Problems With SEAT Cars? (4 Most-Common Issues)

SEAT is a Spanish car manufacturer that was established back in May 1950. The SEAT brand now exports cars to more than 70 countries all over the world.

This automaker has had great success throughout the years because it produced well-known models. However, SEAT cars have faced their fair share of recalls and complaints from owners.

In this article, we’ll be taking potential owners through some common problems with SEAT cars. They range from small annoyances to big problems that might be tougher to diagnose and solve.

Check also: Cool Spanish names for cars (nicknames).

1. Left Rear Seatbelt Issue

It’s no secret that seatbelts are one of the most important safety features of a modern car. Unfortunately, some SEAT Ibizas were recalled due to a faulty seatbelt in the left rear passenger seat.

SEAT Ibiza models that were recalled due to this issue seemed to be from the years 2017 and 2018. The recall was due to the left rear seatbelt issue, where the seatbelt could unbuckle in certain situations.

If there are three passengers in the rear seat, the movement of the middle passenger made it easier for this to happen.

It happens mostly when the car corners abruptly and the middle passenger brushes against the others. The seatbelt of the left rear passenger would then be somewhat compromised and unbuckled.

Most SEAT Ibiza cars that experienced this issue were recalled if the owners could not solve the issue on their own. However, many owners used a space fitter to fill up the extra space so that the seatbelt is not loose.

It would be a good idea to check with a SEAT dealership to ensure the issue is not present in your car. They’ll either take in the car for recall or fix it with the space fitter to prevent it from happening.

Seatbelts are an integral part of the car’s safety and issues with them should be taken seriously.

2. Increased Handbrake Travel

The handbrake lever is used to bring the car to a complete stop and is also a basic safety feature. Some SEAT Ibiza and Arona models have had an issue where the handbrake lever traveled excessively.

Excessive handbrake travel is when you have to bring up the handbrake way more than in other cars. Modern cars require way less handbrake travel for engagement.

SEAT Ibiza models between 2017 and 2018 have had several recalls due to this issue with the handbrake. The handbrake had to be cranked up way too high to engage.

In some instances, the handbrake could not even stop the car from moving. A loose handbrake will not be effective if there is too little friction on the brakes.

It was investigated to be the handbrake lever adjuster nut that caused the problem. In most SEAT models with this issue, the handbrake lever adjuster nut was moving around and not solid enough.

Handbrake levers that had some travel in older cars were mostly due to a stretched handbrake cable. The cable gets stretched over time and is unable to hold the friction on the lever at the correct position.

A faulty handbrake can lead to serious injury to the passengers and the car. It should be checked as soon as possible if it has problems.

If your SEAT model is still under warranty, the dealer will be able to fix or adjust it free of charge.

Please also read our article about problems with Renault cars

3. Rough Running and Idling

Rough running is when a running car is at rest, but it feels like it is vibrating. Some SEAT Arona and Ibiza models have been known to have run a bit rough.

This is not a huge issue if the car is older than five years because cars often experience wear and tear. However, if the car is relatively new, then this could result from this common problem with SEAT cars.

Another symptom of this is when the car seems to be lacking power. It can seem as if the car wants to stop idling and power down once it is started.

The lack of power is noticeable when the car is at low revs and you’re looking to accelerate. Owners also noticed that no warning lights were on, which indicated no engine faults.

Some owners tried changing spark plugs and checking the cylinders with no luck with the problem. A lot of the owners were advised to replace coil packs for their cars.

Replacing the coil pack seems to have worked for a few owners of the SEAT Ibiza. However, some owners still don’t know what the issue is with their rough idling car.

Those that were faced with the issue after replacing coil packs were able to get the issue sorted with new injectors. Injectors are not very expensive and can help relieve a rough idling and running engine.

A vibrating engine can take all the fun out of driving the SEAT Ibiza. If the common fixes don’t work, it could be time to visit your nearest dealership or mechanic.

In most cases, you’ll have to replace a few worn-out engine parts. These can range in price and depend on how bad the problem is.

Make sure to also check out our article about problems with Peugeot cars.

4. Windscreen Washer Jet Failure

A problem with the windscreen washer will leave you with no way to wash the windscreen when the car is moving. This will, in turn, limit your visibility on the road and leave you vulnerable to accidents.

The SEAT Ibiza has a problem with windscreen washers that sometimes fail to work. The washer jet seems to not be turning on even if there is enough water in the reservoir.

Upon investigation, the problem arose from the jet pipes that delivered the liquid to the windscreen. These pipes were found to have cracked and could not work as intended.

When the pipes are exposed to extreme weather conditions, they begin to crack and burst. You will then notice that the washer jet is on and functioning, but the liquid is not coming out.

A replacement pipe is the best way to solve this issue if your pipe seems to be cracked or split. These pipes are not super expensive and can be fitted by any good mechanic.

For some owners of the SEAT Ibiza, the problem was due to a faulty electric system. The windscreen washer jet and pump were not making any noise and seemed to be dysfunctional.

Indicating an electrical problem would mean there’s something wrong with the fuses. Testing the fuse and the washer switch is a good place to start when diagnosing the current to the pump.

Yet another symptom of this issue is when the windscreen washer jet has water coming out at low pressure. This can either mean the pipes are pinched in the engine area, or the electronics are not working properly.

Some owners experience this problem with either the front windscreen washer jet or the rear one. If both the rear and front windscreen washers malfunction, it might indicate an electrical issue or low liquids.

Good mechanics can diagnose and solve this problem relatively easily. Pipes and fuses are not that expensive to replace unless the issue is due to something else.

You may also like this article about problems with Geely cars.

General Pros and Cons for SEAT Cars

Here are some pros and cons of SEAT cars:


  • Long warranty periods
  • Good handling
  • Comfortable seating and interior
  • Great technological features


  • Left Rear Seatbelt Issue
  • Increased Handbrake Travel
  • Rough Running and Idling
  • Windscreen Washer Jet Failure

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Ibiza is Seat’s longest-running nameplate and perhaps the car it’s best known for. It goes toe-to-toe with the Renault Clio, Peugeot 208, Ford Fiesta, Citroen C3, Vauxhall Corsa, Toyota Yaris, and the rest of the mainstream supermini crowd.

The latest version of the SEAT Ibiza is one of those rare cars that absolutely nails it in just about every regard.

You may also want to know about problems with Skoda cars, since many of them share engines with SEAT vehicles.

What’s the Resale Value of SEAT Cars?

Model Mileage (miles) Price ($)
2016 SEAT, Ibiza 30,918  10,900
2020 SEAT, Ibiza 16,999 15,998
2020 SEAT, Arona 15,991 16,998
2019 SEAT, Tarraco 13,413 30,498


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