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Old 3rd April 2009, 11:20   #76
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navin : 2. Right now it is too early to say if the parts were spurious or not. I did get the old parts back and am keeping them incase someone on TBHP wants to inspect them. Farhan might.
As being discussed parallely in other threads, the points of contention would be the parts currently doing duty inside the car, and not the parts returned to you.

Though, the parts returned to you can be checked if they actually needed replacement so soon.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 11:22   #77
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Originally Posted by mmmjgm View Post
My 2 cents,

1) a Defective evaporator should be fixed under warranty
Good point. Merc replaced my evaporator well after the warranty had expired, as a good will gesture. I have said this time and again : Merc's cars may have reliability issues, but their dealer / customer support is SOLID. And I NEVER expect a Merc dealership to replace parts with counterfeit spares or forge my signatures (something Skoda seems to be very comfortable with).

Of course, it is not fair to expect the same of every brand. But a true premium brand goes out of the way to please its customers. Why only Merc, look up my Nike thread (Nike experience) as well. Nike can count me in as a customer for life.

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2) Clutch being hard is to do with the lubrication of the clutch actuator arm on the clutch case/flywheel cover & cable/llinkages. - A pressure plate cannot harden on its own. (the device which provides feel and pressure to the clutch friction plate on the flywheel to transfer power)
I simply cannot understand why the clutch needs to be replaced. In my 15 years of driving, I have only replaced clutches when they were slipping. This is a first.

BTW, Mad Monkeys RS also had a clutch replacement in less than 30,000 kms. Thus, we have three Skoda RS' confirmed with new clutches at incredibly premature stages (Navin, NC & Monkey)

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4) 28k replacement of timing belt ? Was this preventive or was this on account of flood damage to the timing belt? The service advisor should have clarified on this.
Ridiculous! Another first. My Vtec is supposed to have its timing belt replaced (800 odd bucks) at 80,000 kms. I did it at 65,000 kms and thought that was early.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 11:25   #78
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Skoda > obsessed with quality !
I do not see how, if a Skoda car needs so many parts replacement with such less mileage on them. Also, most of the Skodas sold are private vehicles. I would shudder to think what the cost of ownership would be if these were to be used as part of fleet operations.
As a customer of any vehicle, especially one 'obsessed with quality' i would expect much better component life or atleast on par with local makes if not the japanese makes.
I feel Skoda owners are truly magnanimous and courageous, like Navin here, to buy and own such a vehicle. I think Skoda has been very lucky in India.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 11:35   #79
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Originally Posted by vikram18 View Post
I'm told Napa leather is quite "slippery", esp after it's cleaned with the Stanley leather cleaner. That's why I didn't go for Napa leather. Can you confirm if this is true?
My octy has Napa leather from stanley.And yes, to some extent it is a bit slippery but its ok.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 11:50   #80
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I actually feel a bit sorry for you Navin. I guess the pent up frustration from elsewhere is also slipping in here a bit. We are sort of bombarding you with arguments and counter arguments. Do take it in positive spirit.

Looking forward to your week end test and results.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:43   #81
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Good point. Merc replaced my evaporator well after the warranty had expired, as a good will gesture.

BTW, Mad Monkeys RS also had a clutch replacement in less than 30,000 kms. Thus, we have three Skoda RS' confirmed with new clutches at incredibly premature stages (Navin, NC & Monkey)

Ridiculous! Another first. My Vtec is supposed to have its timing belt replaced (800 odd bucks) at 80,000 kms. I did it at 65,000 kms and thought that was early.
I agree I would have expected Skoda be trying to retain all the customers they can. Remember the prices charged to me are not the cost to Skdoa so a Rs. 2500 evap could really cost Skoda about Rs. 500-800. For a little cost to them Skoda could have built a lot of good will. Well it's their business not mine.

3 vRS all clutches changed at around 30K ouch. Skoda! What are you doing?
Any clutch experts out there?

I am going to send my old timing belt to Farhan today. I guess he will post his findings soon.

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
I actually feel a bit sorry for you Navin.
Why? Dont be. I have a lot to be grateful for.

That I created a thread here is so that I can be queried. Who else are we going to query if not ourselves?

When I bought my vRS my choices were the Accord, Corolla Auto, Hyundai Emberra (which was about to be launched).

Corolla - excessive body roll on bad roads
Accord - did not fit into my then parking space (even the Corolla and Octy were a tight fit)
Emberra - At that time Hyundai was asking 15L for this car. I argued with them asking them how on earth they could be asking for 15L when an Accord could be got for little more. They did not budge. I walked. Besides it was a bit big for my parking spot anyway.

Today my parking spot can accomodate an Accord/Camry/Superb/Sonata-Transform sized car maybe my next car will be from this 20L segment.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:56   #82
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navin : Remember the prices charged to me are not the cost to Skdoa so a Rs. 2500 evap could really cost Skoda about Rs. 500-800.
@Navin, may be you should explore sourcing these components, a-la IBM_Jennifer. Ref :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ance-cost.html (TATA Safari TCIC Maintenance Cost)
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:27   #83
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Skoda components are not as easy to find as Tata. Ajmat had to import what he needed from the UK.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:47   #84
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Skoda's RS use to be my favourite and I used to have a huge clash with my father for buying the same, he never let me buy any Skoda due to Astrological reasons, He says that brand doesn't go by my stars.

Seems like my father has saved me and my pockets all the time, Thanks Pa.

But on the other hand after seeing all the posts and different threads here, seems this brand doesn't share any fortune with anyone

Last edited by S_budhiraj : 3rd April 2009 at 13:49.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 14:08   #85
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I took the liberty of calling Navin yesterday evening. We had a long chat on his service experience, what was changed and why etc. etc.

What you will read below is my personal opinion and I do not expect everyone to agree with my inference. Here's what I think has happened.

1) After being informed of what fellow Bhpian Harish has gone through the guys at the dealership were probably a bit more cautious in their approach, especially since Navin is part of our community.

2) They probably did not want to take any chances, and instead of playing a guessing game, just went ahead and changed any and all parts associated to the problems as detailed in job card.

3) We also need to remember that navin had briefed the service advisor at the dealership in detail with regards to the issues he was facing and like any of us, impressed upon the person in charge that he wanted his car back in top shape.

Change of parts

I am only going to comment on the clutch assembly, the evaporator and the timing belt since these are the only components we discussed.

1) Clutch Assembly

With regards to the clutch change - In my opinion a bit too early, however Navin did explain to me that the car has been driven through quite a bit (as in depth) of water during the floods in Bombay. Also need to consider the fact that the vehicle is mostly driven by Navin's driver. I am not doubting the drivers skills, but I have personally found clutches to pack up sooner when a car is given to a driver.

Inspite of all of the above, if I was the dealership, I would have first changed the realease bearing and then probably looked into replacing / serviceing the clutch pedal box assembly. Inspite of having changed the pressure plate, release bearing etc.etc. I understand from our conversation yeaterday that the clutch pedal still does not seem as soft as it was when the vehicle was new. This, in my opinion again points to the clutch pedal box assembly. The dealership should have used their expertise to diagnose the issue instead going ahead and changing a whole lot of things. They probably would have test driven the vehicle prior to service. A competant mechanic will for sure know if the clutch is slipping and warrants a change.

2) Evaporator Coil

From my conversation with Navin yesterday, I understand that he had topped up the refridgerant sometime in November last year. Inspite of that the cooling was insufficient. The mechs in the dealership apparently did a leak test and found a pin hole leak. In that case changing the cooling coil is ok. I was mentioning to navin that cooling coils in India especially are prone to leaks. I have in atleast 3 vehicles I have owned, changed the cooling coil. Why - When we use the fesh air vent, all the leaves and twigs etc, enter the HVAC system and the cooling coil is prone to puncture. The metal on cooling coils is usually very thin. However I have owned cars for several years where the cooling coil did not need replacement. I guess its just a matter of luck. I guess Navin will be able to elaborate further on the performance of the air conditioner and inform us if there indeed has been a vast improvement.

3) Timing Belt

Considering the fact that the car has done 30 odd thousand km, it is still very early, however Navin's car is 7 years old. Rubber tends to become hard and brittle over time and due to continous exposure to heat. In my personal opinion even if your timing belt does not show signs of cracking or brittleness, one should considering changing the timing belt after 5 years of use. Although not mandatory, I firmly beleive that prevention is better than cure.
Navin will be sending me the belt, I will have a look and comment further, but on the face of things I agree with the dealerships decesion of changing the timing belt.

Conclusion - Has Navin been taken for a ride ?

In my personal opinion - NO. I agree that Skoda's and their spare parts may not be as relaible or as cheap as what the Japs churn out, but this is something all of have and are aware of from the begining.

At the end of the day and in my personal opinion, injustice has been done to Harish, Evo and Diffsoft and several others. This is an issue that the management of the company has to resolve and pronto. They cannot wash their hands off the way they have. There has to be accountability for the dealers actions.

We as auto enthusiasts must bring to light these unjust practices, but there is a way to go about doing it. We must maintain our class and dignity and all that our community stands for.

Cheers & drive safe.

Last edited by Sideways : 3rd April 2009 at 14:09.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 14:15   #86
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Awesomely well written and explains it for the average joes like me. That was a post worthy of a D-BHPian
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Old 3rd April 2009, 16:32   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideways View Post
This, in my opinion again points to the clutch pedal box assembly. The dealership should have used their expertise to diagnose the issue instead going ahead and changing a whole lot of things...A competant mechanic will for sure know if the clutch is slipping and warrants a change.

2) Evaporator Coil
I guess Navin will be able to elaborate further on the performance of the air conditioner and inform us if there indeed has been a vast improvement.

3) Timing Belt
Considering the fact that the car has done 30 odd thousand km, it is still very early, however Navin's car is 7 years old.

Navin will be sending me the belt, I will have a look and comment further, but on the face of things I agree with the dealerships decesion of changing the timing belt.
Fantastically written. You know what next time I am going to have you ghost write all my posts! This post was clear, stated facts and could be understood by any auto enthusiast.

One clarification. My car was bought in Sept 2004 so it is a bit under 5 years old. Like explained yesterday the old timing belt while hard did not show any cracks when bent into a tight radius. Yes I can understand the change of timing belt - I do not understand the change of the Tensioner Roller

The Air con is good but not much better than when it was in Nov just after I had recharged the gas. From Nov to March I felt a slight loss in cooling but chalked it up to the change in weather. I have the old cooiling coil so that can be checked too.

What we have learnt is that
1. Skoda-Autobahn's mechanics prefer to play safe than to use a bit of diagnositc ability.
2. Skoda parts are expensive
3. Skoda parts do not last as long as Honda or Toyota parts.

What we have also learnt is that on occasion Skoda delaers are capable of offering decent but not excellent service. If Skoda really wanted to earn goodwill they could have been more careful in their diagnosis and/or not charged so heavily (Rs. 1400 for just wheel balancing and alignment) for every little bit of labour or not charged for a few of the cheaper parts (not that I want something free but it would show that they are not being petty).

If you see the details you will notice that Rs. 89 was charged for Screen Wash Concentrate and Rs. 950 was charged for Water outlet gallery cleaning (something that is often done free by other manufacturers).

Skoda-Autobahn has every right to bill these ammounts it is just not good long term business practice to do so but that is Skoda/Autobahn's business not mine. After all they did charge for the wheel emblems even when I had explained to Liyakat that the emblems had been lost at Autobahn 2 years ago when I had last sent my car to them.

Last edited by navin : 3rd April 2009 at 16:33.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 17:04   #88
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Though Honda/Toyota parts are expensive too, but unlike Skoda their parts last longer.

Charging for minor things like Screen wash concentrate is going overboard, maybe they think that whoever owns a Skoda is rich guy, so milk him as much as possible!

Navin, what is Water outlet gallery cleaning? charged Rs.950
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Old 3rd April 2009, 17:22   #89
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Oops, sorry, for some reason I thought your car was 7 years old.

With regards to the Tensioner Roller (it's actually a ball bearing) - These would normally be changed around the of 60,000to 80,000 km reading along with your timing belt. Your belt need not be changed for another 60,000 odd kilometers, but if you had not changed the tensioner at this point in time, you would have had to change it once your car had reached the milage indicated above. Since they decided on changing the belt they changed the tensioner also. To be honest, in my opinion this is ok, I would have accepted the decision if it was my car.

Changing timing belts is not as simple as changing your regualr fan belt. The timing belt is enclosed in the timing case. They would have charged you the same labour at a later date to change the tensioner alone. Look it at this way, you had both things done for the cost of one.

Most dealers these days fleece the customers on the labour charges, but we have to understand that these charges (albeit in consultation with the dealers) are fixed by the manufacturer of the vehicle and recomended to the dealer.

I will give you an example, I sent the Scorpio for service and on analysing the bill found that labour had been charged for each and every single job carried out, including seperate charges for water wash - fair enough. However I found a charge of Rs. 500 - Description - 25,000 km service charge. On going through my previous bills I realsied that each of them had this Rs.500 charge (with different odo readings ofcourse). When I asked the dealership what this charge was for, he told me that it was recomended by Mahindra and was to be charged for every vehcile . Ok, I said, agreed, but what have you done with the vehicle to justify billing me this amount - Guess what - HE HAD NO ANSWER. Go figure.

Now, this is a big dealership. Assuming they do 20 cars a day x 30 days per month (they work Sundays too). Thats 600 cars in a month x Rs.500 (Party fund) per car = Rs. 3,00,000 per month - Per Year - 36,00,000. 36 freaking lakhs to do absolutely Zilch.

You know what, maybe, just maybe

Last edited by Sideways : 3rd April 2009 at 17:29.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 18:29   #90
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We as auto enthusiasts must bring to light these unjust practices, but there is a way to go about doing it. We must maintain our class and dignity and all that our community stands for.
Well said. However, we can't ignore the fact that it cost 60,000 bucks for the regular maintenance of a car that has only covered 30K. Dude, my Benz at 30K clicks definitely cost lesser to own than Navins Skoda. And yes, my C220 is 90% driver driven (I only take it out on nights & outstation trips).

There isn't a doubt that Skoda's maintenance is outrageously overpriced. Think of it this way, Navin spent nearly 10% of his cars worth today. Only at 30,000 kms.
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