I did end up having to unnecessarily pay an additional Rs 12,311 because of the service centre’s inability to diagnose the problem correctly.
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VW Vapi ASC Suspension clunking issue
I really wanted to make this a separate post and not disturb the main long-term review.
Please bear with me as I have to let it out.
You can skip this part as my emotions have come out a bit harsh in this matter.
So since, at the start of March 2022, there was this clunking sound coming from the front left side suspension.
As I previously mentioned in the post, other than the front shock absorbers and the lower ball joint (which connects the lower arm to the wheel) I had pretty much changed everything. Also, my vehicle was mostly highway driven so was not expecting this noise to come so soon.
So, my natural response was to go for the shock absorbers and get the lower ball joints checked. Here, in Silvassa, I have not found a competent mechanic who takes care of the car well. Also, they get offended if you advise them to do the job according to you. I guess they don’t like the fact that the customer might have more knowledge than them about their own vehicle.
I did not want to go for the After Market dampers from Monroe and Gabriel. I wanted all OEM. Therefore, decided to try VW Vapi ASC which is around 30 km from my place.
I drove there. The test drive by the technician was done. It was a half an hour test drive.
AAaaannnddd as expected, they gave me a quotation of about Rs. 50-60k which included the rear suspension work too. Don’t remember the exact number. I had in my mind that this exorbitant number is going to be given to me.
The rough estimate (inclusive of labour) only for the front suspension is as follows:
Total Estimate: Rs 37,100 rupees. (This excluded the estimate given for the rear suspension and to again point out, I came only with the complaint of my front left clunking in the suspension).
So, according to VW-trained technicians and SAs, for a suspension component clunking on the left side, they will need to replace every single suspension component to resolve the problem. (I was lucky enough to not have the lower arms included in the estimate list too which would be another 4-5k which would have made the estimate to 42k).
If my whole front suspension was shattered and my car was wobbling on driving at highway speeds, I would have at the least somewhat agreed to this alien estimate given by the VW technicians.
I was about to leave without getting anything touched in my car. But I had come 30 km from my house and would have to go back 30 km again. The outcome would have come to nothing.
I called my friend who was not in India at the time, Dhillon Saab. He also knew that this was going to happen. We came to a solution to only replace the front shocker and its related components because they were already 9 years and 1,55,000 km old. Also, the stability of the car was lost. Decided not to touch anything else.
The work started and my left side shocker was removed.
AT THIS POINT THE SA OR THE TECHNICIAN SPECIFICALLY TELLS ME THAT CHANGING THE SHOCKER AND COMPONENTS WILL NOT RESOLVE YOUR PROBLEM.
THEN WHY IN GODS NAME WAS I BEING ASKED TO REPLACE THE SHOCKER COMPONENTS IF THEY ARE NOT THE PROBLEM??
At this point too they were sticking to their original diagnosis of replacing the whole front suspension components of the car.
I still went ahead with my theory of getting the shockers changed.
The shockers and their components like the bearing, top mount, and shock cover were brought.
My old shocks were removed, and the old coils were installed on the new ones.
This is where I noticed the link rods.
New link rod ball joints cannot be moved by hand/thumb. But here is my link rod dangling here and there like hanging string.
This is where I realized that the problem was not in the shockers but in the link rods. But now, the old coils, new shock rubber boot and mount bearing were already installed onto the new damper. So, I did not have any other option but to install the new one. I thought of getting the link rods changed too but I was so pissed off at the SAs and technicians that I wanted to leave the place as early as possible. Also, the last time I changed the link rod it only lasted for 25,000 km. So, it did not make sense to change the part by paying another 6000 bucks.
The work was over, and the SA/TECHNICIAN took my car for a test drive and the clunking sound STILL PERSISTED. There was no change/ reduction in the sound and MY CAR WAS CLUNKING JUST LIKE BEFORE.
The total bill came to be Rs 12,311.
Therefore, I left the VW service centre swearing to myself that I will never come to a VW service centre ever again.
- Now, I went aftermarket and got the link rods for Rs. 950 rupees and paid Rs. 200 as labour.
THE SOLUTION TO MY PROBLEM WAS SOLVED IN Rs 1,150 by a roadside mechanic which the VW TECHNICIANS gave me an estimate of Rs. 37100 rupees.
I would have happily spent the Rs. 6000 which was the estimate for link rod replacement had VW given the correct diagnosis and not tried to milk the customer.
It is because of the inability of the VW service centre to diagnose my problem that I had to spend Rs. 12,311 unnecessarily.
THE RUST CLEANER AND PASTE BILLING ISSUE
Now, for the billing, I was billed for rust cleaner and a paste which were for approximately Rs. 170 and Rs. 130 respectively. Ideally, after charging so much in terms of labour to the customer, it looks very cheap on the VW front to charge for such small components.
Well, if the whole can and paste was used on my vehicle I would have happily paid for the same. But, for the rust cleaner, he just sprayed the can ONCE in both hubs for cleaning and that also very sparingly.
Now, VW wants to charge me for the whole can while the technician only sprayed twice from the can.
Similarly, in the past, I saw the amount of paste used was just a bit on the fingertip twice.
I was baffled and astonished that VW wants to play such cheap tricks to make money.
The amount for the rust cleaner and paste was deducted after questioning the same.
But why does the customer have to haggle so much??
Intake Manifold, Intercooler Cleaning refusal BY VW Vapi ASC
- As it is known that the air intake system (mainly intake manifold, EGR pipe and intercooler) gets clogged due to carbon buildup and needs to be maintained/cleaned. I wanted it to be cleaned beforehand.
- Now, after asking the VW service centre Vapi’s manager and SA and asking him to clean my intake manifold and intercooler and other required components, they simply refused to do so.
I was ready to pay the requisite labour charges for the same, but VW does not believe in cleaning. They only believe in replacing!
- SA told that only when the issue arises the service centre would replace the requisite components.
- Therefore, VW wants the customer to have a problem or a breakdown while driving and then only would they address this issue.
Also, I noticed other customers firing the SAs for doing the jobs before taking confirmation from them.
Anyways, I already had not any high expectations from VW ASC. But this seals the deal now. Never going to VW ASC for any job.
Boodmo is my best friend.
I am not posting this to defame anybody. My sole and single intention is to point out the fact that for a single part change why is the ASC asking the customer to rip out the whole suspension and go for a new one? As it is VW is known for its high maintenance.
I don’t know what will happen with their premium models like the Virtus and Taigun 1.5 L engines come for service when on high mileage.
It is simply because VAG vehicles are so beautifully engineered that one wants to keep them even after 9 years and 157000 km and cannot find a worthy replacement in today’s date.
Me being mechanically inclined will surely maintain my vehicle anyhow, what about others? They will surely shift from VW to a better after-sales support brand.
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