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Old 21st May 2012, 20:10   #1
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Default DSG packs up on Skoda Laura CR140 - EDIT 1: Failed compressor & ECM bugs. EDIT 2: DSG Packs up again

Yup, that is correct, and it is mostly the first of its kind of the forum! The DSG did indeed go kaput on me while I was driving back from Goa with my wife two weeks ago in the middle of nowhere.

I had experienced slightly irregular shifts and sounds whilst driving around in Goa, and when I called the Skoda helpline, they confirmed they would depute a technical representative with a Vagcom diagnostic device the following morning, but despite a couple of change in schedules, it just did not happen. Needless to mention, I was given rotten excuses, and more importantly one of the service centres agreed to come over if I paid them Rs. 2,000 for conveyance charge to my hotel, and Rs. 2000 for the diagnostic check.
I declined. A service centre not working within the manufacturer warranty, would also mostly not fix it according to the manufacturer guide lines.

I only had the local dealers offering me flat beds to send it to their respective service centres in order to secure my business. I was also informed that the car would not be allowed to leave the service centre until it was fully repaired just in case there was anything wrong. I was given an indication of the infamous mechatronics component failure and also told that it would take a week or more to fix it, after which I would have to come back to Goa to fetch my car. Firstly, I did not want to have it opened up at an unknown dealership, secondly, it was way too inconvenient and holiday bumming to take a 'Skoda taxi service' to Mumbai, and come back a week later to drive the Laura back home.

So we decided to take run the risk and drive back. I was overly cautious with my throttle applications to avoid any major downshifting through the drive, but inevitable happened. The DSG failed us about 18 kms from Mahad. The car suddenly downshifted into D1 and had us restricted into first gear.
A quick call to Anshuman, and he guided me into getting out of the limp mode, i.e. switch the car off and start it back up after a minute. I did not try it immediately as we were in deserted countryside at 8 pm odd, and decided to keep going the next 5 - 10 kms to Mahad in limp mode itself. In the meantime I called Skoda helpline for a flatbed and taxi. I was reverted after almost 40 minutes with a definite confirmation that I would have a flatbed trailer and taxi reach me in 3 hours.

We tried the getting out of safe mode trick when we reached Hotel Visava at Mahad, and voila, it worked. This was at 9 pm. A couple of minutes of patchy thinking and a quick call to my brother who was driving in our direction, we decided to continue our drive towards Mumbai and probably take up Skoda's help as and when it would cross us on the same highway. Waiting at Mahad for 3 hours seemed pointless.
With very slow driving, we made it to Vadkal Naka at about 10.45 pm where I had my brother waiting for us. The flatbed had just covered 30 - 45 minutes distance and the taxi had left 15 minutes ago from the 3 hours we were quoted from our initial communication with Skoda.
I shudder to think what I would have been doing for the next two hours had Anshuman not guided me to shut the car and start again to get out of limp mode.
Given my location, Skoda really could not do much, but they should have atleast acted promptly.

We continued to drive both our cars towards Mumbai, and passed Pen after another 30 minutes which is when I got a call from the flatbed driver saying he was just 10 kms away. We communicated well and managed to find each other without much effort. The flatbed company staff seemed well trained in handling the cars (given the volumes I guess), and did a fine job of having the Laura mounted onto their trailer. They said they would drop the car at JMD Skoda in Nerul in about two hours and I could speak to them the next morning.
I felt comfortable, this was my land, familiar territory, JMD is a somewhat trusted group, and also where we bought and had our Laura serviced at recently. We took a receipt in the form of a job card and continued to drive back home.

To Skoda's only credit in the scenario, JMD Skoda at Nerul did a fine job and were very prompt in all their communication barring the body protection package their telemarketing executive tried to sell me within 30 seconds of informing me the next morning that my car has reached safely.

Twp days later, the DSG was later in the evening diagnosed with a 'megalutch failure', and not a 'mechatronics' component packing up. I was a little amused there was a major mechanical failure such as this considering the car had it first service just over 1000 kms and a month ago. I was also informed that every car is hooked on to the Vagcom everytime it comes in for a service to check for any error codes. So it clearly does not seem like a case of being overlooked, but seems more like a mechanical failure. Mr. Ramesh of JMD informed me that Skoda has informed them it was a manufacturing defect.

Skoda had the megaclutch assembly reach the JMD service centre in 10 days, following which JMD worked around it quickly and had the car ready with an additional interior cleanup (that I paid for) in two days. The cost of the megaclucth (40Kish) and labour charges were covered under warranty. As a special gesture, Skoda also had the gear oil (not usually covered under warranty and worth 13K I was told) covered under warranty. Thank God for that Skoda Shield!

The car was returned to us last week immediately after which my brother made a short trip to Pune and back which would also service as a good test drive in a relatively safer surrounding compared to my Mahad escapade. I haven't driven the Laura around just yet, but my brother mentioned the gearbox didn't skip a skip a beat through his trip.

All said and done, and despite my supposedly optimistic approach to the turn of events, a premature clutch failure on a car that is just about 1 year old is simply unacceptable, more so considering it partially pooped our holiday.
The Laura is our first luxury sedan in the family and is really well looked after, never abused, always carefully driven, et all that. I still think it is the epitome of driving experience this side of 25L, and it was a great decision we took when we decided to anquire one of these, but Skoda really needs to up the game with it dealer network.
The help and assistance we got in Goa could have been warmer, professional and crisp than loads of faltering information & promises.

Big shout out to our resident Skoda expert Anshuman. Huge thanks to Ajmat and GTO for checking on me and trying to help / guide in more ways than one. Looking forward to a drive in the DSG shod mobile later in the week, and hoping for zilch issues in the future, Cheers!
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Old 21st May 2012, 21:31   #2
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Oh dear, Sorry to hear your holiday went for a toss. After hearing these horror stories of Skoda. Day by day i even shudder to consider skoda as my next car. Hope this is one of your last problems and happy motoring.
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Old 21st May 2012, 21:32   #3
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Thanks for posting a report on the failure. It's good to know it was not the Mechatronic Ghost which haunts DSG 7 speed owners but some mechanical part they refer as Megaclutch. And i really hope it was a manufacturing defect as claimed by Skoda and does not show up its ugly head in future.

The failure rate of newer batch DSG 6 speed is very low, and this is the first failure of this kind i have heard of. My own car has done 30,000kms without a single issue. But the 7 Speed DSG in Superb 1.8 TSI is very problematic, with repeated failures even after replacing the whole Mechatronic unit.

The Goa Skoda dealer was more concerned about making money while the car owner was facing a major problem. Not something a premium car owner expects in middle of a breakdown.
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Old 21st May 2012, 21:40   #4
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Sorry to hear about your Laura and the fouled up holiday. May I suggest the following precautions (you probably are already adopting them):

1. Shift into neutral whenever you are at a traffic light, in a traffic jam or in any other similar situation unable to move instead of pressing the brake. This will reduce the heat build up in the gearbox which is one of the causes of these failures. This is a best practice that one adopts in a manual gearbox too.

2. Try and avoid the car being driven by drivers given the delicate nature of the DSG. You really don't know how they would (mis)use the car.

These two should help reduce the risks associated with the DSG. Unfortunate that VW gives a 10 year warranty for this gearbox in the US and 2+2 here.

Happy motoring !
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Old 21st May 2012, 21:40   #5
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

I wonder if my dad can expect this on his A6 3.0T which also has a 7 speed DCT
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Old 21st May 2012, 21:46   #6
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
I wonder if my dad can expect this on his A6 3.0T which also has a 7 speed DCT
The DSG in Audi is different than the problematic 7 Speed Dry type DSG in Superb 1.8 TSI.
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Old 21st May 2012, 21:47   #7
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
I wonder if my dad can expect this on his A6 3.0T which also has a 7 speed DCT
That has the S-tronic transmission meant for Audis with Quattro and longitudinal mounted boxes.

The VW/Skodas are for front wheel drive transmissions.
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Old 21st May 2012, 22:01   #8
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by manson View Post
Yup, that is correct, and it is mostly the first of its kind of the forum! The DSG did indeed go kaput on me while I was driving back from Goa with my wife two weeks ago in the middle of nowhere.
So it not only the gearbox but also the clutch which is susceptible to failures.
While this is the first time that a clutch or megaclutch failure is reported, it is still a blot in the reliability that an owner would expect, from any car, from any segment.

I was very keen on buying the Laura DSG to supplement Hariya as my highway cruiser but and now in serious doldrums.
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Old 21st May 2012, 22:21   #9
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Sorry to hear about the the incident but glad that skoda sorted the issue out. I just wish they had acted more quickly following your request. That's one thing they lack and everyone knows. What if your car was out of warranty and this would occur? Would skoda pay the entire amount since it is a manufacturing defect? Btw did the taxi entually reach you? :P
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Old 21st May 2012, 23:15   #10
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

What's the deal with Skoda dealers cross-selling services to customers in distress? Premium car dealership staff need to be trained better!

Sorry to hear about your troubles, Manson. I realised it only after I got back to Bombay after my own Goa trip. Glad everything seems to be OK now.
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Old 21st May 2012, 23:21   #11
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
That has the S-tronic transmission meant for Audis with Quattro and longitudinal mounted boxes.
The VW/Skodas are for front wheel drive transmissions.
Yes, Audi A4, A6 FWD 2.0 TDI's comes with CVT transmission only.IIRC, Q3's 2.0TDI engine is transversely mounted and comes with S-tronic transmission.
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Old 21st May 2012, 23:23   #12
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Thanks for posting a report on the failure. It's good to know it was not the Mechatronic Ghost which haunts DSG 7 speed car owner was facing a major problem. Not something a premium car owner expects in middle of a breakdown.

Your statement about the increased reliability of DSG6 is based on feedback you have received from your acquaintances/friends/family etc or this is based on information collected in some surveys?
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Old 21st May 2012, 23:35   #13
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by manson View Post
...getting out of the limp mode, i.e. switch the car off and start it back up after a minute.

We tried the getting out of safe mode trick...and voila, it worked.
...a major mechanical failure...
Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
It's good to know it was not the Mechatronic Ghost which haunts DSG 7 speed owners but some mechanical part they refer as Megaclutch.

With a mechanical failure, once the system has gone into safe mode, how can it come out of safe mode and function normally again? With an electronic/software related issue, switching off/disconnecting the battery etc. can reset the system - such as with an ECM or Mechatronics controller.

Can't figure out what part of the DSG this *megaclutch* is either...
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Old 21st May 2012, 23:47   #14
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Hi manson,

glad to know you're back on track. DSG failure is not uncommon. The chief engineer at BMW bangalore told me the gear box of the BMW fails as well, they've experienced such cases very frequently.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 00:00   #15
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Default re: DSG packs up on my 2011 Skoda Laura CR 140 - EDIT now failed compressor & ECM bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

With a mechanical failure, once the system has gone into safe mode, how can it come out of safe mode and function normally again? With an electronic/software related issue, switching off/disconnecting the battery etc. can reset the system - such as with an ECM or Mechatronics controller.

Can't figure out what part of the DSG this *megaclutch* is either...
Whenever the engine is restarted, the safe mode which is called limp home mode in Skoda talk is reset, making it possible for the gearbox to move beyond first gear. Because stopping on the road on the highway in night was not an option for Manson, i advised him to keep moving, to drive at even 40-60kph he had to reset the safe mode.
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