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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

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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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