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Old 4th May 2019, 09:08   #1
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Default JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

With a Skoda, car ownership can never be mundane, you're either enjoying the car to the fullest or researching repairs on google. The regular set of trademark Skoda part failures and replacements saga at consistent intervals has kept us on our toes for the past 8 years but we really love our car and have been inclined to stretch the ownership by atleast another year or two. However the Laura had been hesitating to crank in one go and would usually require a couple if not three attempts sometimes to start it up. Proactively I dropped by the neighborhood battery store for a check and they confirmed the exactly two year old battery was in good nick. The car was going to be due for its annual service at JMD Skoda in a few days so I figured we could have the problem diagnosed and fixed then.

The JMD Skoda facility at Navi Mumbai is relatively close to work and I had been religiously dropping the car with them for the past 8 years of ownership for service, warranty repairs, paid repairs, etc. Apart the from incident where they performed the Dieselgate software update without my consent and rare occasions of charging for services I may have not requested they had been a good team to leave my car with, and friendly enough to a point that I had not needed to really request for an appointment as such to drop our car for a service.

Unfortunately when I did call them on 16th April, I was informed by their CRM that their Navi Mumbai facility had closed down from 1st April 2019 and she would get someone from their Bhandup facility shortly. Within 30 minutes the receptionist from JMD Bhandup had fixed two appointments for me, 17th April (the very next day) if I could drop the car with them or 18th April (the day after that) for a pickup and drop if I could not manage to drop the car for the first scheduled appointment. Having never visited this facility before I really wanted to drop the car myself as it always help to connect better with the service advisor which is further amplified if he / she is bit of car nut.

Unfortunately on the eve of the appointment, night of 16th April, the glow plug system light started blinking and the car simultaneously started losing power whilst driving back home from work. Having been through over a couple of DSG failures I'm familiar with Skoda's limp mode, however to surprise me further this time the car lost all power within 15 - 20 seconds. I slowly managed to coast it safely on the left side of the road after a brief downhill.

Notably the car had just about entered reserve in the fuel tank with the display indicating decent 75 KMS to empty.

JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE-img_20190416_230147.jpg

Few unsuccessful cranks later I asked my brother to bring down some fuel as it was late in the night and we did not want to leave the car by itself on a public road. Simultaneously I called the Skoda service centre for some technical assistance which was not available at that point. Meanwhile the fuel arrived in a large 5 liter mineral water bottle, but as expected there was no change. We quickly googled a towing agency close by and promptly had the car towed back to our place which fortunately was not too far away.

Next morning on 17th April I called and narrated the above predicament to JMD Bhandup who almost immediately put me in touch with a towing agency listed with them. Within a couple of hours the towing van arrived and the team towed our Laura to the JMD Bhandup facility. I got a verbal receipt acknowledgement from them a couple of hours later and was informed they would call back once they hook the car up to their diagnostic system. I asked to fix the cause of the breakdown, perform the car's annual maintenance service and also fix the boot which had not been opening for the past couple of months possibly due to a kaput actuator.

JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE-jmd-april-2019-job-card.jpeg

The following day, on 18th April the service advisor called to say they have diagnosed the breakdown to be an issue with the fuel system and would get back with an estimate by end of the day. Following no contact from JMD Bhandup through the day I dropped by the service centre the next morning on 19th April and was informed that they fuel sample collected from around the filter was adulterated with water due to which the fuel system including of all four injectors, fuel pump, lines with allied child parts had clogged and would require replacement. The team at JMD Bhandup confirmed that they could not diagnose the exact single faulty part and would only replace the full system to avoid any trial and error vagueness.

Both our other current diesel cars (the Innova at 215,000 KMS and the Verna at 150,000 KMS) have been more or less fuelled at the same set of fuel stations and we have not faced any such issues concerning fuel quality with either of the cars. At this point I began to ponder if the fuel could have been adulterated by left over residue of water in the bottle that we used to fill fuel after the breakdown. Little tiny research & discussions here and there and I pretty much wrote that off as a possibility.

Due to the unreliable ownership experience right from the start and then the Dieselgate software update scam undertaken at their end I expressed my concern over the reliability and defects caused especially with iffy software update performed without my knowledge or consent and asked them to fix the car at zero charge.

The general manager acknowledged my concern and confirmed he would get back to me in the following week after hearing from Skoda. Subsequently my service advisor confirmed that Skoda deemed adulterated fuel and wear & tear as the reasons for the blocked fuel system and subsequent breakdown and Skoda could not cover the same for me as the car is out of warranty.

After a couple of days of consistent follow up with the service advisor I received the following detailed estimate for the repair job. Total = 3 LAKH RUPEES!
Quote:
DESCRIPTION PART NO QTY MRP
High pressure Pump 03L130755AA 1 60,580.00
Fuel Filter 3C0127434A 1 2,255.00
High Pressure Pump Bolt WHT002494 1 65
High Pressure Pump Bolt N 10714501 2 258
Fuel Rail 03L130089P 1 44,749.00
Intake Manifold 03L129711BC 1 34,956.00
injector 03L130277Q 4 120,560.00
Injector Bolt WHT004739 2 352.00
Injector Sealing Ring 04L103070B 4 2,560.00
Injector Pipe O RING WHT005299 4 2,004.00
Tank pump 1K0919050AB 1 15,311.00
Tank pump gasket 1K0919133D 1 628.00
additional fuel pump 5N0906129B 1 20,496.00
Pipe Gasket 03L131547N 1 387.00
Trottle Valve Gasket 03L131547B 1 833.00
Climp 070131548C 1 1,167.00
Engin Mounting Bolt N 01950213 2 88.00
Eng Mounting Bolt N 91029602 1 355.00
Eng Mounting Bolt N 10552402 2 450.00
Eng Mounting Bolt N 90596906 1 368.00
Eng Bracket Bolt N 10680203 1 117.00
Eng Bracket Bolt N 10683301 1 175.00
Eng Bracket Bolt N 91191601 1 213.00
Tensioner Pully Nut 038109454A 1 141.00
Bolt N 10699901 1 106.00
Camp shaft Pully Bolt N 91185401 3 190.00
Crank Shaft Pully Bolt N 91048804 4 120.00
High Pressure Pump Pully Bolt N 91180301 3 250.00
I was informed that above estimate was parts only, the labor charges were still to be added. Given the value of the estimate I asked them not proceed with the repair or the service and send the car back through their towing service in the same condition as it had reached them. My job car was closed for a 0.00 charge and car was promptly towed back to my place the following morning, 27th April.

JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE-jmd-april-2019-tax-invoice.jpeg

Full marks to JMD for punctuality here, no sarcasm, really. I guess they did themselves a favor by not levying a charge for scanning either!

JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE-img_20190427_102045.jpg

Simply Clever? Not so much!
In less than an hour of having the car parked back at home, we had an independent workshop Pai Auto (which I had earlier recommended here) arrange a towing van to fetch the car from my place to their workshop. In less than 10 minutes of the car reaching at Pai Auto the car was attended, diagnosed and jump started on the same fuel which was deemed adulterated by JMD Bhandup.

It has now been 8 days and the car is working perfectly fine. Zero charge for the 'repair', it was basically only a jump start.



We were soon greeted by all of that fuel being splashed on the floor (from what was called a clogged fuel system) thanks in no small way to the bloke who forgot to reconnect the fuel line beneath the rear seat. The mechanic at Pai Auto immediately shut the car down, reconnected the pipe and restarted the car. We let the car idle for a couple of minutes following which I tanked it up at close by fuel station and dropped the car back at Pai Auto for a service. To our pleasant surprise our Laura was back home on the same day, i.e. Saturday evening.

What may have been the actual problem:
1. The fuel gauge may have actually been off that evening and may have indicated more fuel than there actually was in the tank due to which we ran out of fuel.

2. Upon repeated cranking the compatible Exide battery recommended by JMD Navi Mumbai (due to unavailability of spare Varta batteries) ran out of juice. In isolation this Exide battery may be good for any other operation suitable for its capacity, but it may already been doing more than what it was made for in our Laura. Notably Anshuman who drives a Laura of similar vintage and mileage is running OK on his compatible Amaron battery which I would be switching to shortly given the current Exide unit is already 2 years old.

Key Take Aways:
1. Always tank up as soon as you approach reserve mark on your fuel indicator. Through 600,000 KMS between our recent diesel powered cars this is the first instance of a what only 'may' have been a bad fuel indicator, but better safe than sorry.

2. If available always insist on the OEM battery replacement. Compatible units should only be the second and last option.

3. Never blindly trust the diagnosis of the service centre, they seem to work harder in preparing repair estimates than level headed diagnostic reports.

4. This is not the first time for me that JMD Skoda has goofed up in their diagnosis, the last time around the gearbox failed they replaced the mechatronics unit out of habit which was immediately followed up by a gear shifter mechanism replacement, albeit on partially paid basis thanks to the goodwill warranty.

Last edited by navin : 6th May 2019 at 12:40. Reason: typo
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Old 4th May 2019, 09:12   #2
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Thanks for sharing, man!

Glad you got the car checked by an independent workshop, Manson (that was also my first recommendation when you called me). Having a good mechanic is a must-have with any German car, and especially with a Skoda. Just wondering though, how many gullible owners would be fleeced like this .

But in the future, irrespective of this problem, don't ever drive with less than a 1/4th tank of diesel. In most modern cars, the fuel also lubricates / cools the fuel pump.

Last edited by GTO : 4th May 2019 at 09:16.
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Old 4th May 2019, 09:23   #3
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Every time you think you should give Skoda and VAG a second chance, they do something that dissuades you from doing that.

Agree with GTO’s advice of not driving with less than 1/4 tank - in addition to the risk of erroneous fuel readings, the fuel at the bottom of the tank tends to accumulate residues which could clog the system in modern cars.
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Old 4th May 2019, 10:10   #4
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Quote:
Originally Posted by manson View Post
and was informed that they fuel sample collected from around the filter was adulterated with water .
Around the filter?? Wonder what they meant. One of the functions of the filter is to separate water from the diesel so there will be water around the filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manson View Post
The team ..confirmed that they could not diagnose the exact single faulty part
This is how one defines incompetence. There is a special flow sequence that will help them isolate the faulty part - would require time, effort and technical skills which are obviously lacking. Easier to make the customer pay for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by manson View Post
Never blindly trust the diagnosis of the service centre
Make that "Never blindly trust the diagnosis of any service centre" and one would make a mistake on the right side.

Good to hear you got away lightly.
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Old 4th May 2019, 10:43   #5
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
Every time you think you should give Skoda and VAG a second chance, they do something that dissuades you from doing that.
It's best that you take a wholesome look at the brand and their offering and then walk away to some place where they take care of your car long after you buy it as well .

Is the reason for this rob the customer behavior coming out of low sales? Industry experts should be able to throw some light on this.

At a dealer level Skoda sells half that of the top brands per month per dealer , which translates to less cars coming in for service as well and my experience from friends is that skoda owner is less likely to go back to dealer for servicing once the warranty is out.
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Old 4th May 2019, 16:51   #6
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Glad you got this resolved so easily and saved much $$. Pai auto is quite decent for stuff that is a step above what regular FNGs can handle.
I hope you didn't fill too much fuel from the nearby pumps they are known for their adulterated fuel !!

I live close by in Juhu and go to Bandra to fill up. Do you live near Cooper Hospital by any chance ? That building in your towing pic looks familiar
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Old 4th May 2019, 17:04   #7
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

As a senior member of the forum, you have more credibility and weight than a regular Skoda customer. I would really urge you to share this thread with Skoda and ask for a reply. How did they not check the status of the battery? Isn't that one of the most basic explanations for any car not starting? How did they arrive at their diagnosis of adulterated fuel which is nothing but a scam practiced by all these European car makers. I would really want to know what the so called skilled and qualified dealership/service centre and Skoda itself has to say about this.
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Old 4th May 2019, 18:04   #8
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mortis View Post
I live close by in Juhu and go to Bandra to fill up.
Hey, we usually tank up at either of the following fuel stations:
  • HP fuel station at the start of Linking road
  • HP fuel station just after Bandra Station signal when heading towards town
  • HP fuel station at BKC

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
I would really urge you to share this thread with Skoda and ask for a reply.
I have sent the link to all the Skoda contacts I have on my mailbox. However, going by their past record trust Skoda's officials to not reply to specific concerns when cornered and instead write long paragraphs of fake assurances of best business practices
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Old 4th May 2019, 21:16   #9
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

POV/Query :

If a dealer is involved in a shady practice, is there any route the manufacturer can take to reprimand them?

Can they penalise the dealer internally or exit relationship?

In my head, it seems like a very complicated decision for the manufacturer( not that I am defending either party, been a Skoda victim myself).
This is because, the manufacturers ultimately rely on the dealer for the actual sale conversions/ feedback, and act as agent on behalf of them in that region. Any event may lead to loss of reputation.

Also, if they start penalising them left-right, then the dealer might end his relation or may bad-mouth the manufacturer. Then saving grace for themselves becomes a even more tedious task. Also finding a good dealer is not easy, especially in the Indian setting and even more for low volume brands like Skoda.

Last edited by sharktale : 4th May 2019 at 21:23.
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Old 4th May 2019, 21:28   #10
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I too had a similar experience yet to post on the forum, accidental repair quotation was at 1.88 lakhs for Chevrolet Spark. Actual repairs at FNG around 65 K. When I got into detail major component was 28% GST that the dealer was charging on parts , ofcourse labour costs were also higher. I have yet not got the final Invoice from FNG as Insurance component is yet to be paid. I doubt in my case even the company would bother about feedback. Latest news is that service centre now will be accommodated at 1/4 of the space and the rest would be KIA Service centre in near future

Last edited by freak : 4th May 2019 at 21:53.
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Old 4th May 2019, 22:14   #11
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Totally unrelated, my 2003 Samsung fridge gave up the ghost. The official repair person came along and stated the evaporator coil is dead. The part is not available so time for a new fridge.

Called a local repair person. He changed a small coil and a bimetal strip all for Rs 5000 and we are cool again.

Looks like the customer who retain products for a long time are written off.
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Old 5th May 2019, 08:54   #12
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharktale View Post
If a dealer is involved in a shady practice, is there any route the manufacturer can take to reprimand them?

Can they penalise the dealer internally or exit relationship?
Skoda anyway has a tiny dealer network and with the way the industry is today, it's hard for any manufacturer to get new dealers.

It won't drop the dealer for something like this. At the most, it'll be a rap on the knuckles. The bigger the brand, the more you can discipline dealers. There's a reason why Maruti is able to keep its dealerships on such a tight leash.
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Old 5th May 2019, 10:04   #13
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Should Skoda consider giving Pai motors a authorised service station license ?
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Old 5th May 2019, 16:13   #14
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Against a recent query on another thread, I had cautioned the prospective buyer from picking up a used Octavia. My experience with this brand's A$$ has been very unpleasant and hence my advice.
It is a sad situation where the customer has sufficient cause to suspect the very intentions of the service centres. Thank God that we have some honest FNGs around.
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Old 6th May 2019, 11:41   #15
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Default Re: JMD Skoda quotes me 3 lakh rupees to repair the Laura diesel; fixed outside for FREE

Great to hear that your car is back on the road without any major concern. It's the general attitude of the A.S.S of all manufacturers to go around replacing parts. On the contrary to your experience I have had a pleasant experience with my Skoda A.S.S in Bengaluru. Never have been attempted to get ripped off in the ownership of 3 Skoda cars ( Fabia 1.2 Tdi, Laura 1.8 TSi and Rapid 1.6 TDi) and over 3 lakh kms in total.


Slightly OT, Toyota A.S.S adviced me a Transfer case change and AT gearbox O/H on my LC Prado since they were not able to identify a simple case of transfer case output shaft chain being worn out. Went to E_tuners India garage, Voila got it sorted in about a weeks time with an OEM part at about 6% of Toyota A.S.S projected cost !
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