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Old 8th September 2009, 19:59   #121
gpa
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Default Trip to JC Road

Was able to make it to JC Road this evening (by leaving work 2 hours early ) to pick up a few things for the upcoming 20k kms service this Saturday.
First stop was Essar Automobiles (the MGP dealer on JC Road) to pick up the NGK spark plugs.

Bought the standard plugs, though the dealer tempted me to go for the Iridium and Platinum plugs. The standard ones are much better than the crappy champion spark plugs used by MASS and based on recommendations by fellow Bhp-ian vid6639, I decided to switch to NGKs. Thanks Vidyut!

Then trotted over to the authorised Mobil distributer for the oil. Picked up a 4 litre can of Mobil Super XHP 10W40. Yes, I plan to use this oil in the Alto for now after using fully synth for the past 10,000 kms. A detailed update on this later (perhaps with the service report)

I also bought 3 litres of Mobilube HD 80W90 gear oil. This is a API GL-4 level oil that can be used with the Alto.

The cost of the items are as follows:

1. Mobil Super XHP 10W40 - 4 litre can - Rs. 850
2. Mobilube GX 80W90 - 3 x 1 litre bottles - Rs. 500
3. NGK park plugs (Part no: DCPR7E) - 3 nos - Rs. 375

Am planning on getting an after-market tacho and plan a DIY project over the weekend. Will update how it goes if I get down to it. While at the MGP store, I saw bottles of Shell Super and Shell Helix Ultra stacked up on a shelf. Also, noticed a Shell bottle branded with MGO 20W40 oil.

I wonder why MASS doesn't use Shell and still use Servo with archaic specs.

Just before I left, I casually asked him how much he was willing to sell the 4 litre fully synth 5W40 Shell brew for and he said it retails at Rs. 3,210 and he will give me a further 20% discount on that if I were to buy it. That is like ~Rs. 650 a litre? Wow!
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Old 8th September 2009, 20:31   #122
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Exclamation 20,000 kms service checklist

Hi all,

Below is a list of the work I plan to carry out at the service on Saturday.
  1. Replace engine oil/oil filter
  2. Replace gear oil
  3. Replace coolant/radiator flush
  4. Replace air filter
  5. Replace fuel filter
  6. Replace brake fluid/brake bleeding
  7. Replace spark plugs
  8. Throttle body cleaning
  9. Replace engine valve cover gasket (due to oil stain)
  10. Replace wheel hub cap
  11. Replace inside door lock knob
Other routine checks I have planned
  1. Check/adjust valve clearance (as gasket is being replaced)
  2. Check/adjust clutch (as this was replaced at 14,000 kms)
  3. Check steering gearbox
  4. Check suspension, dampers, bushes, tie rods and drive shaft boots
  5. Check engine idle speed and CO level
  6. Clean brake pads and drums, check for a soft tick-tick noise each time brake pedal is depressed
  7. Check/tighten engine mounts (this due to a funny noise when going over small bumps and feels like the whole engine is shaking)
  8. Check water pump, a/c belts
  9. Tighten front and rear suspension joints
  10. A/c condensor cleaning
Wheel alignment/balancing and tyre rotation is something I get done outside. This is a comprehensive list and covers almost everything that I can think of now. I am open to your inputs and suggestions.

Also, do let me know if I have left out anything.

Thanks,
gpa
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Old 8th September 2009, 21:21   #123
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Hi,
You probably have seen these links but i posted them anyways.Might help you decide on the Tacho for your Alto.Amit_mechengg and myslef have the same model (Autoguage).It has a 3-4-6 cylinder switch and will definitely fit on your Alto.Cost was around 2100 and 50 bucks for fitting.

Avoid fancy looking ones from unknown brands as they are sure to conk off.I had fitted one which conked off 2 mins after i drove away from the shop i purchased.Had to let it go ,was given my money back and two holes on my right A pillar.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...meters-13.html (Tachometers)


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...tml#post941305 (Tachometers)

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 12th September 2009, 19:47   #124
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Post 20,000 kms/4'th service complete

Just got home after completing the 20,000 kms service. Will post a detailed report with pics a little later. The total cost for the service was Rs. 2,974.

Regards,
gpa
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Old 12th September 2009, 20:44   #125
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Post 20,000 kms ownership review

Ownership Experience

Well, since my last major service at 10,000 kms in January 2009, the car clocked the next 10,000 in fairly quick time (7 months). A fair bit of the driving (about 40%) was on the highway with trips to Coorg, Mysore and a one-day trip from BLR-Pondy-BLR and the remaining within the city.

Problems

The car has had absolutely no mechanical problems (touch wood ) and has performed flawlessly throught the last 10,000 kms and at 20,000 kms is still rattle/squeak free. the trip to Pondy and back was decided over a matter of 2 days and the car performed flawlessly.

However, over the last 2,000 kms of running, I noticed that the engine felt strained especially on the highway and felt even more laboured in stop-and-go traffic within the city.

Throttle response had decreased and the car was not all that responsive when quick throttle inputs were needed. With the a/c on this problem was even worse.

The gears felt tight especially in heavy traffic and the smoothness of the shift was lost to an extent. The engine also developed an uncharacteristic irregular idle at times and felt coarse. Yes, this despite the fact that I was running on Mobil 1 fuly synth oil.

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
Fuel Efficiency

The FE was stable over the past 10,000 kms and the best FE I got over this period was 20.17 during my trip to Pondy and back with the a/c on for the entire drive. The city FE cycles are also stable and hover between 17.81 (lowest) to 19.53 (highest). The best FE for only city driving stands at 19.52 with only about 10% use of the a/c.

Some FE highlights are given below:
  • 24.04 kmpl (at the 6,000+ kms mark) on the highway
  • 19.52 kmpl (at the 15,000+ kms mark)in the city
  • 19.53 kmpl (at the 19,000+ kms mark) with a mix of 70% of driving in the city and 30% on the highway
Switch to Mobil Super XHP 10W40

Yes, I actually did this. The reason was simple, I was not happy with the engine's performance after running ~8,000 kms on the Mobil fully synth brew. Then, my friend changed to the same brand of oil in his Swift and when I took a drive I was amazed at how eager the engine felt.

Yes, even the best synth oil in the world is no match for Indian driving conditions.

The Alto's engine felt coarse at low rpm/city speeds and seemed to almost beg for an oil change. The rev happy nature of the engine was also lost on the one-day BLR-Pondy-BLR dash which also proved that the oil was on its last legs.

Do note that I clock very high mileage in a short span of time and this was very noticeable over the past month.

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.

The economics of it look good too, at ~Rs. 850 for a 4 litre can of Mobil Super compared to ~Rs. 900 for 1 litre of Mobil 1 fully synth oil and Rs. 70 for an oil filter I have now decided to change the oil every 5,000 kms.

My Santro Xing however still runs on fully synth oil.

I am posting pictures of the following:
  1. FE stats from 10,508 to 19,978 kms
Will be posting a detailed update of the 20,000 kms service with pics tomorrow.

Guys, I am open to your comments, inputs and suggestions.

Thanks,
gpa
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Last edited by gpa : 12th September 2009 at 20:46.
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Old 13th September 2009, 19:56   #126
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Angry 20,000 kms service & 3 new scratches

20,000 kms Service Update

Reached my MASS at 8.45 am yesterday and since the service advisor I asked for wasn't there, my usual mechanic opened the job card. I had a detailed print out of the work I wanted to him which I posted here.

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.

The car was driven in to the wash bay to get the underside hosed down and then driven in to the service bay where the spark plugs were changed. The engine valve cover was removed and the tappets/valve clearances were adjusted. This took a while as 12 valves had to be adjusted.

The front brake pads and rear brake shoes were removed and cleaned and the mechanic said that I can easily cover another 8,000 to 10,000 kms on the current pair. As I drive on the highway, I will take a call if I have to replace them at the 25k mark depending on the wear.

Simultaneously, the throttle body was dismantled to be cleaned. I insisted that the throttle body be removed and cleaned by hand than just spray the 3M cleaner in and leave it. If you think MPFi engines burn clean, you are in for a shock if you look at the innards of the throttle body. It was coated with a thick layer of grey varnish and black carbon build-up.

The cleaning of the throttle body took almost 45 mins as the mechanic sprayed the cleaner again and again over all the components of the throttle body.

The car was then raised and the gear oil drained, while at this, I made the mechanic tighten all the nuts and bolts of the front and rear suspension. He also tightned the 4 nuts of the gear box mounting assembly and the anti-roll bars in front of the car.

The engine gasket was fitted and anabond was used to strengthen the bond. The engine was then started for a while before the engine oil was drained. Fresh coolant was filled in along with the Mobil Super engine oil and the brakes were bled. Also changed were the fuel and air filters.

The car went for its final wash at around 1.00 pm just when the siren for lunch went off. I made a mistake of leaving the car and heading home for lunch as most of the mechanical work was complete. Why, a mistake you may ask? Well, this morning, I discovered fresh scratches on the car, which were not there when I gave the car in for service.

Got a call at 5.00 pm that the service was complete and when I reached there, the final clean and pollish was neing done. The right ORVM's inner bracket had to be replaced, courtsey my cousin who use the adjusted as like a joystick and snapped the plastic fastner.

To my horror, when I saw the adjuster in the evening, one of the cleaning guys had twisted the plastic adjuster and broken the plastic mount at its base. Will be heading to JC Road to see if I can get it replaced.

When I took a test drive post ther service, the brake feel was totally absent, initially I put it down to cold brakes but even after a 2 km drive with constant braking to heat up the pads and disc the vague spongy feeling persisted. Not good. I drove into the workshop again with the SA seated beside me who kept insiting that the brake were fine.

Met Mr. Satya (Asst. Customer Manager) who took time to understand the problem, he made the mechanic raise the car again, clean the brake pads and then bleed the front brake lines again. Once this was done, I was still not satisfied with the response of the brake, so he adjusted the brake pedal play to make the brakes feel just perfect.

Overall Service Experience

Mechanically, the service was top notch. However, I would rate this service a 6/10 for the simple reason that the my car got 3 small new scratches, the cleaning guys broke the adjuster of my internally adjustable ORVM and the engine oil was overfilled, as the level on the dipstick is 1mm more than the full mark.

I will check again tomorrow evening in my office parking area to see if there it is still the same and will drain out the excess oil.

Conclusion

The initial drive back from the service station at 7.00 pm was one that I enjoyed. The engine had regained it lost vigor and revved smoothly. The car also didn't jerk with the a/c on with a load of 3 people. I was amazed how the jerking was reduced substantially thanks to the switch to NGKs.

Did not take the car on a drive today as I was pampering the Xing a bit with a nice shampoo wash and waxing. Will be taking up tomorrow with Shell unleaded petrol and will post an update on the car's performance after about 10 days.

Am posting pics of the following:
  1. Odo reading at MASS
  2. Throttle body cleaning (notice the black carbon deposits)
  3. Final cleaning
  4. New scratches
  5. Spark plugs after 20,000 kms of use
Regards,
gpa
Attached Thumbnails
Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image057.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image058.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image059.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image060.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image061.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-image063.jpg  

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-p2.jpg  

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Last edited by gpa : 13th September 2009 at 20:14. Reason: More pics added
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Old 13th September 2009, 20:53   #127
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Good to know that you had a good service, minus the breakage and scratch.

So, "My MASS" = which one? (unless, it is something you do not want to share. )

Was to take my Alto for service yesterday morning, but had other work coming up! Hopefully next weekend.

So, where is the complete picture of the guy after service?
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Old 13th September 2009, 21:18   #128
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Hey dude, thats awesome. you have a record of all fuel ups with mileage. Good to see.
@Happywheels, you still taking a good care of your tiny alto. Good to know
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Old 14th September 2009, 10:02   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
So, "My MASS" = which one? (unless, it is something you do not want to share.)
Lol! Nope, I'd made reference to it in the past. Its the MASS at Yeshwanthpur namely, Mandovi Motors, Gorguntepalya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
So, where is the complete picture of the guy after service?
Was going to click one this morning, but I woke up at 5.30 only to find it pouring outside and I had to go to Shell to fill up petrol as well, so could not click any pics due to the downpour.

The clean body is now coated with dirt (courtsey drive to work) and I need to give her a full wash and wax next weekend and will then post the pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbeast View Post
Hey dude, thats awesome. you have a record of all fuel ups with mileage. Good to see.
Thanks, blackbeast.
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Old 14th September 2009, 13:39   #130
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Default Price of Mobil 1 (5w50)

Was surprised to read here that 3 litres of Mobil 1 (5w50) synthetic engine oil is available in Bangalore for Rs 2000 (Post in Jan 2009). I bought 3 litres from Trivandrum two days back, and paid Rs 2850. (One litre bottle MRP is 1100 Rs, he gave me a discount). Am i being ripped?
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Old 14th September 2009, 15:10   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Was surprised to read here that 3 litres of Mobil 1 (5w50) synthetic engine oil is available in Bangalore for Rs 2000. I bought 3 litres and paid Rs 2850. (One litre bottle MRP is 1100 Rs, he gave me a discount). Am i being ripped?
jino,

You got it from a retailer whilst I bought it directly from the Mobil 1 authorized distributor here in Bangalore. He sells it at a slightly higher price than the base price of the company which is far lower when compared to the MRP. I recently bought a 4 litre can of Mobil Super XHP 10W40 oil from the same guy for Rs. 850 when the MRP was Rs. 1,000.

The best thing about the distributor is you can bargain as well

Try locating a distributor in TVM (Bhp-ian jkdas should be able to help) for your forthcoming purchases.

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 16th September 2009, 11:33   #132
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Quote:
GPA - Come July and the Alto's left rear coil suspension setup started squeaking even on slight road undulations. Took it to Mandovi Motors again and they checked up the rear suspension. Everything seemed fine, so the mechanic just greased the bottom part of where the axel where the coil spring sits and the noise stopped.
Took my Alto Lxi for 3rd free service last week (10,000 km), and the mechanic put a garden hose (15 cm long) at the bottom of the spring. When asked why, he said they normally do this for free service, to avoid squeaking later. My car didn't have squeaking before this also, so I am not able to judge now whether this would be effective. Would post the picture when I get home in the evening
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Old 17th September 2009, 00:20   #133
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Default Garden hose cover for coil spring - pic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Took my Alto Lxi for 3rd free service last week (10,000 km), and the mechanic put a garden hose (15 cm long) at the bottom of the spring. When asked why, he said they normally do this for free service, to avoid squeaking later. My car didn't have squeaking before this also, so I am not able to judge now whether this would be effective. Would post the picture when I get home in the evening
Attaching the photo taken at the service center - Pls excuse 2 things:
1. Photo quality - used my 2 Megapixel Cell Phone camera
2. Dirt - I take short cuts through small roads that look like paddy fields, for my office drive. Gets dirty within days.
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Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-coilcover.jpg  

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Old 17th September 2009, 10:46   #134
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jino,

This was done to my Alto as well during the 10k kms service. A very effective way to rid the rear suspension of squeaks, which is nn inherent design flaw with the Alto.

Did they put it on the RHS spring as well? This is so that it balances out. If they havent, please go back and get it done.

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 17th September 2009, 23:08   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
Did they put it on the RHS spring as well? This is so that it balances out. If they havent, please go back and get it done.

Cheers,
gpa
Yes, it was done on both (rear) sides.
Thanks gpa for your suggessions on buying Oil from the wholesaler, would check with jkdas upon my next oil change.
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