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Old 21st April 2014, 18:08   #106
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Lightbulb Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

I thought of sharing my experience with the community after having gone through lot of ups and downs in the last 2 months after buying a used Skoda Laura. I am sure this will prove valuable for a lot of people.
Please feel free to contact me if anyone needs help\advice.

I bought Silver Laura 1.9 TDI MT Ambiente (April 2010) with odometer reading of 57K from a company AS-IS condition auction for Rs 4 lac. In the circular, the company was generous enough to inform that the car needed work in clutch assembly, flywheel and AC. It was clear that this repair work would have been quoted from the Authorized SS. Having heard and read from the team-bhp forums, I could assume that the damage was nothing less than a lac if I was to go for repair at an Authorized SS

I had option just to have a look at the car from outside in the company basement parking. But I had made up my mind that I am buying this car if I was getting it around 4 lacs
Having driven Chevrolet Optra Royale petrol for 5 years, I knew that I would never go to the Authorized SS for any repairs not related to engine work. (This is my take as I do not have a very free hand and spend only required amount of money)
Finally I got the car and took it straight to the Bosch service center at Gurgaon where I was quoted that the repair of Clutch and Flywheel work will be settled around 25K. I was a happy man with this damage until I knew that Bosch guy would create a nightmare for me
5 days later I had the car with me finally, after several visits to the service station, heated exchanges with the owner and calls from mediators. My flywheel was not changed because he felt that this was fine and could do with polish from lathe machine. However the clutch plate was changed (LUK). Believe me, I still feel that my clutch might be harder than other Lauras though the Bosch guy was not convinced and said that I feel so because I was driving a diesel for the first time! Typical answer from a mechanic\service center owner to justify their statements
Their engineer told me that it will get softer as I drive. I have driven 2000 Kms but feel no difference. Perhaps I will get used to it over the time unless I take it to another mechanic for opinion. I didn't have to do it at that time as I was already pissed off on this topic.

My next damage was AC repair as the Delhi summer was approaching. From the previous experience at Bosch, I learned it hard way and after spending almost a month and several visits\calls to different AC repair centers ranging from Lajpat Nagar, Mayapuri to Gurgaon, I was convinced that my AC compressor had gone Kaput and there was no option to save money but to go for a new compressor. Again, team-bhp forums were of great help as I could believe that Laura compressor would generally fail around 60K odo reading. It was clear that the damage was somewhere around Rs 25-30K just for the compressor replacement, gas, fitment, etc. Luckily my condenser was in good state and didn't need a replacement.
I decided that I will look for other branded AC compressor replacements apart from Sanden as maximum Lauras were seeing this AC problem at this stage and the company was fitting Sanden compressor. After extensive research I had options of using Valeo, Delphi and Sanden. Somehow I couldn't find the availability of Valeo in Delhi so I was to choose from Delphi and Sanden only. Having heard and witnessed this compressor problem at 60K, I didn't want to repeat Sanden if I was to invest this much and keep the car for long (at least 5 years).
I got Delphi from Kashmere gate for Rs 15,500 (and Sanden was close to 20K) with bill and got it fitted at a local AC mechanic in Gurgaon. It feels so nice now and had a big relief that I got everything done within Rs 20K

Having said all the above, spending 2 interesting repair months of my life and about Rs 50K, I still feel happy with the power and style of my Laura. I really love it when I push the accelerator and see the car going from 0 to 100 within a few seconds.
Perhaps I am satisfied because I got the car originally in a good price and had patience to spend time, money and effort to get it back in shape. However I am also hoping that there is nothing new which pops up suddenly and and asks for more money from my pocket because I know that anything it asks for doesn't get settled for small.
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Old 21st April 2014, 20:55   #107
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That settles it, am out of buying a used skoda anything!
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Old 21st April 2014, 23:59   #108
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Hi jazzyrajat,

You had bought the laura when its clocked at 57K kms and that too from a company. The company was also honest enough to inform you on the repairs needed.

It was your personal choice!

The car was definitely rough used by the company staff; they may have severely abused it.

Nevertheless, if you still require spares, you could check at the Vagtune site as they've also started selling spares and that too and quite attractive prices!

@ Red liner: There are plenty of used Laura's available especially within the first 2/4 years of purchase and with some warranty remaining. I'm sure these cars would be comparatively trouble free.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 03:58   #109
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
That's a great price. Totally resets my benchmark. Did he buy it straight from an owner or a dealer he trusts? I don't mind using a dealer who introduces me to the owner for a commission.

Direct from the owner. That car is an AT.

I sat in it last week.

The AC needs servicing. Im not sure what it is going to cost him.

The car seats are rough used and the leather has not been looked after very well so there are cracks and so on, along with some dirt etc too.

Quite a job ahead to bring the seats back to life....

Else, for 7.5 lacs I think it is a good buy.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 19:02   #110
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Guys, no offenses to Laura owners. I said I love the car and I am very happy about the purchase.

What I did was that I provided true picture of what all repairs I went through. I do not have a prior Laura experience, but you can see the internet is full of these two problems in Laura at this clock reading. So yes, you may have to believe it as well that the car may ask for these repairs around 60K, which is a normal behavior of Laura.
The car was a driver driven car of an associate director level person, so I cannot comment if it was rough driven or not.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 12:57   #111
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Looking for some advice from Laura and Octavia owners as I am contemplating picking up either a second hand Laura and Octavia, circa 2007-2009.

A little background information:

I travel a lot in the city due to work, so it has to be a diesel.
This would be the sole car in my family (wifey, dog and me).
Would be upgrading from a santro 2001 model.

Would be great if the pundits could help me in my purchase decision:

Options:
1. New 1.5L Polo which comes out this month (assuming it should come to around 7-8 lakhs on road)
2. A used Skoda Laura or Octavia from 2007-2009. (seen some examples online for around 3-5 lakhs)

My question is, instead of spending 8 big ones on a polo, does it make sense to pick up a used Laura/Octy for half the price, and maybe keep aside a couple of lakhs for any major part changes that need immediate attention?

Im totally tilting towards doing this, as I get more car for less. Just to let you know, I perfer the looks of the Laura to the Octavia.

Ive seen around 7 cars online that fall within my criteria, however they have all done at least 35,000 kms.

A few questions:

1. Will I get a mechanically sound 1.9 PD engine from 2007-2009?
2. How much should I keep aside for any changes that may need to be made for AC compressors, brake pads, timing belt replacements, fuel injectors, clutch assembly replacement etc?
3. Any one knows of any good local garages in the city who can service the car?
4. Is there anything i'm missing out? Is this a good idea or should I just go in for a new polo?

Also, how reliable are the diesel automatics in these cars? Wouldn't mind considering the automatics if they turned out to be reliable. That way, the wife could also drive and she would be more open to me buying a second hand car!

Last edited by DWC : 2nd July 2014 at 13:14.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 13:43   #112
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
Would be great if the pundits could help me in my purchase decision:

Options:
1. New 1.5L Polo which comes out this month (assuming it should come to around 7-8 lakhs on road)

This. JUST buy this. Any Skoda/VW need active warranties of between 3-5 years at least. Don't even look at the PD engine Laura's. They are just terrible and will be no match to the 1.5 litre diesel polo.

For the 3 of you, the polo should be more than enough car with a few adjustments.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 14:25   #113
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
Looking for some advice from Laura and Octavia owners as I am contemplating picking up either a second hand Laura and Octavia, circa 2007-2009.

A little background information:

I travel a lot in the city due to work, so it has to be a diesel.
This would be the sole car in my family (wifey, dog and me).
Would be upgrading from a santro 2001 model.


A few questions:

1. Will I get a mechanically sound 1.9 PD engine from 2007-2009?
2. How much should I keep aside for any changes that may need to be made for AC compressors, brake pads, timing belt replacements, fuel injectors, clutch assembly replacement etc?
3. Any one knows of any good local garages in the city who can service the car?
4. Is there anything i'm missing out? Is this a good idea or should I just go in for a new polo?

Also, how reliable are the diesel automatics in these cars? Wouldn't mind considering the automatics if they turned out to be reliable. That way, the wife could also drive and she would be more open to me buying a second hand car!
Welcome to the conundrum, I can relate with your thought process, i was in the same situation 3 years back.

Yes you can get a used skoda for half your budget, and in my experience they are pretty reliable too (Please be advised i own a Skoda Octavia 2005 VRS), now maintaining a skoda well does cost you money, for example - a replacement of clutch + flywheel assembly costed me ~35K, timing belt+ chain + tensioners + water pump - ~50K, Brake disc + pads ~20K, diesels are very frugal so you will have a decent mileage also.

So if you are contemplating buying a used Skoda, not a bad thought, but maintenance is not going to be at par with say Japs, if you can set aside some money from your pruchase price, you are all set.

Now to your questions in specific.

1. PD Engines are very reliable, a fellow member drove it well over a lac Km's with 2 trips to Ladakh included, they are known to be a bit noisy.

2. Maintenance bits - please refer above.

3. Before you buy the car, try to get a garage review it, even if this costs you money.

Good Luck.

Best - ML
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Old 2nd July 2014, 14:40   #114
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

If this will be your only car, stay away from a Skoda (especially a used one). Skoda service is horrible, and even if we assume you find a good service center/workshop, you will need frequent visits as things age (all plumbing, plastics/rubber viz. suspension bushings, evaporator coil, coolant pipes, this, that). if you don't enjoy working on this (i.e. even getting it done by a mechanic, if not by yourself), get a new one.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 14:48   #115
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
Would be great if the pundits could help me in my purchase decision:

Options:
1. New 1.5L Polo which comes out this month (assuming it should come to around 7-8 lakhs on road)
2. A used Skoda Laura or Octavia from 2007-2009. (seen some examples online for around 3-5 lakhs)
I'd personally go for the Polo if I were you and would avoid the 1.9D Laura's/Octavia's. If at all you want to go with them, I'd suggest upping your budget and going for a newer one with a 2.0 TDI at its heart. They're more reliable, advanced and better in every way imaginable. There's a reason those Laura's/Octavia's are so cheap; they're not that easy to move in the second-hand market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
A few questions:

1. Will I get a mechanically sound 1.9 PD engine from 2007-2009?
Possibly, but I'd still not go for it over a car with the newer 2.0 TDI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
Also, how reliable are the diesel automatics in these cars? Wouldn't mind considering the automatics if they turned out to be reliable. That way, the wife could also drive and she would be more open to me buying a second hand car!
The transmission (if it's the DSG) will be quite reliable, but a mechatronics failure will set you back by a cool Rs. 1 Lakh, so be wary of that.

If I were you, I'd hang around to see if the Polo 1.5 Diesel DSG that's rumored to launch in January is real. Don't rush into it, and if you have to go for the Polo. Haven't they paused all bookings for it until the facelift launches though?
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Old 2nd July 2014, 14:56   #116
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

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If I were you, I'd hang around to see if the Polo 1.5 Diesel DSG that's rumored to launch in January is real.
This is very sweet news! Absolute icing on the cake if it comes through!
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Old 2nd July 2014, 15:16   #117
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
This. JUST buy this. Any Skoda/VW need active warranties of between 3-5 years at least. Don't even look at the PD engine Laura's. They are just terrible and will be no match to the 1.5 litre diesel polo.

For the 3 of you, the polo should be more than enough car with a few adjustments.
Apart from the noisy engine, any particular reason to diss the engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoringlover View Post
Yes you can get a used skoda for half your budget, and in my experience they are pretty reliable too (Please be advised i own a Skoda Octavia 2005 VRS), now maintaining a skoda well does cost you money, for example - a replacement of clutch + flywheel assembly costed me ~35K, timing belt+ chain + tensioners + water pump - ~50K, Brake disc + pads ~20K, diesels are very frugal so you will have a decent mileage also.

Now to your questions in specific.

1. PD Engines are very reliable, a fellow member drove it well over a lac Km's with 2 trips to Ladakh included, they are known to be a bit noisy.

2. Maintenance bits - please refer above.

3. Before you buy the car, try to get a garage review it, even if this costs you money.

Good Luck.

Best - ML
So basically if I set aside a lakh, i'd be all set with regard to any unforeseen repairs that may crop up over the years?

Also, will definitely get the car looked over by a good garage before I take the plunge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
If this will be your only car, stay away from a Skoda (especially a used one). Skoda service is horrible, and even if we assume you find a good service center/workshop, you will need frequent visits as things age (all plumbing, plastics/rubber viz. suspension bushings, evaporator coil, coolant pipes, this, that). if you don't enjoy working on this (i.e. even getting it done by a mechanic, if not by yourself), get a new one.
Yes, this will be my only car, since if I do go for the skoda, it'll be out of warranty, so will take it to an independent garage, that should work out cheaper, shouldn't it? I'm totally game to fiddle around with the car myself as far as servicings are concerned, only problem is I have zero knowledge of anything mechanical, but oodles of patience and a willingness to learn if theres someone out there who can show me how to take care of my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iliketurtles View Post

Possibly, but I'd still not go for it over a car with the newer 2.0 TDI.



The transmission (if it's the DSG) will be quite reliable, but a mechatronics failure will set you back by a cool Rs. 1 Lakh, so be wary of that.

Haven't they paused all bookings for it until the facelift launches though?
The reason for going in for a 1.9 was due to the savings I would make over the new polo. If I am going to spend a few more lakhs for the newer 2.0 TDI then I would rather buy the new polo for around the same price.

I've heard a lot about the mechatronics failure. Some noob questions:
What on earth is a mechatronic? How do I be wary of it? Any signs that are imminent prior to its failure? How do I detect if the mechatronics have been changed? If they have been changed, what are the odds that the problem will not crop up again.

Yes, was referring to the facelift polo 1.5 tdi.

Last edited by DWC : 2nd July 2014 at 15:23.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 15:34   #118
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
Apart from the noisy engine, any particular reason to diss the engine?



So basically if I set aside a lakh, i'd be all set with regard to any unforeseen repairs that may crop up over the years?



I've heard a lot about the mechatronics failure. Some noob questions:
What on earth is a mechatronic? How do I be wary of it? Any signs that are imminent prior to its failure? How do I detect if the mechatronics have been changed? If they have been changed, what are the odds that the problem will not crop up again.

Yes, was referring to the facelift polo 1.5 tdi.
If you're not a mechanic at heart willing to sit and diagnose potential problems with the car, drop this off your list. Just not worth the headache. And a lakh is the minimum you set aside. Yearly upkeep will in itself eat that lakh up. Ofcourse, I don't know any of the costs, but for instance, if the compressor blows - what does it cost to fix or put a new one? Or the turbo? Start with the most expensive parts first and see if it makes sense.

And, if you don't know an independent guy personally, and you plan to begin a relationship through buying this car - my man, you really are tempting fate.

This is exactly the thought process I went through (see my posts up this page), and I just dropped the skoda. Looks good and big and all, but I have much better things to do during the week and the week-end as opposed to running behind expensive parts and irrepressible independent garages who are in the business of making money (they certainly aren't in it to be your friend!). Please note that you have to calculate Time Value of Money too. That lakh is hard cash, plus add another lakh of your own time for follow-ups/missed drives/using other modes of transport/stress/emergencies/standing around on the independent's head, what not. I've done all of this. Maybe its your turn now

We're in the era when most people are staying off buying new from Skoda. And here you are contemplating buying a really old one. Sorry couldn't resist.

Won't advice anymore. My best wishes with whatever it is you buy.

Last edited by Red Liner : 2nd July 2014 at 15:38.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 15:36   #119
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
The reason for going in for a 1.9 was due to the savings I would make over the new polo. If I am going to spend a few more lakhs for the newer 2.0 TDI then I would rather buy the new polo for around the same price.
The savings would indeed be significant, but the 1.9's are getting long in the tooth and you never know when something could go wrong. If you're willing to set aside the time and money to fix anything that might go wrong, that's cool. But more than the money, being left car-less (since this is your sole car) could be a major issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
I've heard a lot about the mechatronics failure. Some noob questions:
What on earth is a mechatronic? How do I be wary of it? Any signs that are imminent prior to its failure? How do I detect if the mechatronics have been changed? If they have been changed, what are the odds that the problem will not crop up again.
To be fair, most mechatronics failure have been limited to the petrol cars, not diesel automatics. The mechatronics governs the operation of the transmission, if it goes kaput you have no option but to replace it and it will cost a very pretty penny.

In general a DSG might be showing signs of failing or has failed if the car is not able to go into any gear (which is to say you can slot it into gear but it won't go anywhere). Even if this happens though, it doesn't necessarily mean the DSG is on the way out, it could just be a glitch in one of the sensors. But more often than not a service station will simply advise you to replace the mechatronics unit.

The best (and to my mind only) way to see if the mechatronics has been changed is to pull up the complete service history. You'll have to comb through it and take a look-see for it, it really is the only way unless the seller is honest enough to say it has been done.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 19:04   #120
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Default Re: Buying a used Skoda Laura

If this is going to be your only car, then desist from saving money by going for an old Skoda. If nothing else, it requires a lot more expense in maintenance compared to the Japanese or Korean cars. What you may save, will be eaten up by maintenance, not to mention frustration of being without a vehicles for days. Get a new vehicle with 5 to 5 years of warranty. It is worth the expense.
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