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Old 20th February 2006, 19:05   #1
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Default 2006 Maruti Baleno VXi - Updated @ 96,000 kms

1000 Km report - till 1st Service@1079kms

This is further to the car purchase details at this thread.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/what-c...aleno-vxi.html

I'll try to make this factual and to the point.

Dates
18th Jan, 2006 - Car delivered
16th Feb, 2006 - Completed 1000km
17th Feb, 2006 - 1st Free service

Driving Pattern
100% within city. 75% stop go, 25% fairly open.
Max speed pre-1000kms: 90kmph
Max speed post-1000kms: 130kmph
A/C usage - 10%
Average Revvs - 1000 at lower end, 2200 at upper; Shifts generally around 1800-2000.
Average speed - approximately 30kmph :(

Fuel
Fuel used - XtraPremium
Topped up on 18th Jan, 2006
Topped up on 29th Jan, 2006: FE = 12.45kmpl
Topped up on 17th Feb, 2006: FE = 11.62kmpl
Last top up was immediately after 1st service.

First service
Engine OilchangedOil filter changed
Lower arm bolt tightened

Scratches
2 small ones. Both while parking at my apartment garage. For the record, scratches are visible on any colour - hehe

Likes
# Space, shoulder and leg

# Spot on driving position (height adjustable drivers seat set at lowest, steering tilted to uppermost position). Lovely snug fit seats.

# Climate control. I'm spoilt ! It'll be a must for all my future cars. 25degrees seems to be the most comfortable. Since it adjusts the blower too, the blower settles down to a low setting pretty quickly and hence the blower noise is negligible. Used 28/29 degrees without the A/C on during the cooler days in Jan. Heating is very comfortable.

# Low end torque - it's a dream to drive in the city. It's a great feeling, when a Snarling Sumo starts madly flicking its lights at sedate me and then I floor it at whichever gear I am ... hmmmmmm ...

# Found the ride to be as good as the Optra on the same stretch of road

# Small turning circle

# Looks - go ahead, kill me !!

Some small gripes
# Front suspension 'cracking'/'khatak' noise when hitting a sharp pothole. During 1st service they tightened the lower arm bolts by an extra 5kg torque. It's a lot better now. I have got the sound once since the service, but it's more muffled and happens when I hit bigger potholes . Will probably ask them to tighten the bolts further.

# Road noise used to come through a lot right after I took delivery. And I kept wondering whether this was normal. Went for the first tyre pressure check after a week. The door sticker indicates 25psi. I asked for 27psi. It turned out that all the tyres had 42 psi No wonder. Since then, the ride has been fab.

# For a tall person with the seat pushed back the 5th gear feels a tad out of reach, by an inch maybe. I felt it would be better if I had to stretch/lean a little less forward. It's minor and I may not feel it once I get used to it more.

# Gear shift smooth but not very 'clicky'. 5th gear is still tricky ! Have got used to the rest of the gears.

# Although I like the high revv engine sound, I'd would have preferred a throatier feel !

# Leather steering cover sometimes feels powdery-slippery. Maybe I don't grip it that tightly. It should be great to drive with leather riding gloves on - the biking ones with exposed fingers.

Queries
# The tail lamp covers mention Japan. So does the stop lamp on the spoiler. Does MUL import them ?!

# Is any of the petrol in the tank used for service purposes by the workshops ?

# Is this http://www.com-paint.com/index1.html of any use ? Is it easy to do touch up jobs at home with these sprays ?

# Front suspension noise. For those who have rectified this, any idea by how much the bolts were tightened ?

To sum up - I'm bl***y happy. Thanks again T-BHP!
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Old 20th February 2006, 19:24   #2
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This is one of the most organised reports i have ever read. Wow... Great job... Now it makes sense to be organised...
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Old 20th February 2006, 20:02   #3
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Neat report, shuvc. And good to hear that all's well with the Baleno - it sort of re-assures me of my own decision to own one. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
Scratches
2 small ones. Both while parking at my apartment garage. For the record, scratches are visible on any colour - hehe
You know what ? We try to stay clear of all the lunatics on the road in an attempt to avoid any scratches on our baby and then one fine day, we scratch her ourselves. And then you feel so mad at yourself. Did it myself while trying to edge the car past a stationary BPO bus and streaked against its white bumper. Was heart broken as the car was only a few months old. But then, luckily it was just his white paint on my black Baleno and was able to remove 99.9 % of it from my car using just water and a nice scrub. All that remains is a small nick - I can live with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
# Low end torque - it's a dream to drive in the city. It's a great feeling, when a Snarling Sumo starts madly flicking its lights at sedate me and then I floor it at whichever gear I am ... hmmmmmm ...
I can understand that too. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
# Looks - go ahead, kill me !!
Its not that bad, actually. The look actually grows on you - I have started liking its looks more every day. Remember the time when Santro was launched and everyone was like, "Oh, OK, here comes an autorickshaw clone". But now, it has become OK. I still hate its looks though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
# 5th gear is still tricky ! Have got used to the rest of the gears.
I also felt the same. Sometimes, the 5th gear just locks in perfect, but usually it is tricky. I was thinking it was because all these years I had been driving a 4-gear car and thus not used to the 5th gear at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
# Is any of the petrol in the tank used for service purposes by the workshops ?
For the older carb cars, they used to take some petrol to clean the carb etc. But, I am not sure whether for MPFI cars, this should be the case.
I guess you have this feeling that some petrol was taken by them. Well it is usually true as most service centres would not hesitate to pilfer some petrol.
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Old 20th February 2006, 23:46   #4
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One thing that they generally do is to let the car idle (in the m800 days I saw it upto an hr) after they give it a wash...so may be that explains some of the petrol lost.
My Baleno (lxi with 14" 185/65 tyres though) is now almost 13k old and the past five mileages have been like 14, 13.1, 12.8, 11.7 and 12.4.. I use AC about 70-80% of the time...could not be happierr..I was expecting a single digit mileage..
have done some good long distance trips...once driving down to mumbai that is 760 kms from hyd...touched 177 on the expressway...(and got 10.7 kmpl for finishing the entire expressway stretch in 52 mins. :-)) ..generaly doing 140kmph plus)
BTW the mileage figures are tanksul to tankful so not much chance of them being way off.
the silencer has started rattling a bit off late...only while idling and it can only be listened to by an experienced year...
and the steering thunk sound espacially when the steering is half turned and the car enters a pothole...well Maruti havee promised to change the steering assembly...
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Old 21st February 2006, 10:35   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
# Low end torque - it's a dream to drive in the city. It's a great feeling, when a Snarling Sumo starts madly flicking its lights at sedate me and then I floor it at whichever gear I am ... hmmmmmm ...
The review is spot on shuvc...

The thoughts expressed by you regarding baleno's torque seem to echo those in my signature

~A
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Old 21st February 2006, 11:50   #6
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Mmm, sounds like an awesome car, more n more. Great report.
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Old 21st February 2006, 11:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
1000 Km report - till 1st Service@1079kms

Queries
# The tail lamp covers mention Japan. So does the stop lamp on the spoiler. Does MUL import them ?!

# Is this http://www.com-paint.com/index1.html of any use ? Is it easy to do touch up jobs at home with these sprays ?
Tail lamps are imported. Which is why they cost a bomb.

Touch up of metallic colors is very tricky. My family has a auto paint business, so I know. Use the modern 2K paints like Dupont, Standoxx or ICI 2K.

What I do is : get the paint shop to mix me a small can (50 or 100 ml) of the exact matching paint. Open this carefully, mix with a small spoon in the can, then use a fine artist's brush to touch up small nicks and dings.

You cannot use this on large areas. Usually you need to do the whole panel for this type of problem.
By touching up the small nicks, it looks blended in, and you prevent rust attacks.
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Old 21st February 2006, 18:20   #8
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nice report Shuv...
when i bought my baleno back in July 2004 everybody was after me for choosing this one.......not even my brothers supported me... but now they all accept the fact that baleno is indeed a very good car especially after a few long drives..now my elder bro (who criticised me most while buying baleno) is planning to change his zen with a baleno vxi

CAT
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Old 21st February 2006, 18:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
1000 Km report - till 1st Service@1079kms

Some small gripes
# Front suspension 'cracking'/'khatak' noise when hitting a sharp pothole. During 1st service they tightened the lower arm bolts by an extra 5kg torque. It's a lot better now. I have got the sound once since the service, but it's more muffled and happens when I hit bigger potholes . Will probably ask them to tighten the bolts further.

# Road noise used to come through a lot right after I took delivery. And I kept wondering whether this was normal. Went for the first tyre pressure check after a week. The door sticker indicates 25psi. I asked for 27psi. It turned out that all the tyres had 42 psi No wonder. Since then, the ride has been fab.
Thanks a ton shuvc.. your report is fab.. and this makes me feel better now!

I have heard the khatak on my car too.. and was wondering if I am a one-off case.. It has only happened about 2-3 times so far in the 1700 km I have driven the car.. And the service guys could not help me much as they could not reproduce the noise during the test ride - they got the car doing crazy things on extremely bad roads too.. but the sound just didn;t repeat.. I think it appears only when the wheels are turned and you hit a pothole.. or some such extremely arcane thing..

Now, I know of atleast one potential solution!

And Yeah.. I have seen the 42psi too.. I think they over pump air into the tyres at the showroom to make the car stance look slick.. but I have been maintaining 30psi after that.. do you have any idea what is the best pressure rating? Is 27 good? Is 30 acceptable?

One other thing I have noticed is that the bonnet compartment of this car feels much hotter after a 10KM drive than even my good old Wagon R used to feel after a 100KM drive.. The temp gauge shows everything is normal.. so, I have been assuming it is designed that way.. Did you guys feel the same?

More trivia: Even the windshield wiper tank is imported from Japan (costs abt 1.9K.. why I had to find this detail is posted here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/174315-post1.html ).. man.. can't they even manufacture that in India!? sigh!

Last edited by kgc_cool : 21st February 2006 at 18:46.
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Old 21st February 2006, 18:39   #10
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Pretty good review of a fine car. Enjoy your ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
Some small gripes
# Front suspension 'cracking'/'khatak' noise when hitting a sharp pothole. During 1st service they tightened the lower arm bolts by an extra 5kg torque. It's a lot better now. I have got the sound once since the service, but it's more muffled and happens when I hit bigger potholes . Will probably ask them to tighten the bolts further.
Can you please explain this 5kgm thing? Does it mean that by some magic they add so much more torque? How does tightening of bolts result in more torque? Just curious...
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Old 21st February 2006, 19:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakhon
Can you please explain this 5kgm thing? Does it mean that by some magic they add so much more torque? How does tightening of bolts result in more torque? Just curious...
I guess you are confusing "the torque produced by the engine" with "the torque or force applied to tighten the bolt". What he means is tightening the bolts more by applying more force. With automated equipment used to tighten bolts, you can specify the force with which it is to be tightened.
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Old 21st February 2006, 19:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno
I guess you are confusing "the torque produced by the engine" with "the torque or force applied to tighten the bolt". What he means is tightening the bolts more by applying more force. With automated equipment used to tighten bolts, you can specify the force with which it is to be tightened.
Thanks for the clarification. Looks like there is a lot for me to learn
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Old 21st February 2006, 19:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno
With automated equipment used to tighten bolts, you can specify the force with which it is to be tightened.
but I thought tightening torque could be specified with manual equipment as well? Torque wrenches, anyone?

As always, please correct if I'm wrong.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 16:14   #14
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Thanks everyone for the nice words

@supremebaleno, @buffetfan
# Let's see the mileage I get this time. It might indicate that the drop from 12.5 to 11.5 could be due to petrol being used by the workshop or the car may have been left idling for sometime

# Max speed post-1000kms: 130kmph ... Make that 145kmph as of yesterday night !

@filcord
# Nice input about the paint touch up. Instead of mixing the colours, is it possible to buy the standard MUL paint shades off the shelf ?

@kgc_kool
# The recommended tyre pressure for the VXi, 185/65 14's is 25psi. I think the manual advises to add 4 psi for highway driving. So, 27 should be a nice balance.
# Yes, the bonnet does heat up more than the Indica. The Indica had insulation material below the whole of the bonnet, whereas this has only a partly covered bonnet from the inside. Could that be the reason ?

The driver's side wiper base had come loose. Went to the workshop to tighten it. Dunno how much torque they applied on that nut/bolt ! Anyway, the guy said it's better not to tighten the lower arm bolts any more.

A small note : They use an automatic car wash. A single wash costs 220/- including tax. I thought it was a real good idea to get the car thoroughly and professionally washed once every month, apart from the daily wash given by my apartment caretaker. What say ?

Last edited by shuvc : 22nd February 2006 at 16:31.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 16:26   #15
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Hey shuvc, nice review!

Yes, the Baleno shade is available off the shelf. Any auto paints shop will show you a Maruti catalogue, with Beam Blue in it.

The service advisor is probably right. Too much torque on a bolt, and it might just snap under extreme load.

Also, you may want to get you car waxed and polished. Rudra and Ajmat are the people to ask for this.
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