radio cuts off constantly but recently noticed that it does this when the car keeps trying to lock itself. It locks all doors after 10mph but it constantly keeps doing this?

  • Patrick Sully Osullivan

    hi there just got a 1.4 seat ibiza and do you no the brake skid thing do i press tht off each time i go in car as if i dont as slowing down get like a whoosh noise from front brakes pads and tht seem fine and disks

  • Patrick Sully Osullivan

    it cums up on clock in yellow like the sign of skidding wen press it and says off iam i doing the right thing

  • Darrio

    Could potentially be air in the system when you start it up leave it in neutral and hold the revs around 3000RPM for about 30 seconds should clear all the air out

  • Tom May

    I have the same problem with the same car did you find out why?

  • Luke Cooper

    Not looked into it much yet but I do have a problem with the n/s/r door not opening from the outside, so I’m going to look at that issue to start with. I’m thinking that if there’s an issue with this door lock it is most likely the cause of the problem

  • Northern Monkey

    My 2015 Ibeza ST doors fill with water when it rains. The water stays there until the door is opened. SEAT say this is a “characteristic” I call it a design fault that will shagg the electrics and rust the doors out unless they burst when it freezes. Anyone else got this? SEAT can’t fix it and they are not intrested. The water pours out. On Youtube soon.

  • Northern Monkey

    No clutch on the DSG. Check the drive coupling. Fluid may be low.

  • TKicker

    When I tried to collect my new Leon in 2013 it had to go back to HQ in, i believe, Milton Keynes as software problems couldn’t be rectified at the dealership. Radio wd not retain stations & electric mirrors had a mind of their own. They still don’t auto fold despite having the “fold when parked” box ticked in settings. Recently my DAB (+FM/AM) radio stations just reset themselves without warning. I do question the SEAT software as most issues on here & elsewhere are software related even if the owner doesn’t know that.

  • gareth williams

    my 2008 leon 1.9 diesel has a fuse gone somewhere, the interior central locking switch,the folding mirrors switch and the heated mirrors don’t work, anyone know where the fuse is or even if there is one for this,pleeeeease help, with thanks Gareth.

  • Warren Godden

    My dads 65 plate Leon ST TDI 1.6 has gone into limp home mode twice within a year & 2 months since he had it… the first one was a software problem then the next one the glow plug light has come on, turbo is not kicking in & the engine management light is also on… & the DPF keeps coming up every now & again… it forever seems to be a reoccurring problem with these cars… steer clear

  • HARRY TUDBALL

    Is my 07 plate leon fr affected by the seat injector recall as its been in twice now for a replacment injector

  • Ian Brown

    15 plate Seat Leon tsi 6 speed petrol with 15000 miles on the clock, total failure of the gearbox, possibly due to losing its gearbox oil. Very lucky that it didn’t seize up on the motorway.
    It is being replaced under warranty but worrying for the future, not sure whether to keep the car now. Anyone else had this issue?

  • Dave C

    15 plate Seat Leon 1.2 TSI with 12,000 miles – car has been a pleasure to drive but in the last few months I’ve noticed a crackling sound which appeared to be coming from the cars ceiling liner. Stops 5 mins into the journey and only realised it was actually the radio a few weeks ago. Now the touch screen controls won’t work at all on occasions and, occasionally, the buttons / settings try to reset themselves with lots of beeping. Booked in for checks.

  • VAG man

    Same thing on my 2007 plate Skoda Octavia. But interestingly only in the offside rear door.

  • VAG man

    14 plate Ibiza FR 1.2 Petrol.. Clutch wouldn’t disengage. Called AA and got towed to dealer. SEAT advise that the clutch plate is cracked and the flanges are broken. This is only after 45,000 miles.

  • Stacey Stokes

    Seat altea xl 1.6tdi se copa went in for a major service and the emissions recall. Came out with the glow plug light flashing and the emissions control unit light. Took it for diagnostics and turns out it’s something to do with the air flow meter and something else similar. It has also gone into limp once since being parked up!

  • Dean Maybury

    I’ve s seat Leon 1.6 tdi ecomotive the stop start works then it doesn’t the revs go up to a 1000 rpm and stay there when idling instead of being at 800 it’s having its vag recall today I’m hoping that this solves the problem if not what can I do. Is my vehicle covered by a factory warrentee still as it’s a 62 plate I love Leon’s this my second but this niggling problem is annoying

  • James

    Seat altea 1.9 tdi 08plate.
    Great car didn’t have one problem until the passenger ceiling and seat airbag went off as my passenger sat in the car, leaving us all shocked. Still seat don’t want to know unless I pay to get them fixed and my insurance don’t want to know as I’ve not had an accident!!!!!!!

  • Adam Brady

    Hi glad I came across this post, got the same year car same milage 1.2 tsi estate I tech model, noticed last night my cars gears are starting to stiffen up and this morning the same after been smooth all up until. I left Togo work last night dash said -1’C and -4’C this morning when I finished. Ithaught it may have been to-do with been cold and the viscosity of the oil, then I got home went to select reverse and it done nothing. Selected first and it just started jolting the car forwards with a grinding noise then thaught it’s more technical again. Reading your post I hope it’s not the same problem carnt afford to keep replacing the gearbox every 15000miles once the warranty runs out.

  • DAVID MATTHEWS

    Hi this is exactly what happened to my 2011 1.2tsi only 60’000 on the clock. I now have a one thousand pound bill to get it repaired as its out of waranty

  • Ann Peart

    Seat Ibiza 1.4 petrol 13 plate
    Love my car but brakes now stick on after it has been parked, garage says it’s because I don’t use it enough, 20,000 to date. Have extended warranty but any work brakes need, not covered. Any comments appreciated!

  • Shane

    Hi I have a seat Ibiza 1.2 petrol 55 plate
    Drove it to work the other day and when I went to drive it home it wouldn’t start. When I turn the key I get no lights up on the dash and all controls on the steering wheel don’t work. My lights work the stereo works but the indicators washers and horn don’t work also the electric display for the fan isn’t working. Checked all fuses they seem good really confused as to what is the problem. when I turn the key engine sounds like it wants to start but it just wont fire up. Any clues

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