Birth Defects


It happens that cars become ill with chronic ailments after modernization.

Alexander TIMOFEEV

So, for example, it cost Skoda to replace a metal-consuming but reliable part with a simpler and more technologically advanced one, as the consequences were not long in coming. With the advent of cold weather, Skoda Felicia car owners may face a violation of the thermal regime of engines with a working volume of 1.3 liters. Here are the signs of a malfunction: the motor, which for the time being practically did not cause trouble, suddenly stops warming up. Moreover, on frosty days, the temperature of the coolant rises to normal values ​​only when driving in city traffic jams, and on the track even a sheet of cardboard in front of the radiator does not save the engine from freezing.

The mass nature of the phenomenon and the characteristic age of the “diseased” machines confirm that the defect is regular and occurs, as a rule, after one or two years of operation, regardless of mileage. What is the reason?

The peak of sales of Czech automobiles in Russia occurred in 1996–1998, at the same time a modernized thermostat appeared in the Felicium-1.3 cooling system (catalog number 007072212A, installed since February 1996). It is he - the source of trouble. Sooner or later, the “ears” of the plastic thermostat cover, which hold the rather powerful spring of the temperature valve, are destroyed, releasing the locking mechanism (photo 1). The spring pressure weakens, the valve opens slightly, and the coolant begins to circulate only in a large circle. It is curious that at the same time, the thermocouple itself remains operational.

As you can see, the desire to reduce the cost and simplify the mass model this time went to the detriment of reliability - the thermostats of the “favorites”, “formans”, and “felicities” of early production were completely metal and did not suffer from such ailments. So there is reason to doubt the appropriateness of the improvement - to the owners of the Skoda it only brings a headache.

It would seem that to eliminate the defect is a mere trifle - it is enough to replace the plastic cover. But it’s almost impossible to buy a new one separately - it is sold complete with a thermostat and costs about 30 (!) Dollars. Add the salaries of servicemen and the price of related materials (coolant, clamps, gasket, etc.). Not cheap, but most importantly - after a year or two, the part will fail again.

However, there is a much more elegant, reliable and cheap way to repair. From the owner of the car, he will require only minimal locksmith skills. Do not rush to throw away the broken plastic cover - you can install a valve from the thermostat of the previous model into it (catalog number - 114095090, price - 8–9 US dollars). Its main advantage is that the parts are assembled in a single unit and the body elements are not used as a stop or a spring retainer for the thermocouple (photo 2). In addition, the piston has a drain valve to remove air when filling the system with liquid. Well, the fact that the old valve has been used for many years in exactly the same "Skoda" engines with a capacity of 1.3 liters, as it is currently produced, gives us confidence - its characteristics and throughput are hardly different from the plastic version.