VW Polo Issue

pc54 Posts: 2 Newbie
First Post
I bought a new VW Polo at the beginning of last year, it hasn’t had much mileage in that year but I’ve had issue with the epc warning light coming on three times over that period and it’s been back in to the garage they now say I don’t drive it enough and need to do a longer journey once a fortnight until they come up with a software fix for it.  The other issue, which is why I’m posting to see if anyone else has experienced this, is that if I haven’t had a long journey in a couple of weeks the gear indicator doesn’t function normally.  I can be driving at thirty miles per hour or just over and it tells me I should be in third gear and only tells me to go to fourth gear when I’m over forty?  If I’ve had a longer journey then for the next week or so at thirty miles an hour on the same roads it tells me I should be in fourth gear.  My car not being driven so much this year is due to circumstances outwith my control plus I had a new Polo during Covid and drove it even less without these issue.  Hope someone has some ideas🙏🏻


  • wongataa
    wongataa Posts: 2,617 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I would ignore any gear indicator and just choose the gear yourself depending on the conditions at the time (as you should be doing anyway).  I do this in my car.
  • pc54
    pc54 Posts: 2 Newbie
    First Post
    Thanks, I do but just wondered if anyone else had come across this fault.
  • Goudy
    Goudy Posts: 1,481 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 13 March at 11:22AM
    I gather these issues might be caused by a low battery which is why the dealers are saying you don't drive it enough.

    Your car is computer controlled, so all the electrical system run through a "brain" and that monitors all the electrical systems.
    When there is a problem with one of these systems it monitors, it puts the EPC light on to warn you.

    A low battery charge will put the EPC light on.

    Your cars drivetrain (engine, gearbox etc) has it's own computer and that one is linked to the EML (engine management light or check engine light)

    As this EPC computer controls the electrical systems it will also control the battery charging.
    It has control of how and when the alternator works.

    They no longer just spin away producing electricity if it's needed or not.
    It will switch on and off the alternator and only spin it up under load when the computer thinks the battery needs charging.
    It does this to save fuel and reduce emissions as it removes some wasted load from the alternator on the engine.

    So the alternator will have little/no load on the engine when the battery is fully charged.
    But it will turn on the alternator when the battery is low.
    It will also try to work the alternator harder when the battery is really low.

    One way to work the alternator harder is to spin it faster and to do this it could be suggesting you hold onto the lower gears longer as this increases the rpm of the engine, so increases the spin of the alternator.

    If you have a garage you could try putting a trickle charger on your battery when you leave it for long periods.
    This will keep the battery topped up.
    Other wise, you are looking at regular trips of around 8 to 10 miles to put a healthy charge back into your battery after every cold start.

    The dealers might hope a software patch might help the problem, but your battery will naturally discharge over time if left alone and it would not recover that charge driving repeated short distances, so it really won't help.
    You either have to charge it or use it enough to charge it's self.
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