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Old 4th August 2013, 08:21   #31
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

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Originally Posted by d_himan View Post
great pics and review! I loved your description of getting into the car in your dark basement...

sigh, it's not fair to keep bombarding us non German folks with what we're missing!
Don't feel bad! I'm only sharing what I felt and what could be improved. Japanese and US cars do have their own advantages. For example, they are very much export oriented with friendly support in the respective countries. This is an area where European cars are still in their diapers.
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Old 4th August 2013, 10:54   #32
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Don't feel bad! I'm only sharing what I felt and what could be improved. Japanese and US cars do have their own advantages. For example, they are very much export oriented with friendly support in the respective countries. This is an area where European cars are still in their diapers.
Just kidding Nitin! One fine day, I guess I'll take a deep breath and take a plunge as well, A.S.S notwithstanding...a relationship with a supermodel is always going to be tempestuous!
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Old 6th August 2013, 10:13   #33
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

Hi,

Just thought of sharing an observation. The climate control seems a lot better after Skoda replaced the control valve. I only need to set it at 24 deg., for normal usage whereas previously even 18deg seemed very less.

I'd suggest all Laura owners to check with the dealers to see if they can get this free replacement.
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Old 6th August 2013, 19:59   #34
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

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Originally Posted by evoque View Post
I am confused now too :(
Can you pls confirm the month of manufacture? Mine is Jul 2006.
I just checked and mine is June 2006. This is very weird!

EDIT: Maybe it was an optional accessory and the original owner got it fixed. That's the only explanation.

Last edited by EagleEye : 6th August 2013 at 20:03.
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Old 10th August 2013, 20:33   #35
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

Hi Everyone! I'm back!

Finished upgrading my car's ESP to the latest generation of ABS with ABS / ESP(basic) to advanced ESP with ESP, XDS , PLA , DSR , HBA , LDE , EBC , HVV, CBC , TCS , YMC ,EDL , HHC ..... Such features are only found in high end cars. The car now has full fledged automatic parking along with 360 degrees view.

ESP: Electronic Stability Program, XDS: Advanced Electronic Differential Lock, PLA: Automatic Parking, version 2, DSR: Driver Steering Recommendation, TCS: Traction Control system, YMC: Yaw Moment Control, EDL: Electronic Differential Lock, CBC: Corner Braking Control, HHC: Hill Hold Control, HVV: Maximum Rear Axle Deceleration, LDE: Low Dynamic ESP. Shall put the pics and videos soon!
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Old 10th August 2013, 22:23   #36
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Hi Everyone! I'm back!

Finished upgrading my car's ESP to the latest generation of ABS with ABS / ESP(basic) to advanced ESP with ESP, XDS , PLA , DSR , HBA , LDE , EBC , HVV, CBC , TCS , YMC ,EDL , HHC ..... Such features are only found in high end cars. The car now has full fledged automatic parking along with 360 degrees view.

ESP: Electronic Stability Program, XDS: Advanced Electronic Differential Lock, PLA: Automatic Parking, version 2, DSR: Driver Steering Recommendation, TCS: Traction Control system, YMC: Yaw Moment Control, EDL: Electronic Differential Lock, CBC: Corner Braking Control, HHC: Hill Hold Control, HVV: Maximum Rear Axle Deceleration, LDE: Low Dynamic ESP. Shall put the pics and videos soon!
WOW!
I was not even aware that one could upgrade all this! Can you share some details - how, where, how much, etc?
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Old 14th August 2013, 09:04   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Hi Everyone! I'm back!

Finished upgrading my car's ESP to the latest generation of ABS with ABS / ESP(basic) to advanced ESP with ESP, XDS , PLA , DSR , HBA , LDE , EBC , HVV, CBC , TCS , YMC ,EDL , HHC ..... Such features are only found in high end cars. The car now has full fledged automatic parking along with 360 degrees view.

ESP: Electronic Stability Program, XDS: Advanced Electronic Differential Lock, PLA: Automatic Parking, version 2, DSR: Driver Steering Recommendation, TCS: Traction Control system, YMC: Yaw Moment Control, EDL: Electronic Differential Lock, CBC: Corner Braking Control, HHC: Hill Hold Control, HVV: Maximum Rear Axle Deceleration, LDE: Low Dynamic ESP. Shall put the pics and videos soon!
Awesome job! Congrats to you and Sugesh for having the courage to carry out such an extensive retrofit. I had seen the autopark retrofit in sugesh's laura but it was not completely fine tuned then. I believe its more of a party trick kind of a feature than being really useful in Indian conditions. But the other safety features ate surely takes the car to another level.
Did you get the job done in Kochi or Sugesh came down to Bangalore?
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Old 14th August 2013, 09:49   #38
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

Hi Everyone,

I have upgraded my car's ESP to the latest generation of ABS with ABS / ESP(basic) to advanced ESP with ESP, XDS , PLA , DSR , HBA , LDE , EBC , HVV, CBC , TCS , YMC ,EDL , HHC ..... Such features are only found in high end cars. The car now has full fledged automatic parking along with 360 degrees view.

The various expansions are as follows:
ESP: Electronic Stability Program, XDS: Advanced Electronic Differential Lock, PLA: Automatic Parking, version 2, DSR: Driver Steering Recommendation, TCS: Traction Control system, YMC: Yaw Moment Control, EDL: Electronic Differential Lock, CBC: Corner Braking Control, HHC: Hill Hold Control, HVV: Maximum Rear Axle Deceleration, LDE: Low Dynamic ESP.

The upgrade was done at Vagtune, Cochin. I had to book the date with Sukesh well in advance, make a pre-payment and have the equipment ordered. It took about three weeks for all the components to arrive.

The components included the ABS pump, which inturn upgrades all the above safety features. The Laura L&K does come with most of the above features but does not include certain crucial features such as corner braking, XDS, LDE, HVV etc., which are a life saver when negotiating curves at high speed. This ESP is about 10 times more effective/faster in response as compared to the normal ESP
found in the Laura L&K.

This ABS/ESP system is the most advanced available in the market today.
I also upgraded to include automatic parking/unparking. This was possible because of the upgraded ABS/ESP which permitted additional two ABS sensors for the rear wheels, along with the upgraded CAN gateway (previously done when I upgraded to the Driver Fatigue/attention assist feature).

I performed this upgraded during the past weekend when I had three days off! I set off from Bangalore for Ernakulam at 5pm and reached by 2AM. Checked into the highway gardens hotel and had a sleep till 8AM. Got up, took a shower, dresses up and after breakfast, left for Sukesh's place.

Sukesh in the meanwhile had kept everything ready - tools, the imported parts and other equipments, as if he's a surgeon preparing an OT!
We started at 0930hrs by removing the stock ABS pump. This is located at the bottom behind the engine. We had to remove the battery, air-filter etc., to have the ABS pump accessible.

The new ABS pump was then installed and the cables reconnected. Sukesh performed a scan and certain checks to ensure the new ABS pump was fine and adapted.

The next step was to install additional sensors to the front and rear bumpers so as to enable the automatic parking. There is also a separate controller to enable the automatic parking/un-parking.
We had to run cables from the new sensors to the controller module and integrate it with the existing optical parking system.
Sukesh then once again ran scans and diagnostics to ensure the automatic parking sensors, control module, newly installed ABS sensors on the rear wheels along with the new ABS/ESP pumps were detected by the system and all the required features were available.
The next step involved brake bleeding and replacing the brake fluid. This is because when the stock ABS/ESP module was replaced, alot of brake fluid was lost in the process. Further there is always a good chance of air seeping in. The brakes were bled, fluid replaced and re-calibrated.
With the new ABS/ESP, the brake rotor wipers were also enabled along with Hill Hold and Hill Descent control

We were done by 1800hrs in the evening. Phew! This was a real record. Sukesh himself could not believe in this achievement as its was the first time everything went so smooth. There are always some complications as this is a major upgrade.
We took the car for a test ride and tested both parallel and vertical parkings. This was when I noticed the car now has 360 degrees optical parking sensors.

The next step was to evaluate the ABS/ESP system.

The first thing I noticed is a feel the car is gripped to the road. Whatever the speed you're travelling at you get an additional sense of safety as if someone is there to steer you away from danger. When you accelerate/brake, the car simply moves in the direction with extreme stability. In other words its like the car telling you, "Take me anywhere, ride me anyhow"

The corner braking system enables you to negotiate sharp corners without decelerating or when you're too fast on a curve to slow down.

On my way back to Bangalore there were two instances where i had to brake heavily and it was the advanced ESP that kept me on track. I'd also noticed when you brake briefly, the engine rpm does not fall, which means you can quickly regain your speed. I'm so grateful to myself to have done this upgrade. I can now enjoy driving at high speeds with much better safety.

Apart from driving at high speeds, these features are quite useful in our driving conditions which are quite uncertain. I did not have a chance to drive on a wet/sandy/gravel surface to test these features further.
Though this upgrade enhances the safety of my car, I would like to stress that this is NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES.

I also tried the parking & unparking feature and it works quite well. I've attached a video of my car parking automatically. This is a vertical parking. I'm also attaching a video of Sukesh's car on parallel parking.

A separate button is fixed next to the existing park-assist & ASR button. You should first turn your indicator lights to the direction you wish to park (Left or Right). You should then press the automatic parking botton. Pressing once activates the parallel parking feature and pressing once more activates the vertical parking. When a suitable spot is found, the MDI display shows you an arrow to the selected spot. You may then apply the brakes and follow the prompts on the MDI display. The steering wheel turns automatically while the car parks. You will also get a message
on the MDI that "steering intervention is ON". The MDI display will also tell you when to press the brakes or to shift the gears between reverse and forward.
Once the parking is done, you will get the following message: Park Assist off and Steering intervention is OFF, please take control"

When you wish to unpark, simply start the car and press the parking button and you may follow the prompts on the MDI.

I am going on a Goa trip between 15th and 19th August when I hope to test and enjoy these features further.

Now the big question: Am I happy?
Answer: Yes. The safety features of my car has been enhanced multifold with the latest technology currently available in the market. The automatic parking feature can be handy if you're in a hurry or not in a mood to carefully watch and park.

Above all, I really liked Vagtuned installation and support. The quality is as perfect as the OEM. I do not think anybody in Skoda India can do such upgrades or even understand what these are about.

Please note I have masked Sukesh's photos on personal request.
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Old 14th August 2013, 10:46   #39
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

Please find the videos. I am having trouble in directly uploading the videos so please find the respective YouTube link.

Parallel Parking:



Vertical Parking:


Last edited by nitinbose : 14th August 2013 at 10:48.
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Old 20th August 2013, 19:54   #40
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

Did a Goa trip during the past long weekend! The car was a breeze to cruise on the highway. The average speed was 90-110kph. The car was extremely stable. On the ghat sections, I could manage the hair pin curves without any stress even at 60kph!

What amazed me most was the strength and build quality of the vehicle. There are a couple of huge bumps somewhere close to Belgaum. I did not see it in advance so could not slow down sufficiently and ran over them at 60kph! Initially I though this was the end and the car was totalled but to my amazement nothing happened!

I was able to drive the car without any problems, all the way to Goa and back! The impact was so huge that the compartment on top of the front centre A/C duct came off flying; the fascia place also came off! Indeed a solidly built vehicle!

I'm proud of the Skoda.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 20th August 2013 at 21:46. Reason: removed mention of high speeds on public roads. Thanks.
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Old 21st August 2013, 20:18   #41
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To be on safer side check for side wall damage or bulge to the tyres. Check on the inside face of tyre as well.
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Old 28th August 2013, 08:37   #42
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Default Re: Here comes my James Bond car - The Skoda Laura L&K

I have noticed during the last 3-4 months the front left wheel alignment keeps shifting. I recently took it to a wheel alignment center whey they advised me to have the camber adjusted at the A.S.S

Has anyone faced a similar issue?

The vehicle has no stability issues, drifting or vibrations, just that the steering is very slightly offset to the left; can only be noticed by sharp observations.
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Old 8th September 2013, 18:56   #43
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In continuation with the above post of the wheel alignment which kept messing, I have a shocking experience to share which though in the end turned into a happy ending.

I had kept fixing the alignment at Madhus' and Nikhil was more than willing to assist. This time, I thought of taking it to a nearby wheel alignment shop so as to avoid going all the way to Langford town.

The alignment was done at Abhi's wheel alignment center, Gottigere. The technician here advised me to correct the camber settings. He added this can only be done at the A.S.S.

I therefore headed to Tafe Access Skoda. After my previous bad experiences with I had always relied on Vinayak Skoda and they have been providing good service. This time, again, to save some driving I'd decided to pay a visit to Tafe Access Skoda.

I reached the service center at the appointment time. My good friend Satish (member satran) had also accompanied me. The service advisor was Anil Kumar. After describing my vehicle's issues he called up a technician to diagnose the vehicle. There is also some loose connection on the DRL (left) and the system kept throwing error messages. The technician also agreed to check on this.

The funny part was that no job card was made. Anil told me this would complicate and delay "things" and that he wanted me to be served ASAP. I found this fishy but had no other choice but to agree.

Satish and I kept waiting at the visitors lounge and after sometime Anil and the technician appeared. They took us to my vehicle, which was then elevated. I was then told the axle is bent and the only solution is replacement. They showed us some scratches at the bottom telling me some thing had caused an impact causing this damage and pointed to some parts and told us they were bent.

I told them the vehicle is under warranty and should be replaced under warranty. Anil told me warranty wont be applicable as this is a natural/routine cause. He added I may talk to the Skoda officials who are visiting the showroom/service center sometime the coming week.

Anil also told me the approximate cost would be 12K plus labour which would be about 3K. I told him to have it fixed temporarily so that I can keep driving (atleast in the city) till next week when we can replace this.

I got the vehicle back after a few minutes.

I drove it a few hundred meters ahead when I noticed the DRL error is still ON. Further to this, the vehicle kept pulling to the right. I only had the steering misaligned initially but no pulling to either side. The problem seems worse now.

After reaching Satish's house, we physically inspected the wheel position to notice both the wheels tilted inwards. This was not noticeable earlier.

I kept telling myself that this could be because the axle is bent and would be solved by end of next week. The only thing that kept worrying me was the cost - INR 15K!

I searched several websites and they mentioned the there is a possibility of the axle becoming bent though rare. However what surprised me was that most of those articles mentioned vibrations and wobbling of the wheel. This was not so in my case.

I called up Sukesh and explained the scenario. Sukesh also told me this is a rare and unfortunate case and could be because of a critical impact. He added I may have this inspected elsewhere.

The only person I could think of at that point was Nikhil! Nikhil told me the samething but was slightly suspicious because of the cost - INR 15K, mainly because its Skoda and nothing could be sub 50K! Nikhil told me to visit him ASAP but I hesitated as it was already 16:30. The next option was next day (today, Sunday) but at the Basavangudi shop.

I reached at the appointment time and Nikhil had already informed the manager & staff, so they were more than courteous to attend me.

The placed my vehicle over the ramp and started the inspection. Myself and the technicians climbed down to have a look at the under chassis. They told me visually everything seems perfect and they shall try to re-align and see what happens.

The alignment was way off! The technician spent about 45 minutes correcting the settings. Skoda Laura has the option of wheel alignment setting or both front and rear wheels. I kept staring at the computer monitor, the icons kept changing from red to green, back to red and finally I noticed everything was green. I knew something was right here. The technician emerged from under the ramp and with a smiling face, told me the rear wheel system was corrected. I confirmed with him that there is no damage or bent to the axle. WoW! What a relief! He then went ahead and corrected the front wheel alignment. A test drive further confirmed everything was in ship-shape. A visual inspection showed the rear wheels were perpendicular to the flat floor and no more drifting and the vehicle kept moving straight when the steering was in horizontal position.

I thanked all my stars and especially Nikhil who saved me from the 15K expenditure.

What was the motive of Tafe Access? What were they planning to "replace" for that money? I cant imagine such a broad daylight robbery. No wonder why the SA (Anil Kumar) never made any job card!


I vowed to myself that I shall never visit Tafe Access Service Center no matter what the situation is. I'm therefore taking this opportunity to caution all Skoda owners to stay a few kilometres away from Tafe Access Skoda

My special thanks to Nikhil and his technician, Mohamed Ali! Bravo!
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Last edited by nitinbose : 8th September 2013 at 19:02.
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Old 17th September 2013, 14:00   #44
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Did you report the Tafe Access incident to Skoda? Hope Mr. Rao is listening. If I were you, I would definitely head back there and ask them to check it again and prove them wrong. And maybe send a cop friend to really give this Kumar fellow a few sweats.
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Old 17th September 2013, 19:25   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
In continuation with the above post of the wheel alignment which kept messing, I have a shocking experience to share which though in the end turned into a happy ending.

. the there is a possibility of the axle becoming bent though rare. However what surprised me was that most of those articles mentioned vibrations and wobbling of the wheel. This was not so in my case.

, the icons kept changing from red to green, back to red and finally I noticed everything was green. I knew something was right here. The technician emerged from under the ramp and with a smiling face, told me the rear wheel system was corrected. I confirmed with him that there is no damage or bent to the axle. WoW! What a relief! He then went visit Tafe Access Service Center no matter what the situation is. I'm therefore taking this opportunity to caution all Skoda owners to stay a few kilometres away from Tafe Access Skoda

My special thanks to Nikhil and his technician, Mohamed Ali! Bravo!

Nitin. Those TAFE boys are rogues. Stick with the Vinayak chaps.
If you like I will share this feedback with some important blokes at Skoda on your behalf.
Can you send me an email with the description of the problem?
I would be happy to help in whatever small way.
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