2002 Volkswagen Polo 1.2 E Manual Exhaust emmission warning lamp lit

Julie Hill
Fixes: 2
Problem added: Jan 5, 2012 (8 years ago)
The light next to the 20 on MPH dial has lit up and car has been losing power and spluttering. Seems ok when first started and driven, but starts spluttering within 5mins or so. Definate problem when accelerating uphill. Also think I can hear a sort of popping every now and then.Handbook says exhaust emmission warning lamp. Does this sound like the sensor?Could it be anything else?Do I need it switched off by a garage or will it go out by itself if problem fixed?I'm clueless, but I don't want to take car to garage without having some idea, been ripped off too many times. Could you help please? Thank you.

Car details
Car: Volkswagen Polo
Variant: 1.2 E Manual
Model Year: 2002
Category: Running Rough, Starting & Power Loss

Recalls: Volkswagen Polo Recalls
More: Volkswagen Polo Problems
Parts mentioned in this problem
Replies and fixes
Fixes: 1
Jan 5, 2012 (8 years ago)
Hi Julie,

Firstly, I'm no expert but I had a similar problem with my car. The fact that it's spluttering could mean that the lambda sensor, which is located in the exhaust, is faulty. This sensor tests for emissions of the engine and adjusts the fueling accordingly. If the sensor is faulty, it could be pushing too much fuel into the engine, which causes the engine to splutter. The only way to find out though is to have the fault code scanned by a garage. Garages often charge an hours labour for reading fault codes, which is criminal as it's only a 5 minute job to plug a laptop in. Personally I'd call a few garages to ask them the price for reading the fault code and ask how much it would cost to fix the lambda sensor too. You should be looking at around £150, including reading the fault. After they've fixed it then they'll reset the ECU to switch the warning light off and, assuming it's fixed, the light will stay off.

Good luck!
Fixes: 384
Jan 5, 2012 (8 years ago)
Just to put it into perpective a garage has to invest in equipment costing upto 6k and beyond to read cars computors so an hours labour for a code read if fully justified, you should get one done for £25 £30
The problem you describe sounds like it could be losing a cylinder so assuming the car is fully serviced the problem could be a coil pack at fault.
With regard to getting ripped of use an independant garage one that comes recommended and always ask for a price FIRST before work commences a certain amount of diagnosis will need to be done first though.
Julie Hill
Fixes: 2
Jan 5, 2012 (8 years ago)
Thank you for your advice.I did have the coil changed a year or so ago.I think it was doing a similar thing then.What life expectancy does a coil have?Could I be driving in such a way as to make it break?A friend of mine did plug his machine in, but it showed no faults.I don't really trust all this expensive fancy equipment, it seems to complicate things unecessarily.
Fixes: 384
Jan 5, 2012 (8 years ago)
Depending on the make of coil fitted it could last a number of years or it could fail early if cheap rubbish.
No your driving would have no effect on the coil, good luck.
Julie Hill
Fixes: 2
Jan 6, 2012 (8 years ago)
Many thanks. It was the coil.
Fixes: 7
Jan 23, 2012 (8 years ago)
go onto ebay type in obd code reader it will cost about £20 /£30 go for the maxicom ,it will read your codes so you know whats wrong, and you can reset them your self after you have put the fault right.
saves getting ripped off.
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