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Old 11th February 2013, 11:15   #1
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Default Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Good Day everyone.

This is my official unofficial ownership report of a Skoda Rapid Elegance, TDI.

Background:

I had owned a Hyundai i10, Sportz before this for 3 years and was in love with the car. It was smooth as silk and could cover huge distances without pinching me in the back or on the shoulders. The Pertol cost however started pincing me as I covered 60 KM daily and about 5000km in one go while visiting my native place of Jammu.. Oh yeah.. I drove down the i10 from Pune to Jammu a couple of times and it did cost me a dime doing so.. Having said that the drive has always been pleasurable..
But I always felt something lacking in the car in terms of power and manouverability.
Hence started my search for a Diesel Variant with the following in mind:
1) Easy to drive in City Traffic.
2) Ample leg room.
3) Large Boot space for my long drives.
4) Comfortable over long distances.
5) And last but not the least, a Diesel Variant(I wanted a diesel for the turbo boost I felt driving my friends Swift VDI and also low fuel price).

Intial Test Drives:

I started off my search by doing test drives in the following order:

1) Test Drove the Mahindra XUV500:

I always liked the Mahindra cars from their looks and wanted to check them out first and so I reached the Silver Jubilee Showrrom on MG Road in Pune and requested to see the Scorpio, Xylo and the XUV.

I was shown the Scorpio first and I got out of the car as soon as I entered it. It just did not appeal to my style and requirements and hence I didn't even request a Test Drive.

Then I got my hands on the Xylo, and boy is the Advertisement true. Happy Legs it is. I also found it quite manouverable and peppy enough for my taste. So I kept that as an option.

Then came Mahindra's latest toy in the market. The XUV500.
The first impression after getting in the car was, wow, so many Gizmo's and lights.. the front panel just lit up after switching on.
Took it for a drive and was liking the power it generated but then took a left turn and gave throttle and found the car pulling towards the right. Don't know if it was that specific vehicle or if was generic, but that just put me off.
To my suprise, I rated the Xylo above the XUV in terms of handeling that day.

2) Test Drove the Ford Fiesta:

I have always liked Ford cars, especially the iKon 1.6 and wanted to check out how the Fiesta 1.4, TDI(68 BHP) stood against it.
I have to say, i was deeply disaapointed. The turbo has a huge lag and it takes forever to reach 100 after crossing 80kmph.
Though in terms of stability and comfort, I found it absolutely amazing.
While on the test drive, we took to 80kmph and finding nothing behind us, applied the brakes with a slight hand on the steering. The car stop absolutely bang on without any over or understeer.
It had plenty of Leg room and a big enough boot for my requirements and the average they claim was also tempting.

3) Test drove the Maruti Suzuki SX4:

The SX4 was in comparison to the Fiesta a little more responsive, owing to the extra BHP(90 BHP) it has but again did not feel right.
After the Test drive, I got a call from a couple of Friends in mumbai and they suggested taking a Test Drive of the all new Skoda Rapid.
I was always skeptical of Skoda having heard horror stories of their after sales service, but saw no harm in taking a test drive.

4) The Skoda Rapid Test Drive:

Went to Asset Auto in Wagholi and requested a Test Drive.
The moment I sat in the car, I knew this is going to be great and it was indeed. No turbo lag experienced and what power(110 BHP). The comfort was also outstanding and the drive made me side-line every other car that I had tested before this. I was going to book it then and there but then again calmed myself and thought of giving it a day or 2 to settle down.
The very next day, I booked the car .
I have had the car now for 9 months and it has already done about 20k kms with a trip from Pune to Jammu already in the bag.

Initial Observations after 13000 kms:

13000 is when i got my servicing done as I had to travel to Jammu and thought it's best to get the vehicle in perfect working condition before starting the journey.

- The ride quality is excellent. the engine is as refined as it can getand with growing speeds, it becomes even more smooth. Feels little bumpy on bad roads.

- The steering is a little on the hard side ( I for one obviously felt it after switching from Hyundai) and can take a toll on your shoulders when it comes to negotiating a lot of turns and bends.

- The interios are not top notch but one grows into them.

- Braking is extremely good. Have never encourtered a situation where the car's brakes didn't respond as expected.

- The gear shifting is a lot smoother than a lot of other diesel's that I've driven, but certainly cannot match that of the hyundai.

-Ground Clearance is decent. Just don't put Mud Flaps or they will scrape through on every bump if the car is averagely loaded

- The driver seat is adjustable so it shouldn't pose a problem for anyone

- The quality of stock speakers is average. The system has a Memory card slot and a AUX-in available along with regular Radio and CD functions.

- No steering mounted audio controls. This is something I really missed in the car and it should have been made available

- No Bluetooth connectivity with the system is another feature which is lacking here. Would've have liked it for calling while travelling in the city or long distances.

- The boot space is huge. I came back from Jammu with a stuff that probably fits a mini-truck.

- The glove-box doesn't have any cooling.

Fuel Efficiency :

I get about 15 kmpl in the city and depending upon the speed I got and average of 18kmpl on the Highway. The higway efficieny was achieved while doing 130kmph constant for a couple of hours between Jaipur and Udaipur and Uaipur and Mumbai. I did manage a top speed of 160 kmph in between and the car was in perfect control all the time.

Now being the issues :

After coming back from my Jammu trip, the car was behaving nicely and I was very happy with the performance. But I didn't know that it won't hold for long.
One fine day, while going to office, we noticed that the AC wasn't cooling and was making the compartment humid. We didn't pay much attention to that, but while coming back the AC started blowing hot air and the car's power died.
This is when I called the Skoda Service Center(Asset Skoda) and asked them for an appointment the very next day(Saturday).
I was told that they were all booked and could not accomodate me on Saturday, but I insisted that I am not coming for a regular service but an issue has popped up in the car and needs urgent attention. They finally agreed to give me an appointment.
upon reaching home, I opened the bonnet to check the engine state and something caught my eye. The Coolant tank was running empty.
I Immediately shutdown the car and kept it like that until next morning and took it to the Service center.
They checked it thoroughly and told me that the Cooland tank was leaking and needed a replacement. They did not however have the cooland tank available with them and told me that they would have it in the next week.
They topped up my coolant and told me that they would call me once the tank was here and we could replace it then and till then I can drive the car just by checking the cooland levels every other day and topping it up when found low.
I drove off and started waiting for their call.
To my surprise or expectation, I never got a call, and had to call them back to check if the tank had come and they informed me that it would be availabe in the next week.

In the mean time, one fine day, the car started giving problem while startup and when i checked the coolant level was again bare minimum.
I topped it up with water as was told to do so, and the car started.
After running about 5 km's, I saw that the car was throwing White Smoke from the exhaust and it kept doing so for a good 10-12 kms, after which it stopped.
I straight away went to another Skoda Service center, on the Mumbai-Bangalore highway, Pashankar Auto, and told them what was happening.
They checked the car thoroughly and informed me that there is no leak in the cooland reservoir and everything looks alright with the car. They again topped up my coolant level and asked me to drive it and let them know if it happens again.

Fo a couple of days, the car ran fine, and then again, one fine day, it started giving white smoke.
I stopped the car and made a video of it.(Do ensure that your car's number is clearly visible while doing this).
I took this video to the Pashankar Auto Service center and they asked me to leave the car. They took the video from me and other details and sent the same to skoda the very same day.
This happened on 5th Feb and the car has been with them since then.
They are in touch with Skoda and performing tests on the car as have been recommended by Skoda. I really appreciate this professionalism within Skoda, that they do not touch the engine, unless clearly stated by Skoda to do so.
My last visit was on Friday, 08th Feb 2013, and I swa atleast 4 mechanics working on the car.(a good site to see that your car is being actually worked upon)

Update as of 11 Feb 2013:

I will visit the Service Center today and check the status.
I am also now authorized for a Courtesy car or a daily allowance and will check the same with them as well and take it in writing over email or letterhead.

Will upload the video in sometime.
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:02   #2
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Default re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidrahul View Post
After coming back from my Jammu trip, the car was behaving nicely and I was very happy with the performance. But I didn't know that it won't hold for long.

After running about 5 km's, I saw that the car was throwing White Smoke from the exhaust and it kept doing so for a good 10-12 kms, after which it stopped. Fo a couple of days, the car ran fine, and then again, one fine day, it started giving white smoke.
Hi Rahul, I am in a fix now whether to congratulate you on your Rapid or share my sympathies for the first problem in your new car & that too a major one. Nevertheless hats off to your guts for taking the car form Pune all the way to Jammu.

Didn't you get any obvious warning on the dash e.g. a check engine light or the temperature needle well above its permissible limit, or even coolant drops on parking floor? If you could have spotted that then I think it could have saved you a lot of damage. Anyways hoping that Pashankar Auto guys can do the exact diagnosis, fix the root cause & give the car back to you in showroom condition. Most importantly all the part & labor charges must be covered under the standard warranty of the car.

p.s: I liked the way in which you started this thread & till the time you mentioned about the issue, I thought you are having a good honey moon with your car. Alas, it was a short one. I am now seriously hooked up on this thread. Please keep us posted with regular updates.
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:17   #3
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Hi AutoImdian,

Well no lights went on in the dash and neither was there any fluid on the floor due to leakage.
The surprising part is that even though the engine was so warm that the AC started blowing hot air and the engine fan kept running for a couple of minutes after parking, no sensor or light flashes on the dash.
I am currently sitting at the service centre waiting for an update.
Will keep posting updates as they come along.

P.S : the trip to Jammu was amazing and the car felt like a dream the entire duration. And I doth is trip once a year.
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:28   #4
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Default re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Good to see that Pashankar Auto acknowledged your problem and are working with Skoda on it. Lets hope everything is covered under standard warranty, and you don't have to pay anything out of your pocket, and more importantly, you get back your car in good condition soon.

Regarding the alternate car, who is entitled to provide that? Your showroom(Asset Auto) or this service center(Pashankar Auto)? And out of curiosity, what is the daily allowance value?
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:33   #5
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Default re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidrahul View Post
Well no lights went on in the dash and neither was there any fluid on the floor due to leakage.
Well in that case, the problem could be a bit more serious & the engine itself could be drinking coolant along with diesel. This could be due to a cylinder head gasket leak. Anyways the service centre guys would find out that very soon.

Quote:
I am currently sitting at the service centre waiting for an update.
Will keep posting updates as they come along. P.S : the trip to Jammu was amazing and the car felt like a dream the entire duration. And I doth is trip once a year.
Thanks for keeping us posted & sincerely hope you won't need to sit there in the service center till eternity & you can get your car back soon so that we can embark on your trip to Jammu once again.
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:48   #6
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Default re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Rahul, must share mixed feelings about the car (no pun intended )

Its good that you went the Skoda way and and so far enjoyed your Rapid (fingers crossed you will too in future). Driving long distances must have been a dream come true especially when you upgraded from the i-10.

Coming to your problem, did you particularly notice coolant leaking post your long journey? Coolant leak could be because of an underbody hit. Do do remember anything that hit the underbody during your trip?

You also mentioned that you did high speeds a couple of times during your journey. Did you notice any strange behavior after the journey.

Hope Skoda A*S*S solves diagnoses the problem quickly and corrects them promptly. Would advise you to check essential fluid levels of your car periodically in future especially when the service intervals are so far spaced out.

Good Luck!!
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Old 11th February 2013, 13:03   #7
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Default Re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidrahul View Post
In the mean time, one fine day, the car started giving problem while startup and when i checked the coolant level was again bare minimum.
I topped it up with water as was told to do so, and the car started.
After running about 5 km's, I saw that the car was throwing White Smoke from the exhaust and it kept doing so for a good 10-12 kms, after which it stopped.
Rahul !! I'm afraid it might turn out to be a bit of a major issue just because of the above quoted lines.

Although I hope it doesn't damage too many of the engine components. At this juncture, if you haven't already read the below thread, then please do. It will surely help you.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...eats-road.html (What to do if your Engine Overheats on the road)
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Old 11th February 2013, 13:05   #8
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Default Re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Related Thread : An Overheating Car (What to do if your Engine Overheats on the road)

Sorry to hear about the issues, this one isn't going to be pretty. Couple of points:

1. Shocked, but not surprised, that Skoda's typically lousy service centers failed to diagnose the issue correctly. Even a small garage would have advised you to immediately stop driving the car. Here, we have TWO separate dealers who didn't diagnose the issue correctly or stop you from driving an overheating car.

2. If you continue to run an overheated engine, that's going to severely damage your engine's internals. The two worst things for an engine are excessive heat or bad / low oil. From the looks of it, your engine is going to need a replacement or rebuild. If they just get it running and try to hand it back to you, don't accept it. Post here and we'll tell you what all checks to conduct. Your continuing to drive the car in this condition would have damaged your engine further. Not your fault, you just weren't advised correctly.

My first guess is that your radiator cooling fan has malfunctioned. Refer to my overheating thread (What to do if your Engine Overheats on the road) to know what else could have gone wrong.

Last edited by GTO : 11th February 2013 at 13:10.
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Old 11th February 2013, 13:20   #9
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Default Re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Usually we are excited to see the first post of a new thread in this section. I had the same excitement & was thinking Skoda has finally managed to gather customer confidence & see what I ended up reading!

Hope you get your issue resolved and also hope the car remains healthy.
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Old 11th February 2013, 13:31   #10
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@GTO : Well The engine actually ran only once with low coolant levels as I used to check the level everyday and top it up if required. The engine never complained of over-heating since the first time around(which again it didn't complain as no lights went on, but was evident).

@arup.misra : No I didn't notice any strange behavior with the car even after long runs and I would notice it as I notice even the slightest of changes in the way my car behaves. Also I've never hit the Underbody of the car anywhere so no Damage there.

@Caffeinated : I am actually glad to see the way they are working on my car. A Courtesy car is provided on behalf of Skoda, so your dealer doesn't make a difference.

Below are Certain facts that I learned while I was at the Service Centre Today(11 Feb 2013):

1) They have ordered a EGR Coolar for my car as they found out/suspect that it is faulty in the car and is causing this issue. I enquired about the Head Gasket leakages and they said that, if cooland starts mixing with the Fuel, then your engine would've seized considering the amount of coolant that has gone into the car since reporting the issue. They also told me that whatever tests they have done so far, do not reflect anything wrong with the engine.(I think Engine is the last thing they will open).

2) When I enquired about the Coutesy car/Allowance, I learnt the below:

a) A coutesy car is made available by Skoda only if the vehicle has been with them for more than 72 hours.(This I already knew).

b) The 72 hrs starts, if there is a delay in Diagnosis/part order :
The Skoda lady at the service centre told me that a coutesy car will only be available for you if there is a delay in diagnosis and it takes more than 72 hours or if we have diagnosed and ordered a part and it takes more than 72 hours for the part to arrive.
This made me a wee bit angry and coming from a Service industry myself, I informed her that a delay in Diagnosis doesn't imply that you started diagnosing the car on time. It implies that you are taking time to find a solution, which in this case, they were.
Also, the part order doesn't concern me. It is for their logistics to manage the same and any delay in that is my responsibility. For me, the time starts the moment I leave my car at the service centre.

c) One will only get a daily claim, if a courtesy car is not available and the service centre states that they do not have one. The amount hasn't been told to me as yet.

3) I must appreciate Mr. Mahesh, who is the Manager at the service centre, for interveining with the 72 hours clause and telling the lady that I certainly can avail the courtesy car.

4) I also wanted an invoice/report of what was being done on my car, but was told that the same would be provided to me once the car is all done and delivered to me.

P.S : I am currently researching on EGR Coolar and what it does.

@Caffeinated : I am actually glad with the work that Pashankar auto is doing on my car. They take time but are methodical in the way they work.

@AutoIndian : They don't suspect the Head Gasket as yet, as they told me that if your coolant was indeed mixing with the Diesel/oil due to that, then your engine would've seized by now considering the amount of coolant that has gone through it.
Also there was not trace of any mixing with the engine oil as I myself checked it.

@arup : I have never hit the car anywhere and especially not the underbody. Moreover, I have never noticed any fluid spots underneath the car body after having being parked for a couple of hours overnight. The car never behaved strangely even after the long drive. It was smooth as silk.

@GTO : Pashankar did actually perform a thorough check and couldn't find anything wrong externally. So when I showed them the video, they immidiately took the car and started working on it. The engine ran in a overheated state only once, and there after I checked the coolant level every morning and topped it up if required. so it has never crossed the over-heating barrier again.

Things I came to know today whilts at the Service centre:

1) They have ordered a EGR Coolar for my car as they suspect/found out that it is faulty. It is expected tomorrow.

2) A Courtesy car is available after the service centre has had your car for more than 72 hours. To contradict this, the lady at the service centre stated the below:
a) A courtesy car is only available if there has been a delay in diagnosis after receiving the car.
b) If a part has been ordered after the diagnosis and it takes more than 72 hours after the part order for the part to be made available.
c) I informed her that a delay in diagnosis doesn't imply that you started diagnosing when I gave you the car but it means that you are yet to find out what the problem is while diagnosing the car.(I myself come from a service industry).
d) Secondly, when and how the part arrives is not my concern. for me 72 hours time frame beings when i give the service centre the car.

3) One can only avail the Daily allowance, if the service centre states that the Courtesy car isn't available and there after gets an approval from Skoda(the service centre guys will get this approval) and later submit the bills.

4) For a Fabia, as I was told, 1200 Per day is provided. Not sure if this varies on the car model but it should.

@swiftnfurious : Thanks.

@GTO : Pashankar did a complete visual checkup but couldn't find anything. As a matter of fact I was available when they checked the car and they indeed checked it thoroughly. The engine ran in an over-heated condition only once. Thereafter I have always kept an eye on the coolant levels and topped up whenever required.

@arup : I've never hit the underbody of the car anywhere and have never noticed leaking fluids underneath the car. and no strange behaviors as well. the car was running as smooth as silk.

@Autoindian : They said that the head gasket doesn't look ike an issue as the engine would've seized with the amount of coolant that has been put into the car.

A few things I learnt at the Service centre:

1) They have ordered EGR cooler for my car.
2) Courtesy car is given only after 72 hours of your vehicle being present at the service centre.
3) You can avail the Daily allowance only if the service centre states that a courtesy car is not available and they have an approval from skoda for the same.

Note from Support - Please use the multi-quote option to reply to multiple posts instead of submitting back to back posts.

Last edited by n_aditya : 12th February 2013 at 08:33. Reason: Posts Merged
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Old 13th February 2013, 15:30   #11
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Default Re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Latest Update:

Got a call from the Service centre and they informed me that the Part is yet to arrive and should be available either today evening or tomorrow.
They also informed me that I can now avail the Rs. 1200/day allowance from Skoda.
I have asked them to send the same in an email for my reference.
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Old 13th February 2013, 22:41   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidrahul View Post
Latest Update:

Got a call from the Service centre and they informed me that the Part is yet to arrive and should be available either today evening or tomorrow.
They also informed me that I can now avail the Rs. 1200/day allowance from Skoda.
I have asked them to send the same in an email for my reference.
Thats a good move you have made. Skoda really needs to improve it's service.
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Old 13th February 2013, 23:01   #13
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Default Re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidrahul View Post
They don't suspect the Head Gasket as yet, as they told me that if your coolant was indeed mixing with the Diesel/oil due to that, then your engine would've seized by now considering the amount of coolant that has gone through it.
They have ordered a EGR Coolar for my car as they suspect/found out that it is faulty.
Do they mean to say an EGR cooler leak will not send coolant back into the engine cylinders?

And where, then, did the white smoke at the exhaust come from?

Have the workshop chaps inspected the condition of your engine oil?
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Old 14th February 2013, 08:24   #14
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@SS traveller: yes they have inspected the engine oil and it didn't show any signs of dilution. The EGR Cooler itself is leaking coolant in the exhaust system as they've told me. Once they fit it, they will check it again and confirm.
As I also suspected earlier with the amount of coolant that I've already put in my car, if the same was going into the engine, it would've seized by now.
So that gasket head remains the last suspect.
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Old 14th February 2013, 14:56   #15
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Default Re: Black Beauty, Skoda Rapid - 20,000 kms & Overheating Issues

@rapid rahul
very sorry about the heating issue.i had faced the similar situation in my sx4(zxi) .
all the service guys will try to brainwash you that every thing has been sorted out and your car is fine.never belive them.
DO NOT TAKE BACK YOUR CAR WITH OUT INSPECTING THE HEAD.
the service guys will finally put the blame on the gasket,but still insist on the head.
i had a pathetic experience with my sx4.they changed the radiator ,the head gasket twice,the radiator fan till my extended warrnty expired.then cooly they asked me to change the head paying rs75000.they did it for free when i sued them.even after chaging the head the trouble reappeared.finally i disposed off the vehicle and booked a rapid 3 days back.
points to ponder
1) do not belive the service engineers
2) the culprit may be the fan or the radiator or the head gasket.but your head woulid have been damaged because of the heat..
3)simple resrufacing of the head will only postpone the problem.
4)ask them to replace the whole head.


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...light=sx4+woes (Sx4 Woes!!!!)

Last edited by drbabuanand : 14th February 2013 at 15:01.
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