Most automobile owners generally rely on authorized service centers for repairs and servicing of their vehicles. Little do they know that these dealerships can sometimes take them for a ride with wrong diagnosis, a series of repair issues being listed out unnecessarily and prices of spares and repairs jacked up several fold.
This is what has happened to the owner of a Skoda Laura. This 8 year old vehicle suddenly developed an issue with cranking the engine. The engine would start up only after a couple of tries and this made the owner take the car for servicing at JMD Skoda in Bhandup Mumbai as his regular service center in Navi Mumbai had shut shop. In the meantime, the owner took the car to a local shop to check the 2 year old Exide battery which was found to be in good shape.
An appointment was made and the owner noted that the car glow plug light started blinking while he was driving and the car started losing power. The fuel indicator also showed that the level was just above reserve mark and showed distance to empty as 75 kms. However, despite filling up the tank, the car did not start and had to be towed home.
A visit to JMD Skoda in Bhandup revealed that the fuel was adulterated which the service center stated caused all four fuel injectors, fuel pump and fuel lines to clog up. They estimated that each of these parts needed replacement and with the cost of fuel pump being Rs.60,580, an estimate of Rs.3 lakhs was given to the owner. Considering these charges too exorbitant, the owner preferred not to get his vehicle repaired at the said dealership.
The next day, the car was taken to Pai Auto, a local garage in the neighbourhood. There the car was examined by the mechanics. Battery jump cables were used and the car was jump started while the fuel was changed. The fuel immediately splashed to the floor as the technicians at the Skoda dealership had left it unconnected.
Once the fuel line was connected, the vehicle tank was filled and the car was subjected to a regular service and was then as good as new all at a fraction of the cost as stated at Rs.3 lakhs by the Skoda dealership. This is not the first owner of a Skoda car who has reported such an issue. Back in Aug 2018, there was a similar issue reported.