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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:01   #1
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Default My experience with Skoda-Autobahn

I own a 2004 Octavia vRS and drive it on some sundays - usually I am chauffered. I got the vRS over the Accord and Corolla Automatic becuase I figured that atleast on the few occasions I get to drive I will have a car that is fun. The Accord was a ship and the Corolla had excessive body roll.

About the time Harish was posting his expereince on the now famous "Skoda dealer changes parts in my car" thread I decided to check out Skoda's service myself.

On two occasions in the past I had been unhappy with Skoda-Autobahn's service center (the first time in their ability to diagnose a problem post 26/7 and the second time in their ability to return the car in the same condition as they recieved it). This would be their third time.

However I opened my dialogue with Skoda by sending an email to Sudhir Srinivas. A few days after that email I got a call from Liyakat Chajju of Autobahn. We met at Skoda-Autobahn's showroom in Prabhadevi, Mumbai.

At that time I handed Liyakat a 3 page list of areas I wanted him to check. The idea was that if Skoda-Autobahn's diagnostic skills are limited maybe by pointing them in the right direction they will do a better job. I also told him that I would like Skoda-Autobahn to give me their diagnosis and we would take if from there.

We decided that since I ouwld be travelling from March 26 to April 1 this time would be ideal as it would allow Skoda-Autobahn to work in peace without be constantly breathing down their neck.

On inspection the following things were found wanting
1. The front discs had been scarred
2. the clutch was now very hard
3. the fuel gauge had stopped functioning properly
4. the timing belt had become hard and lost it's elasticity
5. Skoda emblems on the rear wheel which were lost by Autobahn in 2007 were to be replaced.

other areas that needed checking were
1. the water pump
2. the throttle body (just cleaning)
3. anti roll bar and rear bushes (this was my contention)

in addition since they had the car I told them to also check
1. the coil packs
2. engine fan and fan control unit

Liyakat and I spent 1 hour detailing not only how to fix much of this list but also the problems I had previously faced with Skoda-Autobahn.

My decision to try Skoda one more time was becuase
1. I wanted TBHPians to know that we at TBHP had not given up on Skoda nor were we biased given all the attention Harish's thread was getting. By having my own experience I would be able to post a more honest opnion.

2. The car needed a lot of servicing anyway and what better time to give the car to Skoda-Autobhan when they are under a magnifying glass and they should be doing everything in their power to repair their reputation

3. Assurances by Liyakat (who claimed he was in contact with Mr Srinivas) that I whould try Autobahn one more time and that they (Autobahn) would do their best to ensure I was satisfied. At this point I infromed Liayakt that he was dealing with a person who is hard ot please and reasonably knowledgeable about cars.

Last edited by navin : 2nd April 2009 at 16:30.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:06   #2
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Today (April 2nd) I got my bill from Skoda (along with my car)

The bill......

Labour Charges
Front Brake Disc Skimming Charges Rs. 800
Remove and Refitted Front Brake Disc Rs. 400
Wheel Alignment Done Rs. 900
Wheel Balancing Done Rs. 500
Replaced Clutch plate, pressure plate and release bearing Rs. 2500
Replaced Timing Kit Rs. 2500
Replaced Fuel filter Rs. 150
Replaced Brake Oil Rs. 350
Replaced Rear wheel Monograms Free
Replaced cooling coil with AC gas recharging done Rs. 4200
Water outlet gallery cleaning done Rs. 950
Front Shock Absorber servicing done Rs. 1200
Labour total Rs. 14,800
Service Tax @ 10% Rs. 1480
Edu Cess on Service Tax @ 3% Rs. 44.40

Parts List Qty
NON3 O rings 4pcs Rs. 240
NPN 32 Wheel balancing weight 5pcs Rs. 375
Clutch Plate II 038141032E 1 Rs. 6230
Clutch Pressure Plate 038141025P 1 Rs. 5992
Release Bearing 02A141165M 1 Rs. 2269
Toothed Belt E/S 06B109119A 1 Rs. 1998
Tensioner Roller (RS) 0B109243F 1 Rs. 2788
Guide Busher set 4D0698647 1 Rs. 520
Fuel Filter Set 1J0201511A 1 Rs. 417
Dust and Pollen filter EL 1H0819644B 1 Rs. 481
Screen Wash Concentrate HBA096039 1 Rs. 89
Dip Stick Ptl. 06A115611Q 1 Rs. 340
Wheel Cap Black / Light 1U0601149A 2 Rs. 902
Fuel Gauge Sender unit 8L0919673E 1 Rs. 3333
Cooling Coil R 1J2820024R 1 Rs. 13422
A/C Expansion valve 6N0820679C 1 Rs. 2524
Brake Fluid (250ml) NPN6 4pcs Rs. 356
Gear Oil NPN3 3pcs Rs. 870
Workshop Consumables 1 Rs. 350
Total Rs. 43486
Vat @12.5% on 43486 Rs. 5435.76
Total Rs. 65,246

Last edited by navin : 2nd April 2009 at 16:15.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:08   #3
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Tomorrow my car will be sent to Stanley for new front and rear seats (Stanely Napa Leather) so I will only get the car back Friday evening or Saturday. I will run the car on Sunday and post my driving experience on Monday.

The only part of the bill that surprised me a bit was the Rs. 902 charge for the Skoda wheel emblems because during my discussions with Liyakat I had mentioned that these had been lost by Skoda when my car had visited them last (in 2007). But given that that was 2 years ago and a ot had happened since then I can accept this as well.

Though the entire time that my car was with Autobahn Liyakat kept in regular touch with me via SMS and email and even calling me when I was out of the country.

Last edited by navin : 2nd April 2009 at 16:18.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:12   #4
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That is some expensive servicing!
Labour 14k - isn't that quiet steep!
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:13   #5
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thats a high bill, its an expensive car to maintain.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:13   #6
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Get 10 service like this & you will spend such an amount that you can buy another skoda.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:14   #7
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Holy Maloney,
The car is a Skoda Octavia or an Audi A4? Just check under the skin. No wonder its so hard to sell a second hand Octavia. Go to most second hand car dealers like Popular, Caravan, etc. Most of their sales are from people outside Bombay confirmed by their salesman. People from small villages like thekedaars, money lenders with liquid cash and tier II cities pick up these vehicles. And from my information nearly all of their cars have mileage rewinded by atleast half.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
Total 65,246
That amount is as big as accident repair quotes for most cars! Any idea how much all this would run into at a Maruti dealer? Or for fairness, lets compare with a Toyota or a Honda?
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:16   #9
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65 k is a huge amount. But the deal clincher would be the quality of work done.

Btw, how much has the car run ?
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilkalvani View Post
Holy Maloney,
The car is a Skoda Octavia or an Audi A4?
Audi in disguise! That's a good deal then, ain't it? An Audi A4 for what 12 lakhs??
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:17   #11
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65k for a service,its better to by a cycle rather buying a skoda.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:19   #12
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Information needs to be related with the odo reading/age of car. Navin?

Indirectly can I infer that this is third service. That mean ~30k running. Complete clutch change at this stage? And Timing belt? And A/c expansion valve?

Leaves me scratching my head.

Last edited by sudev : 2nd April 2009 at 16:23.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:20   #13
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That's an humongous cost ... How much has your skoda driven? Were you anticipating such a huge invoice based on the issues you were facing with her?
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:20   #14
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Wow, Navin - kudos.

To make a willing guinea pig of yourself and your car in the light of recent disclosures on the forum takes a lot of courage and commitment.

Predictably, the bill seems ridiculously high (I don't own a Skoda!). Assuming your car hasn't been run much, it also seems that a lot of parts have worn out rather prematurely.

I hope the parts used were genuine and the work was carried out to your satisfaction.

Last edited by airfoil : 2nd April 2009 at 16:33.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 16:21   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
Tomorrow my car will be sent to Stanley for new front and rear seats (Stanely Napa Leather)
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?
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