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Old 8th August 2012, 05:21   #1
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Default 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

This thread is to help prospective buyers of Skoda minimize problems while owning a Skoda car. They are intended to help buyers increase reliability of their car and have a better ownership experience. These steps should help increase reliability of all cars (especially the other German ones), but you have a larger margin for error in the likes of Toyota, Maruti, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai.

So here are the guidelines and am trying to keep it as simple as possible:

1. If you are buying a car for the first time and have not been interested in cars before this, it is better not to buy a Skoda and stick to other brands such as Toyota, Maruti, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai etc which are time proven brands in terms of reliability, after sales service and customer friendliness. As a general rule, the Japanese and the Koreans are better in this area and so one can also safely assume that the likes of Nissan would also tread this path; certainly in the area of reliability, if not anything else.

2. If you are the type who cannot be bothered to understand a car, its functioning, its occasional subtle feedbacks and would rather drive and enjoy the car and leave it to the A.S.S to look after all service related issues it would again be better to stick to the Japanese / Korean brands.

3. If your car is going to be driven by a chauffeur it is better to avoid buying a Skoda. Also, even if you do not have a chauffeur, avoid having multiple drivers on your car (loaning the car to friends etc).

4. The adage “Less is More” is very apt for Skodas/ VW if you do not want to be a part of the VW Group’s Global R&D wing. Simply put, avoid the DSG’s and the L&K variants. Stick to manual gearboxes and at max the Elegance trim.

5. This is the most important one - Avoid Accessorizing Your Car – avoid ICE upgrades, reverse parking sensors, extra lights, change of original lights, change of horns, sun control films, seat covers (where the seats and pads have to be removed to fix them) etc even if the accessories are the original ones. Satisfy yourself with what is available in the higher variant and stick to the stock car. This will help improve the reliability. If you cannot do without accessories, then it is better to avoid a Skoda.

6. If you are buying a Skoda read through the manual, separate the EU specific instructions from the ones for India, and follow the instructions in the manual. You could possibly get away with not doing this when you buy a Japanese / Korean model. For those who would like to go to Level II and learn more about your Skoda, go to erwin.skoda-auto.cz. This site will give you the complete workshop manuals, maintenance guidelines and technical data. However, this information would be of value if you are seriously technically inclined and is not otherwise required. And dont bother if you aren't. The ownership manual would be more than enough.

7. The final step before you buy a Skoda is, I believe, to set yourself certain exit criteria. This is to be used in the worst-case scenario so that one does not get frustrated / disgruntled and start beginning to hate the automotive experience. And this is where you have to decide how much you are willing to put up with before exiting or whether you are willing to exit if you have to. I have put myself a max of 2 reliability issues (or even one if it is major involving the car being off road for more than 7 days) or a max of 2 major service issues. I have decided that if I face any of these I would sell my Skoda at whatever price is prevalent at that time. And move on. Over to you to decide on this one.

Happy Motoring !
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Old 8th August 2012, 05:53   #2
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Intresting thread. Actually is applicable to most of European cars available in India.
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Old 8th August 2012, 07:56   #3
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Interesting, and largely valid. But an exit criterion based on 2 breakdowns (a year?) is far too harsh. If you want to set such a criterion, don't buy a Skoda - stick to Toyota (and still pray).
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Old 8th August 2012, 08:02   #4
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Question re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

@Veyronsport,

Your thread summarizes all the horror Skoda vehicle ownership reviews available on the forum. It surely is a good step in alerting the first time car buyers of the Skoad car owning experience. But should the forum be in any way participate in demoting the brand, surely there must be some success stories untold of the Skoda car ownership.

Can you share what 2 major reliability issues would you bear with when owning a Skoda car?
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Old 8th August 2012, 08:07   #5
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
Interesting, and largely valid. But an exit criterion based on 2 breakdowns (a year?) is far too harsh. If you want to set such a criterion, don't buy a Skoda - stick to Toyota (and still pray).
I tend to disagree. With time, our tolerance to breakdowns should decrease, not increase.
If none of my 3 Marutis and 2 Hyundais have ever broken down in 5 lac kms between them, I would not expect even a single breakdown in costlier cars. Even more so when they don't have a service network to take care of breakdowns in remote areas.
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Old 8th August 2012, 08:16   #6
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Thanks for the detailed information and tips @VeyronSuperSprt. But somehow I feel that you are only focusing on the dark side of a Skoda ownership. There are some really satisfied owners in this forum who are owning Skodas and are confident enough to recommend the same to others as well. Please refer to the below threads to have a look :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...t-pg-23-a.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...11111-kms.html (Fulfillment - Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI L&K at 111111 kms.)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ay-2012-a.html (Laura - Completed 100,000 KM on 15th May 2012)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...km-review.html (Beauty of the Beast Skoda Octavia RS - 57000 km review)
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Old 8th August 2012, 08:29   #7
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
4. The adage “Less is More” is very apt for Skodas/ VW if you do not want to be a part of the VW Group’s Global R&D wing. Simply put, avoid the DSG’s and the L&K variants. Stick to manual gearboxes and at max the Elegance trim.
ROTFL
This is one of the most funniest threads I have come across on the forum lately. Its sure going to draw some extreme views from both the sides. BTW have you been at the receiving end of Skoda or is it just from the information available on the Forum?

All in all what you have said is true but then its common to all european cars in India. The only little grudge with Skoda is there unwillingness to keep a check on there dealers, accept some of the genuine faults in there cars and above all maintaining a customer friendly attitude. They make some of the best cars in terms of looks and driving experience with some good pricing to match it too but are let down by the overall ownership experience.

But I was just doing some maths in my head yesterday for a friend who is planning to buy a car in the D segment including the entry level germans. With his top priority being back seat comfort I recommended him Superb and Passat over the german trio. Obviously I shared my fears regarding Skoda after sales with him. But if you genuinely think then the maintainence would not be more expensive than lets say a BMW or an AUDI over a 5 year period. Infact it would prove cheaper if I am not wrong. But its just that psychologically some of us ( including me) are convinced that the after sales is a nightmare going by the number of horrible experiences our friends have had on the forum.
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Old 8th August 2012, 08:43   #8
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

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Originally Posted by Repsol View Post
There are some really satisfied owners
I own two Skoda's and am very happy with both of them. I have a Laura TSI and a Skoda Rapid. The Laura TSI has been with me for more than 2 years and in the Rapid I have done more than 9300 kms. Both of these have given me a good enough ownership experience and the reason is that I have followed what I have written above, so this thread is intended to let the others hopefully experience the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
All in all what you have said is true but then its common to all european cars in India.
Please read the above. As I have said in the beginning of this thread, this is applicable to all german cars.
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Old 8th August 2012, 09:15   #9
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
This thread is to help prospective buyers of Skoda minimize problems while owning a Skoda car.
Wow - a nice way of saying "Stay away from Skodas unless you have deep pockets and/or the technical expertise to fix them". Wonder if excerpts from this thread would also someday be added to the annals of Skoda jokes.
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Old 8th August 2012, 09:41   #10
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

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Originally Posted by Repsol View Post
... But somehow I feel that you are only focusing on the dark side of a Skoda ownership...
Without doubt there are happy owners as well (as with everything), but on balance Skoda has a far darker side to it - like in my own case signature forged by dealer to palm a lemon, Harish' case with JMD, Ajmat's posts a few months ago and so on. I think the nature of issues and the quantum are too high for a car that sells less than 15 cars per 1000. Makes you wonder why they are still around and speaks volumes of the rule of law in our country.

Also it may be true that all German cars are less reliable in general vs. Japanese / Hyundai, but attitude makes a lot of difference and Skoda may have a lot of ground to cover there vis-a-vis its parent VW or BMW or Merc.

Cheers,

Last edited by diffsoft : 8th August 2012 at 10:05. Reason: Added that I think Skoda's real issue is attitude
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Old 8th August 2012, 10:08   #11
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

The topic made me stir being a fellow Skoda (Superb) owner and I really can't fault your logic on most points you have raised and in fact found most holding true in my particular case.

1. I went for Skoda only after having tasted the ultra reliable Toyota, just to satisfy my luxury cravings.
2. I try to understand my car inside out and avoid taking it to the ASC for small issues.
3. I always self drive my cars and share it just with my brother.
4. Bang on. I avoided DSG's by a yard pole. And went for petrol over diesel and saved quite a lot on initial cost.
5. I hate accessorising even my other vehicles unless absolutely necessary.
6. I love manuals of all types. Even workshop ones.
7. The exit criteria is quite simple with a Skoda. It is an absolute bang for your buck, at least in my case, though I am not too sure about their other products being value propositions. And I am enjoying E class comfort at half the price. My exit strategy is summed up nicely in my closing statement.

Though your perspective may seem harsh but the crux of most of your/our qualms about Skoda could end had they had a very efficient after sales service network. I for one was quite apprehensive of the brand Skoda BUT having tasted the product, I would have to admit that it was certainly more luxurious than the trouble free Japs, let down quite badly by inefficient and untrained sales network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
But its just that psychologically some of us ( including me) are convinced that the after sales is a nightmare
It may be psychological but even I have nightmares thinking I will need to go to a Skoda ASC someday.

So to sum it up, get maximum discounts on initial ownership, maintain intelligently, avoid going to ASC unless absolutely necessary, search for good 3rd party service handlers and finally pray to God that you get a quality conscious 'Murga' like yourself when disposing off the vehicle. In the bargain, enjoy that extra bit of luxury everyday of your ownership.

Last edited by dkaile : 8th August 2012 at 10:13.
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Old 8th August 2012, 10:09   #12
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
Please read the above. As I have said in the beginning of this thread, this is applicable to all german cars.
The thread title says otherwise and creates the impression that the thread is more Skoda centric than being a general discussion on all European cars.
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Old 8th August 2012, 11:00   #13
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

I agree with most of the guidelines you have mentioned above and those are the exact principles I have followed with my Skoda buy.

As many have said, the points mentioned are valid for most Euro cars and the thread title could have been indicative of this.

The focus of the thread seems to be "Why you should not buy a Skoda" rather than guidelines for buying a Skoda

Not all Skodas are trouble some. THe prev gen Laura, Superb and Fabia were the ones that caused most trouble. Current models (barring the 7 DSG) are far better in reliability stakes.
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Old 8th August 2012, 11:27   #14
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Default Re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying an Euro Car!

I think this thread title needs to change to "Euro Car" else poor old Skoda takes another beating of sorts!

My "LittleBigFoot" the Skoda Yeti is now 9 months old.

No one other than me has ever driven it except the Showroom driver who moved it about for registration and delivery and the service advisor who moved it a few yards when I went for a 7500km check recently.

I dislike too much of these manuals and all that jazz - why bother doing something when you can pay a professional to look after it for you. Im interested of course but do not believe in looking over their shoulders all the time. I also dont like to fiddle much with the vehicle at all - let it be as original as possible at all times!

So far so good. A very good vehicle. Very comfy. No grumbles from me so far.
Cheers.
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Old 8th August 2012, 11:38   #15
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Default re: 7 Simple Guidelines if you're buying a European car

Why Skoda? This would probably be applicable for most European cars.
Your points are very valid, but somehow, they give an impression that this is another "Skoda bashing" thread.

Perhaps, a change in tilte would set it right.
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