Independent tests of Škoda genuine body parts

3/30/2008
Škoda Auto had the quality of selected Škoda genuine parts and parts from other suppliers verified by an independent testing laboratory of the Institute for Researching Motor Vehicles. The most frequently replaced parts – the engine bonnet, the front bumper and the front wing for the Škoda Octavia Tour and the Škoda Felicia – were subjected to testing.

Body parts protect the vehicle interior from the direct impact of external effects and have a safety and aesthetic purpose. The requirements for body parts are strict. Individual parts must fit with other body parts and meet strict service life requirements. Individual parts must have precise dimensions and must be made of high quality materials.

Škoda genuine parts are identical to the parts used in vehicle production and meet all applicable requirements. You can therefore rest assured that after repair your vehicle will be the same as before.

Parts from other suppliers aim to win customers mainly by offering lower prices. Parts other than Škoda genuine parts often have poor quality workmanship and this leads to more labour intensive fitting and reduced service life. Parts that appear cheaper at first sight thus become a significantly more expensive solution.

LABORATORY TESTS

Initial inspection of parts – different shaping of edges, incorrect positions of technological openings and insufficiently dimen­sioned welds were detected in some other than Škoda genuine parts. These imperfections need to be adjusted or corrected prior to fitting the relevant part and this influences the time required for repair and ultimately the cost of repair.

Checking the shape of parts – variations in the circumference and surface of a part as measured by check points exceeding the specified tolerance, influence the subsequent fit to adjoining body parts.

ŠKODA GENUINE PARTS

All tested Škoda genuine parts for the Felicia and the Octavia Tour had 100% of their check points within the specified tole­­­­rance and thus guaranteed the uncomplicated and precise fitting of adjoining parts.

PARTS FROM OTHER SUPPLIERS

Škoda Felicia
Bonnet – only 43% of the 105 check points on the other than Škoda genuine part were within the specified tolerance.
Wing – measuring was impossible due to the incorrect position of the lower handle!

Škoda Octavia Tour
Bonnet – only 16% of the check points on the other than Škoda genuine part were within the specified tolerance and variations greater than 2 mm were detected in 44%.
Wing – 99% of the check points on the other than Škoda genuine part exceeded the tolerance! Almost one half of the check points demonstrated variations greater than 2 mm, which could lead to problems with installation and fitting of the part.

Metallographic test – determines the average thickness of the surface finishing system on parts.

The results have shown that Škoda genuine parts have a surface finish­ing system more than twice as thick as spare parts from another supplier. The difference in the wing for the Felicia was more than three-fold. The results of this test were clearly confirmed in the subsequent corrosion test.

Corrosion test – corrosion resistance was examined in a cyclic test carried out in a salt-spray chamber on a part with a standard 10 cm scratch on the surface. While Škoda genuine parts passed this test without corrosion, spare parts from another supplier corroded in the place of the scratch. Places with a damaged surface finish can be affected by corrosion due to the small thickness of the surface fini­shing system and the body part may corrode through.

PRACTICAL TESTS

Painting – operating times of the entire process were monitored using the standard technological procedure applied during repairs of vehicles. Painting spare parts from other suppliers required 10% to 42% more time than Škoda genuine body parts. The painting process was more labour intensive due to the necessity of sizing and grinding metal parts for the Felicia.

Fitting – painted body parts were fitted on vehicles according to standard procedures. The time required for fitting Škoda genuine body parts for the Felicia and Octavia Tour was shorter than that for spare parts from other suppliers in all cases. Fitting other than a Škoda genuine wing for the Felicia and the bonnet for the Octavia Tour took many times longer. These parts had to be shaped prior to fitting. Furthermore, acrylic sealant needs to be used when fitting the wing for the Felicia. This additional work significantly influences the final price for repair and completely eliminates the original price difference of the cheaper, other than a Škoda genuine part.

Checking the appearance – the aim is to check the fit of the adjoining body parts. The results of tests carried out previously show that Škoda genuine parts fit exactly and create minimal uneven gaps. On the other hand, uneven gaps between adjoining body parts caused by incorrect shaping and imprecise placement of technological openings are detected in parts from another supplier.


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