Living with a Skoda Rapid diesel DSG for 5 years & 90000 kms

The confusion on engine oil raised a concern and I requested them to show me the grade of engine oil used.

BHPian sachin_cs recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

There are a handful long term ownership reviews of the DQ 200 and I’m happy to share that my car is nearing the 90k kms marks and will turn 5 on 14th February 2024. A lot of things have happened since the last update and I plan to share the developments to the best of my ability.

Service centre visits:

26th August 2023- Annual service:

Odo reading - 80,820 kms

I sent my car for the 6th annual service and scheduling a service was a task in itself. I wanted the car on the same day but they had so much rush that they suggested that I leave my car. So, we decided on an appointment a week later when I would get a single-day delivery. I reached the showroom at 10 AM and handed my car to the service advisor. He explained the work and an estimate of 9k was shared with me, along with that they offered an option of service pack for 2 years at 19k. Which didn’t make any sense at that moment since I would be paying less if I paid on an annual-service basis. In the evening when the bill came, to my shock, it was billed at ~ 13-14k. I asked them the reason of deviation from the shared estimate, they gave an excuse that they calculated the estimate based on the prices of oil, filter elements of Slavia and Kushaq and not Rapid. I said I was not going to pay anything more than what was estimated, either you reduce the bill amount or get me a 2 year service pack for 19k. They said nothing can be done, as the bill is already generated, I made them realise that it was lack of communication by their team, I made it clear that don’t make me pay extra. Finally, they agreed for service pack after a lot of haggling and I paid 19.5k for 2 year service-pack but its activation itself took 10 days. Also, when I enquired for DSG oil change, they say the company doesn't recommends it, it's packed for lifetime, I'm not comfortable with sealed-for-life concept but I don't have an option.

The confusion on engine oil raised a concern and I requested them to show me the grade of Engine oil used because I have already read in Lapiz_lazuli’s post in TeamBHP that some Skoda dealers are using Petrol grade oil 0W20 VW508 in diesel cars but thankfully correct oil 5W40 VW505 was used, but it was from drum not oil cans. In the meanwhile, I noticed that all the used parts, cabin filter, screws were lying next to my car but the engine air filter was missing, this raised a suspicion. I asked the service manager, if they have replaced the air filter, which he assured me that they have indeed replaced. Don’t know why but I was still not confident and so I went to the service bay and asked the mechanic, if he has changed it, he said there’s no stock of air filter for Rapid how could he replace it in the first place. When I confronted the manager, he was blank, he said he will place an order and you may bring your car again. My ORVM controller knob was not functioning well and I placed an order well in advance before the service, these days everything needs to be ordered as the Rapid is not in production anymore. Since the car is under warranty, knob should have been replaced under warranty but it was billed, when objected, they took 3 hours to settle the claim. Everyone is clueless about their role, there’s no coordination among department, they lack proper training on customer handling, they are just managing to run it somehow.

Faulty knob:

October 2023: ABS sensor:

Odo reading: 84,000kms

ESP light came on even before the famous VAG Christmas and I reported it to the dealer. I was suspecting it to be an ABS sensor going kaput but they insisted on checking the wires first. I took my car to the showroom and after 2 hours of inspection they said it’s the FL abs sensor and they don’t have it in stock. I asked them to place an order & waited for 2 weeks. Also, I avoided driving the car because ESP was non functional and I have a daily highway commute. Finally when the part arrived, the guy who looks at warranty went on leave. Upon further follow ups, I was informed that the guy resigned from his job but anyways had to get it repaired so I reached the showroom in the morning. It was a small 30 minute job and again they made a bill for me, I explained them that my car is under warranty, they were like- you should have informed earlier, which I already did, hence the wait right! Finally with their hit and trial in their system, they managed to register the claim and I left the service centre in the evening.

ABS error:

19th December 2023: Body shop work:

Odo reading: 88,000 kms

Somehow, the month of December is considered inauspicious in our family and it did prove itself right. For no fault of mine, my car had to face brunt of the morons on the road. Primary reason for following damages were a. Consumption of alcohol while driving b. Having a “ I don’t give a d@mn about others property” attitude. Damages on my car:

  • My left ORVM was smashed
  • Right ORVM had it’s indicator broken
  • Dent on the right fender
  • Dent on the right door

I’m not going into much details as to how it happened as the matter is still under consideration of police & appropriate authorities.

The nightmare doesn’t ends here, grab some popcorn for the upcoming ordeal.

Pathetic insurance experience with Acko:

I have been a loyal Acko customer from last 3 years and currently my 2 cars and 3 bikes have insurance from them. It gives an idea that how impressed I was with their service, but not anymore. I have bought the zero depreciation insurance for my Skoda Rapid with highest IDV, Roadside assistance, Engine Gearbox protection, ncb protection, consumables protection etc.

  • I dropped my car on 19th December to Skoda service centre
  • I requested them to send a surveyor so that there’s no delay in approving the claim
  • I explained everything to the surveyor and we took photos of the car and damages
  • The Skoda A.S.S. shared an estimate worth 37k to me and the insurer
  • 22nd December (4 days) The guy from acko calls and he says they will cover only the left ORVM and rest I will have to pay! Why? Because he says the damages you have mentioned are old damages from a claim I raised in October but postponed the work. I explained him that I have never asked for the repair of the previous damages, kindly go through the documents again.
  • I lost my mind as these guys took 4 days to decide that they will approve only a mirror change despite me spending the maximum amount on the insurance premium. If I have to shell money from my pocket, why I should even bother with zero dep insurances.
  • I asked to cancel my claim, I decided I will get it repaired from my pocket.
  • In the evening he came with another offer that they will pay for one ORVM, dents on fender and door. I agreed to get the other ORVM replaced by myself.
  • The car was delivered to me on 29th December, the final bill came to 32k and I made the payment as they don’t have cashless facility.
  • It took 5 days for them to process the payment with follow-ups from my side and I got the amount i.e. 24,800/- on 3rd January 2024. They blame dealer for the delay, dealer blames them for the delay. God knows who’s right

All these 15 days were out rightly frustrating for me because I felt as if it was my responsibility to coordinate with the insurance company and the dealership regarding my claim. These guys were not prompt with the updates. My insurance will expire on Feb 2024 and I’m for sure not going with Acko this time. Can someone suggest me which insurance provider has good service.

Skoda Horror story is back:

  • Replacing ORVM and minor dent repair should not be a job of more than 3 days. I dropped my car on 19th December and got her back on 29th December. Full 10 days at the dealership and partly the delay is also because of insurance company.
  • I knew it will be a week long job at the hands of Skoda Raipur, I requested for a courtesy but they don’t have one it seems. For these 10 days, I relied on taxis and borrowed car from my parents for my daily commute of 100kms
  • The work order approval was given on Friday 22nd Dec 2023 by Acko but the actual work started on Monday 25th Dec’2023. All these days my car was eating dust and laying eggs on the showroom premises.
  • I dropped by the showroom on 27th to just have a look at the work. I personally met the painter who knows me and my car since last 4 years and he assured me that he will do a good job, which he usually did until now.
  • 28th Dec’ 23, I get a call that my car is ready, I went to the city as I live in the outskirts but in the evening I get a call that I should come tomorrow as some final touches are remaining.
  • On 29th I left home at 10 am to pick my car but the staff again requested me to come after lunch hour and then the car will be ready, I said fair enough, I don’t want any hastily work to be done on my car and I wanted to give them proper time to work on my car.
  • I reach the showroom at 4PM and as expected the car was not cleaned up to my expectations, the paint and dent work was sub par even by a roadside garage standard.
  • There were a lot of rough surfaces, extra clear coat, dust particles, lack of gloss etc
  • I showed my displeasure to the service advisor and he took the car back to paint booth. Good thing is that they acknowledged that the work they have done is not acceptable.
  • The painter tried to do some last minute buffing but it didn’t made much difference as such. They are now saying that please drop your car some other time and we will address the paint issue. This is a regular affair at Skoda Raipur these days, please come back some other time, please drop your car again… why can’t you do the promised job at one go? I don’t have all the time in the world to give it to you.
  • The person suggested that I should take the delivery the next day but I have had enough and I wanted my car right away.
  • Even before I came to the showroom, I informed them to keep a chauffeur ready as he will drop my Kwid to my home and I will drive the Rapid. But chauffeur was not available as expected.
  • I made the final payment of 32k to the Skoda dealer at 5:17 PM and apparently the driver was not available. I also suggested that let me take my Rapid and you can drop my Kwid later but it was denied.
  • So I left in my kwid to a nearby cafe and waited for the Skoda driver. Finally, the driver came to the cafe at 8 PM and I gave him the Kwid keys and he left for my home in Kwid and I started the car to drive back home, the dashcam says an error “sd card missing”. I made the call to the dealership right away and they had no clue, they said they will call me later.

The problems:

  • The quality of paint job is pathetic, despite giving them enough time to work on my car.
  • My right ORVM has a small damage to the mirror. Mind you, this is a new assembly, new cover & new mirror.
  • The boot release button has been replaced without my knowledge. I found my original button in the car.
  • As expected, the car was not cleaned properly, swirl marks, dirty seats (they never use disposable seat covers)
  • Scratch on front left alloy wheel.
  • And the biggest disappointment- my sd card from dash cam has been stolen which had my important data.

No damage on alloy while dropping my car:

New scratches:

Stupid people I tell you:

Work in progress:

New mirror:

Work in progress:

Pathetic paint job, feels rough:

Is it too much to ask for?

Fender looks matt:

Switch was replaced without my knowledge. It was working well when I gave the car.

SD card saga:

I have been using a 70 Mai dash cam from last few years and never have I ever removed the sd card from it. Even in the past 5 years, nothing has been stolen from my car on the many instances when I left my car at Skoda dealer. There was a time when some cash was left in my car and the staff returned it to me. But it was different this time. Why was the dash cam sd-card so important for me and loss of it is a breach of my privacy?

  • The incident where the drunk guys hit my car was recorded and saved in that SD card only.
  • The SD card has all the footage and details of the places I visit, place where I live, conversations I have, people I meet, my commute timings etc.
  • I hope nothing happens to me or my family but it kinda puts me in a vulnerable position if that data lands on the wrong hands!
  • Why would someone steal an sd card? If he/she needed an sd card or there is something in the dashcam which got recorded and they don’t want me to see

Response from Skoda India (prompt) and dealer(non satisfactory):

On 29th itself I informed one of my friend who was at senior position at Skoda India and he forwarded my concern to the headquarters

30th Dec I got a call from Skoda dealer as to what concerns you have sir? We have received a complaint. I informed him about the developments and he said he will inform me after an internal investigation on status of my SD card

3rd January 2024- Not getting any response from them on the “internal investigation’’, I decided to drive down to the dealership in the afternoon. My home is 40kms from showroom.

Met my service advisor, met the service manager, spoke to the workshop manager. Workshop guy said that no one has stolen the card in our premises, they have already checked it, nothing of this sort happens in our showroom, I’m hearing it for the first time, you might have forgotten it somewhere. He even suggested if you had data then why did you leave the sd card in dash cam? So where am I suppose to leave the sd card? At home?

I have been a loyal Skoda customer, I have given references for Skoda to my friends and family and many have bought the vehicle too. You may read my earlier posts on this thread as to how happy I was with my Skoda and the after sales service. I have always vouched for them and in a way I was a brand ambassador for Skoda in my circle (at least my friends called me one). Till the time Zac Hollis was here, the service quality indeed was good, there used to be quick response from dealer, there were not much delays in the work and car was delivered on time whenever I sent it for service. But things have changed, this is not a post which I’m writing out of frustration for one incident. This is something which I have been observing from last 2 years, specially after the launch of Kushaq and then Slavia. Gone are the days when there was attention to details, when people would listen, there were less cars and emphasis on quality. Now it has become so crowded and chaotic that the numbers of cars sold is far more than the numbers of cars they can handle in service. My grouse is that an entire organisation cannot be a one man show, it should not lose its charm if one man is gone, it cannot be person centric, it should be an organisation with customers on centre, an organisation with their own ethos, principles and integrity. Skoda has been in India from last 2 decades and they know very well how dealership experiences have shaped their image or rather spoiled their image. I can confidently say that, they haven’t learned from their mistakes. In entire Chhattisgarh, there’s only one guy who owns all the Skoda dealerships, we Skoda customers are at their mercy, even if you don’t have a competition, at least listen to what customers want, what problems we face. I don’t know if Skoda conducts mystery shopping like JLR does, if not, please hire or outsource mystery shoppers and it will help you understand the ground reality.

Silver lining:

Service advisor Shiv has been in constant touch with me throughout the process, I can see him making the efforts, going out of his way and arranging a driver etc. but when the structure of the organisation is flawed then even a good guy can’t do much.

The only thing I’m happy about the service centre visit was the touch-up done on existing scratches and clear coat damage.

My final thoughts:

I’m really disappointed with Skoda as a brand, I feel they have let down their enthusiast customers while being in the race of chasing numbers. I understand that at the end of the day the balance sheet matters for a company, but not at the cost of losing your customers who helped establish the brand value in India. For me, Skoda is like any other mass market manufacturer now, like they are in developed countries.

As far as Skoda Rapid as a product is concerned, I’m really happy with the car, the way it puts the power down, the way DSG changes gears, everything feels built to last, there’s a sense of solidity, surprisingly even after 90k kms there’s not a single rattle. I’m happy to inform you that the DSG is holding really well and the engine-gearbox combination is still one of the best under 30L budget even in 2023. I consistently get 22kmpl+ mileage, the car is fast, frugal, smooth and it’s very comfortable over long journeys. I did a 3000kms road trip with my mom and sister over 4 days and it was like a piece of cake. This thing is a proper mile muncher and a complete beast on open highways. I have reached 5 year mark and for the first time I’m not having a new car itch, it’s that good! I don’t know what I will upgrade to if I plan to add a new car, because, I have test driven cars like Elevate, Verna, Virtus, Kushaq, Slavia, Harrier, Nexon and XUV700 this year and it was only the VW and 700 which impressed me as a complete package, everything else felt like a compromise in more than one areas when compared to Rapid. I completely understand the plight of Rapid, Vento, Jetta owners as how difficult it has become for us to buy a replacement at a reasonable cost. Some photos to celebrate the 5 years of ownership:

Parked among the power centre of Chhattisgarh Government:

This one is funny, I went on a drive just after I washed and waxed my car and it started raining, so I took a shelter under the overbridge to save my car from getting dirty again.

If you are in the mood then:

During Harrier, Nexon test drive:

Look at the sheer stupidity of people when 5 cars were parked around my car and there was no other option but to wait:

1000km tank range means fewer fuel stops:


Nothing like spending Sunday afternoon washing your car:

One interesting story, our first car was a 2004 Alto LX pearl silver and this particular alto had almost the same registration number except one digit:

Signing off Heisenberg:

P.S. One funny incident I wanted to share: When I was leaving the showroom on 3rd January 2024, I saw a Slavia Style with temporary registration plate on the delivery area, I guess it was the test drive vehicle to be delivered and there was a Slavia ambition display vehicle parked next to it. So apparently, the display vehicle was donating it’s bonnet to the other Slavia. This operation was being carried out in open right in the delivery bay, I liked the confidence. All the best to the unaware customer who buys that display Slavia now.

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