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Old 21st October 2010, 19:24   #1
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Default Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Ambiente: 30000 kms review

I have finally convinced my self to pen this long term review. Fabia has been relaunched with various upgrades and downgrades and there is lot of buzz on this forum about the same.

On 31st Oct ’10 my car, Fabia 1.2 Ambiente will be exactly 27 months old. Roughly 30500 kms on the odometer.

Why I purchased one of the most hated car from one of the most hated manufacturer. I will keep this short. I needed a high quality car with good safety features and all bells and whistles. Believe me Fabia is still one of the best when it comes to pampering. Performance –It is good to have plenty of BHP under the hood, but 1.2 HTP is just fine for me (as of now). if you me give a RS, my driving style will shame it. None the less, I long for a sensible TSI. Imagine a 1.2 TSI in Fabia. Best of both worlds ain’t it. Ok there is a third world also and Skoda India knows how to make a mess of it.
I had a budget wherein I could purchase an entry level sedan. None had the basic ABS and Airbags available back then. Moreover it is a pain driving in city. Cabin space wise it is better then many other options available.

I’ll start with the thing which bothers me the most. Sound …eh .. rattles.

When I bought my darling (hope my wife is not reading this) my expectation was very simple. No rattles in the first year. What did I get? Read on.

I will classify the sound/rattles in two broad categories
1. One that can be heard even with the windows rolled down. I haven’t been in too many cars but I remember my friends badly maintained M800. It could hear the rattles from everywhere. My mother recently sold her 21 years M800 and it wasn’t that bad, although it had other problems.
2. One that you hear only when the windows are all rolled up. Most rattles fall in this category.

There is another kind too. One that only I can hear. Third category.

I have had a fair share of sound. The most famous was the AC blower rattle, more of a flapping noise. Category 2. Many Fabias had this problem. It originated only months after purchase. The most irritating bit was the dealers attitude. I am not sure what it was incapability or unwillingness. I must have paid atleast 4-5 visits just for this. The most weird excuse was ‘A techincian from Aurangabad will see the car first but he is not in town today ’. ***, is this a 747? Eventually I learn to live with it.

After first service in March ’09 I had another piece. There was some noise from the tie-rod or something. It happened when the steering wheel was turned with car stationary. Took the car to the dealer next week. Something was changed and problem fixed, but only temporarily. Decided to give the dealer a break.

In May VKJ and I decided to visit the other service station. VKJ for his normal first service. I for my tie-rod noise. VKJ introduced me to the service manager there. The tie-rod noise was only a dry grease problem. Took the whole day for them but it never occurred again. Same day the manager (Mr M)drove my car and found the AC blower rattle to be on the extreme side. Asked me to drop the car next week and leave it for a day. Did exactly the same and voila. Rattle ? What rattle? Apparently the blower was replaced. It was the turning point of my Fabia experience. The value of Y shot from –ve to +ve.

Since then I have stuck to the new service station. Mr M has always been helpful. Don’t believe? Ask K_ajay.

Recently the rubber lining on the door have have started playing. It falls in the 3rd category. The rubber has started losing some of its characters. It makes noise when the door slides over it on bad roads. Door alignment is a temp. solution. I guess a good rubber treatment should do, but I don’t know of any. Frankly, it is hardly a concern. When the time comes I’ll get them replaced.

There have been other minor ones which I have taken care of myself, mostly tapework. So except for the rubbery sound from the door, the car feels like a Skoda should after 30000 kms. How does it compare with others? I drive my Father in law’s Dzire whenever I am in Vapi. It is roughly the same age. I first drove it at 2000kms and it rattled. At 7000kms it rattled more. Now it does not matter. I have driven a friend’s brand new Swift from the showroom. It did make some noise. I guess the tyre pressure was above recommended level but still… I once sat in my manager’s 4 year old Getz. I must tell you Hyuandis are way ahead of Marutis in this respect.

Hole in the Pocket:
First service – 5100/- @ 9000 kms
Second service - 6200/- @ 18000kms
Partial service at 25000kms – 6000/- (brake pads, coolant, filters and misc. Had it done because of a road trip plan).
Front Wiper blades 1400/- . Cost has come down to 550/- now. There has been a cost cut more most parts.

Fuel Efficiency:-
Strictly average.
City – 10-11.5 kmpl.
Highway – 15-18 kmpl.
Overall so far – 13.46 kmpl
On my recent trip from Bangalore – Pune I managed 17+. With four adults, full luggage and speed mostly between 90-100 kmph.
All calculation based on the tank full to tank full method.

Some cool features:-
I’ll try to point out the features that are rarely discussed (and hardly matter).

Music system has a timer and a security code. I haven’t figured what to do with the security code but timer can be helpful. Music system can be used even without the key. The timer switches it off after an hour (to save battery ).

Most of the lights in the cabin and boot have timers too. 30 mins. I am not sure if the glove box light has a timer or not.

Heated OVRMs have timer too.

MSR (motor speed regulator).

Both driver and front passenger seats have hieght adjustment. My wife loves it.

Rear AC vents to cool off angry feets.

All the window switches are auto up/down with the anti-pinch thingy.

Rear wiper will start automatically if the front wiper is on and reverse gear is engaged.

Lane changing signal. A tab on the stalk makes the indicator blink for 3-4 times. Very useful.

You can set the volume of the music system to increase with increase in the speed of the car. It starts from 50kmph.

Provision of keeping only one side of the parking lights on.

Remote boot opening.

Windows can be closed/opened from outside using the key. You need to insert the key in the door’d key hole and turn.

Glove box is cooled. Most cars even had damped glove lid – like in Jetta. My car didn’t have it.

Wheels have a lug-key.

I request other Fabia owners to help me out here.

Last edited by fi.robin : 21st October 2010 at 19:28.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 11:02   #2
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robin congrats on your long and for the most part Lovely Partnership with your Fab. I always loved the design on this machine and IMO looked better than any hatch during its time.
As you have mentioned, if only Skoda could provide a 1.2TSI, this would surely be the car I would be driving today.
Though I own a Getz and Love the way it is built, I happened to drive the old Gen Fabia Diesel recently and couldn't stop appreciating my friend for having bought the same couple years back.
As Sidindica has highlighted in his review of the new Fabia, the old Fab had some features which only Cars >20lks would offer as Standard.
Truly a FAB(ulous)IA CAR!!
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Old 22nd October 2010, 11:19   #3
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why do you feel the FE is strictly average ? My i10 Kappa gives pretty much similar figures.
hence if you are indeed getting the above FE from a Fabia, its very very good
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Old 22nd October 2010, 13:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
why do you feel the FE is strictly average ? My i10 Kappa gives pretty much similar figures.
hence if you are indeed getting the above FE from a Fabia, its very very good
This is what I think for city FE:
below 10 - Below average/Low
10-11 - Average
12+ - Good

A lot depends on the the way the car is driven. I drive with a very light foot. This engine is known for large variation.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 19:28   #5
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Other problems:
Last August I noticed a metal cling sound when the steering was fully turned to left. Took the car to the service station. Brakes were cleaned and there was no noise for a week (I was charged 300/- for it). The noise resurfaced. This time I decided to do my homework before going to the service station. The noise was coming from the left front wheel. Removed the wheel to have a peek inside. Inside of the brake-rotor-blade there is a tin-like plate. It is meant to protect the rotor from stones. Hitting the plate with the key produced a similar sound. I was now convinced that this plate was somehow hitting something else when turning the steering to full left. Took the car to the service station and explained my findings to the SA. I was right. Plate was replaced. Cost 450/- + 150/- labour.


Notice the deformity on left side.


Recently the front left power window is acting crazy. I had noticed this earlier also, but went away on its own (or when a VAS scan was done at the service station). It seems there is some error in the s/w code. I guess the VAS scan should be able to detect it.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 20:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
robin congrats on your long and for the most part Lovely Partnership with your Fab. I always loved the design on this machine and IMO looked better than any hatch during its time.
As you have mentioned, if only Skoda could provide a 1.2TSI, this would surely be the car I would be driving today.
Though I own a Getz and Love the way it is built, I happened to drive the old Gen Fabia Diesel recently and couldn't stop appreciating my friend for having bought the same couple years back.
As Sidindica has highlighted in his review of the new Fabia, the old Fab had some features which only Cars >20lks would offer as Standard.
Truly a FAB(ulous)IA CAR!!
Thanks.

I was surprised when I sat in Getz. The only noise I heard was from the seat belt buckles, that too when the car jerked.

Just a few months ago he replaced his Getz with SX4. He is already complaining about rattles from windscreen/dashboard.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 21:15   #7
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The car is Karnataka registered but it has already tasted roads in 7 states and 2 UTs. TN, AP, Kerala, Gujrat, Maharastra, Goa, Daman and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Not to mentions places in Karnataka itself – Chikmaglur, Coorg etc.


Memories…





I din't know car wash service was free . 1600kms. First time I gave the car for valet parking, reluctantly of-course.



Deer Park. Silvassa, Jan ’09. 2200kms





Approaching Kodaikanal (TN). April ’09. 1200kms


Munnar (Kerala). April ’09.



Somewhere near Mysuru (Mysore). May ’09. 600kms
Even cows love it.
[/img]


View point in Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. Oct ’09. 500kms









Pune. Jan ’10. 2800kms



Latest. Konkan trip, Aug ’10. 3200kms.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...nkan-rain.html (Konkan in rain)

Last edited by Eddy : 22nd October 2010 at 23:50. Reason: Removed the naughty pic
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Old 22nd October 2010, 21:37   #8
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The Key fob. I don't need to talk about its quality.



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Old 22nd October 2010, 23:39   #9
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good to see a rare breed of happy fabia petrol owner...wishing you many more years of happy car days
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Old 23rd October 2010, 10:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drsnt View Post
good to see a rare breed of happy fabia petrol owner...wishing you many more years of happy car days
There are many happy owners , some of them from T-Bhp.
As skoda as a brand is not the toast here posts are less from owners ,Also Fabia owners forum is there and most of them have moved on.
but it certainly helps in having the negetive reviews in team bhp.
There is a marked difference in the Service of skoda post these reviews.
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Old 22nd December 2010, 10:42   #11
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Default Re: Fabia 1.2 HTP Abiente: 30K kms review

Few days ago I went for the third service at 31.5K kms. Detail of the invoice can be found below.

Apart from the normal oil and filter change I had to get the misbehaving power windows rectified.

Problem: The one-touch on the front windows was not functioning properly. If the window was only slightly open and I tried closing it using the one-touch, it would roll down. Something was fishy.

Below is the in-detail conversation with various people at the station:

SA and me (I know him well ..and is type, he knows me too)
me: power windows not working (giving him a demo)
SA: sir, problem with the motor. Needs replacement.
me: It can't be. I have faced the problem before also and was rectified using VAS (I am partly bluffing here). Many others also have this problem.
SA: We have replaced the motors for them under warranty (my car is not under warranty).
me: I am sure it is VAS problem. Call me when you are doing it and don't change the motor.

An hour later I meet the manager (my friend now).
M: How is the car doing?
me: Good. Thank you. but I have this problem ......
M: I will check for errors in VAS. There could be something in the memory.
me: I also think the same.

meanwhile a technician is caught wandering aimlessly. M calls him and explains the problem.
T : sir , dust in the window channel.
me: What? this is ineteresting.
T: resistance due to dust forces the window into anti-pinch mode.
me : WOW ! (but I will hold-up anymore wows untill it is rectified).

It turns out that Mr T was right. WOW!

I tell this to SA after it is fixed, with a smile on my face.
SA: Sir, it was the dust in the switch. Returns a smile.
me: (dust in the switch or the channel) I smile back.
Whatever, I know his game.

Conversation happened in broken Hindi, broken English and broken Tamil

They delivered the car to me before lunch. Good work

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Old 11th February 2012, 23:08   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabiaous View Post
There are many happy owners , some of them from T-Bhp.
As skoda as a brand is not the toast here posts are less from owners ,Also Fabia owners forum is there and most of them have moved on.
but it certainly helps in having the negetive reviews in team bhp.
There is a marked difference in the Service of skoda post these reviews.
So true. I am one of them. I own a 1.2 HTP elegance and its a dream to own and drive. Shall be posting the ownership experience soon
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Old 5th September 2012, 20:59   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Ambiente: 30000 kms review

Here is my 5th service bill from July this year. No useless charges. They had done some lubrication around the suspension bushes which was effective only for a fortnight. Thankfully they didn't charge for it. They have cracks in them. Will get them replaced soon too even though the S.A suggests that it can last another 7-10k kms. I forgot to get the coolant changed. Will get it done soon.

Total cost of maintenance so far is close to 40k now. The car is in tip top condition even after 58k kms.

There is one rattle sound from somewhere near the front passenger seats. Feels like a loose nut or something in the seat rack.
Attached Thumbnails
Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Ambiente: 30000 kms review-service_bill6th.png  


Last edited by fi.robin : 5th September 2012 at 21:13.
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Old 6th September 2012, 13:20   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Ambiente: 30000 kms review

Quote:
Originally Posted by fi.robin View Post
There is one rattle sound from somewhere near the front passenger seats. Feels like a loose nut or something in the seat rack.
Are you sure it's from the seat rack?

I have something similar irritating me too. Initially it was front left door panel. Initially spotted when my teenage bro upped the volume while playing dubstep on my "stock" speaker setup. He complained it was the bass drops. But, the rattle continued. Something like a housefly stuck inside the door panel, is what it sounds like. Irritating!

And just a week ago, the front right door starts the same thing.
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Old 6th September 2012, 21:48   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Ambiente: 30000 kms review

Quote:
Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
Are you sure it's from the seat rack?

I have something similar irritating me too. Initially it was front left door panel. Initially spotted when my teenage bro upped the volume while playing dubstep on my "stock" speaker setup. He complained it was the bass drops. But, the rattle continued. Something like a housefly stuck inside the door panel, is what it sounds like. Irritating!

And just a week ago, the front right door starts the same thing.
I am not sure what it is. It looks like certain seat positions don't produce it. Also, with the passenger sitting the cabin is very quite. In fact the rumble from the suspension also disappears because of the extra weight. I live in an area where I have to drive over a rough patch for few 100 meters. That is where I hear the rumble type sound. In the last service the SA replaced the mount for the air filter box too. He said that also rattles. Its back after 3 weeks.

I have had many sounds like you describe. All died and settled eventually .

Last edited by fi.robin : 6th September 2012 at 21:52.
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