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Old 25th December 2013, 21:26   #1
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Default The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

Setting expectations

For me, my car has never been interesting. It has always been the means to an end. All this changed when I started looking for a new car to replace my silent monk – 2009 WagonR LPG with 24K KMs. I stumbled upon the new car vs. lateral upgrade thread, which made the analyst in me sit up and revisit the numbers. I got hooked to the long term ownership threads (especially KarthikKs red rocket and parag’s F10D) and spent most of September and early October digesting all the info on this forum.
The bottom line is that I have decided to pamper the silent monk a little more before I trade it in for something else. Hence what you will read below is not really a long term ownership report but a quick summary of a renewed passion.

The Silent Monk as on Aug 2011
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-monk1.jpg

Pre Ignition
I purchased the WagonR LPG in Dec 2009. Selected the same after doing some very rudimentary research on the following lines:
• Economy – has to be an LPG as additional cost of diesel will not be offset by the miles I clock
• City friendly – has to be easy to drive hence power steering a must plus must easily accommodate 5 people for relatively longer drives
• Must be Okayed by my fiancι!

The first few years were absolutely blissful with the vehicle driving like a dream.

• 95% of my driving during the first year was within the city and the WagonR did take most of the roads with ease. I am almost 6 feet tall and very very healthy and I have never had a problem with ingress or exit from the car

• Even after pushing the driver seat all the way back the leg room in the rear seat is not bad. My cousin who is 5 ft 7 inches can fit in there but it is a little snug. Not recommended for long drives

• The car is designed for city driving and makes it very easy to move around in traffic. Changing lanes at moderate speeds (50-60
kmph) is easy and the car feels stable

The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-front2.jpg

• Oodles on storage space all around the car. Can easily store all the small things required on long journeys and not eat up luggage room

The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-stor1.jpg
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-stor2.jpg
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-stor3.jpg
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-stor4.jpg

• Large windows and the tallboy seating ensures that everything is visible on all sides and there are no blind spots. In fact you get so used to it after a while that while driving other cars (like the swift or i20) it feels a little claustrophobic

Loads of light thanks to the large windows
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-front1.jpg

• Very large boot in spite of the 5th wheel occupying some of the space. Can easily take a couple of suitcases plus a traveling bag with ease

The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-boot.jpg

• Did not really keep track of FE but back of the envelope calculations show that I was spending about Rs.3 per KM after taking into consideration the petrol consumption as well.

• The first service was done at 1000K @ Pratham Motors – Queens road and was a breeze. There were no real problems with the car but I had to change the headlight assembly on the right as the monk had a small misunderstanding with another car.

• The first long distance drive was to Yelagiri and was I in for a surprise. After krishnagiri I floored the throttle and watched the needle climb to 120 kmph. The monk was as stable as rock as long as you maintain a straight line. The steering does feel light but there were no shakes or wobbles and it was a joy to speed down that beautiful piece of tarmac.

Zipping down the road
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-max.jpg

• The FE on the highway was 15.5+ kmpl (on LPG) and I did not get a chance to measure the FE while driving on petrol

• Given the tallboy stance, cornering has never been a strength and on the few turns that I had to take on the expressway, I had to bring the speeds down to 60 kmph so that the monk can safely negotiate the bend

• The Second & Third service were done at Pratham Motors – Queens road and there was no apparently visible problems with the vehicle or the quality of the service

• My driving pattern was still the same where 90% of mileage was clocked in the city under moderate traffic conditions (not really bumper to bumper as I used my bike for office commute)

• LPG FE within city was between 12.5 to 13.5 kmpl with minimal AC usage. Petrol FE within the city has never been measured as I make it a point to drive only 50 odd KM per month on petrol

• Did a couple of trips to Chennai and Chikmagalur and the LPG FE was around the 14-15 kmpl mark when driving at 90-100 kmph speeds on good roads. Petrol FE on highways was around the 15.5 – 17 kmpl mark when driving at 90-100 kmph speed

• AC is one aspect of this car that is a little circumspect. While driving in the city with the AC on, it has always felt a little out of breath and can really feel the drop in power

Old style dial type controls
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-dials.jpg

Two major aspect of highway driving where the Monk is not upto the mark
• Braking - There have been a couple of instances where I have had to brake really hard while driving at 80 kmph speed and then swerve to avoid hitting another vehicle. Not sure if the newer versions have improved braking

• Night driving – have always thought that the stock headlights were never enough if you had to drive through pitch dark sections of highway without any reflectors. Did this while driving back from Chikmagalur when the 4 lane was being constructed and there were times when I almost missed the detours. The high beams do not illuminate objects that are more than 25-30 feet away and if you are driving at 65-70 kmph, then you cannot brake in time to stop hitting an object and your only option is to serve

• Both of the above when combined makes a deadly combination while driving at night and hence I avoid night driving like the plague. If I have to drive at night, I make sure that I never cross the 60 kmph mark

Waiting to shift

My Fourth service was done at 18K KM at Pratham motors and this is when I opened my eyes and started noticing things. The car was not washed properly; Car was ready in 2 hours flat. Checked the schedule board and in time read 8.45 and finish time read 10.45, problems with ignitions even though the spark plugs were changed, Front headlamp assembly was not done correctly (had to replace the one on the right due to a small accident), Nitrogen was filled in the tires but the car was pulling a little to the right and the next day I had a flat tire. All this was reported to the SA the next day and were fixed. But I had this nagging feeling that something was not right with the way the service was done and the effects of it started to show.

• Throttle response was lower in the 2nd gear and I really had to push the accelerator to get the car moving forward. At times the car would just stall when in idle and I had to turn the key a couple to times before it turned on

• The AC stopped working – fan was at the highest speed but all you got was warm air. Had to drive down to Chennai and the heat & humidity really got to me!

• Gear shift to 1st gear had become a lot harder to engage even though gear oil had been changed. At times I had to move from 3rd to 2nd and then 1st just so that I can get the gear slotted

• I had just moved to a new area and the roads were a lot worse. The car used to rock like a boat while driving on some really uneven stretches. Can feel the difference in suspension when you drive down the same stretch in a Ritz. Hence suspension is on other area where the WagonR is not upto the mark

• Continued to use the car in the city but the ride was neither smooth nor comfortable. The FE had dropped a little but nothing very alarming

The nail in the coffin was the 5th service at 24K KMs. You can read more about that here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ngalore-6.html (Incompetent service from Pratham Motors (Bellandur, Bangalore)). The result was that I was totally exasperated with the quality of service and the performance of the car did nothing to improve the overall ownership experience. The FE had dropped by almost 20% and was really not interested in driving the silent monk any more. I did start looking at new cars in the market and also explored classifieds to see if there was a good upgrade

The root cause

After reading a few posts and thinking about my personal experience, I realized that the cause was not the car but my lack of interest. I was not willing to put in the time and effort required to maintain the car and ensure that it does the job it is required to do. What I then did is put together a list of pain points and ranked them according to what I thought will improve my experience the most. Eg. Fixing/Improving the car pick in 1st & 2nd gear and improving idling performance were top of the list and new tyres were at the bottom. Then began the marathon sessions on TBHP. I read and read and read some more. Changed priorities, identified some quick fixes and started putting together a list of things that are must haves and good to haves

The turbo rush

Over the last couple of months, I can see and feel the difference in the way the car handles. Here is a list of things that I did
1.Replaced my stock air filter with K&N – this I think was the best decision I have made. My old filter was as black as can be. I wonder what the service guys mean when they put a tick mark against air filter cleaned. With the K&N, there is a marginal increase in pick up but the FE is back to 12.5 to 13.5 KMPL (on LPG) in bumper to bumper Bangalore traffic

2.Replaced Transmission oil – after reading about this on parag’s ownership thread and after doing some more research, decided to change this. Now the gear shifts are a lot smoother, especially the shift from 2nd to 1st

3.DIYs – replaced the rubber floor mats with noodle mats and did some yoga mat damping on the front doors. Cabin is a lot more quiet and easier to clean

4.90/100 Philips headlight + relay – replaced my stock with 90/100 Philips and the result is clearly visible. The spread is a lot more even and visibility has increased by almost 50-60%. A lot more confident when driving during the night

5.Car cleaning – Picked up the Jopasu duster and a couple of micro-fiber wash cloths. Make it a point to wash + shampoo my car inside out every 10 days. Nothing can beat the feeling of seeing your work at the end of it and spending a minute or so staring at it

Bring on the shine!
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-qd1.jpg

6.New shoes – a Christmas gift! Walked into Madhus to change my tyres but ended up with new alloys. Picked up a set of Neo Alloys and Michelin XM2s (Upsized to 155/65/R13). Did drive 900 KM over the last few days and the tyres do not make any noise (on flat roads at 100 kmph+ speeds as compared to bridgestone S222). They do take small bumps and pits very well and you will not notice the small gaps/bumps on flyovers/concrete sections of roads. What I do find a little irritating is vibrations that you feel in the steering when driving over rough patches. Not gravel but just rough patches on a tarred road that are not very smooth. My guess is that the soft compound tends to grip these and at speed, the grip and release tends to create some kind of resonance that is transferred to the steering. City driving also feels good as both sound and impact when driving through potholes and bad patches has reduced (or is this psychological impact of new wheels??). Overall I should say that it is a good buy and only time will tell how it holds

The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-pw6.jpg
The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-pw1.jpg

7. Detailed the car – after reading through a couple of threads on detailing, I decide to take the plunge and invest in a few products. Washed, Clayed and Waxed my car last weekend and the monk is now buttery smooth to touch. More details can be found here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...alants-12.html (All about Car Waxes & Sealants)

And the wish list
1. Check/service suspension (need to take it Surakshaa)
2. Dent removal - have spoken to Dinesh at Trend. Need to find time to take it there
3. ECU remap - thanks to karthikK and his red rocket remap
4. New seat covers
5. ICEing

The bottom line

What I have now is an interest and desire to improve my ride. This makes economic sense as well - cars are not meant to be driven for only 27K and then replaced. And the best part is my car is now slowly getting personalized to my liking and handling the way I want it to.
Given my usage of 85-90% city driving, the WagonR is still the most practical and one of the most economical drives:

+ Seating style & driving comfort – love the tallboy as I am 6ft tall and very much on the hefty side
+ Easy city drivability - especially after replacing air filter. Can take speed breakers in 2nd gear
+ Practical and very handy interiors – yet to see any other car provide this much space for the nick nacks and small things
+ Fuel economy - 12.5 - 14 KMPL in heavy city traffic(20-30% on AC). Highway FE for LPG is around 15 - 16 KMPL(20-30% on AC and sedate speeds of 60-70 KMPH) and around 18 KMPL when running on petrol (sedate speeds of 60-70 KMPH). When doing 100+ KMPH over long stretches, FE tends to drop to 13.5-14.5 KMPL on LPG and 16KMPL on petrol.
+ Luggage space – extremely spacious despite the spare wheel being placed behind the back seat (LPG tank takes the spare wheel space)
+ Handling – extremely well behaved even at speeds of 110-120 kmph but not a lot of feedback from the steering

- Gearshift – if this was replaced with cable, the drive would be amazing (love the buttery smooth gears of the Grand i10)
- Suspension – is a let-down given the condition of Bangalore roads

I have to thank everyone on TBHP for sharing their experiences and providing feedback when requested

Debadged & Rebadged
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The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms-boot1.jpg  

Last edited by procrj : 7th January 2014 at 14:35.
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Old 26th December 2013, 11:45   #2
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Default re: The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

Dear Procrj, Life is a learning process and one learns with each passing day, when I read Parag's review of his car, it opened my eyes and I realize that if a car is kept well maintained, it is there to serve you for years.

I recently sold a three year old Santo, which had 11000kms on ODO and traded it for a Grand i10. I never had a requirement for a new car but my heart ruled my mind and I still went ahead.

However, I now realize that, we should at least keep the car where we are able to extract some value out of the money that we have spent. Parag has been instrumental in changing my thought process.

Seeing you car pictures, I am sure you will wait for 100000+ kms on ODO before parting ways.
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Old 9th January 2014, 11:43   #3
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Default Re: The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th January 2014, 16:42   #4
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Default Re: The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

I have a query regarding the alloy wheels. They look really good on the Wagon R . How much did it cost you? And how was the overall service at Madhus? (it's on JC road right?)
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Old 13th January 2014, 21:11   #5
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Default Re: The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

Wow that a very well maintained Wagon R there. Looks really sweet in this color and with the new alloys on!

Have to agree this car is one of the most reliable workhorses that one can buy in our market. Though initially not a personal favourite mostly due to the boxy looks, it can actually grow upon you as time goes by. This one will serve you as long as you would want it to be with you efficiently and with great practicality.

Now that you have actually penned down a review, keep us updated on the developments as time goes by and yes happy and safe driving!
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Old 14th January 2014, 12:40   #6
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Default Re: The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

Originally Posted by rlvl View Post
I have a query regarding the alloy wheels. They look really good on the Wagon R . How much did it cost you? And how was the overall service at Madhus? (it's on JC road right?)
The Alloys cost 14K for a set of 4. The whole experience was very good. The best part is they are ready to explain every step in detail and answer every single question. But of course this is based on a one time experience as this was my first visit to madhus. You can find more feedback here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/bangal...galore-32.html (Wheel Alignment/Balancing : Madhus Enterprises (Langford rd, Bangalore))

p.s: need to spend a lot of time cleaning and polishing the alloys else they do not look so good. Spend almost 30-40 min every week cleaning & polishing the alloys

Last edited by procrj : 14th January 2014 at 12:42.
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Old 16th January 2014, 19:14   #7
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Default Re: The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

Reposting my query from the Trusted pumps thread

I have been tanking up LPG at IOC St Marks Road for the last few months and have not had any issues with them. My problem is with the quantity of LPG. At IOC St Marks Road auto cutoff kicks in at 18.5 ltrs while the tank capacity is 22 ltrs.

When I had driven down to Chennai, I filled LPG at Propel (Indian Oil Petronas JV) T.Nagar and the auto cutoff kicked in only at 21.xx ltrs. Drove around Chennai and the mileage returned was +1kmpl (city driving with 80% AC) as compared to IOC LPG (city driving with 10% AC)

Anyone throw some light on why this is happening?
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Old 17th January 2015, 22:24   #8
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Default Re: The Silent Monk - Maruti WagonR Duo LPG @ 26000 kms

Lovely thread!
The straight line design of the alloys accentuates the design of the waggie. And the black (allows, mirrors, door handles etc) contrasts well with the red.
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