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Old 30th November 2013, 16:06   #1
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Thumbs up Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

This is my first ownership review (Santro 2009 Model), so please bear with me.

Anshuman in Brio's Official Review mentions "Make no mistake, this is no Santro 1.1L engine, but neither will Brio owners complain of poor torque." &
GTO has included Brio in Enthusiast's Car's List 2013.

Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting-front.jpg
Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting-left-side.jpg

1. Why Santro?
It was October 2009 & we had a 2000 model Santro (First model launched in India, even before the ZipPlus/ZipDrive w/o power steering). It had clocked 85,000 KM. Even though its condition was very good, but the car had started to look aged. So, we felt like changing the car. I was in college then, & this car was going to be primarily for my daily commute. So, I wanted a cheap car, that would not eat up my dad's money in maintenance. Past experience with Santro was great & even though the more modern sibling i10 was just 10,000 costlier, I felt like going in for new Santro(GLS) again. Initially my running was just 10KMs daily, so did not consider Diesel/CNG.
This car was ONLY for in-city commuting. For highways, we have Ritz ZXi.

BEFORE CNG(0-12K KMs)


2. What I like about it?
  • Torquey Engine: Awesome Low,Mid & even High range Torque
  • Spacious Feel: Tall boy design, simply love it.
  • Reliable
  • Maintenance Free
  • Easy spare parts availability
  • Easy ingress & egress
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Decent ground clearance: In my daily city commute because of metro construction I many a times have to get down the road on side kachcha lane with bad humps & holes & not even once did I scrape the underbelly.
  • Good Top Speed: More than 155 Km/h

3. What I don't like about it?
  • Low Power: To pull a fully loaded car the engine needs to really worked upon.
  • Weird Suspension: I call it weird because neither is the ride quality good, nor is the handling that great.
  • Poor FE: Not so great FE, considering the car of this segment.
  • Practically No features: Our top model just has front power windows & internally adjustable ORVM. (I am calling these to be features, because Maruti LXi/LDi variants do not provide power windows even in the new cars & Amaze does not have adjustable mirrors in 2 variants. )

4. Why CNG?
By Feb 2011, I was in job & my daily commuting increased to about 80KMs. The Santro was 16 months "new" to me & had clocked 12,000 KMs. So, I did not feel like changing the car & putting in a couple of lakhs for a Diesel upgrade. The 3 free services were over & the car maintenance was handed over to my trustworthy local mechanic. He advised me to go in for a CNG & ensured me that there would be no issues whatsoever as Santro was the most common car with Aftermarket CNG fitments.
So agreed to get the conversion done with my 3 years extended warranty getting void.

5. About CNG Kit.
I don't remember the brand, but it was not a BRC & not a sequential kit.
Lamda is not installed & a timing advancer device is installed. It costed me 23,500.


AFTER CNG(12K - 60K KMs)


Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting-engine-bay.jpg

6. What I like now?
  • Cheapest per KM cost
  • Torquey & revv-loving nature intact
  • Top-Speed: Even after running 50K KMs on CNG, the car crosses 150Km/h

7. What I don't like now?
  • Weirder suspension: Even with one person in the rear, the car bounces like a yo-yo.
  • Lower Power: With full load in the car & AC on, the engine feels like giving up on me. One time we 6 people had to adjust in the car & I had to really revv it hard to make it moving. On that occasion I found the mileage coming down to 10KM/kg.
  • Jerky Petrol Ride: My mechanic says that its the ECU adjusting to the CNG supply, so in petrol mode the ECU does not supply sufficient petrol to the bay. I think maybe its because of a faulty fuel pump? As most of the times the petrol in my car is less than half a tank.

8. Turning points.
  • Boot Lid rattling solved: Right from the beginning of the car, there was an annoying rattle from the boot lid. Whenever I took up this problem with the Service center, they used to temporarily solve the problem & hand over me the car. The car used to run fine for few thousand KMs & then again the problem used to resurface. Even my local mechanic could not find a fixed permanent solution to the problem. I had somewhat started to somewhat live this problem, but around 40K KM I finally decided to give up & sell off this car.
    Told my mechanic to give one last shot. Even though the problem could not be found, but he twisted the boot lid lock a little, & voila the problem was solved. Now the boot closes a bit tight, but NO RATTLES.
  • New Wheels:
    Just when I was getting over the joy of no rattles in my car, at around 45K KMs, I got my ride a new set of alloys along with Michelin XM2, 155/70 R13. Oh boy, costed me Rs 25,000 but what a change.
    The car seems to be infinite times gripper than the stock Goodyear's. Ride has improved, so has high speed stability & to top that my mileage has improved by at least 10%.
    With AC mileage has improved from 18KM/Kg to 20KM/Kg.
    Without AC mileage has improved from 20KM/kg to 22KM/KG
    In CNG, such mileage increase means significantly lesser trips to CNG station.
    But as you can see in the pic, the alloy has a top plastic like layer coming off its surface. The dealer says that just an extra paint protection layer, & even if it comes off, the alloy will still look cool.

    Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting-alloys.jpg
9. Maintenance
  • Servicing: Oil & oil filter change at every 5,000KM & Air filter change at every 10,000KM as CNG efficiency starts to deteriorate with filter getting dirty. Each service without air filter costs me around Rs. 1100, & 100 bucks more with the air filter change.
  • Parts Changed:
    NGK spark plugs at 30K KM.
    Brake pads twice at 25K & 50K KM.
    Wiper blades at 30K KM.
    Radiator flush & coolant change: 50K KM.
    Engine bearing at 60K KM : Costed me Rs. 600.
    Driver side wheel bearing at 60K KM : Costed me Rs 900.
    Asked my mechanic about decarbonisation : He simply refused to do it stating that the oil change at 5K KM has no chance of any carbon in the engine bay.
  • Home treatments: I don't like to put a lot of self labor into my car. But once a week my domestic help washes the car with normal water & I clean my air filter every 2500KMs at home.
    I try to warm up & cool off my car in Petrol.

Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting-interior.jpg
Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting-right-side.jpg
10. Future Plans
Touchwood, the car has not been with any accident at all. I had to make an insurance claim once when some stupid street kid hit my front windscreen with a ball & caused a crack in it. I lost my 30% NCB
My friends have tried to talked me into selling this generation old car but I simply find no reason whatsoever to sell this car, which is dirt cheap to run & maintain & has no issues at all.
The only reason which I can think for selling this car is that now I can afford a bigger better car & have got a little bored with this.
But now that I am married, I can give this car to wifey & can buy a bigger car.
I don't feel like upgrading the basic ICE of my car, as it will hardly have any value in re-sale.
But I feel like upgrading the suspension of Santro. Any suggestions on which brand/model to go for a CNG car are most welcome.
Will be soon getting a complete polishing/rubbing of the car done for the first time.

11. My Feelings for this car
A great car for in city daily commuting, especially if only driver+passenger have to travel.

Last edited by GTO : 30th November 2013 at 16:47. Reason: No more than 2 smileys / post please. Thanks!
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Old 2nd December 2013, 09:47   #2
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

First of all many congrats for achieving this niggle free 60k miles. I must say Santro is one of the best small cars with far more reliability when compared to Maruti products in the same segment.

I also own a Santro CNG (2008 model) which has done about 95k, without any troubles (touchwood). I vouch for Hyundai's quality on this.

Always felt Hyundai's engine respond best to CNG, when comapred with Maruti.

Thanks

Amit
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Old 2nd December 2013, 17:08   #3
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitpunjani View Post
First of all many congrats for achieving this niggle free 60k miles. I must say Santro is one of the best small cars with far more reliability when compared to Maruti products in the same segment.

I also own a Santro CNG (2008 model) which has done about 95k, without any troubles (touchwood). I vouch for Hyundai's quality on this.

Always felt Hyundai's engine respond best to CNG, when comapred with Maruti.

Thanks

Amit
Thanks Amit, Your car gives me one more reason not to sell my Santro.
The main reason for success of CNG in Hyundai car seems to be their high torquey engine. So, even after the CNG conversion the pick up feels good.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 09:41   #4
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

Quote:
Originally Posted by ank.nsit View Post
Thanks Amit, Your car gives me one more reason not to sell my Santro.
The main reason for success of CNG in Hyundai car seems to be their high torquey engine. So, even after the CNG conversion the pick up feels good.
Buddy in near future, i am planning to buy another Santro (to replace with the existing one) and will straightaway get it CNGfied .

I take utter most care of car, after 50k kms, i switched over to Mobil 1, in the morning i or driver make sure to run it petrol atleast for 3 kms daily. This helps fuel pump & injectors to be lubricated.

Even i do face the same hickup of my car jerking while driving on petrol. Haven't got any satisfactory reason for that, so living with that.

Recently the electronic idle mixture control valve gave up, hence switched over too mechanical one, which just costed Rs 50/-

The car has done about 95k kms since running on stock clutch & suspension.

I hope by the time i plan to buy another Santro productions doesn't stop, as its really hard to find a good Santro in Pre-owned car market.

Even though i have Sx4 (D) in my garage, but still i just love driving Santro.


Pls. don't sell the car, until and unless you are forced too!

BR

Amit

Last edited by amitpunjani : 3rd December 2013 at 09:43. Reason: Typo
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Old 3rd December 2013, 11:22   #5
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

Congratulations for achieving 60,000 kms on your Santro! Wishing you more and more trouble-free journeys on your car.

The alloy design looks nice and the detailing (blackened B-Pillar and stuff) looks neat.

The engine bay in one of the pics looks really dirty, isn't it?

OT: Where do you stay? PM me (your location).
Cheers!

Last edited by Loud : 3rd December 2013 at 11:24.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 11:55   #6
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loud View Post

The engine bay in one of the pics looks really dirty, isn't it?

OT: Where do you stay? PM me (your location).
Cheers!
Lol, yeah the engine bay is due for a wash for quite sometime now.
& I stay in Faridabad. Have updated the location in my profile.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 18:09   #7
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

Hi @ank.nsit

I believe you are getting low mileage from your car, CNG or otherwise.

I have a CNG-fied Santro Xing (of '03 make) & I get around 20 kmpkg with AC in Summers & 22-25 kmpks in Winters. On Highways, I have recorded personal best of 30+ kmpkg on CNG.

My mileage on petrol isn't bad either, with ~14 kmpl with AC in Summers & bit higher (1-2 kmpl) in winters, & 19-21 kmpl on Highways.

Also, I would suggest you to have rubber spacers at the rear (since you have CNG tank at the back). I too have them, & these have helped to reduce the bobbing & in handling on curvy roads.

BTW I am also from FBD (Sec-34 precisely).
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Old 3rd December 2013, 18:39   #8
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

Quote:
Originally Posted by CARDEEP View Post
Hi @ank.nsit

I believe you are getting low mileage from your car, CNG or otherwise.

I have a CNG-fied Santro Xing (of '03 make) & I get around 20 kmpkg with AC in Summers & 22-25 kmpks in Winters. On Highways, I have recorded personal best of 30+ kmpkg on CNG.

My mileage on petrol isn't bad either, with ~14 kmpl with AC in Summers & bit higher (1-2 kmpl) in winters, & 19-21 kmpl on Highways.

Also, I would suggest you to have rubber spacers at the rear (since you have CNG tank at the back). I too have them, & these have helped to reduce the bobbing & in handling on curvy roads.

BTW I am also from FBD (Sec-34 precisely).
I already have rubber spacers installed under the springs. But I don't think they are of any help. Maybe Coil Spring Adjusters (Coil Spring Adjusters : VFM Fix for the Honda Civic's (lousy) soft rear suspension?) will help in the handling part.
And thanks for the info on mileage. I will get it checked once with my mechanic.
But I think my low mileage might also be because of my dragging the car in lower gears. I really love to redline my engine. An awesome pickup even on CNG.

There are many FBDites on Team-bhp I suppose
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Old 10th February 2014, 19:34   #9
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

My car had started vibrating on hard braking at high speed.
Got it checked by the mechanic, & he told me an uneven disc has caused this.
He then told me that some cuts are applied on the discs on a lathe machine to resolve the issue & the car will become normal.
So got that done for Rs. 700 & the car brakes are back to normal.
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Old 17th September 2014, 09:45   #10
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

Replaced my car's battery last month with Amaron for Rs.2200 bucks(2800 - 600 for previous battery). Ordered it online from Batterywale.com. Flawless experience.

Got the car serviced for 2200 bucks, it involved removing two minor dents as well.

As I have purchased a Diesel Dzire, so this car is primarily being used for in-city commutes and hence has slowed down in clocking KMs.
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Old 18th September 2014, 18:18   #11
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What is the current FE on CNG? Has it improved since the last update. I too had a Santro CNG (sold it in april this year at 120k KM). I was getting 20+ easily. Highway driving saw that figure climb up to almost 27-28.
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Old 18th September 2014, 21:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB16 View Post
What is the current FE on CNG? Has it improved since the last update. I too had a Santro CNG (sold it in april this year at 120k KM). I was getting 20+ easily. Highway driving saw that figure climb up to almost 27-28.
Now that my car is being used only for short 5-10km trips the mileage has reduced to 15km/kg.
Any idea if installing a lambda on my kit will improve the mileage and torque figures? My installer says that his tuning is good so lambda is not needed. How can I know for sure if installing lambda would help?
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Old 4th October 2014, 20:54   #13
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Default Re: Sensible Hyundai Santro CNGified: 60k Kms & counting

My friend's father too drives a cng Santro and he absolutely loves it. It is nearing 1L kms without any major troubles. Barring the fact that he was unhappy with ASS since they don't care to change spark plugs etc, but certainly charge for the same. He gets his car serviced at an fng now.

I drive a cng Accent too. Trouble free low maintenance car. Mileage in city is around 13, but on highways is 20+. I drive a lot on petrol too. No skimping on that.

Regarding low mileage on your car, see if the spark plug Cable needs to be changed. I got mine changed recently and there is a slight improvement in pickup and mileage. Got it from metro spares (mentioned in the directory).

Btw, I got the discs skimmed on the lathe - cost me Rs 200 only for both.
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