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Old 18th January 2009, 12:05   #61
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Default Update: Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi--10,000 Kms Service Review

Hello everyone,

My Alto LXi (May 2008) covered 10,000 kms on Jan 7 and was due for its 3'rd free service. For the purpose of easy reading, I will post seperately the 10,000 kms service and my ownership experience thus far.

The 10,000 Kms Service

Finally after running for 10,397 kms, I pulled into the service station at 8.55 am yesterday morning (Jan 17, 2009). Mr. Satya Prasad, the Asst. Manager-Customer Care, came down in 5 minutes and greeted me and visually inspected my car before filling up the job card. After taking note of the specific niggling problems like a LHS bonnet hinge that was rattling and squeaky rear coil spring (a problems that surfaced just after the 1'st free service) he proceeded to tell me all the normal things that would be done as part of this service which included the following:
  1. Spark plug cleaning
  2. Cleaning of the front & rear brake pads and drums
  3. Change of engine oil & oil filter
  4. Check & adjustment of all the belts
I then showed him the 3 bottles of Mobil 1 5W 50 synthetic oil that I would like to be used for the oil change and he told me that MUL recommends only 20W 40 oil for the Alto but recommends the 5W 50 grade for the SX4. I assured him that it was safe to use for the Alto and that I had bought the oil based on recommendations from members of this forum. He then recommened an engine flush before this change to synthetic oil and mentioned that I maintain my car well, because I make sure even the smallest rattles are ironed out completely.

My car was then wheeled into the washing bay at 9.20 am for a prelimenary wash of the engine compartment and was then brought into the workshop where the brakes were cleaned, fan belts checked and adjusted and battery topped up and checked with a hydrometer. All eletrical circuits checked. The mechanic then removed and cleaned the spark plugs. I noticed that just one of the plugs had an extra covering of carbon on it, then mechanic then mentioned to me that the plugs were indeed healthy and would easily last another 10K kms putting to rest my fears that they could be soiled with soot after I filled bad fuel once.

He then poured in a bottle of Wynn's Motor Cleaner into the engine oil and left the engine running at about 2000 rpm for 35-40 minutes

The problem that I had with the LHS squeaky rear coil spring was then addressed. The mechanic put a rubber hose over the coil spring and then set the spring back in place. This was done for the right coil cpring as well to ensure a level fit for the rear suspension. I have attached a photo of the same at the end of this post.

The engine was then switched off and the car raised to drain the oil. I ensured that every drop of old oil came out of the drain ole before he put the plug back and and replaced the oil filter with a new one and poured in 2.7 litres of Mobil 1 fully synthetic motor oil that I had kept in the car.

The mechanic Thimme Gowda then offered me a test drive to ensure all the problems were ironed out and I kept a keen ear open for the squeaky LHS rear coil spring, the problem had been finally solved. The car was then driven off to the washing and interior cleaning bay while I waited in the customer lounge.

It was 1.00 pm when one of the service advisors came in and informed me that my car was ready. I went out and inpected the car for the quality of washing before I paid the bill. Both the mechanics who were in charge of my car came and did the final check before I left the workshop.

I called up Mr. Satya on his mobile as it was his lunch hour and told him that I have taken delivery and will be leaving. He told me to wait and he came down from his office to personally meet me ask me if I had any specific queries. I then told him about our website and wrote it down on a sheet of paper and gave it to him with a special mention to check it out. I thanked him and left at 1.25 pm and reached home and then polished my car using the Formula 1 Metallic Polish that I bought from Spar last week.

Overall, I was satisfied with the service experience and would recommend this workshop and Mr. Satya Prasad for his patience in listening to the specific problems I had and the services of the mechanic Mr. Thimme Gowda who took the trouble to ensure that the problems I mentioned about were taken care of. The bill for this service came to Rs. 778. I was slightly shocked that they charged me Rs. 600 for the engine flush when the MRP on the bottle was only Rs. 375.

I have attached the following photos:
  1. Odo reading 10397 kms
  2. Wynn's Motor Cleaner
  3. The Motor Cleaner being poured into the engine
  4. Rubber hose around the coil spring
  5. Mobil 1 being poured into the engine
  6. The clean engine bay
  7. Formula 1's Metallic Car Polish
Cheers,
gpa
Attached Thumbnails
Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image064.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image065.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image066.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image069.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image070.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image073.jpg  

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Old 18th January 2009, 13:44   #62
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Default Update: Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi--10,000 Kms Ownership Review

As promised, I am going on to give you an ownership review of my Alto LXi that has completed 10,000 kms.

Ownership Experience

Well, since my last major post in Sept 2008, all my driving has been done in the city as I have had no time for a long trip due to work commitments and even missed out on a few T-Bhp meets . I have covered a little over 5,000 kms since. I could feel the engine starting to free up especially after crossing the 7,500 kms mark and since that time and have noticed a steady increase in fuel efficiency of the car. I get a call from Mandovi Motors two weeks after each service asking me if I was satisfied with the performance of the car and the service experience at their dealership.

I also got a call to one of the free check up camps that was organised in early December, but unfortunately could not take my car there that weekend.

Problems

The problem of the squeaky LHS rear coil spring suspension is something that plagued this car since July last year and just refused to go. Based on my feedback on the customer feedback card, i got a call from Mr. Satya in October asking me to bring the car in so that it can solved, but I told him that since I didn't have time, I would do so only at the 10,000 kms service. In mid November, the front LHS bonnet hinge started rattling and this was perhaps one of the most annoying things that I have faced thus far with a drone like noise that creeped into the cabin at a particular RPM. With my daily drive of about 45 kms, it used to really get on my nerves.

Initially, I thought it must be from the dashboard or a loose front speaker mounting, I got my office driver to sit in the front passenger seat once and the guy pointed out that it was coming from outside the vehicle and put his hand near the bonnet hinge area and voila it stopped! Used a rubber bush to cushion the area till I could go for the 10K service and solve the problem. What I appreciate about this car thus far is its reliability, apart from a few niggling problems here and there.

Service History

The first three services thus far have cost me the following:
  • I free service: Rs. 636
  • II free service: Rs. 2,088
  • III free service: Rs. 778 + Rs. 2,000 for 3 litres of Mobil 1 5W 50
The II free service costed me Rs. 2,088 because I replaced the RHS ORVM to the internally adjustable type for convenience.

Fuel Efficiency

One of the reasons why I went in for the Alto was because it is one of the most fuel efficient cars on the road today. Like I mentioned earlier, I saw a steady increase in fuel efficiency once the car crossed the 7,500 kms mark. The maximum FE that I have got thus far is as follows:
  • 24.04 kmpl (at the 6,000+ kms mark) on the highway
  • 18.90 kmpl (at the 9,000+ kms mark)in the city
  • I did get a figure of 19.43 kmpl (at the 3,600 kms mark) with a mix of 30% of driving in the city and 70% on the highway
Something worth mentioning is that the best figure that I got thus far was on Shell Super unleaded petrol that I filled only twice. In the city, I use my AC only about 10% to 20% of the time and drive at sedate speeds of 55-60 kmph to ensure I derive the best FE. There was an error in the FE calculations due to an error in the formulas on my excel sheet during my earlier post at 5,000 kms and hence I am reposting the FE stats of my car thus far.

Modifications

I run the car stock with no modifications thus far. I only changed the horns from the stock one to a set of Roots windtone horns and now changed the engine oil from mineral to Mobil 1 5W 50 fully synthetic oil. As this change was done only yesterday, I will post the change in engine performance after I complete 1,000 kms of running.

However, I must mention that there was a perceptible difference in engine performance that I noticed on the drive back home from the service station.

I am posting pictures of the following:
  1. FE stats at 10,347 kms
  2. FE bar graph
  3. FE range per tank of fuel
Guys, I am open to your comments and suggestions. Thanks to Ahbi for his detailed LTO review that motivated me to start mine once I bought the car.

Cheers,
gpa

Mods, please update the name of this thread to 10,000 kms and move it to the Long Term Ownership Reviews section if necessary
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Old 18th January 2009, 19:22   #63
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A good report GPA. Guess the first one of this kind where the service itself has been captured on camera!

Great to know about your pleasant experience at the center. Great going!
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Old 18th January 2009, 19:31   #64
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Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
A good report GPA. Guess the first one of this kind where the service itself has been captured on camera!
Thanks HW,

Yes, I decided to spend time at the service centre this time as I had built up a good rapport with the mechanics and have been wanting to watch the service since its I free service. Going forward, I am sure to continue to spend time around my car when it is being serviced.

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 8th May 2009, 12:44   #65
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Hey HW,

I just noticed that one HP bunk also had a density meter that showed if the petrol stored in the tank below was within the prescribed density limit.

I also have made note that the density meter's reading doesn't vary depending on the time of day at a IOC bunk that dispenses extremely bad fuel. The reading at 3.00 pm in the afternoon is the same at 6.00 am in the morning when the ambient temperature is about 15 deg celcius.

How can this be? Am quite certain that there will have to be a change in density with a change in ambient temperature right? Or is it possible for the bunk guys to manipulate this just the way they do with the petrol?

Guys, do give me your inputs on this.

Thanks,

gpa
Just saw this one. I have also found this meter funny. What use is the density at 15 C to you and me. Now let me explain your doubt. Density changes with temperature. So in the morning and evening it will be more than that in the afternoon. What the meter is showing you is the density at 15 C. So that won't change. 15 C is a std refrence point used for calculations. What your car consumes is not volume but weight. So higher the density, higher the weight. That means filling petrol early in the morning or at night means you get more weight and more milege. Petrol is sold to use by volume because it is too complicated for the pump attendant to calculate the weight. However when the refinery sells it, it is always by weight.
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Old 8th May 2009, 13:59   #66
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Great Statistics,impressive and systematic way of keeping log. IMO you can use "Line Type" instead of "Bar Type" graph. This will surely improve graph interpretation. Just a suggestion, even current way it is great.
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Old 8th May 2009, 15:40   #67
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It seems Alto is having a generic problem of LHS rear suspension squeaking. Maybe to do with some batches? I have seen couple of similar issues in this forum, and worst of all, my car is also facing the similar irritating problem. I will not say it happens constantly, but happens at least 5 times in say a 70 KM drive. Could not zero down on what specfic road conditions it came up, it seems both on flat as well as uneven.

When I did my 3rd servicing, I took up the matter and the MASS guys put the car on lift, checked the suspension and applied some lubes. But after 1 week, it returned. Need to tell them about this putting a hose as illustrated.
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Old 8th May 2009, 23:51   #68
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Great Statistics,impressive and systematic way of keeping log. IMO you can use "Line Type" instead of "Bar Type" graph. This will surely improve graph interpretation. Just a suggestion, even current way it is great.
Thanks. Will try and change the graphs!
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Old 9th May 2009, 00:10   #69
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Originally Posted by sbanerjee View Post
I took up the matter and the MASS guys put the car on lift, checked the suspension and applied some lubes. But after 1 week, it returned. Need to tell them about this putting a hose as illustrated.
Hi sbanerjee,

This has not solved the problem entirely, but has helped solve it to about 98%. I still get those rare squeaks every now and then

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 31st May 2009, 13:35   #70
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Default One year update!

Guys,

My car completed one year last week. (May 24, 2009) Due to lack of time last week, (free check up camp at my M.A.S.S and my subsequent waxing and detailing of my car ) I have not had time to put down a review.

So will be posting one today. Watch this space!

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 31st May 2009, 18:00   #71
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Default One Year and 15,150 KMS later

That's the mileage clocked by my Alto-LXi on May 24, 2009 exactly a year after I bought it.

Since January 2009 and after the 3'rd service, the car har run about 5,000 kms, so when I got a letter from my my usual M.A.S.S mentioning about a free check up camp on May 24, I was happy because she would get a free check up exactly a year after I bought her.

So, took the car to the M.A.S.S at 9.15 am and was 6'th in line as a few cars had reached there earlier. Met Mr. Satya Prasad the customer care manager and Mr. Thimme Gowda my usual mechanic. Car was given a through check-up that included all components under the following areas:
  • Under chassis
  • Engine compartment
  • Electrical circuits
  • Body inspection
The brake fluid and coolant were topped up for free and in the end they gave the car a good wash and a free emission test certificate. I made a mention to the mechanic not to top up oil (if there was a need) as I was running on Mobil 1 fully synthetic 5W 50.

I met Mr. Vijai Babu my service advisor who normally takes care of my car and he mentioned that the car looked fine and that my next service was due at 20,000 kms.

Clutch Failure/Replaced under warranty @ 14,345 kms

Now, let's rewind back a few weeks to May 4 and 14,345 kms. Driving home one evening, my clutch gave way and failed. After a few anxious moments, this was replaced the next day free of charge under warranty.

Thanks to Mr. Thimme Gowda who put his foot down and insisted that the clutch failed because of a defective component whilst an unscruplous service advisor had other ideas and blamed the failure of the clutch on bad driving/too many people driving the car.

The SA (not my usual one) was lucky as he told this to my dad and my driver who had taken the car there to get the clutch replaced on May 5 a day after it failed. I would have blown this guy's head off head he made this accusation to my face as the car is only driven by me

Overall Fuel Efficiency

The car's FE seems to have settled into a steady rhythm since the switch to Mobil 1 at the 10K service. I made the switch to Mobil 1 more so for the increased protection offered rather than for an increase in FE.

The best FE I have got thus far as as below
  1. 24.04 kmpl (at the 6,000+ kms mark) on the highway
  2. 19.43 kmpl (at the 3,600 kms mark) with a mix of 30% city and 70% highway driving
  3. 19.09 kmpl (at the 14,000 kms mark) in the city
The FE in city drives usually hovers between 18 and 19 kmpl. To sum up the overall FE for the past year-The car has covered a total distance of 15,202 kms (as per my last fill) and consumed 829.22 litres of petrol, which gives me an overall figure of 18.33 kms to every litre of unleaded that went into the tank.

Switch to Mobil 1 fully synthetic engine oil

On having read all about synthetic oil and the benefits, I was contemplating between OWS and Mobil 1 fully synthetic oil. I finally made the switch to Mobil 1 5W 50 at the 10,000 kms mark. I have now covered over 5,000 kms on this oil.

The difference in performance of the engine was astounding in the intital days after I changed the oil, but since then I have gotten used to it. The engine has now run 15,400 kms and is noticeable smoother and more eager revving. I have noticed that it takes a shorter time to come up to optimum operating temperature on a cold start and under extreme conditions in city traffic, the engine runs smoother.

Before the 10K oil change I changed the oil twice at 1K and 5K kms respectively with mineral oil at the M.A.S.S and on switching to Mobil 1, the difference was clearly evident- a smoother, quieter, free revving (especially with the AC on) engine.

In terms of mileage, I can't say that I have noticed a big change, but since the change to Mobil 1, there has been a very marginal increase in the overall FE of the car.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the performance of the oil despite the higher cost involved. I will be sticking to Mobil 1 for all future oil changes and recommend it to others.

Overall Maintence over the past year

I maintain my cars in perfect condition. A light wash every two days, a full wash and vaccuming of interiors every week and a full shampoo wash, under chassis wash, waxing and polishing every two weeks is a strict military regime that I follow. Since I have completed one year, I used a Gulf AC Neutralizer and cleaned the AC ducting and cooling fins last week.

After the check up last week, I opened the bonnet and noticed some rust starting near the battery compartment which had leaked a few months ago, so I sand papered the area and used a can of com paint to cover the damage putting an end to the problem.

Some of you may think I am crazy, but last week I got out my tool kit from home and spent close to one hour inside the car tightening all the nuts, bolts and screws. I dismantled the glove box and tightened all the mounting points of the AC and zip strapped up all loose wires and wiring harnesses underneath the entire dash area. The end result - a quiet cabin void of any squeaks and rattles.

I maintain my tyre pressures at 31 psi all round and have a wheel balancing, alignment and rotation done every 5,000 kms and have not had any troubles with the MRF ZVTS rubber thus far apart from occassional tyre squeal during spirited driving.

Final Verdict Year 1

I am fully satisfied with the car and its performance over the past year, apart from the one time when the clutch failed, I have not had any other problems. The car starts up and performs day after day and is very reliable.

I have taken her only on one long trip to Trivandrum and back last Sept. Abhi's travelouges inspire me to take her on a long trip (akroy) but I have not found time due to pressing demands at work.

The services at the M.A.S.S (Mandovi Motors Gorguntepalya) has been good, as I used to take my previous cars there and have built up a rapport with the SA and mechanics over time.

Yes, I do have a few gripes too like a slightly cramped cabin with 5 people onboard, a slight lag in terms of power delivery with the AC switched on (the amazing cooling make me forget about it at times ) but I know I cannot complain at this small wonder as I know I can't get a better car at this price.

I am posting pictures of the following:
  1. FE stats at 15,202 kms
  2. FE bar graph
  3. Pic of the car after a year (will upload more soon)
I am open to your comments, suggestions and brickbats

Mods: Please update this thread name to "Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi--15,000 kms Ownership Review".

Thanks,
gpa
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Last edited by gpa : 31st May 2009 at 18:12.
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Old 31st May 2009, 18:30   #72
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Thats good review, great thing is still Maruti cars are most fuel efficient.

Only disappoint factor is Maruti cars still lack quality. No sign of improving also.

Alto is 4 seator, forget about fitting 5 adults in it.

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 31st May 2009, 18:36   #73
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Wonderful review of the tiny beauty gpa.
I am getting excited towards synthetic oil after reading it. Lets see if I can change in this time around (EOil due in another 2K kms).

You stay in Bangalore and still wonder about lack of time for long trips. Just plan a weekend and move out. You will be back by Monday morning.

Abhi
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Old 31st May 2009, 18:50   #74
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Originally Posted by ravibhat View Post
Thats good review, great thing is still Maruti cars are most fuel efficient.

Only disappoint factor is Maruti cars still lack quality. No sign of improving also. Alto is 4 seator, forget about fitting 5 adults in it.
Thanks Ravi.

Yes, with 4 adults its very comfortable, but the problem is after parties, I become the designated driver and getting 4 pretty ladies to squeeze in does become a problem at time.

Yupp, the only sore thing about MUL car's is their attention to quality. They still have a long way to go to beat Hyundai.

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 31st May 2009, 18:58   #75
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Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Wonderful review of the tiny beauty gpa.
I am getting excited towards synthetic oil after reading it. Lets see if I can change in this time around (EOil due in another 2K kms).

You stay in Bangalore and still wonder about lack of time for long trips. Just plan a weekend and move out. You will be back by Monday morning.
Thanks Abhi,

Like I mentioned in my post at 10K, it was your LTO that I read last year before I bought this car that inspired me to start one myself.

I recommend that you switch to Mobil 1, the difference is phenomenal and trust me as you drive on the highways, you'll notice it a lot more. Do PM me if you need any details regarding the purchase.

Yes, time and again, I think about these long road trips, but it just doesn't seem to happen. But like you said, I should just plan one and get moving

Cheers,
gpa
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