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Old 8th November 2016, 00:42   #46
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Default Headlamp upgrade, Noisy wheel bearing & Difficulty in wheel-alignment

Noisy wheel bearing:
I was home in October for another short vacation and got to drive the Superb around for some odd 500km. Immediately I noticed a slight droning/humming sound that was increasing with vehicle's speed. Coasting the car in Neutral confirmed that the sound was independant of engine speed/output and purely on vehicle speed. So the fears were for wheel bearings or worse with drive axles.

Took to the ASC to have a look and as suspected it was the failure of front left wheel bearing. Most likely it would have been caused by going through a porthole hard, as I could see rubber markings on the front left wheel's paintwork also. Once again the 3.6 utilises different drive axles, infact a shorter front track also and the wheel bearing part numbers are different for it. The ASC has ordered the part and it will supposedly take two weeks to arrive. The bearing is expected to cost around Rs.9000 plus labour.

Wheel alignment (Error 404!)
I had also noticed that the front tyres had slight uneven wear, resembling incorrect toe adjustments. We were judiciously doing the wheel alignment and hence it shouldn't have been a problem. Later realized that Superb 3.6 has different wheel alignment specs also compared to regular Superbs. Owing to the 25mm lower suspension (essentially 'Standard Suspension' in Europe, what we have in India is 'Rough Road' suspension), and the shorter track width, the wheel alignment reference were different. With the wheel alignment stores unaware of the same, I had to explain that this was a different car. Can't blame them, they had no clue what I was talking about . None of the major wheel alignment shops in Calicut had the reference values for Superb 3.6 loaded in their machines. Sid of tune-o-tronics who also owns a 3.6 however was kind enough to share a report of his car and I had the alignment set to it.

Explained this to the Skoda ASC also, as most likely wheel alignment would be again necessary post the front bearing replacement. They were also surprised and clueless. But the folks are quite nice, the group's service operations head and service manager personally takes attention to our cars. They appreciate how we love our cars and are passionate about maintaining them in top shape. A good ASC makes all the difference.

HID bulb upgrade:

In my previous posts, I had complained about the Superb having poor headlight output, compared to our Laura even. The Superb utilises superior bi-xenon setup and AFS-2, but the low beam outputs were pathetic. High beams halogens were upgraded to Osram Night Breakers previously and their output is quite good, but the xenons were a big let down. Assuming it would be the HID bulb, I had bought a pair of Osram Xenarc Nighbreakers (the performance equivalent of OE HID bulbs). Replacement was a simple DIY. Disconnected the batteries for safety, easy access of HID bulbs and replaced them without any fuzz. However the upgrade doesn't seem to have improved the light-output significantly. Now I have my doubts on whether the bixenon shutter solenoid is working properly or projector lens itself is dirty or if the headlight alignments are off. Potential DIY on my next trip home in December.


Other than the wheel bearing which is most likely a driver induced damage, the car is running great. We had also recently completed the RTO transfer procedure and was finally alloted a KL number.
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Old 18th November 2016, 20:49   #47
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Default Superb 3.6: Front LH Wheel bearing and one more wheel speed sensor replaced

As mentioned in my previous post, the front wheel left bearing was shod and making a droning sound that got louder with speed. The part took 10days to arrive.

Front RH wheel speed sensor was recording intermittent faults (was suspecting other wheel speed sensors to fail when the front LH had went out couple of months back , so was not surprised). Most likely corrosive related failure of the wheel speed sensor. Have always been a problem with Skodas which do low mileage and have relatively longer vehicle idle time. Good thing is that Skoda is running 70% discount on wheel speed sensors when bought as a set. So bought a set and kept the extra three with us. I cross-checked that some of them will work on our Laura too in case needed.

Wheel alignment post bearing replacement was performed at the ASC itself. We normally never do the same with any of our cars, but with the reference values for 3.6 not available in the regular tyre shops, there was no other choice.

The SA also mentioned a fault being recorded intermittently on severe/extreme braking scenarios. It is not associated with wheel speed sensors and has go to to with ABS electronic control module itself. I looked up the error code they shared with me, and found that on 2009/2010 VW/Skoda cars which used this unit, this had been a problem. The occurence of error and warning on cluster disappearing with just restarting the car was also identical. The even trickier part is that the error doesn't occur when you run the ABS/Brakes sytem's output tests using VCDS/ODIS/OBDeleven. The only remedy to solve the problem is to replace the ABS module. Now this is a very expensive affair since the control module is paired with the hydraulic module of the ABS, and the cost of assembly is around 1.4lakh INR. ASC could suggest only the same which I declined. Here in EU, there are multiple vendors who supply refurbished ABS units at a fraction of the price (around 16-20k INR) and with 2 year warranty. I would go that route, if required, after confirming the fault.

So once again coming back to owning VW/Skoda cars and the challenges that brings them with you. Unless you are prepared, resourceful to find alternatives, the ownership experience can easily become a big disappointment. Also the primary reason I have hardly suggested VW/Skoda to others


The invoice for the recent set of repairs:
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-bill.jpg
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Old 19th November 2016, 10:31   #48
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Default Re: Headlamp upgrade, Noisy wheel bearing & Difficulty in wheel-alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by avinash_clt View Post
In my previous posts, I had complained about the Superb having poor headlight output, compared to our Laura even. The Superb utilises superior bi-xenon setup and AFS-2, but the low beam outputs were pathetic. High beams halogens were upgraded to Osram Night Breakers previously and their output is quite good, but the xenons were a big let down. Assuming it would be the HID bulb, I had bought a pair of Osram Xenarc Nighbreakers (the performance equivalent of OE HID bulbs). Replacement was a simple DIY. Disconnected the batteries for safety, easy access of HID bulbs and replaced them without any fuzz. However the upgrade doesn't seem to have improved the light-output significantly. Now I have my doubts on whether the bixenon shutter solenoid is working properly or projector lens itself is dirty or if the headlight alignments are off. Potential DIY on my next trip home in December.
In VCDS if I remember correctly there was an option for headlight dimming (or something similar) to prolong the life of the bulbs. It used to be set at 80% if I'm not mistaken. Maybe you can adjust that to full, that will probably make a difference.
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Old 19th November 2016, 16:42   #49
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Default Re: Headlamp upgrade, Noisy wheel bearing & Difficulty in wheel-alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
In VCDS if I remember correctly there was an option for headlight dimming (or something similar) to prolong the life of the bulbs. It used to be set at 80% if I'm not mistaken. Maybe you can adjust that to full, that will probably make a difference.
Indeed there is an option in headlight dimming, I maxed out the setting but still did not find any visible change in the intensity of the light in my jetta, Surely worth a shot though, By default the setting is kept for prolonged life of bulbs.
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Old 19th November 2016, 17:59   #50
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Default Re: Headlamp upgrade, Noisy wheel bearing & Difficulty in wheel-alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
In VCDS if I remember correctly there was an option for headlight dimming (or something similar) to prolong the life of the bulbs. It used to be set at 80% if I'm not mistaken. Maybe you can adjust that to full, that will probably make a difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanveer_2558 View Post
Indeed there is an option in headlight dimming, I maxed out the setting but still did not find any visible change in the intensity of the light in my jetta, Surely worth a shot though, By default the setting is kept for prolonged life of bulbs.
I will check this next time. I did try to find out information regarding this, but couldn't find something specific for the Xenons. I saw about voltage regulation that is applied to halogen bulbs so as to prolong their life, and turning it up improving the light output. But the same was said to be ineffective/not applicable for the Xenons (with which I currently face the problem). Could you guys confirm if the headlight dimming/protection setting is separately available for the HIDs also, or point to an external thread regarding the same?

The ironic part is that the low beam light output of our Laura with its stock HID setup is better than the technically superior bi-xenon setup with AFS-II in the Superb.
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Old 27th February 2017, 21:06   #51
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Default Period service & ABS module replacement

The car has now been with us for slightly more than a year. It has done close to 8500KM in the same interval. Frankly I was not expecting the car to be used to that extent (being a big NA petrol). In fact only the diesel polo did more in the last year (the workhorse in the family at odd 30,000km+ a year). My dad rarely takes the vRS on long drives owing to the MT. His major mileage was with the Vento TSI, and the Superb has taken over from the Vento these days.

Initially he was not happy with the odd niggles in the Superb, the warning lights it would give out and some other mechanical issues. Soon they were attended to one by one over the period of a year and he gained confidence in the car. We never had chauffeurs for our cars and dad insists on driving himself. He has been quite happy with the Superb in that regard. While he hardly makes uses of the power on tap, the comfortable seats, the planted suspension and sure-footed braking inspires confidence in him more than the Vento does. In KL highway speeds, the car returns a respectable 9.5-10.5kmpl FE also which is only marginally lesser than what we would have got from the Laura.

Over a period of one year, below are the likes and dislikes:

Likes:
The power on tap, brakes, suspension setup, boot space, rear legroom, 6-cylinder refinement, the sense of luxury without snob value and sleeper performance that catches premium germans off guard.

Dislikes:
Low profile tyres - Stock 225/45 R17 tyres in the combination with near 2000kg weight and our road conditions doesn't go well. The lighter Audi A4 rather had better stock tyre profile. Already lost two tyres to sidewall bulges that were caused by pothole impacts that would have been perfectly fine on our Laura.
Headlight output - is a joke for being bi-xenon setup with extra halogen for high beams. Still haven't figured out whether it is just our car or a general case with Mk2 Superbs.

Issued faced during previous year:

1)Noisy wheel bearing:It was not really a fault of the car alone. The wheel which took an impact (sidewall damage to tyre also) also needed the bearing to be replaced later on due to a droning sound that was generated at higher speeds. Post #47

2)Sidewall damage to tyres: Already explained above, 225/45 R17 is too low a profile for the car that weighs this much and for our road conditions. Should have gone for 225/50 R17, which also has more options.

3)ABS wheel speed sensors failing: Lost two wheel speed sensor to corrosion. A common problem with both Laura and Superb, especially low mileage ones along the coastal areas. Posts #45 & #47

4)Fault with ABS control module:

This was the major problem encountered in the 1 year ownership. There was a particular error that got recorded in the ABS control module ('01130 - ABS operation Implausible signal') each time the ABS module had to kick in which included both ABS intervention as well that of Traction control / ESP. Along with ABS, TPMS & ESP/TCS warning lights, the brake warning symbol (in red) also starts to flash which basically is asking you to stop the car immediately and seek help. Ironically, once the vehicle is shut-off and restarted the warnings go away and you can drive away normally till the next instance where the module has to intervene to assist you (or it thinks it needs to).

When the module was run through its various individual output tests (using factory as well as aftermarket diagnostic scan tools), it worked perfectly fine. I initially suspected the problem to be of an electrical fault or even a faulty wheel bearing, especially since it was not easy to replicate the error. Once I identified the pattern, I had to accept the dealer's suggestion of replacing the entire ABS module (hydraulic block + electronic control module).

01130 - ABS operation Implausible signal: This thread gave me a fair idea of the problem. It was common across a number of ABS modules made during 2009/10 and the only solution was to replace the module. A new module costs approx Rs 1.4 lakh from the ASC. I was adamant of not spending that much money on the car at this stage. On the flip side, the car effectively wouldn't provide the safety net of ABS/ESP when it would be actually needed, so it was a safety concern too that had to be addressed.

As they say, being resourceful is key to having good experience owning VW/Skoda in India. I searched around and understood that ABS control module refurbishing is quite a common thing in EU. For as low as odd 10-14k INR, one could send over a faulty ABS module, have it refurbished and use with a life-time warranty for the job. Shipping over the control unit to EU was not an option for me. So I got an already refurbished ABS control unit from ebay.de, that also came with two year warranty. A new unit from ASC also had only 2yr warranty on it, and the refurbished unit at Rs.18.5k was a steal compared to Rs. 1.4 lakh we would have had to cough up at the ASC.

The package arrived to my address in Netherlands and I was quite impressed with how well the shipment had been packed. As a periodic service was nearing, I also got a set of 6 NGK Laser Iridium OE equivalent spark plugs with me. FSI/TSI engines essentially have long life spark plugs in them. It is recommended to replace them during the 6th year service only if the car has done less 90,000KM (as i remember reading). With our fuel quality those EU recommendations may not be applicable. I understood that the spark plugs for the 3.6 is different from other VW engines and it would thus take its own sweet time to arrive if ordered through ASC. It would have also costed approx 15k through the ASC for 6 plugs. Once again, purchased 6 plugs from ebay.de at a cost Rs.6k.

Effectively, by doing proper research, I could save 9k from the scheduled service bill (spark plugs) and a whopping Rs 1.2 lakh with a refurbished ABS module. I carried both of them during my trip to India. I had already informed the ASC about getting refurbished ABS module and needed their help in fixing it. ABS module replacement is not a simple plug and play. The brake lines have to be bled thoroughly and adaptation of the module also has to be performed (similar to the case when fuel injectors are replaced) and this required their factory scan tools. The ASC agreed to perform the job.

The NGK Laser Iridium Spark Plugs (OE equivalent, NGK supplies for TSI/FSI engines too)
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-spark-plugs-1.jpg

The well packed ABS control module
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-abs-control-module-5.jpg
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-abs-control-module-4.jpg
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-abs-control-module-3.jpg
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-abs-control-module.jpg

The warranty label
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-abs-control-module-2.jpg

245 euros for a refurbished unit with 2 year warranty
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-abs-control-module-6.jpg

During the periodic service, spark plugs however weren't replaced since they lacked the special tool for removing ignition coil. So that would be at a later date. Periodic oil/filter replacements were done and the bill came approx Rs 12.5k.

I let some of the labour charges slip by cause the ASC willing to install the refurbished unit is a big plus for me. The same was charged to me separately via an invoice of Rs.2000. Thus net cost of ABS module (refurbished part) plus labour (replacement, brake bleeding, adaptation) came to Rs. 20,500, against a possible Rs 1.4lakh resolution that ASC could officially suggest.

The periodic service bills (Rs 12.5k + 6k for spark plugs sourced separately)
Czech sleeper: Pre-owned Skoda Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4-superb-3.6-service-bill-1.jpg
Name:  Superb 3.6 service bill 2.JPG
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As predicted last year, it is the unforeseen failure of these control modules, wheel bearing etc that will burn a hole through the pocket. Hope there aren't any major scares left. Overall, everyone in the family and friends circle are quite fond of the car, for its comfort, performance and being a steal in the used-car market. I don't foresee the Mk3 Superb 2.0TSI 280PS 4x4 hitting our shores any time soon, nor its Passat equivalent. This car is likely to continue as a unique proposition.
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Old 17th March 2017, 08:59   #52
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Default Re: Headlamp upgrade, Noisy wheel bearing & Difficulty in wheel-alignment

Congrats on getting a really nice car. Now I'm too tempted to pick one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avinash_clt View Post
Noisy wheel bearing:
Owing to the 25mm lower suspension (essentially 'Standard Suspension' in Europe, what we have in India is 'Rough Road' suspension), and the shorter track width, the wheel alignment reference were different.
However, with so many unscientific speed breakers in Bangalore, it will be nearly impossible not to damage the car every time i go out. I searched for some aftermarket replacements for the suspension like Accuair, but they are costly. Is it possible to replace the suspension springs from a regular superb (2.0 TDI with Rough Road package) to increase the GC of the 3.6 FSI?
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Old 17th March 2017, 16:44   #53
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Default Re: Headlamp upgrade, Noisy wheel bearing & Difficulty in wheel-alignment

Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by K a s h View Post
Is it possible to replace the suspension springs from a regular superb (2.0 TDI with Rough Road package) to increase the GC of the 3.6 FSI?
The ground clearance is less, but the suspension is also stiff. It isn't as low as some of the lowered cars. The 3.6FSI 4x4 weighs 150kg more than the 2.0TDI (2wd DSG). Unlike aftermarket springs, VW/Skoda has multiple versions of the springs that go into different variants of the Superb (based on drive-train, market, axle loads etc). So even if the springs may physically fit, they may not be paired correctly owing to the added weight and different weight distribution of the 3.6FSI. Also rough road package requires different dampers than the standard one if I am not mistaken.

I wouldn't consider options of longer springs as that 25mm lower height significantly improves the car's dynamics. For marginal improvement in GC, it is better run on 225/50 R17 tyres (odd 10mm increase in GC). Stock 225/45 R17 tyres will suffer from sidewall damage owing to the car's weight and our road conditions.
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