Humor is basically a great thing. Loosens up many situations, brings people together. Gallows humor, on the other hand ... 'And is it rattling already?' Calls out Master Wünsch as a greeting at today's used car check. “It can happen with that”, he explains in defense, circling the S koda Roomster and points to the small lettering on the rear:' I thought it would be a TSI engine. '
Before we listen to the master's experience, we have to take a short trip into the past, back to the late summer of 2006. At that time, Skoda started with the Roomster into a new adventure - until then, the brand hadn't had such a practical model on offer. Unfortunately, the rear sliding doors that we liked on the prototype were saved for the series. After all, koda took his concept into the series - and invented a suitable name for it: Roomster is made up of the English terms room and roadster. Translated, this means that the car offers an interesting mix of two worlds with an exterior length suitable for big cities (4.20 meters). Up to the B-pillars it feels like a spacious small car (Fabia), behind it it becomes a space miracle with good variability (trunk volume: 455–1,555 liters).
A real hero of everyday life, valued above all by families, delivery services, recreational athletes and craftsmen. Sure, Renault Kangoo or Fiat Doblò offer even more space on their floor space, but they are much more boxy and not quite as agile as the Roomster. Incidentally, it is based on the body and technical components of the Fabia II and Octavia and ran off the production line in Mladá Boleslav and Kvasiny (Czech Republic) until its production stop in 2015.
Master Wünsch knows the facts. He often has the Roomster as a guest in his workshop. Apart from the normal wearing parts, there is a weak point in this Skoda model that can be particularly painful.
Timing chain problems between 2010 and 2012
'Tell a customer that the engine his car rattles exactly where it should never rattle. that repairs will be expensive. Very expensive. Not a nice job, ”he says and plays on the two of themTSI engines, which were offered in the Roomster from March 2010. They produce 86 or 105 hp from a displacement of 1.2 liters each.
Both are brought up to speed by a turbocharger, which increases their entertainment value enormously depending on the use of the accelerator pedal. Because they can be lively or economical with a leisurely journey. So it's no wonder that many customers ordered one of the TSIs. And looking at the service book, they were pleased that no timing belt change was planned.
Both engines do not have one - the crankshaft and camshaft are connected by a timing chain that is supposed to last the life of the car. At least that's the theory. Unfortunately, the practice looks different, because these chains tend to lengthen, can no longer be held taut by their tensioners and then often jump over or tear in the worst case. Major engine damage and expensive repairs are the result. This problem occurs particularly frequently between the years of construction 2010 and 2012, after which it got better.
'That hurts,' says the foreman, adding: 'Unfortunately, you can't get into the small engines that easily take a look and diagnose how things are going with the timing chain. After all, many hold out. ”Skoda is well aware of the problem, and affordable repair packages have long been available for all affected engines. 'If the chains stretch or the chain tensioners break, the TSI rattle terribly in a cold start,' explains the foreman and adds: 'Anyone who drives to the workshop immediately will get away with a black eye and a few hundred euros. Then only said timing chain and a few parts have to be replaced, but the engine survives. ”
However, the problem is only covered by the factory warranty if it occurs within this period (in the first two years). For everyone else, it is a question of goodwill whether Skoda will contribute to the costs. Hence shouldBefore buying a used Roomster, it is essential to think about which engine is the right one.
Design, engines, worthwhile extras
Skoda launched its versatile compact van in September 2006 , followed a year later by the Scout version, which is suitable for road use, with robust plastic paneling all around, and the Praktik van version without a back seat and rear side windows. In spring 2010, the Roomster was revised, especially the front and the dashboard. There was now an optional two-tone paintwork with a white roof. At the end of 2015, Skoda discontinued the Roomster without a direct successor. In terms of safety, it was always up to date and received top marks in the Euro NCAP crash test. The really exciting question, however, is: Which motor do you use?
The three-cylinder petrol engines (64 or 69 hp) push the roughly 1 , 2 ton Skoda without family and luggage on board. When fully loaded, however, both of them run out of breath - especially on the motorway. On the other hand, they are considered reliable, which cannot be said without reservation about the turbo gasoline engines (TSI) available from 2010. There are only two alternatives for gasoline engines: either the 1.4 16V with 86 PS or the somewhat faster 1.6 16V with 105 PS (both with toothed belts). Frequent drivers, however, should choose one of the diesel. The 1.6 TDI, which will be available from March 2010 and is available in the Roomster with 75, 90 and 105 hp, is recommended here. Before buying, however, it is essential to check whether Skoda has already installed the new software on this engine.
The dual clutch transmission (DSG) optionally available for the 1.2 TSI is basically a fine thing, but it is subject to a certain amount of wear and tear. Therefore, during the test drive, ensure smooth starting and clean gear changes. Other recommended extras? The bicycle holder for the interior (can also be retrofitted) and the panoramic glass roof.
And the rest? Not that bad at all!
“But we've been around the small engine for a long timebusy “, jokes Master Wünsch and lets the hood fall into the lock. Then he takes the service booklet out of the glove compartment and praises the inspection intervals that are always adhered to. This is followed by a routine check of all gaps and tire profiles - perfect.
The Skoda makes a neat impression. This is also confirmed by a look into the trunk and the seats: no scratches, no soiling. “It was not used as a transporter,” notes the master. So off to the lifting platform! The brake pads are checked halfway up. The windows on the rear axle in particular tend to rust on this model. The underbody is in excellent condition. No rust, no bumps, no broken suspension springs, defective shock absorbers or brake lines.
Roomster with a happy ending? It depends
The flex piece of the exhaust is also perfect - which is often not the case. The small pipe gives the exhaust a certain flexibility so that it does not hang too stiffly on the engine and tear. Finally, Master Wünsch takes a close look at the drive shafts and specifically at the axle boots - no cracks can be seen - and checks the play of the joints on the front axle. But he can't find anything here either.
Conclusion: The five-year-old Skoda is technically in very good condition. “And there we have the salad: Here is a very well used Roomster with an engine that can possibly cause problems. But he doesn't have to ”, summarizes the master and looks thoughtful. He knows that this combination is like a lottery. If you want to be on the safe side, avoid the early TSI versions. Especially those with high mileage, as the probability of a timing chain problem then increases. The Roomster itself has proven that, with the right care, it can look flawless even after years. It is therefore recommended with the right drive.