Multiple issues with my 6-month-old VW Vento with 10,000 km on the odo
The Vento is a good car, but mine has been marred with issues which are not satisfactorily solved by the service centres.
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I purchased Volkswagen Vento HL plus TSI 1.0 AT in Nov 2021.
Having driven nearly 10,000 km in the last 6 months, I feel it is the right time to post my experience so far.
Most strengths & weaknesses of the car have been analysed & shared by the users in detail, so I will focus on my personal experience so far.
Overall, I have found it to be a well-built, comfortable car, with understated good looks, covering all the basics & providing a high level of driving pleasure in the city & on the highway. The engine & TC gearbox combination is responsive & provides the “fun-to-drive” factor.
Now, to the specific issues, I have faced.
In the first month, I faced the twin issues of (1) squeaks from the doors during the drives & (2) issues with power windows up/down. During the 1 month – 1000 km service, these were addressed, but the front passenger side window glass was broken in the process. The service centre did not have the correct part i.e. tinted glass & hence fitted a clear glass, with a promise to arrange the right glass soon. After a week, they requested me to send the car for the glass change, but after sending the car, they discovered they had received the wrong glass. This time they promised to ensure the correct part & replace it at my residence. This was finally done after a week.
Another quirk, I observed was the uneven throw of the headlamps. The low beam throw had a wider throw on the left side & a narrower throw on the right. This was very evident, especially on unlit remote roads. After discussion with the service centre & some independent digging, I learnt that this is a normal setting in Vento to avoid the glare of the oncoming traffic on the opposite side.
In the meantime, I went on a long road trip from Mumbai to Goa & coastal Karnataka. The car handled beautifully but faced some stretches of broken, almost non-existent roads on the Kumta-Belgaum section. I’m not sure whether this was the trigger, but around the 5000 km mark, I began to experience some kind of play or looseness in the front suspension, which resulted in the road imperfections being felt on the steering wheel as vibrations, on all roads & at all speeds. I visited multiple service centres in Mumbai, but each time got the same response i.e. there was no issue with the steering & suspension.
In frustration, I visited a private garage (Select Auto, Dadar), & within 5 mins of the trial drive, identified it as an issue with the steering rack assembly & shock absorbers. Armed with this input, I visited the service centre again. Yet there was no acknowledgement of the issue, leaving aside addressing it under warranty. I drove another vehicle at the service centre & found that the issue did not exist in this vehicle. However, the service centre team did not experience or acknowledge any fault. They finally decided to call an expert from VW to diagnose the issue. This was arranged after another 10 days (car at around 8000 km). Unfortunately, he too did not acknowledge the issue & denied any change in the steering rack assembly or shock absorbers under warranty.
After much persuasion, the service centre agreed to change the steering rack assembly, offer a trial & if I felt a positive difference, charge me for it, or remove it if there was no perceptible change. As the current situation was untenable, I agreed. After the steering rack assembly replacement, my issue was almost completely resolved & the steering feel improved immeasurably & that feeling of play, vanished. As I had incurred Rs 20,000 for this replacement (no warranty), I decided to postpone the decision on the shock absorbers.
The car now feels nearly back to its original state. But the harshness & vibration of the low-speed ride over uneven roads, and paver blocks, continues. At high speeds on the highways, there is no harshness, or vibration, though suspension thuds exist. I’ll continue to grimace & bear it & probably review it at the 15,000km service.
Another irritant I faced was the steering turning to the left upon lifting the hands from the steering wheel. Even in this case, the service centre did the wheel alignment & balancing & declared the problem as solved. However, I was still not satisfied & continued to experience the steering moving to the left. I finally took it to an external workshop for the wheel alignment (Straight Line, Santacruz W) and after his alignment, the vehicle is finally correctly centred.
All in all, I have found Vento to be a good vehicle, offering driving pleasure, but marred by such issues, which are not satisfactorily solved by the service centres.
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