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Old 8th April 2008, 12:20   #1
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Default Santro Zip Plus LS 2002 - 74,000kms review

March 27 2002: this was the day I took delivery of my spanking new Suave Blue Santro Zip Plus LS from M/s. Kun Hyundai, Khairtabad.

As I reflected during the delivery procedure, it immediately struck me that I was neither eager nor excited to lay my hands on this car as much I was when I was taking delivery
of My Maruti 800 in the year 1994. I just couldn't place my finger on the reason for the lack of excitement and brushed those thoughts aside as I mechanically drove the the car
onward from the showroom to the nearest Temple (Hanuman temple) for it's customary pooja. Unlike the Maruti 800 or the Maruti Omni (that I had taken delivery of in 1996), I had gone
all alone to the showroom from my office in an Auto, this wasn't the case with the other cars earlier. I usually had my family or friends with me on such occasions.

However, the car was brought home and the family loved it, so did my neighbours and friends. Even as the family was exploring the new car my heart was planted on my Maruti Omni which
was uprooted of it's parking slot in the apartment block and parked in the open. The Omni had given me 6 good years of service and I was one with it. Traveled along the so called highways
to most of the nook and crannies of Southern India without being let down even once (most of the times they were solo drives). Well, a week passed and the Omni was shifted to Chennai, to our Office, and relegated to being the runabout vehicle.

Shift to the Santro and life goes on as they say. The memories of the Omni began to wane as the Santro constantly began eating the miles on it's relentless drives. Come summer and the kids were all ready to hit Pune, their favourite hangout city and that meant a drive to drop them off at Pune, back to Hyderabad and them drive back to Pune alone to pick them up after a fortnight or so.

Having been used to an Omni, the handling of the Santro was a breeze, even in good speeds on the highway. Have had my fair share of scary moments on the highway but the Santro never let me down and came out unscathed all of those few times. This made my respect for this small car to grow in leaps and bounds. Much to the chagrin of my elder brother who always is disinclined to the usage of a car more that 3 years old on the highway I was always ready and raring to go on long drives on my Santro with my willing family.

Have done many trips, including one to Kerala and Ooty last summer when the car was all of 5 years old, but that was done just after the car had run 51,000 odd kms and I had treated her to a set of 5 new alloys and upsized tyres. Yes and of course had treated myself to an upgrade in ICE.

Now to get to the crux of the matter:

Major Parts changed in 6 years/74xxx kms of ownership:

1) 2 nos. Silencer replaced
2) Oil Sump replaced - Happened while reversing the car, fully loaded, and I failed to see a small rock banging in the middle, this caused the second silencer replacement too.
3) Clogged radiator - Flushed and cleant @ around 65,000 kms.
4) Battery replaced - 5 years down the line and more or less immediately after ICE upgrade
5) Tyres replaced - @ around 4 1/2 years (don't remember exactly), (still had tread, but no grip) and 51,xxx kms - Changed to alloys and upsized tubeless alloys then.
6) Brakepads - @ around 51,xxx kms - Was told that they would go even more but forced them to change
7) Service - Regularly @ 5,000 kms with wheel balancing and alignment - done religiously

Accidents:

1) Just one @ around 45,xxx wherin I banged into a kerbstone in slow speed (rock rather) that had come of the median and onto the road thanks to a truck guy. This was on the route from my office to home and it wasn't there in the morning. The damage was (I opted for) a new steel rim instead of a repaired wheel (tyre was not damaged) and the Rt side lower arm. I did not claim insurance for this. It had a Dented fender due to this minor mishap which was rectified and painted too.

As you would notice the car never ever made a dent in my wallet but I have to accept that the traffic had left dents and dings galore on my poor old Santro. It still carries the scars like a brave warrior thankfully though not looking like a bruised veteran.

Pros:

1) Very low cost of ownership - You take care of the car and it serves you as it's master - All willing to please
2) Reliability - Middle of the night and you have this urge to go on a long drive just fill her up and go - as long as you have taken care of the routine service.
3) Build quality - By this I mean, inspite of driving on bad roads (highways etc) it still has no niggling issues like rattling etc.
4) Maneuverability - A major Plus point this. Have never felt hassled by the appalling traffic conditions.
5) Initial burst of power - Yes someone did call my car a Pocket rocket on this forum. It surely is and it does help you get out first at a traffic signal most of the times.
6) Seating position - Easy Ingress / Egress. High seating position gives you a good view of the road.


Cons:

1) The sheet metal (Body) could have done with thicker steel or better ribbing / reinforcement for dings and dents happen upon the slightest touch (Hmmm... how I wish I had a military tank instead)
2) Reverse gear slotting - Which I have read is an issue in most of the cars nowadays - for which someone did point out that the lotting is not perfect owing to the fact that they are not synchromesh gears. You do get used to it though as days go by.
3) Can't think of anymore in spite of having tried hard, and I mean it.

Thought of doing this review since I have picked up another car on the 28th of March and No I will not be selling it but rather will be putting it to use at my office as a runabout. Just can't let this one go.

More details on the minor upgrades alongwith pics of the car at suren181's Gallery Hall

Last edited by suren181 : 8th April 2008 at 12:22.
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Old 8th April 2008, 12:48   #2
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My car is a 2003 model santro GS
My experience is same as yours.
Its still running on its original factory fitted silencer & clutch after running for a lakh kms.
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Old 8th April 2008, 12:55   #3
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Good write up buddie.You have gone into details and was an interesting read.
ram
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Old 8th April 2008, 14:23   #4
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good write. nice info. 5) Initial burst of power - Yes someone did call my car a Pocket rocket on this forum. It surely is and it does help you get out first at a traffic signal most of the times.
i will say always..
hope your new ride is as reliable as your Santro. Enjoy and keep driving.
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Old 9th April 2008, 12:37   #5
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@GSMINC: Thats great to know. Am sure she would live upto the reputation of being a loyal and troublefree machine for more miles from now.

@ ram: Thanks for that I really appreciate it

@ kutlee: Thanks Mone Dineshaa. When do we see a review of your Rocket?
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Old 9th April 2008, 14:38   #6
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Nice review, Suren181! My Santro is approaching 50K and I have more or less the same things to say about the car's reliability and toughness. Nothing to beat the Santro in city traffic conditions . And a decent performer in highways too, unlike common perceptions.
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Old 26th April 2008, 12:56   #7
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Nice report Suren181. Me too changed the tyre, silencer and battery after 48K (6year) in my 1.1 LP. I tested many off-roads and still no issues except a little early tyre change
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Old 27th April 2008, 11:14   #8
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ailaaa how did i miss this one???

cool ownership review suren bhai.
:(
Quote:
have picked up another car on the 28th of March and No I will not be selling it
I know sir, whom you had in your mind. But sad that this car becomes....
Quote:
rather will be putting it to use at my office as a runabout
take out that ICE from santro and replace the stock ICE of the verna atleast till you buy a new setup.
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Old 28th April 2008, 10:57   #9
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@Bigzero: Thank you. Good to know that you are enjoying the Santro. May you have tens of thousands more kms of happy motoring with it.

@RajeshK: Thanks. Hey and the tyre wear part: 6 years (48k) is quite a good life for the same. So is the case for the battery. Seems to have been a real low maintenance cost car for you too. However the silencer is definitely not a strong point of the Santros and wish Hyundai would take note of this and improve on the quality of the same. Regarding tyres, Rajesh, 6 years is too long a period IMHO to wait for a change. The rubber compound of the tyres deteriorate (become hard) and so does the braking quality.

@kkr2k2: Thanks da and if at all I do sell, will keep you posted on the same. Will be transfeering a few components of the ICE from the Santro after some time, for I don't have the heart to rip it of the Santro just as yet. The stock ICE in the SX Verna is pretty OK too.

Last edited by suren181 : 28th April 2008 at 10:57. Reason: Correction
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Old 7th May 2008, 11:05   #10
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Nice write up buddy !!! I too own a 2002 Santro, my experience is also more or less same, she clocked 66k.
Tend to raise the RPM - service engineers not able to find the root cause :(
planning to replace the silencer-
Last month oil sump got damaged - not showing any leak, but I wanted to replace it - how much did it cost you ?
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Old 7th May 2008, 18:49   #11
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I just mentioned yesterday on another thread (regarding an Elantra) about the reliability of Hyundai - Santro, Accent etc. It is wonderful to read about your happy experience with the Santro. My father-in-law owns one (2000 model) and inching close to the lakh mark, it is still in decent shape.
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Old 7th May 2008, 19:14   #12
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Suren,
Definitely santro is a highly reliable car in its segment.I still have my santro 2000 model clocked 70K and using it with my newly bought swift and no compliants from the former.
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Old 12th May 2008, 11:58   #13
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Lovely read there. I have had 4 santro till date. Currently I have a 2003 Xing done 56000 Kms. Still going strong. It is no doubt an excellent car.
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Old 8th July 2008, 20:45   #14
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Default A small update and advice needed

For the past few months my dear Santro was being used by a few close friends of mine. It was just yesterday that I got to drive it for say a 10kms stretch, My office to home i.e. I was immediately taken aback by the drastic loss in the smoothness in the engine.

Gone was the surge, my immedaite suspicion was the clutch, it had gone a bit hard, there was not much judder/shudder, though I found it to be harder than I used to remember it to be. Not tobe one to procrastinate things as far as my car is concerned, drove it to the workshop instead of home straightaway.

My suspicions were found to be true when they opened up the clutch, it needed replacement. Told the folks at the service station to do the following since the car had already run 76560 kms:

1) Change clutch assembly, release bearing, cable and skim the flywheel
2) Change timing belt, check pulleys and call if work needs to be done
3) Change V belts, Hoses and other rubbers
4) Change Accelerator cable
5) Change Brake shoes, check brake pads and change if necessary
6) Check suspension and inform about parts to be replaced
7) Check Drive axle and inform if need to change
8) Check all wheel bearings
9) Drain/flush and replace all fluids
10) Check all Electricals
11) 4 doors, Bonnet and hatch to be set
12) Check for rattling, tighten dashboard and other plastics
13) Wheel alignment/balancing and tyre rotation
14) Removed the K&N for cleaning the same at home with kit, so new spare air filter for testing
15) Clean Iridiums, set plug gap (What is the gap to be set?)

There are a few minor things that I would go over and personally get done before I take delivery of the car.

Now I would request you to tell me what are the things I have overlooked. The Car is perfect, except for the clutch, but there might be other things I might need to have them look into. Also the Spark plug gap to be set is one thing I need to be cleared.

Can you H.E.L.P me?
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Old 9th July 2008, 01:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suren181 View Post
Now I would request you to tell me what are the things I have overlooked. The Car is perfect, except for the clutch, but there might be other things I might need to have them look into. Also the Spark plug gap to be set is one thing I need to be cleared.

Can you H.E.L.P me?
you did not gave your santro to a team-bhpian to take care of it. (especially one particular t-bhpian)

you may go through, sam's thread on his lancer on its 4th birthday.
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