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Old 5th August 2014, 12:44   #1
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Unhappy Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

Hey everyone!

Need some help with my Laura 1.9 PD L&K (2008).
Recently, our chauffeur was driving around the Tughlak road area on an errand when we called me and reported that the car had suddenly stopped and the gears wouldn't engage once he recranked the engine.

We got the car towed and sent to skoda A.S.S in Okhla (Satman Motors) for diagnosis.

Next morning, the SA called me to the workshop as he claimed the gearbox was damaged, probably due to some physical impact, and that they needed to show me the damage before proceeding with any work.

According to him, the gearbox "handi" was broken. I visited the workshop and saw that the axle shaft from the gearbox to the front left wheel seemed damaged (see pictures below).









Now, the car is completely out of warranty, and since there were signs of physical damage, we decided to claim insurance. Our driver also said that although he didn't really hit anything, he heard a thump noise after going on a big speedbreaker - I assumed he may have landed on a rocky surface or something. The Skoda SA was more or less sure this couldn't have happened without an impact.

Since I wanted to claim insurance, the SA said they can't touch or dismantle the area to check internal damage until the insurance clears it. Made sense to me, and we filed the claim with a few extra parts which may or may not have been damaged as they were not visible and wouldn't have been without dismantling the gearbox. It was now upto the surveyor to get the dismantling done and decide on what all would need repair / replacement.

Skoda listed the following parts, of which #1 surely needed replacement as per them, and the rest depended on what they would see on opening up the gearbox. Rough estimate includes cost and labor.

Gearbox housing - 72000
Gear oil - 2500
--
LH Axle - 55000
Axle Flange - 16000
--
Gear box complete - 460000
Engine Shield - 19000

However, I don't agree with most of this. To me (as a layman), the axle / axle flange seem broken, not the housing. Anyway, if the housing is broken, that plus gear oil is all that needs replacement, is it not?

Anyway, the strange part is that the insurance company rejected everything except the engine shield saying that physical damage is not the reason for this malfunction. Preposterous (see pictures).

The weird part is, I have NO idea whatsoever which of the parts actually need replacement, as no dismantling has been done. Also, how could the insurance company take a decision without even opening up and checking the parts? Plus, they took over 2 weeks to take this decision.

----

Now, the Skoda guys want me to either confirm that I'll pay for whatever the damage might be, or take the car away and pay some parking charges for the last two weeks. I am not confident of their diagnosis in the first place, and am wondering if this can be repaired / replaced outside of skoda.

Can the experts please look at the pictures and tell me what is the real damage and what needs to be replaced? Will these parts be available outside / can I get it repaired? Or should I stick to Skoda and get them to open it up + give me a clear estimate?

Plus, is it worth it going after the insurance company? I really feel it is unethical of them to refute the entire claim without any real investigation.

I'm stuck with a car at the workshop for weeks, a bill amount that I can't estimate, no insurance cover, and no solution :(

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
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Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged-20140711_152130.jpg  

Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged-20140711_152150.jpg  

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Old 5th August 2014, 12:50   #2
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

Seems like the drive shaft CV joint has popped which will need a replacement of the driveshaft assembly. From the image i can't make out any other damage and there is definitely NOT any impact that has happened. This is part failure.

EDIT: Also the part gas given away over a period of time, look at the amount of muck accumulated around the gearbox due to the oil leak? Hope the box is not seized, then you are looking at bigger bill.

Last edited by Jaggu : 5th August 2014 at 12:55.
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Old 5th August 2014, 13:03   #3
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

I tend to agree with Jaggu, I would be interested in looking at the shield to see whether any impact happened.

When your driver says the gear s do not engage, did he mean that the car would not move or that he could not put the car into gear

Is the car a manual one?
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Old 5th August 2014, 13:05   #4
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

The car is manual. The driver said he couldn't put the car into gear.

If the CV joint is broken, does that warrant the replacement of the entire gearbox housing/handi as they call it? Or the axle? Or both?
Can't they just replace the joint?

Sorry I'm asking newbie questions


Also, if there is no impact, then the insurance company is fair in their findings, so a claim is out. Now I just want to make sure we replace only what's really needed (seems like it's the driveshaft assy unless something else pops up once opened). I'll get the Skoda guys to dismantle the area and check and give me a final estimate without considering any insurance claim.

Last edited by ayushagarwal26 : 5th August 2014 at 13:08. Reason: Added more information
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Old 5th August 2014, 13:10   #5
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayushagarwal26 View Post
The car is manual. The driver said he couldn't put the car into gear.

If the CV joint is broken, does that warrant the replacement of the entire gearbox housing/handi as they call it? Or the axle? Or both?
Can't they just replace the joint?

Sorry I'm asking newbie questions
Well, ask them replace joint shaft first, it is quite possible, it got jammed. Then work backwards. Might be worth looking for a good used gear box!
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Old 5th August 2014, 17:39   #6
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayushagarwal26
Can the experts please look at the pictures and tell me what is the real damage and what needs to be replaced? Will these parts be available outside / can I get it repaired? Or should I stick to Skoda and get them to open it up + give me a clear estimate?

@Ayush you should get your car checked outside also now that its out of warranty. I have a 2006 PD manual which had an issue with the gear oil leaking out as soon as I started it and put it into gear last week. My FNM did a quick fix for t to be driven to his W/S and is currently under repairs. I am taking it easy and told him to investigate the issue thoroughly as I am not in town. In case you don't have a reliable mechanic outside you can check for his number I had put up a long time back in Laura Issues thread.

Also the cost you will incur getting it fixed form a Good mechanic outside with original parts would be 1/4 the cost given by the A.S.S.

Cheers


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Old 5th August 2014, 18:51   #7
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

I also agree with Jaggu. When was the last time this car was properly inspected? The muck accumulated shows that the car must have started giving signs of upcoming failure, if you had paid attention to earlier you could have saved a lot of time/money/effort/pain.

If the whole gearbox is recommended for change or major expenses are involved. Start looking for a used Gearbox from Mayapuri or Meerut.
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Old 5th August 2014, 19:51   #8
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

Though it looks like axel has popped out and that is all needing repair/replacement.

Question is how can that happen? From what is being described by the driver even this should not happen. Where is picture of engine shield? With dent??

Indirect impact of engine shield could not have damaged the axel as this is much higher than other parts of gear box.

More to it than meets the eye.
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Old 5th August 2014, 21:23   #9
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

Thanks for your inputs! I have no idea how this happened. I didn't take a picture of the engine shield, and somehow I don't think it was really dented. Strange that the insurance guys decided to cover it. I'll go take a look tomorrow to be sure.

Plus, it does look like it's the axle that has popped out. How is the question. If it's happened due to a jammed gearbox I'm in deep trouble If not, I guess replacing it should do the trick.

Agreed on the cost factor. I have told the workshop to dismantle the gearbox, check all parts involved - I'll go take a look once it's opened. Once I know exactly what needs replacement, I'll look for parts outside - if they're available, I won't give the workshop a go ahead. I'll have to pay them a ridiculous 12k for this inspection though :(

Hoping it's not the entire gearbox at fault. As for the axle / flange / driveshaft - are these available in the open market?
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Old 5th August 2014, 21:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayushagarwal26 View Post
Once I know exactly what needs replacement, I'll look for parts outside - if they're available, I won't give the workshop a go ahead. I'll have to pay them a ridiculous 12k for this inspection though :(

Hoping it's not the entire gearbox at fault. As for the axle / flange / driveshaft - are these available in the open market?
12K for inspection is not done. Why don't you take the car to an FNG and do the inspection? You would get a clear picture and also work out cheaper. Once you know the list of parts required then stay searching.

Skoda A.S.S is charging you to high.

Anurag.
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Old 5th August 2014, 21:40   #11
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayushagarwal26 View Post
Agreed on the cost factor. I have told the workshop to dismantle the gearbox, check all parts involved - I'll go take a look once it's opened. Once I know exactly what needs replacement, I'll look for parts outside - if they're available, I won't give the workshop a go ahead. I'll have to pay them a ridiculous 12k for this inspection though :(
Before dismantling the gearbox and opening it up I would suggest to do a few other things first. We just don't know what happened. So I would just make sure to dismantle the the complete axle/CV joints etc. Get everything out, get everything thoroughly cleaned and do a good visual inspection. Obviously there is an oil leak, but I'm not sure you will need to open up the box to fix that either.

Once you got everything out and cleaned up, you might get a good clue on what happened here. And you might get a good indication of any other extended possible damage. Also, with this axle and other bits removed, you should be able to get some idea if there is any damage to the box at all. check oil levels, and see if you can make it turn by hand , in different gears etc.

I would also find a good Skoda owners forum, because that's where you are most likely to find people who might have suffered from similar problems and can point you in the right direction.

Good luck with it, let us know what you find

Jeroen
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Old 5th August 2014, 22:59   #12
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Parking fees at the ASS? 12k for an already troubled customer ? Skoda should have a new brand theme, "mere papa ka sapna, sabka maal apna"

My dad is an automobile insurance surveyor working at Nasik. This weekend I will be meeting him and showing him this thread. If I have any inputs from him that might help you, I will pm you.

Last edited by Dieselritzer : 5th August 2014 at 23:01.
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Old 5th August 2014, 23:13   #13
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

My opinion is that only the Half Axle shafts has broken. What I foresee in new parts is:

1) Half Axle shaft with CV joints.
2) Differential support Bearing or the Half axle shaft support bearing/s
3) Oil seal and CV boot
4) Gearbox Oil.

Try to source the above parts through your FNH or other contacts. Ask your FNH to replace parts as necessary and I bet you would be able to reduce the Skoda Repairs Estimate by more than 80%.

If the oil leakage is caused by broken Gear Box housing and the damage is not major go for welding or any other method to stop the oil leakage.
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Old 5th August 2014, 23:28   #14
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Default re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

From the picture I can make a quick 2 point diagnosis.

1) The gearbox oil seal is finito, hence the gearbox oil is leaking. Don't worry the leak is not that drastic and what you can see around the gearbox housing is more of moisture than the actual oil itself. I repeat this cannot cause a gearbox to fail. There will be a million other signs ( downshifting problems, noise, etc etc ) before the gearbox actually comes to a complete halt. The leak is just a minor thing, happens in a little old front wheel driven car, its normal. Secondly I don't see any gearbox housing damage in the pictures. I mean nothing looks like it has taken a hit and to hit the axle, the hit would have to go through the lower arm, your lower arm is fine too.

2) The axle is just dislodged and hence the drive is not passing on through the wheels. Get a new axle and you should be fine, along with getting the oil seal fixed ofcourse and gearbox oil replenished.

Last edited by humyum : 5th August 2014 at 23:30.
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Old 7th August 2014, 20:20   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Laura 1.9 PD - Gearbox damaged

This is a ton of very valuable guidance Thank you!

Got a call from Skoda today. They've dismantled the gearbox and this is what they have to say - the CV joint / axle is dislodged (as we already know) and needs replacement. Also, the gearbox housing is broken from where it meets the axle (not visible in the pictures). Both need to be changed, along with a few seals etc.

I will visit the workshop in the morning and visually inspect everything to make sure. I'm doubtful of the extent of gearbox housing damage claimed, knowing Skoda's trigger-happy nature with changing parts / billing labor.

I've told the SA to make a list of all parts that need replacement according to him. I will then post the list here (after I look at them myself) so I can get an idea of whether they're available in the open market, and what they will cost.

The A.S.S has asked for Rs. 94k in all, including the gearbox housing, axle joint, seals, slip ring, labor, and taxes. If it costs less than 40-50k outside (to buy parts + repair the damage), I'll take the car back (remember, I agreed to paying them 12k for the estimate if I don't get the work done from them!) and source parts outside.

If it seems like the parts + labor outside will cost over 50k, I'll just let them go ahead and do the job, as long as I find their damage report reasonable. Paying 50k outside + 12k to the A.S.S + towing etc. is not worth it - I'll save 15-20k and add a ton of headache looking for parts and the like. Of course if the saving is over, say, 30k, then it makes sense.

Will keep you guys posted.
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