Workshop test Skoda 2013

Reinhard Schmid
Workshop test Skoda 2013
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It was probably nothing more than a pious wish that Markus Schmitt told a uto motor und sport on record. 'We are on the right track with our measures,' said the Skoda Germany service manager on the occasion of the workshop test at the time. Six out of eight companies earned the rating 'recommendable' at the time, only one failed. And today? You can't help but get the impression that the partner companies of the Czech VW subsidiary are further away than ever from perfection and care.

Massive deficits in the quality of work

A Skoda Octavia that was used as a test object was equipped with seven defects, making it a major one Inspection has been sent to eight workshops. Four companies did not manage to track down at least half of the prepared defects and to process the maintenance scope satisfactorily. Here the verdict can only be: 'not recommended'. Two authorized dealers as well as a branch of ATU, which was also tested for comparison, delivered a reasonably acceptable work performance and are 'conditionally recommendable'. Only the Skoda partner Schwabengarage in Stuttgart-Vaihingen deserves the verdict 'recommendable'.

The prepared defects on the Skoda Octavia

Before the car is handed in for inspection, auto motor und sport builds seven defects in the vehicle. All errors such as misaligned headlights, a too low cooling water level or a defective horn must be found by the mechanics while working through the maintenance plan and corrected professionally.

Schwabengarage Vaihingen, Stuttgart

Test result: recommended

How the customer is treated

The brand diversity in Schwabengarage initially irritates new customers. From Aston Martin to Volvo, eleven makes are united under one roof, including Skoda. In view of this demanding range, things are comparatively modest in the reception room after the test team has finally found a parking space in the narrow courtyard. Although we don't have to wait long for the friendly service advisor, it takes a certain tenacity to get him out of our desire for a big oneConvincing inspection. 40 minutes pass before the formalities are finally settled.

The work performance

On the other hand, the foreman does not invest a lot of time in accepting the dialog, five minutes are required for the first Pass through. After all, the work performance is right here. For example, the mechanics were the only ones who successfully corrected the incorrect setting of the headlights. The customer is informed by telephone about other ailments in his car, such as the condition of the rear brakes, the cooling water level that is too low ('you should watch for a while'), the torn windshield wiper and the defective horn. The mechanics also find the other defects, with the exception of the loose screw on the cover plate of the underbody. The service advisor finally accompanied the collection of the checked car with the reassuring comment: 'If we ever have the car on stage, we will check everything that is important.' Reason enough for the overall best rating in this test: 'Recommended'.

The costs

A A special note on the coolant level also appears on the invoice. The latter is the second cheapest among the specialist companies with almost 240 euros for the inspection and is therefore rewarded with four stars in the cost evaluation.

Volkswagen Automobile, Hamburg

Test result: conditionally recommendable

How the customer treats will

An original idea awaits us when we hand over the Skoda to the Hamburg VW plant in Winterhude. For the time the Octavia spends in the workshop, we can, among other things, borrow a stylish bike. Because of the typically dirty weather and because there are two of us, we forego the mobility offer of the dealership. The reception area exudes a sober ambience, as we know it from many car dealers, with the characteristic smells of new car paint and tire. The service advisor responsible for the agreed appointment turns out to be extremely communicative. Here I am in good hands, the customer thinks involuntarily.

The work performance

Detailed explanations accompany the detailed, half-hour dialogue acceptance. During this check, the illuminated tire pressure control, a false tone from the parking sensors and the worn rear brakes are discovered and the individual positions of the inspection are precisely explained. You miss the care shown by the service advisor in the workshop. We are informed about the blown fuse of the horn, the torn rubber wiper and the tire air pressure being too low. But to the loweredLevel of coolant, which the mechanic corrected, the master does not say a word when collecting it. In addition, the headlights remain adjusted and the cover plate loose.

The costs

They are just as little cause for joy highest inspection costs of 353 euros. The filled in motor oil is also one of the most expensive types (33 euros per liter). On the other hand, the Hamburg dealership does minor maintenance work free of charge. The battery is freshly charged, the oily charge air hose and the oil-dampened transmission are cleaned, the fuse replaced and the wiper blades replaced.

Autohaus Stremlau, Berlin

Test result: conditionally recommended

How the customer treats wird

According to in-house advertising, the inconspicuous company in the Berlin district of Weißensee offers a car-related service 'that leaves practically nothing to be desired'. Anyone who trusts this assurance will be disappointed. Everything starts with a lot of hope: The service employee goes to great lengths to accept the direct reception outdoors. When creating the repair order, the customer needs patience, we have to wait three quarters of an hour in the office.

The work performance

Among the defects relevant to the test, the customer advisor only came across the torn rubber wiper. In addition to the functionless horn, which the foreman mentions in a later call, he also announces a problem that can hardly be resolved: a light bulb of unknown make is sitting in the left headlight, so that it cannot be adjusted correctly. The follow-up check shows a somewhat diffuse light image on the left, but that shouldn't be a reason for the fitters to leave both headlights faulty. The long time in the acceptance should have been better invested in an accurate examination. Five of the seven built-in defects are recognized in the workshop, but only three of them are corrected correctly.

The costs

In addition to three cash register fillers such as battery pole protection, spray grease and cooling additive for a total of 6.68 euros, one item in particular catches the eye: Stremlau charges 7.72 euros for replacing a simple horn fuse. A trifle that is done elsewhere for free. With a total of 242 euros for the inspection you are moving on a rather inexpensive level. We register a more serious mishap when we park the car later: Diesel drips from the Octavia. According to a surveyor's findings, a defective sealing ring on the fuel filter is the cause. And it was exactly this filter that had previously been replaced in the workshop for 57.80 euros.

Autohaus Rittersbacher, Saarbrücken

Test result: not recommended

How the customer is treated

When we arrive at the dealership on the outskirts of Saarbrücken on time at the agreed time, everything goes like clockwork. The extremely courteous service advisor only has to quickly prepare the order in which all vehicle data are stored. After a brief dialogue, the customer can be convinced that the maintenance plan includes the most extensive test program that is possible for the Octavia. The foreman immediately gives the customer the secure feeling that his car is here in in good hands.

The work performance

'There was probably a marten visiting', comments the account manager a gnawed insulation mat when he took a first look in the twenty-minute dialogue the hood throws. He noticed a broken bracket on the hood stand, the illuminated tire pressure control and the low coolant level. The service advisor eloquently explains why the cracked wishbone bearings on the chassis should be replaced and the front brakes repaired. 'We systematically go through the car from front to back,' the specialist had promised at the time of acceptance, 'always with the same scope of tests.' However, the fitters did not take this message to heart in any way. Most of the prepared defects are either simply ignored or not completely eliminated during the inspection work. In short: In no other Skoda company is there such a large gap between exemplary service and inadequate work quality.

The costs

Rittersbacher charges a proud 296.07 euros for an extremely poor quality of work, making it the second most expensive car dealership in the test. Even an indefinable cleaner for 3.22 euros is billed as a till filler.

ABS Mainz Becker + Schneider, Mainz

Test result: not recommended

How the customer is treated

The wide, long Rheinallee in Mainz is lined with desolate industrial architecture. The yard of the Skoda dealership located here is a bit tight, but after a successful search for a parking space, we quickly find the desk of the responsible service advisor. The atmosphere here is not very inviting, because even in the customer area, you almost think you're sitting in the workshop. Unpleasant tire and paint smells fill the room, and it is quite hectic, although there are no other customers to be seen besides us.

TheWork performance

Even when the service advisor asks to accept the dialog, our impression remains rather skeptical. Without many words, the man whirls around the car and thus spreads a superfluous actionism. Except for the glowing tire pressure monitor, he does not notice any of the built-in errors. When creating the repair order, we must insist that a major inspection be carried out on the car and not the 90,000-kilometer maintenance that is due according to the odometer reading. This check, the service advisor confirms, also includes the brake system, headlights and other important components. The following day, we are notified of the missing coolant, but not advised to keep an eye on it. But the customer advisor is wrong with his original finding about the scope of maintenance, as it turns out afterwards. The workshop successfully rectifies only two errors: the horn works again and the tires are maintained at their prescribed air pressure.

The costs

If you consider the inspection costs of around 286 euros on their own, that is Mainz Car dealership in a perfectly acceptable range. In relation to work performance, however, that is far too much. There is only one star in the cost assessment.

Autozentrum Möbus, Berlin

Test result: not recommended

How the customer is treated

In addition to Skoda and Audi and VW models as well as Hyundai cars. When we arrive at the medium-sized car dealership in the East Berlin district of Lichtenberg, we still have some time until the agreed date. The numerous customers give us the feeling that Möbus must be a good address.

The work performance

During the short dialogue, the friendly service advisor praises the condition of the car. However, he neither noticed any ailments on the Octavia nor any of the prepared defects. The next morning, another foreman from the dealership informs us about the functionless horn. When we pick up the car, we have to deal with a third Möbus employee. He gives himself clarifying words about the invoice and leaves us in the dark as to whether the large maintenance scope ordered has actually taken place. As it turns out, the workshop dealt with the customer's request all too carelessly. Of the seven defects, only the defective horn was corrected correctly. Although the mechanic corrected the tire pressure, he did not notice that the breakdown compressor was missing. Here, too, the cover plate remains loose and the brake line unhooked.

The costs

At first glance the inspection price of around 259 euros is on average, but measured against the desperate workload, it is excessive. That the inspection of the cooling system costs 19 euros and The exchange of the horn fuse is charged extra at 9.50 euros, which shows little goodwill. One item in the invoice provides a special surprise: Here, 19 euros are paid for the replacement of the fuel filter, which according to the foreman was not possible be.

Auto Technik König, Isernhagen

Test result: not recommended

How the customer is treated

For kilometers the Burgwedeler Straße runs through Isernhagen, a small town north of Hanover. Before reaching the Skoda Service from Auto Technik König, you pass a large number of Houses in characteristic clinker brick architecture In the courtyard with used cars and customer cars, we find a parking space and get into the modest room for the service reception. Behind the counter a friendly employee asks for a little patience, he is still on the phone. In the living room-sized room, a master craftsman's certificate and various certificates are supposed to signal professional competence. But one is far from that, as it should show.

The work performance

It starts with that that the box with the dialogue acceptance sign remains locked, an assessment of the car does not take place. After the mileage, a 90,000 service would be next. We mention our sales intentions and insist on a large, comprehensive inspection. What is ultimately in the workshop order remains hidden from us, we do not receive an order confirmation. The following noon we come to pick up the vehicle later than agreed. The fact that the master has to do a test drive and first write the invoice is an excusable faux pas. In contrast, the completely inadequate and worst work performance in the test is not acceptable. Only the tire pressure is okay again.

The costs

In view of the quality of work offered, it cannot be any consolation that the customer has the lowest maintenance costs at König. Even the requested 229 euros are too much. In addition, there is a tangible misdiagnosis of the defective horn, the check of which costs 39.81 euros on the invoice. Electronics or control unit are mentioned as possible sources of interference, only a simple fuse was blown.

ATU Auto -teile-Unger

Test result: conditionally recommended

How the customer is treated

In the roundATU pursues the same concept in 650 brand-independent workshops: Vehicle repairs and maintenance are carried out according to the manufacturer's instructions - in 'good quality at low prices', as it says on the website.
On top of that, the chain advertises the 'transparent workshop' Trust in the customer who can watch the repair work. We waived this offer when we handed in the prepared Octavia to the Sindelfingen branch south of Stuttgart for a major inspection. The service reception is not exactly comfortable. In the middle of the auto parts sales we stand at the counter, deposit papers and keys and have to wait a short moment for the service advisor.

The work done

During the twenty-minute direct acceptance, he turns out to be a very bright master mechanic who gives the layman some informative details about the car. He explains that the dampening shock absorbers caused the gradual tread wear of the tires. During the first inspection, the service advisor discovers the defects in the horn, windscreen wiper, brake line and coolant, draws attention to the beginning of rust and also determines that an oil change is far from due. Nevertheless, the work performance with 18 out of 30 possible rating points cannot be completely satisfactory. In addition to the continued misalignment of the right headlight and the omitted warning for the coolant, at least one blunder would have been easy to avoid: The previously registered, disconnected brake line is overlooked by the fitter.

The costs

In this point, ATU has advantages over specialist workshops, even if an exact comparison is difficult due to the lack of an oil change. A good 100 euros for the inspection are cheap, two stars in the cost assessment are justified in view of the work performed. The customer can expect a much better quality.

Conclusion: workshop test Skoda

The result is devastating for Skoda. In the current workshop test by auto motor und sport , just half of the errors are found and corrected. For the money that Skoda customers invest in an inspection, however, they are entitled to a comprehensive completion of their order. In this respect in particular, the service advisors often lack the necessary attention, for example when the Octavia owner expressly requests a major inspection instead of the kilometer-dependent maintenance. On the other hand, it can't be rocket science to adjust the headlights correctly. Amazingly, only a car dealership can do that. The loose cover plate does not find a single workshop. A ray of hope, however: five Skoda dealerships deserve five stars for their good service.

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