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Old 10th June 2011, 12:09   #1
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Default Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

My Swift Vxi has just completed its 60,000 km service- a little over 5 years since it first hit the road. So I thought I'd start this long-term ownership report.

I actually bought this used in mid-2009. "Pre-worshipped" is as good a term as any to use since I got it with just over 30,000 km on the odo and in very decent shape. Even the tyres- stock JK Tornados- looked fine for another 20K km a least. The previous owner was a city-based doctor and from the looks of it treated the car as nicely as I would've!

I bought the car from Mahindra First Choice at Bavdhan, off NH4 bypass in Pune. We'd just moved back from abroad and I realised quickly that I needed a vehicle for my daily commute to the IT hub of Hinjewadi. Public transport is not very good in Pune, autos fleece and I am not a "company transport" kind of person (though I must say it is very efficient).

I've had the car for nearly two years now and have added as many miles to it as what it had on when I bought it.

Here's a sneak peek at my baby as she looks today- more to pics to follow!
Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update-230_new.jpg

Last edited by noopster : 10th June 2011 at 17:18.
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Old 10th June 2011, 12:50   #2
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

Buying Experience:

Fresh to Pune in July 2009, I needed a new car desperately within my budget at around 3-3.5 lakh, which I reasoned would fetch me a reasonable second-hand hatch.

When the Swift was launched in 2005, I had an Accent that I was perfectly happy with and we didn't really need a second car. It simply blew me away with its looks and performance and when the chance presented itself, I was pretty sure I wanted a Swift. A new one would set me back at least 5.5 and I wasn't willing to spend that much since I figured (rightly) that I'd get a C-segment sedan sooner or later. So hit the used market looking for deals.

Problem was I didn't know too many people in Pune back then and God alone knows why I wasn't too active on T-BHP (non member then). But through a colleague got a lead on a couple of Swifts that were available through a well-known accessories dealer here. He quoted me 3.2 lac for one and a similar number for the other: both were about 3 years old and single-owner driven. I told the dealer I was on my way to Mumbai for the weekend and would come over to see the cars on Monday. He was agreeable enough but warned me that good Swifts don't last long in the market- turned out to be prophetic since both were sold when I returned after the weekend!

While in Mumbai, dropped into the Mahindra First Choice showroom at Goregaon. There was a sporty-looking 2005 red Swift Zxi for 3.35 lac that seemed just right. It had been heavily accessorised by its owner and the salesperson warned me that it would sell before the week was through. But I was put off by the 70,000+ km on the odo and decided to wait it out. Needless to say this also was announced as sold the next time I called them.

The next weekend we were in Pune and I went down to the Bavdhan First Choice on the Mumbai bypass and saw a couple of cars I liked: a red Getz and a blue Swift Vxi, both about 3 years old. My first impression of the FC salesperson was that he didn't *do* much selling and it was a little annoying: I am used to getting attention and almost decided to leave. Thankfully my wife was with me and she is much more practical in these matters: we test drove both the cars for a reasonable distance up and down the highway. My opinion of both cars: excellently maintained and moderately sparsely run, probably mostly in the city.

I really liked the Getz- thought it handled better thanks to more responsive steering and better tyres, but look-wise it was a fail for me. Colour me shallow! Finally settled on the Swift Vxi 2006 for 3.5 lacs.

Flashback: I had first encountered the First Choice guys shortly after the Automart rebadging when I was trying to sell off my Accent in a hurry in Bangalore, around 2007. After a couple of local used-car dealers gave me gave me quotes that were shockingly off carwale evaluation at the time, I finally spoke to First Choice. They were most professional and immediately sent a rep over for a check and a spot offer, about 10-20K higher than what the local dealers were offering. I accepted- no regrets.

At that time there was no negotiation, and nor was there any now: the guy did assure me of handling all paperwork related to registration and insurance transfer, took me through some 108-point check that they had done, assured me they don't deal in 'accident vehicles' (which doesn't seem to be true based on what I read on T-BHP later) and told me they throw in 2 free services to sweeten the deal. I couldn't delay the buying process any longer, so I went ahead.

A formal quote with a list of documents that would need to be submitted was provided, which impressed me no end. Funds transfer online was also possible, I was assured and they rose higher in my esteem. Overall buying experience: very positive.

My initial thought: the car was a gem. Absolutely no regrets that I bought it. Nothing "fell apart" a month after purchase, or even 6 months later.

The Swift lived up to its reputation as a driver's car and I enjoyed it to the fullest: two long trips to Goa, numerous runs up and down the expressway to Mumbai and a couple of trips to the hills of Mahabaleshwar/Panchgani. Plus my daily commute of 30 km.

What I love most about being a Maruti owner is that you have a wide variety of choices where to service your car. My first service was the 3-month/5000 km freebie tossed in by MFC themeselves: they replaced a faulty suspension bush for free and topped up some oil. However, I didn't much like the interaction I had with their service lead, so never went back for the 9-month/10,000km service and switched to MASS instead.

A picture of my then-new baby somewhere on the way to Mulshi:
Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update-19092009.jpg

In case you're wondering, yes- I *did* end up paying a premium on the market price. Carwale's evaluation of a Swift Vxi of that vintage was about 3.20 lacs, so I paid 10% more in my reckoning. But I am seriously lazy and the offer to take care of all the paperwork was too tempting. They lived up to their word as well: I got the fresh RC smart card and insurance certificate within a month or two.

Last edited by noopster : 10th June 2011 at 17:21.
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Old 10th June 2011, 14:40   #3
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

40,000 km service report, MyCar (Wakad)

Servicing a Maruti Suzuki is the easiest thing in the world. Chances are there is a Maruti Authorised Service (MAS) close to where you live. The one most convenient for me to drop and pick up is MyCar at Wakad.

I bought my car on 14th August 2009 and the recommended service window is 6 months/10,000 km so gave it in for a service at MyCar in Feb 2010 with odo reading 40,705 km without putting too much thought into it. Big mistake.

Simply put: I got fleeced. The bill was a horrendous 6,800/- which seemed way too high for a regular service. It was my fault: I was in a hurry to get the car serviced before a road trip to Goa and left it too late. Thankfully the car felt fine, in fact the service seemed to have done it a whole lot of good.

The split was: Parts= 3345 and Labour= 3458-pretty much straight down the middle.

Engine Oil 20W40 and Gear Oil 75W90 contributed about 700-800 each, which is reasonable I guess.

Gear Oil additive for approx 300/- and Oil Supplement for about 340/- was the shocker. I'd never asked for this. No explanation was given.

Miscellaneous parts like a non-functioning lamp, some suspension coil springs etc. added up to 550/-
Coolant was 200/- odd.
Weights for the wheels were 130/-

The labour charges included:

Brakes overhaul (complete): 450/-
(They insisted on this. No idea whether it helped or not, I couldn't make out any perceptible difference. The Swift's brakes were always sharp, though I have the non-ABS version.)

Engine decarbonising: 600/-
(I don't even know why this is required. Nobody told me about it. They gave some vague explanation that it is needed at 40,000 km).

Strut Greasing: 400/-
( I sometimes rue my lack of knowledge of engines. Surely a strut doesn't need grease worth that much )

The most galling entry was "Car Care: 125/-" I assume they are billing me for giving the car a wash. This was over and above the 685/- charge for "paid service".

Wheel balancing: 250
Wheel alignment: 275
(Ironically, my wheels were fine before the service. When I picked up the car and did a test drive with the SA, I noticed it was pulling to the left. He gave me some story about how the tyres were wet or some such and promised to correct it free of charge if it recurred. I took it back the very next day. They did some more correction and declared it fine. It was better but still pulled left. Finally the guy blames my tyres. I just give up and walk out of there.)

While I was ruing my misfortune at being stuck with a bill for nearly 7K, a customer at the next day was told that he was being given a "corporate discount". My ears perked up and I demanded the same. They were reluctant but didn't have a leg to stand on- the guy, though unfamiliar to me, worked in the same company as me and he in fact insisted that I should get a discount! After a lot of requesting, they agreed to 10% on labour for the entire bill. Only at the last minute the guy tells me sir, this has already been entered into the system and we can't give you a discount now- please ask for it next time. By now I was very sure there wasn't going to *be* a next time so I just nodded and left.

I never did a service at this MAS again. The customer's trust is a delicate thing and, having lost it, difficult to regain. In this case, nobody made a sincere attempt to, which was more upsetting than having to shell out 7 grand for a regular service.

Last edited by noopster : 10th June 2011 at 16:15.
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Old 10th June 2011, 15:26   #4
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

50,000 km service report: Chowgule (Katraj): Oct 19, 2010
My association with Chowgule started in early 2010 when someone from their insurance department called up to renew my policy (I had inherited it along with the car from its prevoius owner). I was reluctant to do it over the phone, but the gent spoke very well and convinced me patiently, so I went ahead. To sweeten the deal, he gave me 2 service coupons and one pick-up drop coupon.

My next service was due in October, by which time I'd clocked 52,197 km. The pain of the fleecing had subsided significantly and myCar was too close to my office to consider Chowgule seriously (their service station in Katraj is on the extreme end of Pune, on the NH4 to Satara). But when going through the service records (meticulously maintained, par for the course for a TBHPian!), the pangs resurfaced. The "engine oil supplement" and "gear oil additive", not to mention the "car care" seemed to be popping out of the paper bill and taunting me .

Hold on, I said- let me at least look at other options here. So I called up Chowgule and spoke to their receptionist who explained to me that for a pickup/drop I needed to book a slot, and the earliest available was 13 days away. Fair enough, but I wanted to talk to a service advisor about what all I could expect in a 50K service. She cheerfully transferred me to a knowledgeable-sounding guy who told me it wouldn't involve too much except perhaps a regular paid service and engine oil change. I told him I didn't want my wheels touched (had just gifted my baby new shoes and alloys- more on that later) nor *any* additives put in, to which he promptly replied that they never do that unless a customer specifically asked for it. Must confess I was thrilled and asked to be transferred back to the pick-up/drop lady and book my slot!

Cut a long story short, they did a service and the bill came to about 1400 (1895 less the discount coupon). The pick-up and drop was done very professionally as well and the car was looking and feeling good. The next day I discovered a broken AC vent that I was pretty sure was intact when I had sent the car in for servicing, so called the SA on his mobile. He told me that usually AC vents were not touched during servicing but I insisted that it had been OK and had probably broken during cleaning the interior. He didn't dispute this and pencilled me in for a scheduled visit (to my home) by a service tech. I hung up a little skeptical and figured I'd probably have to get the job done sometime in future, if ever! But within 24 hours, he called me back and asked if he could come visit me at home. I happily agreed and he came exactly on time, fixed the vent (it had slipped out of its louvre lock) and went on his way leaving behind a happy customer!

The only problem I have with Chowgule is that they are so far which means I have to send my car unattended for the service. Have heard horror stories of what happens to unattended cars with parts being flicked and old ones substituted and what not, but I guess at some point you just have to trust your instincts and hope for the best.

The split was: 863 for parts and 1032 for labour.
I liked that they gave me single bill with parts and labour listed for every activity, rather than the previous MAS which gave me separate bills for each which made it difficult to reconcile what labour charge was against which activity.

Bulk of the parts charge was Shell MGO 20W40 engine oil. Rest was some small replacement parts.
Labour was Paid Service= 725 and Caliper Pin Greasing= 60. No "car care" yay!


60,000 km service report: Chowgule (Katraj)- June 8, 2011
I got the Vento in Jan 2011 and usage of the Swift immediately fell. Despite tall promises from the better half to use the new German AT regularly so that I could drive the Swift to work, nothing progressed and it was up to me to drive the Vento (not that I'm complaining!) But poor Swift just stood in her parking spot all day, prompting a couple of people to come up and ask if I was interested in selling it. Only recently a friend of mine just back from abroad has started using it as a daily commute vehicle. He is a fellow BHP-ian (not regular) and an excellent driver so I didn't even give it a second thought. At least the car gets its fair share of running that way.

My friend offered to take care of the 60K servicing. He'd had a Swift of his own in the past which he used to hand in to Sai Service. I reminded him about the 500/- discount and the free pickup/drop coupons and he gave Chowgule a call instead.

Bill came to 3450/- Nil labour charges except for the paid service (800).
Oil filter: 70/-
Spark Plus: 214/-
Brake Fluid: 275/-
Coolant: 210/-
Calliper Assy Grease: 48/-
Shell 20W40 engine oil: 681/-
Gear Oil 75W90: 700/-

No additives yay!

Last edited by noopster : 10th June 2011 at 15:33.
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Old 10th June 2011, 16:00   #5
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

Some pictures of my baby to break the tedium. Then I go back to talking about the repairs and aditional work other than routine services.

These are from the early days: still on my old shoes, from trip to Goa, Feb 2010
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More recent ones, also in Goa, after getting the new shoes & alloys:
Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update-goa-030.jpg
Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update-goa-035.jpg
Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update-goa-020.jpg
Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update-goa-119.jpg

Last edited by noopster : 10th June 2011 at 16:08.
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Old 10th June 2011, 16:38   #6
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

The Swift purchase is one which I have never regretted. Despite getting it used, my cost of ownership is low. Regular servicings have costed me around 12,000/- over a span of 27 months/30,000 km. I think that it is *very* reasonable.

So what about the other issues then, not covered by regular servicing? This is what I have spent:
  • Air conditioner servicing: 3,734/- This happened with 3 months of me buying the car. The AC used to work fine, or so I thought. It's quite possible there was a problem when I'd bought the car but the used-car dealer did some patch up job and handed it over. One day in the peak October heat it just stopped working.
  • Front windshield replacement: 6,827/-Someone bunged a small rock at my windshield . Don't ask me who or how or when. All I know is that it was parked in its usual place in my semi-closed lot (the front windshield is exposed to a few balconies where I suspect the offending object fell from). This is surprisingly common: when I was in Bangalore my Accent's windshield had to be replaced *twice* because random objects thrown from a balcony or kitchen above hit it. Once I actually traced the person whose flat it came from (a rolling pin or belan that found itself sailing out of their kitchen window for some reason). He was decent enough to apologise and pay for par of the damage not covered by insurance. In the Swift's case, no such luck- I paid 1350/ from my pocket while insurance covered the rest. There goes my NCB!
  • Battery replacement: 3,500/- The OEM Amaron battery that had lasted an impressive 4.5 years/53,000 km conked out on the coldest day of the year, thankfully right at home where I could do something about it. Replaced it with an Exide max from a local shop. It had never given any sign of troubling before dying.
Excluding the windshield replacement, which was not the car's fault, that means I have spent about 20K on servicing, repairs and replacement since I bought the car. Which is awesome!

Last edited by noopster : 10th June 2011 at 17:26.
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Old 10th June 2011, 17:03   #7
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

Quote:
Tyres are the fundamental link between your car and the road. A good set of tyres will improve the handling, steering, acceleration and braking of your car, and will make full use of any further modifications performed to your car.
That's Rehaan starting off the "Choosing the right tyres for your car" article and if you haven't read that yet, please head here (ARTICLE: Choosing The Right Set Of Tyres for your Car) pronto.

The Swift Vxi comes with 165/80 R14 as the stock size. Some higher end variants come with 185/70 R14. As with most Indian cars, the OE shoes on this were JK Tornados (Apollo and MRF are the other brands commonly used).

My tyres were good enough when I bought the car: decent for a car that had 30K under her belt. But after a monsoon in the foothills of the Sahyadris, the strain began to show.

I had an affectionate nickname for my fighting Tornados: The Rock(s).

They sure felt like rocks especially when doing their usually-fortnightly expressway run. I have heard that JK tyres get harder and harder till they are well nigh unusable. Towards mid-September, I started worrying that I was subjecting myself and the family to unnecessary risk and started shopping around.

Devoured the entire Swift tyre upgrade thread and PM-ed nikhilb2008 for specific info that I needed before settling on the Yokohama A-drives in 185/70 R14. This was during the tyre shortage and it helped my cause that Premji's, the shop in Mahim where I got the new shoes fitted,didn't have C-drives in 195/60R15s else I would have got those. The additional inch upsize gives the Swift an amazing look.

I had budgeted 30K for the set of tyres+alloys and had shopped around in Pune at Car Ax but wasn't really impressed with anything in particular. What was within range seemed too dull (standard 5-spoke silver finish didn't do it for me) and what was cool-looking too expensive. So I toyed with the idea of just getting new tyres and worrying about the alloys later.

While at Premji's I chose the Yoko A-drives and asked if they had any alloys to go with it. Turns out they did, but it was a very limited collection. They had the usual drab stuff and some exceedingly (in my opinion) sexy looking alloys. There was a red-rimmed one in matte black that I especially liked, but was hesitant because my Swift is blue. I frowned at the salesman:

Clash hoyega.
Haan saab. Aap yeh wala lo (pointing at plain-Jane, BORING 5-spoke silver alloys)
Aise black wale, bina red ring ke, nahi hai kya?
Pata nahi saab. Dekh lo.

And then I saw it. In a corner at the top of the shop, a vision in black:

Woh kya size hai?
15 hogaa saab
Check toh karo
Arre chotu, zara dekhke bol saab ko
Please God, let it be...
Choudah hai...lekin contrast colour le lo saab...yeh achcha nahi dikhega.

Yay! 14 inches. and the PCD matching that of the Swift -forget now- 108? And whatever that 5J, 6J is...all fine.

However, I always believe in the power of a second opinion. So turn to my companion:

How will matte black alloys with a gunmetal rim look on a Blue Swift?
It looks nice
Attagirl. Remind me to pick up ice cream on the way.
OK Papa.

Decision made!

They quoted 16K for the alloys- a Taiwanese brand called 69 (no kidding!)- and with the 14,000 odd for the Yokos, rounded it off to 30K nicely. Perfect.

Last edited by noopster : 10th June 2011 at 17:27.
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Old 12th June 2011, 20:06   #8
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Long-Term reviews forum. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th June 2011, 20:26   #9
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

That was one very nice and comprehensive review I ever read on team-bhp. Thanks noop for sharing the review with us. Good to see the car serving you well.

The windshield cost you mentioned seems pretty high; I guess you got it from the showroom itself.

Anyhow wishing you many more happy miles with your swift.
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Old 13th June 2011, 12:51   #10
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

Thanks a ton bluevolt. Yes I got it done through the MAS, ironically the same one I've panned royally for ripping me off in the service! But since insurance took care of most of it, didn't think too much about it.

I plan to change the clutch at 80K, something the Maruti guys have been telling me to do since 40K There are a fair bit of scratches on the side and the back which also are in the pipeline. My ICE is a USB-enabled basic Kenwood 1DIN which I think is great but it could do with nice speakers- thinking about it. Naveenraju's Swift thread is my inspiration for what he's done to his baby!
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Old 13th June 2011, 16:02   #11
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

One sweet and swift ownership report of one sweet and swift ride. This particular shade of metallic deep blue (you tell the real color name as you are an expert on it now) is pretty rare and thats what makes it special. The alloys really rock: your little one has good choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I plan to change the clutch at 80K, something the Maruti guys have been telling me to do since 40K
Why do you want to change the clutch and why does MASS folks insist on it. Is it getting harder? Gear slotting not smooth? I mean clutch can hardly be termed as an consumable item.
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Old 14th June 2011, 17:49   #12
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

LOL- I think it's called "Brilliant Blue", reduced to B.BLUE on my RC smartcard. Yeah, anyime you want an unbiased and fearless opinion about anything ask a child!

Dude, MAS urges Swift customers to change "hard" clutches as early as 25,000 km- there is even a thread on this in the forums! It is hard compared to most cars of its age, but I am used to it and there is no slippage, so delaying the inevitable till absolutely necessary.
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Old 14th June 2011, 18:13   #13
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

Nice crisp report there Noop. Wonder if your heart still aches for the Jap beauty? Rather, it sounds like, you are more biased to the Swift than the Vento.

Change the clutch at 25K? Hmm, never been given that advice by MAS till date. Have owned 4 cars from their stable, and for none was I asked to change the clutch. It was more of a self made decision on each occassion.

The tyres do look sexy and add more character to the car. Loved the alloys too. "69", eh .
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Old 17th June 2011, 15:33   #14
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

I own a 2006 Swift Zxi which has run around 64000 km to date - nearly matches where you are with yours. The clutch still feels fine. One test that I read somewhere in this forum is if the car moves without stalling in 1st gear from rest without the use of the accelerator, the clutch is fine. Other than hard was there any other indication prompting for a change?
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Old 17th June 2011, 17:23   #15
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Default re: Swift Vxi 2006: Long Term Ownership Report- EDIT: 10 yr/90,000 km Update

Hey Safedrive, same pinch!

No, other than some hardness the clutch feels fine. though driving it in stop-go traffic in Pune in the rains is taxing it to the limit!

I am pretty sure my baby will fail the stall test you mentioned

O.T>> Big day for me- this thread became "hot" and I got my Senior status (1000 posts)!
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