Maintenance does come at a cost

The Lexus ES300h and Toyota Camry hybrid are the same car under the hood. So, is it worth spending the extra for the Lexus?

Sumeet Agrawal, Vadodara

While both the Lexus ES300h and Camry hybrid share similar mechanicals, they do not necessarily feel the same. The Lexus is the more upmarket of the two, with more striking looks, a plusher cabin and better equipment. However, if you are just looking for a comfortable, refined sedan, the Camry does the job just as well for a lot less money.

My query is on servicing my Skoda Octavia after the initial warranty is over. Skoda cars are expensive and the servicing costs have been gone up. Dealers try to push packages for service or additional warranty, as that is where they make money. Is it safe to have the car serviced by third party service companies like myTVS or Go Mechanic? A primary concern is getting genuine spare parts for any repairs.

Mario Aranha, Mumbai

For basic maintenance jobs like engine oil change, brake pad replacement and AC servicing, among other things, it is alright to get your Octavia serviced at an independent garage. However, remember that the Octavia is a complex machine that is loaded with electronics and only a well-trained technician with the right diagnostic tools can understand the problems.

Therefore, for any work on the engine, gearbox or electricals, it is advisable to go to an authorised Skoda service centre, despite chances of incurring a higher cost.

A technician who is used to dealing with cars from within the Skoda family would know the intricacies of the Octavia better than someone attending to multiple brands. Moreover, all carmakers make their workshop advisors and technicians undergo a stringent training schedule throughout the year to keep their skills up to date.

Hormazd Sorabjee is the editor of Autocar India. Mail your feedback and queries to roadshow@thehindu.co.in

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