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Old 9th August 2011, 00:41   #1
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Default Long term ownership report of my Zen Lx, 79,000 Kms

Hi everybody,
This is to share my long term ownership experience of my Zen (old) Lx / MPFI - an ever trustworthy machine
To begin with this was my first car in 2002. I had only learner's license then. Only other car I considered was Hyundai Santro. Others were beyond my budget. I didn't take a test drive as I was not sure of my driving then. But went by my impressions while sitting in driver's seat and gut feeling. Me being only 5'10, visibility was good with Zen. No PDI done (simply didn't know what to look for). Took delivery after under body coated with dinitrol. First day was disaster. I hit rear of a stationary truck at parking speed and broke the front windshield and returned to the showroom very next day and got the windshield replaced at my own cost. Once again later when a Bus took a big turn in Udupi in a narrow road, my right rear door got hit - replaced whole of rear door with insurance cover. I drove to and back from Mangalore to Ernakulam (apprx 500kms) twice, to Bangalore (350kms) 5 times, Ooty twice and many other shorter journeys. As my workplace was near to my residence, daily driving wasn't much. Overall the car clocked 79,000Kms in 7 yrs. Never let me down.
Stock tyres (JK) lasted for 40K, replaced with Bridgestone steel radials (with tubes). Replaced again with same before selling it in 2009 july. Got me 1.4L. All services at either Mandovi/ Bharath auto -Mangalore. Quality of Service Decent most of the times.
Positives -
1. Engine - rev happy, smooth, good to drive at 80-100k/h on highways. very reliable, No problems at all throughout
2. Fuel economy - got 20+ with 80% AC on highways.
3. Very easy to handle even without power steering. Easy to park. Felt much better grip with Bridgestone tires.
4. Very good visibility for a short guy like me. When I sit upright, I could see the bonnet edges and could decide whether car could pass through a narrow space or no. Visibility for reversing too was excellent as there are no head-rests at the back.
5. Spare parts were very cheap and availability never an issue.
6. Space just enough for a family of 3-4 without much luggage (though we managed to fill its boot and backseat with good quantity of luggage - myself driving and wife occupying front passenger seat.

Car was with me during during most of the early milestones of my life.

1. Power - I felt it insufficient. Engine felt breathless once 110k/h crossed
2. A/c not effective enough.
3. Boot space- not enough
4. Headlights - not powerful enough.

Some of the minor problems faced -
1. Battery died somewhere by 60K Kms as far as I remember.
2. A/c efficiency gradually went south towards the end. But the problem was the A/c gas with which the car came which was later banned by govt and the new alternative was not recommended for mine. Service station had no solution but to offer putting the new gas in this though not recommended. Once I decided to sell the car, I stopped thinking about it
3. My MPFI engine had some peculiar nature - after my first drive in morning, before i switched off, the engine sounded as if I was stepping on accelerator even at idling and sometimes had cyclical change in sound (?RPM fluctuating by itself). But idling for few min made it settle down and it never happened again on same day.
Others are too trivial to be mentioned - once a nut at bottom got loose and fell down- water started seeping in and wet carpet started smelling foul. I couldn't locate the source of smell initially. But once it was taken to service, they found the problem quickly and solved it.
Overall my take on this -
Simple to drive, very practical, cheap to own and maintain, trustworthy engine with good fuel economy though its a low power engine (by today's standards) and not many bells and whistles.

Myself and my wife developed an emotional bond with this car and my wife was in tears the day I sold it. She still wishes to see it once again once in a while. I have a Swift Dzire Vdi now and power and drive quality has improved much. But somehow either because it was my first car or because it was with me during my wedding, honeymoon and when my first child was born, and because it never failed us during our most important/ long journeys, we remember it with great affection
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Old 9th August 2011, 10:12   #2
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Default Re: Long term ownership report of my Zen Lx, 79,000 Kms

Yes. Zen was a very good car and brand - which was really made mockery of due to stupid branding of estilo as zen.
Approx 10K+ kms per years is good enough running for many.
Good visibility of older cars like zen and M800 is something which I really like. Very roomy and +ve feeling in the car. Perhaps WagonR is the only other car with such a large glass area.
And yes, generally we always have strong emotional affinity to the 1st ones. Its quite hard to let go of such a good companion. I generally prefer to sell to known person who can take good care.
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Old 13th August 2011, 19:59   #3
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Default Re: Long term ownership report of my Zen Lx, 79,000 Kms

For AC gas you can use Dupont gas Moho some code .There is a thread running on it .

Edit : Notice late now you sold it .
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Old 15th August 2011, 00:12   #4
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Default Re: Long term ownership report of my Zen Lx, 79,000 Kms

I still have a 99 carb Zen which still drives like a dream.
It was one of the best handlers Maruti ever produced.
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