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Old 13th December 2011, 10:27   #1
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Default My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Well, this year has been real bad for me as far as car ownership goes:

First, I lost my Laura in an accident:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...-accident.html (Four-year dream run comes to an end - Laura L&K accident)

Next, the BMW 520D is getting a major transmission job done:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post2598064

Just a day or two after I dropped the 520D at the workshop, I was driving the Fabia to work and on the way check-exhaust-system symbol flashed and the engine was vibrating like crazy so got the car towed to Vinayaka Bangalore. They took their own sweet time to diagnose because they had to go through the warranty-process to get approvals to open up the engine and stuff and after some 10 odd days they inform me that all cylinders and valve stuff have to be replaced because engine oil is mixing with fuel. This car is bought in May-2010 and has run ~14000KM. The work is done under warranty.

This is the el-cheapo 3-cylinder petrol (HTP) engine and I thought there is nothing in it to go wrong so soon. While the car is good in all aspects I never really liked the engine - but I still bought it because I wanted a good spacious hatch and did not need a great engine.

I wrote to Skoda support requesting the following things:

1. Explanation from Skoda tech representative on the root cause for such a premature failure

2. Given that I am only left with 4-5 months of std warranty - what is my recourse if this car break down again?

3. Can I exchange the car for a new Skoda car of my choice by paying fair market price difference?

I have been planning to replace the Laura with a new car and all this mess has really made me hate cars - for the time being.

I will keep you guys posted. Would like to hear what you guys have to say.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 15th December 2011 at 17:39. Reason: Spelling
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Old 13th December 2011, 10:38   #2
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

How about getting rid of the Fabia once it comes back from repairs, and get a nice and refined Japanese hatch ? Jazz or Swift ZXi. Both have revv happy sweet petrol engines and will be reliable too.
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Old 13th December 2011, 10:44   #3
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Sorry to hear the experience about the Fabia. This is surprising, at 14 odd thousands the engine needs to be opened. While i would like to refrain from standard Skoda bashing, would recommend replace the car asap whatever the means and method (either on your own or through Skoda) as if i was in a similar situation i would have done the same.

Once the engine is opened, its life afterwords depends purely on the quality of work performed, and this is an area Skoda are weakest.
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:07   #4
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Quite stunned at the heap of car related problems you have, especially with European built ones. The Laura accident and BMW transmission work is unfortunate. Fabia, though I am surprised at the timing, it is not a shocker. As others suggested you can get rid of that. But if i can suggest anything to you. Don't sell it now when you are not feeling good about cars, you might accept a throw away price

Let it decorate your garage for few months, then try possibly exchanging it for Honda Jazz. I am sure there are still lot of takers for the Fabia in the market.

Last edited by getsriram : 13th December 2011 at 11:08.
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:08   #5
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Feeling terrible for you. I can understand your sentiments when nothing is going right for you on whatever car you are owning. I am sure it is just a temporary phase and "All will be well" soon I own a Fabia 1.2 HTP and just completed 5000km. Surprising that it turned this way at 14K. It's a great hatch to own and it's much better than some of the competitors (in terms of quality, space and design). Post the engine replacement, see if you can extend the warranty to 2 more years (since it is a new engine) and I think you will be good, unless you want a more powerful hatch (maybe diesel).

Wishing you good luck on all the repair work.

Cheers
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Old 13th December 2011, 14:31   #6
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Well, this year has been real bad for me as far as car ownership goes:

Would like to hear what you guys have to say.
The Laura incident was unfortunate. The car did serve you well until the accident happened.

And on the latest one, wait for the feedback from Skoda on this. Sheer luck that the car was still under warranty. Probably they should offer you extended warranty on the replacement.

The BMW issue is quite a nagging one least expected from a premium car.

Well, I feel that its just a bad year for you. Anyway, only a few more days to go in 2011
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Old 13th December 2011, 22:12   #7
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Given that I am only left with 4-5 months of std warranty - what is my recourse if this car break down again? Can I exchange the car for a new Skoda car of my choice by paying fair market price difference?I have been planning to replace the Laura with a new car and all this mess has really made me hate cars - for the time being. I will keep you guys posted. Would like to hear what you guys have to say.
I'd say save the Germans for the weekend and have Japanese or Korean daily driver or would that be asking for too much. Life must be hard living with 2 highly demanding German 'Fraulein's' in the garage. You'd be surprised how reliable a Maruti or Hyundai are; in case you have forgotten.
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Old 13th December 2011, 22:46   #8
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

1.2 htp is a very old design. I guess it is the original design of Skoda before VW took over. only new 12 valve was added later by VW. also to be used in other cheap VW cars.

Now getting back to your question. 14k kms is very very low for an engine giving away, i am assuming you have a habit of servicing your cars regularly.

Valve or rings can be checked without opening. Pickup will be very low with car struggling to move. If service guys say that the its burning oil, it can be evident with vigorous white smoke from exhaust.

My advice would be to put stress on them to replace the engine in warranty, which skoda india will be reluctant to do. If not repair it and get rid of it for a better reliable car. My suggestion would be, master of small petrol cars in the world, Zuki or any Japs for that matter
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Old 14th December 2011, 16:52   #9
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

So sad to hear that. I always thought that Skodas were very sturdy vehicles and your Laura accident proved it but it was an expensive proof.

The Fabia has been a strong vehicle with a weak heart(underpowered) but i never thought that the heart would give up so soon. Indeed sad. Try to fight and convince Skoda to replace the whole engine. Else repair and let go of it.
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Old 15th December 2011, 17:37   #10
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Spoke to the dealership's technical person and the dump I got from him: They did a compression test and the 2nd cylinder was developing significantly lower pressure. Apparently this problem is not uncommon in Fabia 1.2 cars.

So they are replacing the cylinder head assembly unit that will also include valves, cam and stuff it seems. When I asked how can I be sure this problem doesn't happen again, what he told me is that the replacement cylinder-head is a modified one and different from what the car came with - Skoda is supposedly have corrected their design.

One last concern I had was, usually when these problems happen in the engine, exhaust gas will have more fuel than it should - which cooks the catalytic converter - which is also the reason why the exhaust-system light came on. Now the technician says the catalytic convertor in my car is not damaged but I am not sure how much life is left in it.

I have registered a complaint with Skoda (through their website) on 10-Dec requesting to speak to Skoda rep to get more clarity on the issue and post-repair concerns. They keep promising they will arrange for the call, but so far nothing happened.
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Old 15th December 2011, 18:18   #11
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Spoke to the dealership's technical person and the dump I got from him: They did a compression test and the 2nd cylinder was developing significantly lower pressure. Apparently this problem is not uncommon in Fabia 1.2 cars.

So they are replacing the cylinder head assembly unit that will also include valves, cam and stuff it seems. When I asked how can I be sure this problem doesn't happen again, what he told me is that the replacement cylinder-head is a modified one and different from what the car came with - Skoda is supposedly have corrected their design.
If the problem is indeed not uncommon, doesn't it warrant a recall?

Imagine this happening when warranty has expired - it would cost a nasty bomb. Did they mechanic mention if any other cars had come in with this issue?

Another reason why Skoda won't be scoring any brownie points in India.
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Old 15th December 2011, 19:06   #12
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

So, if they're admitting the design of the cylinder head assembly unit is faulty, have they modified it in the Fabia's that are currently being sold?

If not, its quite likely that other Fabia's will meet the same premature engine failure and subsequent catalytic convertor failures as yours.

One Skoda horror story after another, and what a shame, since their cars are so nice otherwise.
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Old 15th December 2011, 20:37   #13
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Androdev is your car the facelifted version? If it is then it should share the same engine with the Polo 1.2, because significant changes were made to it before it got relaunched in the BS4 compliant mode.

If it is the BS3 engine then you might just want to rethink on continuing with your Fabia.
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Old 15th December 2011, 21:43   #14
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post

3. Can I exchange the car for a new Skoda car of my choice by paying fair market price difference?
Instead of exchange, get a Jazz or a i20.They tick most of the boxes a Fabia ticks and are reliable too.
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Old 15th December 2011, 21:51   #15
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Default Re: My bad luck continues: Fabia 1.2 petrol engine rebuild at 14000KM

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Spoke to the dealership's technical person and the dump I got from him: They did a compression test and the 2nd cylinder was developing significantly lower pressure. Apparently this problem is not uncommon in Fabia 1.2 cars.

So they are replacing the cylinder head assembly unit that will also include valves, cam and stuff it seems. When I asked how can I be sure this problem doesn't happen again, what he told me is that the replacement cylinder-head is a modified one and different from what the car came with - Skoda is supposedly have corrected their design.
Seems to be an unfortunate year for you. Hope the car performs better after the replacement.

Please do update, once done.
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