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View Poll Results: Is your Skoda Reliable?
I have had No Major Issues with my non DSG Skoda. 40 55.56%
I have had Major Issues with my non DSG Skoda. 9 12.50%
I have had No Major Issues with my DSG Skoda. 11 15.28%
I have had Only DSG issues with my 6 speed DSG 3 4.17%
I have had Only DSG issues with my 7 speed DSG. 8 11.11%
I have had Major Issues with my DSG Skoda other than the DSG. 5 6.94%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15th April 2011, 18:44   #1
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Default Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Yes I love the Skoda.

Yes I have at present three Skodas in my garage; An aging Octavia (not showing the age) a manual, a Tdi and DSG equipped Laura which has clocked 70k+ kms and a recent purchase a Tsi Superb also a DSG.

Its obvious we as a family love the Skoda. The Octavia has never given us any problems excepting when we went shopping for prohibitively expensive parts but then its built like a tank and rarely requires parts.

The Laura was inducted into the family sometime over couple of years ago and i couldn't have enough of it. I remember doing a Bombay Poona Bombay trip with 100% A/C on throughout and maintaining a constant of 120-140kmph. The car churned out 18.5 kmpl. I was ecstatic.

The only work its ever needed was regular service and maintenance. It gone through two sets of tyres (keeping in sync with my belief that one must change ones shoes every three years max or 50-60k kms whichever is earlier)
Then one day i noticed the gear shifts shifting a tad bit late. I looked onto the gear select lever to check if i had by mistake, engaged the Sport mode . Nope, it was running on D. Thought the auto tranny oil and filter might be the culprit and sent the car immediately to Skoda workshop to do the needful. The car was scanned and no mistake found, was sent to me. Alas with the shifting all erratic now. I called Skoda and told them the problem had worsened and they could not figure it out. After a few days i was told the "Mechatronic" needed to be changed.

"What the heck was a Mechatronic?" i asked. They could not explain. The most useful answer i got was, "Its an electronic part from the gearbox". "But what does it do? What is its function?" I asked. That drew a blank.

Going through Forums and contacting Skoda friends i came to the conclusion that it was the closest to a Valve Body. The Solenoids in the mechatronics fail, maybe due to some O rings being faulty, they leak and no one wants to touch the failed box for the ghost of providing after sales service. So even Skoda just changes it.

Lets talk about the Superb. A very impressive and stately vehicle. Does not seem so until you get in the rear seat or get into the driver's seat. The equation just changes and you wonder why you were even considering the higher priced German (of course name plate snobbery being irrelevant)

Not even 400kms later, last morning the car refused to start. Turn the key and there was no response. The lights came on and everything but thetre ws no response at all. Thought id first to be a faulty battery but a Varta battery in a two year old car was not about to fail in two years. The ones i had bought lasted at least four years at the least. Checked the cables and fuses and everything was fine. Then i took a closer look and found the "P" slot indicator on the DSG lever blinking. I reported that to the company and they said that the car is not registering that it is in P mode. Why does that happen i ask....no reply. Was told its a Mechatronic problem.......Oh My God. Not the same Mechatronic again.

I was so disgusted that i nearly swore never to buy a Skoda product again (which includes VW and Audi) and definitely not a DSG. I was relieved when i was informed that Skoda offered Warranty on its parts for @ years and also wn replaced parts. That means i would have the problem fixed, whatever it was, free of cost. That felt good.

I was informed that the car would be towed away on a flatbed to the Skoda service center at Sewri and the problem would be solved. Come this morning a local towing van showed up and towed my car away, no flatbed,nothing and he also charged Rs 2000/- from my office (as i was not available). Not that it was any special towing truck. I could have arranged for a similar truck for as less as max Rs 700/- from Dadar to Sewree.

I await the diagnosis of the problem and fear any incidental charges that will be slapped on to me. In the meanwhile, the replace brakepads light has started to come on so thats gonna be a sure shot charge.

My Questions:

I have been through a lot of Forums on the DSG and they all seem to have the same or similar problem so what is the problem of VW? Why does VW insist on having an otherwise brilliant gearbox, riddled with problems and which is very expensive to fix on its cars. I also read somewhere that the Mechatronic is almost bulletproof till around 70k kms (well my Superb has proved otherwise) and then ot may start to act funny. So then the life of a DSG is sround 65-70k kms? What is the solution and why does this happen. Will someone ask Skoda or will Skoda bother to reply?

In the meanwhile im off Skoda DSGs. Would never recommend a DSG-ed Skoda to my enemy.

Will the Ghost of the failing Mechatronic haunt Skoda in resale values. As it is Skoda's reputation of being the least depreciating car, value wise in the second hand market is failing fast.....real fast!!

I hope someone fixes this bug in an otherwise brilliant example of motoring engineering.

Last edited by GTO : 21st September 2012 at 11:48. Reason: Removing first name from the post. PM coming up
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Old 15th April 2011, 18:56   #2
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Sorry to hear that V-16. There were some noises on the forums that the DSG's worst days were behind it. From the looks of it, those were wrong.

I have an AT (non-DSG) on my VW Vento and pray that it does not face any of these expensive and semingly befuddling problems that you're reporting. Hope your problem gets solved soon.

Is the Laura still under warranty or just the SUperb? Also, why did they charge you for towing- is that not covered under warranty?
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Old 15th April 2011, 19:03   #3
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Quote:
I also read somewhere that the Mechatronic is almost bulletproof till around 70k kms (well my Superb has proved otherwise) and then ot may start to act funny. So then the life of a DSG is sround 65-70k kms?
Can understand your frustration. My friends Skoda Superb had a mechatronic failure just around the same mileage. Mechatronic replaced under warranty costing close to 1.65L.

I am very paranoid about the DSG box. Jetta used to come with the DSG box but it was stopped in the 2010 mode. The 2011 comes with the DSG box. Need to understand if its the same DSG as the Skoda ones.

Quote:
Will the Ghost of the failing Mechatronic haunt Skoda in resale values.
i think it was one of the reason why i chose a MT Jetta over an AT Laura. And the used car prices are relatively very low. I still see L&K Laura selling around 11-12L in many places.

Hope they replace your Mechatronics under warranty.
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Old 15th April 2011, 19:05   #4
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Sorry to hear that V-16. There were some noises on the forums that the DSG's worst days were behind it. From the looks of it, those were wrong.

I have an AT (non-DSG) on my VW Vento and pray that it does not face any of these expensive and semingly befuddling problems that you're reporting. Hope your problem gets solved soon.
Thanks Noopster. Trust me the no DSG box in your Vento is a dream. Of course when the DGS works without glitches you cant het enough of it but come problems, ure jacked with a capital J.
The Laura is a 2006 and the 2 year warranty was announced when the new Superb 3.6 was released. I will be spending almost 65K for my Laura repairs and that because i have someone not from Skoda working on it. The company quoted me 1.25lacs+ only as the cost of a replacement Mechatronic box.


Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Is the Laura still under warranty or just the Superb? Also, why did they charge you for towing- is that not covered under warranty?
Imagine that!! And that too after all that talk of sending a flat bed and all. On top of that the cheek to collect Rs 2000/- in advance from me for towing the car. And this is a car which Skoda Auto owned and sold. Does Skoda not refurbish their cars or at least repair them before selling them. I even wonder if they replace worn out parts from other cars and replace them on the cars they sell as pre owned skoda cars to the public. Am not making that statement but with this experience im not gonna get another Skoda for sure!!

Last edited by n_aditya : 18th April 2011 at 11:28. Reason: quote tag fixed
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Old 15th April 2011, 19:28   #5
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Is this an issue only with VW dual clutch systems? I guess there are lot of other cars now being offered in dual clutch and I haven't heard of failures.
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Old 15th April 2011, 19:36   #6
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

I've heard the 7 speed DSG box in the superb TSi is supposed to be problematic. main reason why I decided against the superb. They fixed some issues in the old 6 speed DSG box but even there seems like issues still persist.

Sad, one of the best automatic boxes available but they are not at all reliable.

And even I want to know what exactly is this mechatronic jargon. Is it mechanical or electrical? And what are the parts that are replaced for such a huge amount.
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Old 15th April 2011, 20:49   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Sorry to hear that V-16!

I am also a big skoda fan :-) Have a fabia and laura both manual, top end trim. when I bought Laura, though I wanted L&K, I did not want a DSG. it has been serving me well for the past four years. nearly bought a superb recently.

VW basically is betting on DSG to be the tranny of future. On paper, DSG is brilliant - fantastic milage, no loss of driving fun and automatic. It is a technology that is not perfected yet, but VW wants to adopt it across its range. This is similar to "run-flats without spare" policy of BMW. BMW thinks it is the future and it wants to be the leader in that area. every bmw owner complains about this no-spare policy.

It is a given that these high-end cars do come with 'work-in-progress' technologies - what is needed is a proper service coverage for such unproven technologies. VW must understand that it is pushing experimental technologies like DSG on to customers and hence they should provide near-life-time cover for these parts.

Specifically for the DSG, i feel someone should invent a fall-back mechanism of manual transmission - after all it is a clutch based transmission. I am sure humans can do what the DSG is able to do when the computer breaks down.

Back to the problem... hope things get resolved to your satisfaction and Skoda doesn't lose such a loyal customer!
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Old 15th April 2011, 21:06   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

A bit of googling revealed that this is a problematic area not only for Skodas, but also VWs and Audis which sport a DSG.

V-16, hope the problem is solved and the Superb hits the road soon.

Here's a pic of the mechatronic module.
Attached Thumbnails
Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!-dsg-mechatronic.jpg  

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Old 15th April 2011, 21:32   #9
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Here's another URL detailing the Mechatronic (For the technical Minded)
VW Audi DSG S-tronic FAQ with common DSG problems, the sensor recall, and video reviews

Quote" the various solenoids and sensors and the electrical connectors which control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the shifter and clutches. It is designed to be replaced as a unit and is not yet serviceable by individual owners."

P.S. I fail to understand why does VW Group not get the engineering right on this?
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Old 15th April 2011, 21:34   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Hey V-16, sorry to hear about the Ghost of Mechatronics.

Here is some info for your reference - from VW Singapore website
Mechatronics > DSG > Technology > metacontent > Volkswagen Singapore
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Old 15th April 2011, 21:49   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

What a place to put all the electronics, no wonder they fail in the heat! It has wire connectors dipped in oil!
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Old 16th April 2011, 00:02   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Is swaping for a manual a possibility or a new "mecha trick" is cheaper?
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Old 16th April 2011, 00:28   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
What a place to put all the electronics, no wonder they fail in the heat! It has wire connectors dipped in oil!
I ve seen and worked on far more sensors dipped in oil and heat on HEMM machinery.
They are made to be there and withstand the conditions. It is, as it appears now, a universal problem with the DSG.

V-16, Hope Skoda fix this under warranty and FoC. What surprises me is their lack of ability to diagnose the Mechatronic failure even using their laptops plugged in. Heck, I was so smitten by the DSG, and now...this...

OT: The Mechatronic(the word is used for any piece of machinery/work that combines mechanicals with electronics), going by its placement and appearance is the brain of the dual clutches and triggers the gear changes based on various inputs to it.
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Old 16th April 2011, 13:50   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Thanks Guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Is this an issue only with VW dual clutch systems? I guess there are lot of other cars now being offered in dual clutch and I haven't heard of failures.
This is an issue with the entire group but this ghost haunts mostly Skodas, maybe the other cars come with an extended warranty that was not earlier available on the Skoda, maybe thats why Skoda increased their warranty. else would have lost customers. Also, In India, most Skodas (or cars) sold are still of the manual variety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
I've heard the 7 speed DSG box in the superb TSi is supposed to be problematic.
I heard it too and now know its true


Quote:
They fixed some issues in the old 6 speed DSG box but even there seems like issues still persist.
Does not seem like they have solved anything.

Quote:
And even I want to know what exactly is this mechatronic jargon. Is it mechanical or electrical? And what are the parts that are replaced for such a huge amount.
very lamely put, its a manual transmission operated electronically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Sorry to hear that V-16!

I am also a big skoda fan :-)

VW basically is betting on DSG to be the tranny of future. On paper, DSG is brilliant - fantastic milage, no loss of driving fun and automatic. It is a technology that is not perfected yet, but VW wants to adopt it across its range. This is similar to "run-flats without spare" policy of BMW. BMW thinks it is the future and it wants to be the leader in that area. every bmw owner complains about this no-spare policy.
Actually, cant compare these situation. The runflat is a tried and tested technology and also works very well in India roads too only its uncomfortable due to the quality of out roads. The cars elsewhere do not have any issues with the ride quality, whereas in the DSG box, the damn thing is not perfected yet so are we guinea pigs?


Quote:
It is a given that these high-end cars do come with 'work-in-progress' technologies - what is needed is a proper service coverage for such unproven technologies. VW must understand that it is pushing experimental technologies like DSG on to customers and hence they should provide near-life-time cover for these parts.
Absolutely. These untried tech stuff is being tried on us, people who pay top dollar for the products and Skoda should realise that if there are niggles, these niggles should be repaired as their cost. The Skoda Laura and the Superb are not exactly cheap cars.


Quote:
Back to the problem... hope things get resolved to your satisfaction and Skoda doesn't lose such a loyal customer!
Thanks mate, they are repairing the thing FOC but im sure they'll slap me with a labour bill as they have already shown their mettle by fleecing me with the towing charges.

As far as im concerned, they have almost lost a loyal customer. Im not touching a Skoda DSG with barge pole and that goes for VW and Audi as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paras211 View Post
Is swaping for a manual a possibility or a new "mecha trick" is cheaper?
Dont even think about it Paras, not happening!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
It is, as it appears now, a universal problem with the DSG.
V-16, Hope Skoda fix this under warranty and FoC. What surprises me is their lack of ability to diagnose the Mechatronic failure even using their laptops plugged in. Heck, I was so smitten by the DSG, and now...this...
Its a huge problem and a hugely expensive problem to solve. Im gonna write to the MD after i get the car and ask why Skoda insists on DSG-ing their cars when there are so many cases of failure. a DSG box costs way more than a normal auto box or a CVT. Lets see what his response is. This is one of the main reasons the Vento was introduced with the last gen auto box and not the DSG.

Last edited by V-16 : 16th April 2011 at 13:51.
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Old 17th April 2011, 11:01   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Woes And The Ghost Of The Mechatronics!!

Two cars failing with the same problem at the same time. Man that must be tough on you mate.
I hope the company does not use this as a way of fleecing you. They have already shown a bad example by over charging you for the towing.
I have visited the skoda showroom a couple of times and was smitten by the features and build quality of their cars. First it was the Fabia and then the mighty superb.
The only thing keeping the cheque firmly in my hands was the horror A.S.S stories, that i have heard.
I hope skoda does there best in fixing the problem at the earliest, and do not charge you any incidental expenses for the same. Cause you are in no way at fault for this. Lets hope they deal eith this in a professional manner and retain such a loyal customer of the brand.
Good luck.
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