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Old 1st November 2009, 19:06   #136
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So, did you fit the tacho ?
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Old 3rd November 2009, 14:56   #137
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So, did you fit the tacho ?
Nope, this project is on hold for the moment. Have not been able to source a good after market tacho yet. Will update as soon as I plan to get this done.

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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:06   #138
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Nope, this project is on hold for the moment. Have not been able to source a good after market tacho yet. Will update as soon as I plan to get this done.

Cheers,
gpa
Just curious, but why a tacho? Its not too hard to gauge when to shift using the engine sound right?
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:12   #139
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Just curious, but why a tacho? Its not too hard to gauge when to shift using the engine sound right?
Ah, yes. You are right. I drove my friend's A-Star and got smitten by the cute pod like tacho and have been on a hunt for one in my Alto since.

I usually drive with my i-Pod plugged in or music playing at 'sane' volume levels which makes it rather difficult to gauge the engine sound, hence have been planning to fit one

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gpa

PS: You are going to be a Senior soon. Congrats!!
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Old 17th November 2009, 23:54   #140
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GPA,

I also have an alto for last 4 years and must admit it is a trouble free car with great mileage. I just read the complete thread and find that you have been experimenting a lot with engine oils, I want to know if it's ok to use 5 W 50 oil for alto as recommended oil is 20W40( I think you can certainly go lower than 20 but don't know if going higher than 50 is OK in 20W40) Did you face any problems whatsoever while using 5W50 engine oil?
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Old 18th November 2009, 09:42   #141
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@rock75

The oil chart in the owner's manual shows 15W40,20W40 and 20W50 as well, depending on ambient temperature. While below 15W is rarely required in India, I don't think it will hurt to go up to 50 for the upper figure in Indian summer conditions.
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Old 27th November 2009, 18:34   #142
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Ownership Experience

Switch to Mobil Super XHP 10W40


So, I finally decided that it is high time I used a good mineral oil and changed that every 5,000 kms than use synth and change it at 10,000 kms. Did a lot of research on the right oil and finally chose Mobil Super XHP 10W40 over the Shell Super 15W40 for the slightly better range it offers.

gpa
Hi GPA,
I am looking at changing my current engine oil from MAK supreme to Mobil Super XHP or shell super.Can you explain how the Mobil is better than the shell.
Also for Mobil wouldn't 15W 40 be more suitable than 10w 40.I mean currently my MAK is 10w 40 and i find it very thin and when it was poured in the engine i did not feel the usual smoothness that is accompanied by changing the oil.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 1st December 2009, 12:02   #143
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Can you explain how the Mobil is better than the shell. Also for Mobil wouldn't 15W 40 be more suitable than 10w 40.I mean currently my MAK is 10w 40 and i find it very thin and when it was poured in the engine i did not feel the usual smoothness that is accompanied by changing the oil.
Sumeet,

I chose Mobil Super XHP over Shell for the lower grade that it offers namely, 10W40 which will provide a little better lubrication during cold starts when compared to Shell's 15W40.

I cannot comment on the MAK lube as I have not used it, but I can say that the oil that I am currently running on (Mobil Super SHP 10W40) is performing very well. I have clocked ~4,000 kms on this oil and have had no drop in performance. I intend to change it every 5,000 kms as 80% of my driving is in the city. At ~Rs. 800 for a 4 litre can, it makes economic sense too. I would recommend this oil to you if you are planning on switching from your current brand.

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gpa

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GPA,

I just read the complete thread and find that you have been experimenting a lot with engine oils, I want to know if it's ok to use 5 W 50 oil for alto as recommended oil is 20W40. Did you face any problems whatsoever while using 5W50 engine oil?
rock75,

Gansan has answered your query with reference to the grade and their compatibility. To answer your question, I did not face any problems with the Mobil 5W50, but I was not very happy with the performance of the engine after about 6,500 kms of running on the fully synth oil.

Since a lot of my driving is in the city, I decided to switch back to a good mineral oil (Mobil Super XHP) and change that every 5k kms rather than use the 5W50 fully synth brew from Mobil.

Regards,
gpa
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Old 1st December 2009, 12:21   #144
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Hi gpa,
What pack size does the Mobil XHP come in? Did you get a 3 litre pack?
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Old 1st December 2009, 12:27   #145
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Hi gpa,
What pack size does the Mobil XHP come in? Did you get a 3 litre pack?
Super XHP comes in a 4 litre can. Still have 1.3 litres left after my last oil change which I will use at the next service.
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Old 17th December 2009, 20:59   #146
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He noted that I had brought in the engine oil, gear oil and the spark plugs. Interestingly, he mentioned that the NGKs are of much superior quality compared to the Champion plugs used for the Alto and M800 and are good to last for 40k kms instead of the 20k kms in the case of the Champion plugs. He also said that NGKs are the brand used in the A-Star and Ritz with the new K-Series engines as they are priced higher.
Hi GPA,
The NGK's you bought, are they conventional ones or GPower.

thanks
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Old 16th February 2010, 11:39   #147
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Post 26,500 kms Service Update

26,500 kms Service Update

The Alto has clocked a lot of miles since the last service at the 20,000 kms mark in Sept 2009. The 5,000 kms came up in quick time (late Dec), but due to pressing demands at both home and the work front since Jan, I've barley had time to take her for a much needed service.

The past ~5,500 kms included three BLR-Mysore trips, a BLR-Pondicherry-BLR day trip and a trip to Masinagudi and Ooty in late Sept.

Reached my MASS at 8.45 am on Sat - Feb 13 and my usual service advisor Thimme Gowda opened the job card. I mentioned the problems which were:

1. A drift to the left when the steering is pointed straight.
2. Klunking noise from the radiator fan assembly
3. Cleaning of the brake pads/rear shoes
4. Recharge of the a/c gas
5. Rattling bonnet hinges
6. An annoying jerky throttle at times

He noted that I had brought in the engine oil (Mobil 1 Super XHP) since I wanted an oil change.

Since this was an interim service and only few cars were present that day, the oil change was done and then we went for a test drive to check the centre setting of the steering and also the wheel alignment and the mechanic noted that the car was indeed drifting to the left on a straight road. He wheeled it into the alignment centre, aligned the wheels and off we went on a drive again only to find the problem persisting.

A tad bit frustrated, he aligned and adjusted the 'centre-ing' of the steering and aligned the wheels again and voila on the test drive, the steering held true and dead straight. Persistance surely pays!

The car was then hoisted on a ramp, engine oil drained and brakes cleaned. I checked with the mechanic on life of the pads and he mentioned that it will last another 5,000-8,000 kms. Since I've covered 26,600 kms on them, if I drive smoothly, they can easily last until the 35k mark. The spark plugs were removed and cleaned and the gap adjusted.

The bonnet hinges were not in stock as that is not a fast moving part and so my S.A said that it will take a few hours to come since they have to source it from a stockist on JC Road. The car was then driven to the a/c check bay where I told the mechanic to check the pressure of the system and top up the gas if needed since summer is seting in and come May 2010, it will be two years since I bought the car.

He inserted a digital thermometer into the a/c vent and turned the temp controller to the coldest setting and ran the a/c for about 7-8 mins and then I noted that after about 7 mins, the temp of the air from the centre vents was reading 4.3 deg celcius, which he mentioned was sufficient.

However, he said that he will clean the condensor located in front of the radiator to improve the cooling a tad more and also open and clean the cooling coils - which I mentioned was not needed since I have sealed off the fresh air intake flap by disconnecting the cable that connectes to the knob that switches between the fresh air and recirculation mode. This mean the cooling coils will be clean.

I was not very satisfied with this since I wanted to recharge the gas a bit, but hey, when it ain't broken, why fix it? I reckon the a/c is fit enough to last another Bangalore summer.

I then had to wait for about 2 hours for the bonnet hinges to arrive, they were fitted after the car was washed and the car was finally delivered to me at 3.30 pm

Something to note is that the bonnet had to be aligned so that the panel gaps between the fenders (on both sides) and bonnet are even.

Overall Service Experience

Mechanically, the service was top notch. However, I would rate this service a 7/10.

The engine oil was overfilled, as the level on the dipstick is 4 mm more than the full mark. I checked this level at both home and in my office parking area yesterday to reconfirm if it was indeed over filled and to my dismay it was I guess this is a common practice at MASS, as Gansan also had the same problem with his Alto. I will be going to my MASS again this even and have them drain out the excess oil.

There were a number of greasy smudges on the door panels and steering wheel though the washing of the body was good.

Conclusion

The drive back from the service station at 3.45 pm was smooth. The light jerking on release of the throttle has vanished. I could not notice any perceptible difference in the cooling of the a/c, it cooled just as well as it did prior to the service. I must mention that the jerk associated with the Alto with the a/c on has substantially reduced since I switched to NGKs at the 20k mark. After driving for 6,000 kms on the NGKs, I am very satified!

Service History

The services thus far have cost me the following:
  • I free service/1,000 kms: Rs. 636
  • II free service/5,000 kms: Rs. 2,088
  • III free service/10,000 kms: Rs. 778 + Rs. 2,000 for 3 litres of Mobil 1 5W 50
  • IV paid service/20,000 kms: Rs. 2974 + Rs. 1,725 for the Mobil 10W40, NGK plugs and Gear Oil
  • V paid service/26,500 kms: Rs. 1393 + Rs. 850 for 4 litres of Mobil Super XHP 10W40
Regards,
gpa

Last edited by gpa : 16th February 2010 at 11:46. Reason: additional info
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Old 16th February 2010, 12:04   #148
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The over filling of engine oil occurs because they either do not wait till all the oil drains out, or the car is slightly tilted on the ramp. Even if it seems fully drained, I suppose at least a 100 ML of oil will be clinging inside, and when these guys measure out the specified qty of oil and pour it inside, a slight over fill will be seen - the next morning!

They want to close the drain plug when the oil is still coming out in drops, albeit slowly. They wait at least to this extent if we are present nearby. If we sit in the lobby, I think they will close much earlier. In fact during the second service when I did not allow him to close it, the mechanic pleaded with me that he had to complete X number of cars a day, and a little bit of oil remaining inside will not matter!

I had deliberately taken only 2.750 litres of oil last time, and when the mechanic told me there was a slight under-fill, I told him I will top up the next morning if required. He was reluctant because it seems the supervisor will check oil level after the service and chide him if the level was even slightly low, so I had to put in a word to the super as well! Sure enough, when I checked it the next morning, the level was about 1 mm over the max mark!

For the third service I am planning to take the car to the MASS the previous day and change the oil and filter alone under the express service. They will charge about Rs 120 for the service but will be obliged to wait as long as I want since I am paying for it. The next day I will take the car for third service and tell the mechanic not to touch the oil filler cap and simply tick the oil change box in the form!

Last edited by Gansan : 16th February 2010 at 12:09.
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Old 16th February 2010, 12:18   #149
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The over filling of engine oil occurs because they either do not wait till all the oil drains out, or the car is slightly tilted on the ramp.
Interesting observation Gansan. You could what I do at the next service to save money and time from going in there twice.

I make them wait about 25-30 minutes before they put the plug on. By that time, there are no droplets coming out from the hole. What do they do for the half hour the car is on the ramp you might ask. I give the car a thorough check when it is hoisted over the ramp and also check for any damage to the underbody coating.

I also get them to tighten the front and rear suspension mounting bolts, the stabilizer bar in front, the gearbox mounting joints, the steering column bolts and any other point under the car.

You'll be amazed how taut the car feels post this simple procedure. All squeaks and rattles are ironed out and the steering feels so much more connected and responsive. Try it and you will feel the difference.

Since I followed this procedure this time as well, I think it was purely down to over filling of the oil.
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Old 16th February 2010, 12:22   #150
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I had deliberately taken only 2.750 litres of oil last time
Just checking - but isn't the capacity of the Alto only 2.7 litres (as per the manual atleast)? Why did you carry the little extra?
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