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Old 2nd June 2007, 23:11   #1
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Default Maruti 800AC, 17,500km review

Hi all,

after owning a maruti 800 AC for about 2 yrs now, i ve clocked 17.5kkms so far and thought writing about it here is useful.


Outside: I like the current design of the car both from the front and the back. The front headlamps have character and are better (read clear lens)than the older versions. the rear light assembly is much better now and brighter during the nights too, enabling people to see the car more better.compared to the alto, this isnt exactly sturdy looking, but a coat of 3M teflon on my maruti 800 caribbean blue has really helped it batter rains and mud storms and still look fresh after all that beating it has taken on
Bangalore's worst and best roads. The bonnet area is more Parallel to the underlying road than inclined as in the alto or other cars that have aerodynamical shapes.


When i bought the car, i fitted it with a chrome tipped exhaust pipe, art leather blue-white seats to match the caribbean blue colour, a blue bordered wide rear view mirror, which gave me a wider view of things all around my car, Pioneer stereo (mp3/wma) with two JBL speakers for the rear alone (no tweeters), and central lock from autocop. i also fitted a rather downright cheap digital clock which runs one hour fast after every 24 hours, but hey then lets live life in the fast forward man! also put in marble beads to cool myself down when driving too much. but they either are too cold in winters or are superheated in summers. the mats were given free by bimal. For sometime I had a wooden gear shift knob, but apparently i got a feeling like I was just moving around stick instead of a shift, so i changed back to the rubber one, since the service centre advised me go to back to it, to keep the proportions right. My fanaticism for wooden knobs was overruled by common sense and I am happy now.

I also installed garware dark film, after which the RTO raked up a big film issue in Bangalore after bomb blasts et al, and I had to change to lighter ones only to find the rule wasnt going to be in place. However i ve left it at the lighter film now that this car is going to go in lieu of my sx4. It does get real hot for the summers and midday times because of the light film, but i open both front windows let in some air and then close them again for the a/c.

The interiors are cheap, very plasticky and fades in 2 yrs time to glory. but then i keep my windows open all the time (read that ride with no a/c almost), so all the dust is in my car! yes i do clean it but nothings perfect you see....


The a/c performs best only when its at speed level 1, anything more than dangerously sways the car and the car acts drunk and totally grossly underpowered. So without a/c its 800, with a/c and me its 400, with a/c and 2 of us its 200 and with a/c and 4 of us, its 100, add luggage and perhaps its equivalent to a TVS50 XL after all what can you expect from an 800cc car? mind blowing performance or what? its only a 35bhp!!

Coming to other areas of performance, I liked the gear shift for what it is. Compared to alto or omni, I like this gear shift a lot. its easy to operate, bit notchy but still good enough for city drives. Downshifting becomes a need when the a/c is on, but otherwise, this car pulls from 3rd gear most times even if slowed down. aruguably its not mindblowing torque or whatever, but for the money I paid (2.86 lacs OTR), I love this car.

Overtaking is a breeze as long as you know when to downshift and when to upshift. I have always planned my overtaking manouvres precisely and this car has NEVER let me down no matter what the situation. I have clocked a maximum speed of 110kmph on this car, in Bangalore city many times. NVH levels - what is that?? almost all the noise is inside your car, so this is not one quiet baby. however if you want to think positively, how about hearing the wind ruffle your senses at that speed? Its a thrilling feeling! And at that speed am I concerned about braking or turns? Well braking - NEVER, turns - oh yes, i do need to slow down a bit (~80 or so).

The braking of this car has never let me down any one time till now in 2 yrs. I ve done trips to Mysore many times at speeds between 80 and 110 and once even braked real hard to bring this guy down from 80-0 and it just listens to you. So much for trust on brakes! But one word of caution, if it rains and the tyres are into water for a while, obviusly the brake shoes get slippery and you have to be really alert to brake much before the exact point where you need to stop. This is the only point I hated but hey any car's brakes might get slippery isnt it? It is here that I want to know whether disc and drum brakes makes any difference on this slipperiness, experts are you listening??

Ok, now onto shocks. For two people, sitting in front I ve always felt the car handles bumps and potholes with reasonable efficiency. OK agreed its not like an sx4 or scorpio, but the shocks are good. I ve done lots of real estate land searching in the most arid areas of Bangalore with this car, driven it at 80 kmph on mud roads and metalled roads, and this car handles great - well with all that you get 1000s of rattles free. Whats life if its quiet and sedate, you need thrill dont you? For the people at the back its a mixed bag. On highways the suspension is good, but on potholed roads, its not anything to brag home about.

The tyres/rims are one area where i always seem to have an issue with small cars. I hate them to glory. for the first six months of buying a car everything works like clockwork, after which even maintaining regular air pressure of 27psi doesnt make me feel good about the tyres. and whenever i felt bad about it a wheel alignment were done and weights fitted which only worsened the issue. I m not sure to say whether its the rims or the tyres themselves. One or two of my tyres always feels less with air, no matter what I do. Perhaps i should fill nitrogen instead of air. And fill my fuel tank with say NO2 ?? nitrous oxide??


In short, this is a revv happy engine, always willing to be dutiful to me, precise accelearations and quite smooth too upto 80 or so, after which it becomes a bit coarse. Once after about a year after purchase the engine stalled and the car created a huge traffic jam. i was completely pissed off but my service center guys were there in 20 mins flat and towed it back. they had just serviced the car and I guess someone forgot to put back the wiring properly and the electricals gave haath. I wished that one problem never came back, and thankfully till now it didnt. But imagine if that had happened on the highway, sheesh i wouldve felt like one bakra with my day spoilt. But i sort of admire the way this car has progressed over 25 yrs with different engines until the current MPFI one. The engine is good and I love this car for the engine till now!


Initially I used to measure it, got 16, then it went upto 18, then I forgot to keep track of it till date. I dont seem to bother about it anymore. Surely it gives over 16 always so I m not bothered much. after all thats what its meant to be a FE friendly car! But somehow for the same price range of about 3 lacs today I find a stripped down version of Santro, or Indica Xeta or even alto, which I would recommend over this car. They are just plain better in comfort levels.

Service history

First free Service @ 658 kms

Oil filter - 53/-
Oil - 315/- Total - 434/- (including tax)

Second free service @ 3877 kms

upholstery cleaning - 250/- total - 276/-

Intermediate service @ 4775 kms

Washing and cleaning - 300/- total - 331/-

Intermediate service @ 6326 kms

Minor gear shift parts - 10/-
Gear lever bush - 75/-
Body wash - 150/- total - 259/-

Third free service @ 7058 kms

Oil filter - 54/-
Oil - magnatec - 614/-
Wheel weights - 75/- my problems have started here ...
Others - 25/-
Wheel Alignment - 150/-
Wheel Balancing - 200/- total - 1248/-

Fourth paid service @ 8528 kms

Wheel weights - 60/- Never seems to end!
Others - 80/-
Wheel balancing - 80/-
Wheel brake cleaning - 180/-
Paid service - 390/- total - 886/-

Intermediate service @ 11599 kms

Wheel weights - 30/- (sheesh :( )
Tyre rotation - 30/-
Upholstery cleaning - 600/-
Wheel balancing - 45/-
Central lock repair - 75/- Total - 876/-

Fifth paid service @ 13647 kms (next service due at 18,500 kms)

Miscellaneous items - 100/-
Water pump for wipers - 70/-
Wheel weights - 65/- (yet again!)
Bulb - 100/-

Paid service - 450/-
Wheel brake cleaning - 200/-
Wheel balancing - 180/-
Wheel alignment - 150/- Total - 1475/-

total spent till now on car maintenance - 5785 in two years

Geeks arent always great if they drive costly cars, in fact most geeks I know who have finished 25 yrs in the IT industry still drive good old 800's. So here's to an 800 !! today i celebrated these photos with a visit to the musical fountain near raj bhavan, and if you dont see the photo of that on my homepage, you are missing something!
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Old 2nd June 2007, 23:17   #2
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Gr8 review GeekSrik , 800 is still the best VFM car in the market today ,and I have got to admit the FE figures are really really good !!
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Old 2nd June 2007, 23:33   #3
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total spent till now on car maintenance - 5785 in two years
I think that tells the story.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 00:21   #4
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Awesome review bro and being an 800 owner since the past 9 year have got really attached to it.Dad and me always think about sellin it for the nigglin problems it gives sometimes but heck we always end up deciding against it.
Just spent a bomb on it on steering,suspension bla bla and its back as new.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 00:29   #5
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Nice review pics not loading :( for me.

Btw 5 services ??? isn't service interval every 10K ?
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Old 3rd June 2007, 01:38   #6
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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
I think that tells the story.
5785 Rs in spent in two years and importantly 17.5k kms.... by no means its cheap.
There are much better cars available now for a little more money.

@Geek... 800's 37 BHP not 35.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 08:24   #7
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Nice reviews Geek !!! Thats the reason it is still selling after 25 years into production..

Originally Posted by GeekSrik View Post
with air, no matter what I do. Perhaps i should fill nitrogen instead of air. And fill my fuel tank with say NO2 ?? nitrous oxide??
Bit of Chemistry
NO2 - Nitrogen Dioxide
N2O - Nitrous Oxide

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Old 3rd June 2007, 08:44   #8
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your car seems to be pretty well-kept in the pictures!

is your car running bias-ply tyres? if so try and upgrade to radials.
i remember it had made a world of difference in our older 800 when the worn out CEAT bias-plys were replaced by new Apollo Amazer radials. i don't remember whether the 800's came with 12" or 13" wheels though.

whats the "603" picture?
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Old 3rd June 2007, 09:09   #9
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@abhibh - the pics have been on imagehosting.com and not imageshack.us (since the former allows me multiple uploads) but their server is a bit loaded, so sometimes the pics may not load properly. service interval is 10k only for better cars than 800. its also about how many months because the free services have monthly clauses also. its like 5k or 2 months whichever earlier!

@extreme_torque - i myself have been thinking the same thing. yes its no means cheap, but most of my money has been on either wheel balancing or wheel weights or brake cleaning or upholstery cleaning. so if you remove these from the equations, probably it would be about 2.5k which is more reasonable. i always shampoo clean my seat covers to keep them good.

@akroy - yes i did a goof up. its indeed nitrogen dioxide when i actually intended to say N2O, guess my age is catching up on me!

@aah78 - i cant tolerate it if my car looks bad, somehow my car always makes my day, so i take lots of effort to keep it good looking. have hired a guy for 300 bucks a month to clean it up daily.tyres are 145/70/12 and its jk-ultima-xp and they are steel radials having tread: 1, polyster, 2 nylon, 3 steel. i am not upgrading to radials or anything for now, since my sx4 is on the way in, and this ones on the way out. and the 603 is 6:03pm, my so called cheap digital clock.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 09:27   #10
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Nice review geek.
Kinda reminds me of the first 800 we had. Way back in 1980s. It was a second hand "Rin Blue" thing. Had a engine overhaul at 110,000kms and after that we sold it.
It did not have any AC though.
That said your blue is much better than our "Rin Tikia" blue.
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