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Old 5th October 2008, 19:06   #1
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Default Baleno Vxi at 32000 km

In August 2005, I was toying with the idea of replacing my much-loved Ford Escort 1.8D, only because the car had now run 1.3 lakh km and the service of the local garage was getting worse each time. After trying out the Accent (ok but not exciting) and the Ford Fusion (exciting but service nightmares grounded me) and trying to get a test ride in the Honda city (very snooty showroom people, and then just a bit beyond the budget) I tried out the Baleno. One short ride, and I was blown away. I can remember the surge of power I felt when merging into the highway and my heart said a loud “YES”.

I went away from the showroom, and was still making up my mind and I received a lot of encouragement from reading Baleno owners’ feedback on this forum. I started getting besieged with calls and visits from both local Maruti dealers. I found out there was a “new” Baleno due to come out, it was the same car (the SX4 was not even on the horizon then) with some mods to the tyre size, taillights and climate control, and they had targets to get rid of the “old” Baleno stocks. I was progressively offered more and more sweeteners, until finally negotiated Rs 90,000 off the Vxi, with art leather seat covers and Pioneer 4750 HU bundled. (Total came to Rs 6,55,000/-) It came with alloys, leather steering wheel, motorised antenna, spoiler and Nippon keyless alarm. I signed on the dotted line just before 30th September 2005.

-A few days after delivery, installed 3M Scotchtint film (RE70) for Rs 3,500/-

-1000 km, 1st free service, replaced engine oil with MGO SAE 20W40 Shell, oil filter and some small top-ups. Cost Rs 511/-

- 5,600 km, the 2nd free service, some top-ups, Tyres rotated, Wheel Alignment for a cost of Rs 271/-
-10,000 km, the 3rd free service, again oil and filter change and wheel Alignment for Rs 1,012/-
- 9/2/2007, at 15,148 km 4th (paid) service, Oil and filter, Five Point Service, Wheel Alignment, plus a new air filter cost me Rs 1,466/-

On 20/8/2007 replaced my audio setup. Removed the crappy OE Kenwood speakers with JBL 937 rear, JBL 637 front, JBL amp CS60.4 and a Pioneer 4950 HU after exchange for old setup worked out to about Rs 16,000/- The installer was quite sloppy, but after I finetuned and cleaned up his work the system sounds great.

Around this time at 20,000km I put in 5 new Michelin Tyres XM1 tubeless 185/70R13, @ 3640/-x5 (less 5000/- for the old Bridgestone tubetype 165/80R13). Total came to Rs 13,200/- What a difference!

- 20,025 Km 5th paid service. Oil and filter, various fluids topped up , new plugs, new coolant, Throttle Body Cleaner, Fuel Inj Sys Cleaner, and Engine Decarbonizing cost me Rs 5,806/-

- At 25000km for the 6th service decided to switch to Mobil 1 Supersyn (3.3 litres @ 900) cost me Rs 2,970/- and the service itself along with filter and new brake fluid came to another Rs 2088/-

Since then I have changed the air-filter Rs 300/- and replaced wiper blades with Bosch Rs 300/-. The new blades are a revelation, silent and efficient.

At 30,000 km 7th paid service did some cleaning of self-starter (water had got into it) ,Timing Belt Tensioner Adjustment, brake adjustment. Solved a persistent leak that pooled water into the driver’s side foot well. It turned out to be misaligned door rubber. Total Rs 1300/-

I do wheel alignment and tyre rotation/balancing every 5000 kms outside MASS, since I can watch the process. I also replace the air filter myself every 15000 km approx.

The car is a constant source of joy. I look for reasons to drive it and have only done a couple of long trips over 1000 km each time. On the golden quadrilateral it cruises well at 120 kph. I have never gone above 135. The car is free of rattles. Mileage on highway has been around 17 kpl, and in normal running with a mix of city/hwy of 60/40 has been around 12-13 kpl, always with airconditioning on. Service at Maruti has been pretty impressive, especially after my Ford experience.

The only negative I can recall is bottoming out on some speedbreakers, if approached at anything faster than a crawl.

I have just removed the art leather covers, and will try the original cloth seats for some time since they are pretty good quality. Kids are older and hopefully more careful about spills. I find the seating position for the driver much better without the additional thickness of the seat cover.

I wax the exterior (Turtle wax) and use Armor-All for the interior around every three to four months. Plan to use 3M engine cleaning and interior cleaning at my next service since I found this very impressive when done on my Getz. Plan to keep this car for another couple of years at least. Wish I had ABS and airbags, though thankfully have not been in any situation, even remotely, where they would be required.

Last edited by filcord : 5th October 2008 at 19:11.
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Old 6th October 2008, 11:24   #2
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Default Nice Report

In August 2005, I was toying with the idea of replacing my much-loved Ford Escort 1.8D, only because the car had now run 1.3 lakh km and the service of the local garage was getting worse each time. After trying out the Accent (ok but not exciting) and the Ford Fusion (exciting but service nightmares grounded me) and trying to get a test ride in the Honda city (very snooty showroom people, and then just a bit beyond the budget) I tried out the Baleno. One short ride, and I was blown away. I can remember the surge of power I felt when merging into the highway and my heart said a loud “YES”.


Hi,

Nice neat report. Yes, the Baleno is a wonderful car for its price. I have driven one on a highway trip from Bangalore to Mysore and the car is simply superb!

Too bad that Maruti stopped manufacturing the car. Considering that you maintain your car well, it won't give you any problems.

Cheers,

Pritish
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