Given the amount of negative feedback regarding TAFE Access Ltd’s customer service, I was very apprehensive about my first service.

Thankfully, I found the service to be good enough. It, certainly, wasn’t as bad as people were saying it was (read the Team BHP’s members’ comments to know more).

I was present at the service centre by 9:30 AM. A pleasant woman (the receptionist) greeted me and asked me to wait for my “service advisor”. The said person appeared in 5 minutes and took in all the notes, prepared the job card, requested for the service book (that comes with the manual) and updated it.

All this took around 20 min. He informed me that once the car is ready, he would call me up (which he promptly did!). I also requested for dropping the car to my office. He said he would try since we have to book for pickup and drop service 2 days in advance.

I left the place around 9:50 AM and actually, got a lift to the nearest bus stop in my car!

Around 2:30 PM in the afternoon, my “service advisor” called me to inform that the car was ready and if needed, they can arrange for a drop to my office and of course, that would lighten my wallet by 200 Rs (only the drop not the cost of service), to which I agreed.

The driver reached my office around 3:30 PM and gave me a call. When I went out to meet the person, he showed me the bill and the maximum amount was spent on the engine oil – a whopping 3574 Rs without VAT of 13.5%!!!!. Oil filter, air filter and other miscellaneous items consumed another 1400 Rs and with VAT, the total serivce amount added upto Rs. 5641!

Add Rs. 200 for the drop and the whole thing came upto Rs. 5850 or roughly the amount of money that I would spend on getting my Pulsar 180 serviced for 3-4 years! 🙂

Anyhow, the service quality was good enough and my interaction with TAFE Access people was positive. So, as they say, all’s well that ends well.

It’s been 2 months and 19 days (80 days to be exact) since that fateful day (i.e., the day I got my Fabia delivered – pun intended). The going (apart from a few glitches mentioned earlier) has been pretty smooth. She has run 4500 + Kms and the engine is really getting into the groove now as is the clutch.

Engine & Clutch

The engine is on the way to its mellifluous best and in traffic signals, the engine noise is barely discernible. The clutch is getting smoother and I am also getting used to releasing it without touching the accelerator (this being my first car, one can understand my clumsiness on the clutch!).

Manoeuvrability

The acid test for any car is how easily navigable/manoeuvrable is the car when in traffic.

I would rate the Fabia in between 7 & 8 (on a scale of 10, 10 being the highest) in terms of manoeuvrability.

The rating is a trifle low because sometimes, the car doesn’t respond to throttle inputs as well as it should especially when overtaking. Of course, this is most probably because I change gears normally (i.e., at set speeds only: 20kmph – 3rd gear, 40 kmph – 4th gear, 60 kmph – 5th gear) and unlike others, do not accelerate say till 60 kmph in 3rd gear, which is typically done during overtaking (ನುಗ್ಗೋದು in local parlance – Kannada).

Mileage

Coming to the mileage part, I am again left disappointed since it has not gone beyond 12 kmpl in city driving conditions even after 4500+ Kms on the odometer. Of course, it is more during long drive, as is to be expected, but in the city traffic, it drinks petrol much more quickly than beer guzzlers their beer in Oktoberfest :(.

Do leave a comment to let me know if it is true of others too.

 

It’s been almost 2 months (well, 1 month and 23 days to be precise) since I bought my Fabia and it’s doing wonderfully well.

What worries me though is the mileage part of it :(. I’ve done more than 3000 KM on it till now and whenever I measure the mileage (which, to be candid, has been quite infrequent) it never seems to go beyond 12 kmpl. Mind you, that I have NOT measure the mileage whenever I have taken it out for long drives (an unpardonable sin for the mileage obssessed, but there you go – mea culpa).

I have promised myself that I would watch the trip meter like a hawk, the next time I go on a long drive.

Apart from the mileage front, everything looks spick and span (I hope it stays that way too)!

My new Skoda Fabia is about 1 month and 9 days old (I got it delivered on the 2nd of May 2009) and I’m loving it.

Some specs before I proceed further to review the car (based on its performance in the past 1 month):

Model ==> Skoda Fabia Classic

Engine Type ==> 1.2 L MPI (Petrol)

Dealer ==> TAFE Access Ltd., Bangalore

My beaut Fabia!

My beaut Fabia!

Apart from a few glitches here and there, I’ve had a good ride so far. I’ll come to the glitches soon but would like to highlight the good bits first, just so that I sound a positive note!

Here are the pros:

1. The clutch – damn powerful! Only caveat is that you’ve got to practice the release quite well else, there is a danger of stalling.

2. The design and the space inside give it a feel of a sedan rather than a hatchback.

3. The pedals were pretty smooth for a new car even during the initial few days (I presume the same would be true for any high end hatchback like Swift).

4. The Boot Space – it can easily fit a BIG suitcase along with some 2-3 small airbags!

The boot space and the leg space were precisely the reason that I went for the Fabia in the first place.

Now to the cons (glitches):

1. NEVER EVER PRESS THE CLUTCH AND THE ACCELERATOR AT THE SAME TIME.

I’ve mentioned this in BOLD letters coz I did it (as one would normally do for a Santro/Indica in an steep incline) and burnt the rubber/asbestos lining on the clutch plate! 😦

Per the service centre – “Fabia is unlike other cars in that the clutch itself is powerful enough to pull the vehicle even in steep inclines and we need not use the accelerator along with the clutch in those situations.”

As I said earlier, the clutch is pretty powerful and I now can easily understand the service centre’s viewpoint (of course, only after burning my clutch plate lining).

2. The pickup when the A/c is on was not too good. I got this corrected with a visit to the service centre resulting in cleaning of the air filter, which got the pickup problem resolved.

3. After reading a lot of negative reviews on Skoda after sales service (also called ASS :)), I was quite apprehensive about it. The first visit also did not help mitigate my apprehension – they took 3 days to tell me that there is nothing wrong with my clutch plate (after I burnt the rubber/asbestos lining).

My second visit for checking the pickup when the a/c is switched on, though, was quite positive. They took only 1 day to get the pickup fixed (by cleaning the air filter). They also checked with me a couple of days later if I’d had any problems with their service.

So, all in all, I’d wait for some more time before judging the after sales service.