Vauxhall 2.0 Cdti Engine Problems: Common Causes and Fixes

Over the past few years I’ve come across some common Vauxhall 2.0 CDTi engine problems that can really affect its performance. There is nothing worse than suffering from engine problems with your car. As is always the way, they seem to appear when you have no time to deal with them. However, it is very important to deal with early symptoms of engine problems before serious damage is caused.

In this article, I will cover the most common Vauxhall 2.0 CDTi engine problems that trouble their owners. The article will cover the following vehicles

  • Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi
  • Vauxhall Vivaro 2.0 CDTi
  • Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi
  • Vauxhall Zafira 2.0 CDTi
  • Vauxhall Antara 2.0 CDTi

So, if you’re looking for some insights on how to keep your Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi engine running smoothly, stick around because I’ve got you covered!

Worn Timing Belt

One problem that regularly rears its head above the 80,000 miles mark is a worn timing belt. The worn or stretched timing belt issue occurs across the 2.0Cdti range including the Astra, Insignia, Vivaro, Zafira and Antara. This issue can cause serious damage if not addressed.

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The timing belt is responsible for synchronising the rotation of the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft. It ensures that the engine’s valves open and close at the correct times. After 80,000 – 100,000 miles the timing belt typically becomes worn, stretched, or can even snap.

When this happens, it can lead to engine misalignment and potential valve damage. This, in turn, can result in decreased engine performance, rough idling, and even engine failure.

To prevent these issues, it’s important to regularly inspect and replace the timing belt according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

By addressing a worn timing belt promptly, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your Vauxhall running smoothly.

Blocked DPF

A clogged diesel particulate filter (DPF) can severely impact engine performance and result in a trail of thick black smoke. It occurs when the filter becomes blocked with soot and other particles, causing a restriction in the exhaust system. This leads to decreased engine power, increased fuel consumption, and the potential for engine damage if left untreated.

To fix a blocked DPF, there are a few options available. One option is to perform a high temperature regeneration, which involves driving the vehicle at high speeds for an extended period to burn off the accumulated soot. Another option you can consider is forced regeneration, where a chemical agent is used to help burn off the soot. If these methods don’t work, you should consider replacing the filter.

Regular maintenance and following the manufacturer’s guidelines for DPF care can help prevent blockages and ensure optimal engine performance.

Worn Oil Pickup Seal

Beware of a worn oil seal on the pickup pipe inside the sump that can potentially lead to costly repairs. Although this problem affects all models, it has been logged the most by Insignia 2.0 Cdti owners.

The most common symptom for this worn oil seal is a dashboard messge “Oil Pressure low – stop engine”.

It is common for the oil seal to lose its flexibility, allowing oil to flow to the sump from the oil pump – ultimately losing oil pressure.

Loss of oil pressure can lead to engine damage and decreased performance. If you notice oil leaks or a drop in oil pressure, it is crucial to address the issue promptly.

Replacing the worn oil pickup seal is the recommended fix for this problem. This is a very intricate job which, on the Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 cdti, requires the gearbox to be disconnected from the engine. Therefore, it is important to consult a qualified mechanic to ensure repair of the worn oil pickup seal.

Blocked EGR Valve

A blocked EGR valve restricts the flow of exhaust gas and is likely to produce a pungent smell as exhaust fumes fill the air. This common problem with the Vauxhall 2.0 CDTi engine can lead to various issues.

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The issue is caused by the buildup of soot and carbon deposits over time due to inefficient combustion.

Here are four key points to understand about a blocked EGR valve:

  • Reduced engine performance: The restricted flow of exhaust gases can result in decreased power and acceleration. The engine may feel sluggish and struggle to reach higher speeds.
  • Increased emissions: A blocked EGR valve leads to higher levels of harmful pollutants being released into the environment. This can contribute to air pollution and poor air quality.
  • Poor fuel economy: The improper functioning of the EGR valve can affect fuel efficiency, causing the engine to consume more fuel than necessary. This can result in increased fuel costs over time.
  • Potential engine damage: The buildup of soot and carbon deposits can impact the overall health of the engine, potentially leading to more severe issues if left unresolved.

To address a blocked EGR valve, I recommend either cleaning or replacing the valve. Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prevent blockages and ensure optimal engine performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How reliable is the Vauxhall 2.0 cdti engine?

Overall, the Vauxhall 2.0 CDTi engine is a reliable motor. There are some issues to look out for, however, with proper care and a regular maintenance schedule, the engine should have a high degree of reliability.

Does Insignia CDTI have timing belt or chain?

The Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi engine has a timing belt.

When should the timing belt be changed on a Vauxhall Astra Diesel?

The timing belt on the Vauxhall Astra Diesel timing belt should be replaced every 80,000 – 100,000 miles or every 10 years, whichever comes first. Regular replacement is important to prevent potential engine damage and ensure optimal performance.

Is 2.0 cdti an interference engine?

Yes, the 2.0 cdti is an interference engine. this means that if the the timing belt snaps, the pistons will come into contact with the valves and potentially lead to severe engine damage.

What years to avoid for the Vauxhall Insignia?

The years to avoid, or at least be careful of, are Vauxhall Insignias built in 2010, 2011, 2015 or 2016. In 2010 some insignias were recalled because of an airbag problem. In 2011, some Insignias were recalled due to a problem with the electric window anti-trap system. The tailgate’s gas struts were the issue in 2015, followed by a steering issue on some Insignias built in April 2016.

What years are affected by the oil pick up seal problem on 2.0 cdti engine?

The A20DTE engine is synonymous with the oil pickup seal problem. The A20DTE engine was in used in Insignias between 2008 and 2013.


In conclusion, the Vauxhall 2.0 CDTi engine is prone to several common problems that can impact its performance.

Common problems include a worn timing belt, blocked DPF, blocked EGR valve and a worn oil pickup seal. Regular maintenance and servicing are crucial to prevent these problems.

With proper care, this engine can be reliable and last up to 200,000 miles.

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in the common problems associated with the Vauxhall Crossland!

Dave Marlow
Dave Marlow
Dave has been a petrohead since he can remember. He worked as a mechanic for 12 years before transitioning into automotive content writing. His dream car is a classic Red Ferrari 458.

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