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Old 6th October 2010, 20:55   #1
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Default Maruti A- star Zxi - 2 Years ownership Report - Now Sold

This is my first review about my car - A- star.I have tried to cover all aspect of buying , owning experience of my vehicle with a twist.

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Introduction:

The Maruti A- star is one of the most misunderstood or shall I say underrated car in its segment. It is over shadowed by its illustrious sibling Maruti Alto( which it deserves) and trounced by an expensive yet Quality product in form Hyundai i10.
The A- star is a fine product and step ahead of Alto but is positioned in such a way it lands it in competition , in a place where it doesn't belong due to which it short comings will always be highlighted.

So Which Car? The Dilemma

I always liked Maruti Swift ZXI since its launch and was eager to purchase it but had to wait .When the time finally arrived in August 2009 [ our 1989 Maruti 800 standard model started showing signs of old age , it was 20 years old when we sold it] I decided to look for other vehicles( due to the the attitude of salesperson of one Maruti dealer and waiting period of 5 months at that time) The attitude of salesperson made me take a vow never to buy Maruti products again

Hyundai i20 1.2 asta - Yes said my mind ( due to its long feature list )No said my heart as my heart always beated for a Swift.I took test drive felt that car was underpowered.

I was about to finalize Hyundai i20 asta , My father said that the car should arrive during the navratri , but Hyundai dealer said the car will take 45 days or more to deliver and was asking for 1 lakh as booking amount or 1/6 the cost of car - so I put off buying Hyundai i20.

Driver's recommendation
- My father's office driver chipped in with his car buying advice and asked me to give Maruti one more chance - I relented , but I decided that car should not cost more than 4 lakhs on road and should be fully loaded .

Maruti A- star vs Chevrolet Spark - the options were narrowed down to A- star, Estilo Vxi.
So I went to M/s Rana motors , New Delhi - the salesperson was neither welcoming nor disrespectful initially . I asked him for test drive of both the Estilo and A- star. He promptly asked for driving license which I gave and we proceeded towards the first vehicle - Estilo

Estilo - I liked the quality of interiors and airy feeling of the interiors , but when I tried to engage the first gear I could not engage and by mistake I pressed the accelerator a bit too much - the engine frowned ( I was nervous due to repeated use horn from another vehicle behind me- May be the driver of the vehicle wanted to show who's the Boss.

So after the nervous start , I drove the vehicle for few kilometers but had started having butterflies in my stomach the car felt unstable at moderate speed .
Result - Estilo rejected even though it was 3.96 on road but safety equipment and music system costed extra - 50,000 and would take more than a month to deliver

A- star - I always liked cars with low seating position , so when I stepped into A- star - I loved the seats and driving position . No problems were faced by me during test drive.
Result - A- star is the car to buy

Hang on for the moment - My father said try chevrolet spark - Did the test drive.
Result - I liked Spark's looks , and the mouth watering discount , but was put off by its poor A/C , central instrument cluster , gear shift( notchy ) and finally indicator Stalks - which were configured for left hand vehicle.

I must make a special mention - that the Chevrolet salesperson was extremely polite and welcoming which was absent in Maruti's saleperson

Mother's View vs Father's perspective - My mother though not a car enthusiast has strong likes and dislikes. She liked the A- star and wanted me to go for it and not Spark .She showed her displeasure when I showed interest towards Spark but was relieved when I went for A- star . My Father wanted me to buy Spark since Spark was 3.6 lakh on the road vs A- star price of 4.28 lakh on the road , but had to relent and left decision to me.

Star near India Gate(front View)
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Star near India Gate (Rear View)
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Side profile
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A- star - So I finally went for A- star Zxi as it full filled all my criteria. The criteria was -
2 Airbags
ABS
A/C
Power steering
Sporty Handling
comfortable Front seats
Power windows all around

Dashboard of A - star
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Despite the indifferent attitude of salesperson I stuck with him . He said that car was already available with them . After bargaining the final price was 4.24 lakhs on the road but without any freebies ( discounts included Rs 12,000 , 3rd year warranty , first year insurance free , discount for doctors Rs3,000 ). yes it was slightly over my budget but I didn't have shell out for music system

The car was delivered in the auspicious week of navratri .
I took the delivery of the car in the evening with registration done and number plate was installed.
(I had to wait for 2 months for registration smart card from dealer.)
After Delivery we took the car to Temple , did Pooja and went back to home with Lord's blessing .

Accessorize my ride- the accessory I purchased from Dealer was Seat covers, gear lock ,car cover.
rubber floor mats was purchased seperately .
underbody coating 1,500 /-

Gear lock
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The good , bad and the ugly -

1. The Good
- the front seats are very comfortable
- gearbox is good with positive action
- music system with four speakers - this OEM music system is very good
- sporty tachometer - Is it an aftermarket accessory? people get astonished when I tell them that this is standard in A- star Zxi
- the rear boot space is small , but it makes up with 2 cup holders in front , 2 bottle holders in the rear , space below the A/C, storage box below the A/C controls , A small shelf above glove box.
- keyless entry ,illuminated and autodown power window for driver(zxi).
- child safety locks in the rear.
- door lock and unlock button for driver(zxi)
- vanity mirror(zxi)
- red instrumentation - looks Cool.
- hidden jack!
- ABS brakes are good(zxi)
- doors lock automatically after 20kms/hour(zxi)
- seat belts with pretensioners , load limiters( zxi)
- rear defogger - a boon in winters in Delhi

power windows with seperate door lock and unlock button for driver
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vanity mirror
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Car key
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Jack is kept in a seperate compartment in C pillar
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assist grip for closing boot
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bottle holder in the rear
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2.The Bad
- Plastic quality is terrible at some places like door pockets and overall its okay only
- A/c - cooling is okay not a chiller
- poor grip from tyres
- poor headroom
- boot space is abysmal
- steering wheel feels heavy
- poor leg space for rear passengers.
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Boot
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3.The Ugly
- no day and night mirror even in ZXi
- The Outside rear view mirrors are of no use due to their limited view
- no rear wash wiper even ZXI
- rear view is very limited
- dashboard is set little too high for liking.
- engine feels rough not smooth like my 800
- jerky response at low speeds - very annoying in stop and go traffic.
- Maruti's genetic trait of rattle proness - Yes my Left front seat rattle ( not resolved after showing to dealer)
- vibrations in the cabin when engine idles

My tryst with Accidents - accidents are always annoying and expensive to repair! .

Scene 1 - just 3 months into ownership ,I was waiting for lights to turn green when a person driving his bike fast just banged my rear bumper - ouch! . and sped away without any remorse. He was too busy perhaps - Broke the red light with Cops turning blind eye to this incident. Angry but what to do ?repaired the bumper with insurance still paid Rs1,000.

Scene 2 - 6 months into ownership this time a cab driver ( easy cab) , thought that his Indica and squeeze through Gaps but found My a- star's rear end - banged - no remorse , started abusing me , but then sped away even though signal was Red.
I decided not to repair the bumper and leave it as it is

Scene 3 - 7 months into ownership ,this time the fault was purely mine , I misjudged while parking, the left side running board was damaged.

scene 4 - Parked my car in the hospital were I was working . Someone got so fascinated by my car he scratched with some sharp instrument - the car now has channels cut into all doors and bonnet - it is very expensive to repair.

So I couldn't bear bumper and running board - so repaired with insurance - paid Rs.1200 just 2 months ago leaving scratches as it is for time being.

Living with a Star -
The car is exclusively driven by me for commute of only 10 kms daily , so no problems of luggage , or rear passenger .
the car is fairly responsive though A/C causes drop in performance.
The tyres lack grip and are noisy.
The fuel economy is 11km/l ( its approx value only)in city with A/c or heater( for winters) on all times.
There is slight difficulty in parking A- star due to its limited views from rear and ORVMS.
The ride is harsh and those looking for ride comfort - stay away.

people wonder whats the use of ABS or seat belts or airbags - ask me how useful it has been to me.

My cars Vitals in brief -
1.colour - silky silver
2.variant - ZXi
3.Service - Third free service done with engine oil , filters replaced (Rs 2600 for engine oil itself - total bil 4,000)
wheel alignment , rotation , balancing also done during third free servicing.
4.Kms -5165kms and counting.

Some pictures -

cigarette lighter with removable ashtary- No use for me!
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valet switch , fog lamp switch , adjuster for light
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illuminated and sporty tachometer
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The speedometer
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The End
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Old 7th October 2010, 12:10   #2
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Nice review on a good car.
Yes, me too found the driving position great.
And that seperate tacho is cool. It feels great to see that needle swinging fast.
IMHO this is the best position for the tacho in a sporty car as you never have to change your eye position from the road to see the tacho needle, like you do in an integrated tacho arrangement.
and I found the slightly heavy steering a boon..
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Old 7th October 2010, 15:32   #3
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Nice review. And great pics! You own one cool car man
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Old 7th October 2010, 16:26   #4
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Nice review. What kind of traffic do you drive in ? Your FE of 11kmpl seems too low to me for a hatch that is supposed to be the FE king (as per the brochure, it has won many mileage contests and stuff).

Inspite of its shortcomings (bad rear space, almost inexistent boot, high price), this is one car I have fallen in love with. Impatiently awaiting the delivery of our A-Star AT. Wish they had put AT on the ZXi version - then we could have got airbags too.

The only thing that I felt odd was the driver seat. Low seating is OK with me, but this was tapering downwards to the rear. Need to recheck if it is too bad.
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Old 7th October 2010, 20:21   #5
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@supremeBaleno - Thank you and Congratulations on purchasing A- star Automatic .Do post some pictures when you get delivery of your vehicle.

I have a explanation for fuel economy figures -
1.The fuel economy figures are just approx and not calculated by tankful method.

2.The traffic in New Delhi is horrible. Everyone is such hurry , that I always stop my vehicle , to allow them pass my vehicle in roundabouts( scared that they may damage my vehicle) .
Also signals are pretty erratic , sometimes there is only 3 seconds between green and red signal due to which I have to stop the vehicle suddenly as red signals comes without any warning( no timer or amber light to warn)

3.In stop and go traffic there is annoying jerky response due to lack of low end response - so throttle has to be pumped slightly more.
All the above things effect might effect Fuel economy in my case.

Yes,the front seat does taper downwards to the rear. Please do recheck if seats are comfortable or not.

@MclarenRulez and Daewood - i am glad that you all liked review.
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Old 8th October 2010, 00:34   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime
@supremeBaleno - Thank you and Congratulations on purchasing A- star Automatic .Do post some pictures when you get delivery of your vehicle.
I am ready with multiple cameras. If only the dealer gets us the car soon...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime
I have a explanation for fuel economy figures -
1.The fuel economy figures are just approx and not calculated by tankful method.
Do a tankfull-to-tankfull and update us. Your figures have me worried. I get 12kmpl on my 1.6l Baleno in Chennai traffic with fun driving. So...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime
Everyone is such hurry , that I always stop my vehicle , to allow them pass my vehicle in roundabouts( scared that they may damage my vehicle).
Ha, this is something I (and my wife) can identify with. After taking delivery of the Baleno, we are at Egmore roundabout and I am driving as if all the world has just one aim - hit my Baleno. I know it is not the right thing to say, but it is a fact - after the 1st scratch, things get OK and you (we) relax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime
Yes,the front seat does taper downwards to the rear. Please do recheck if seats are comfortable or not.
Nothing much we can do about this anyway. We moved from Estilo to Alto-K10 to A-Star-AT. No more changes - have to live with it.
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Old 14th October 2010, 12:41   #7
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@supremeBaleno - Don't worry , you will easily get a minimum of 12 km/liter.

This being my first vehicle, every new scratch breaks my heart , even after one year of ownership.

5 days go,while driving home in the night ,I failed to notice a newly constructed speed breaker( it had no markings) which was in middle of the road ( constructed where road divider is usually found), so while taking the right turn, the car hit the speed breaker hard and now there is some noise emanating from the rear end of the car( it appears that bushes are worn out )
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Old 15th October 2010, 12:42   #8
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This is one heck of a detailed review! Thanks for sharing, Frozenintime, and congrats on completing a year with the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime View Post
The Maruti A- star is one of the most misunderstood or shall I say underrated car in its segment.
Honestly, Maruti did a shoddy job with its market positioning.

Quote:
Driver's recommendation[/u] - My father's office driver chipped in with his car buying advice
Amazing how, in India, everyone has advice for you! Even if I ask my milkman, he'll readily give me some.

Quote:
3.The Ugly
- no day and night mirror even in ZXi
- The Outside rear view mirrors are of no use due to their limited view
- no rear wash wiper even ZXI
- rear view is very limited
- dashboard is set little too high for liking.
- engine feels rough not smooth like my 800
- jerky response at low speeds - very annoying in stop and go traffic.
- Maruti's genetic trait of rattle proness - Yes my Left front seat rattle ( not resolved after showing to dealer)
- vibrations in the cabin when engine idles
Honest review, just the kind that make Team-BHP what it is today. Appreciated.

Quote:
The tyres lack grip and are noisy.
I learnt from another thread that OEM tyres sell for 300 bucks; thus, am not surprised. Please upgrade to better quality rubber. The A-Star's brilliant chassis deserves it. I've driven an A-Star with good tyres and can tell you, few hatchbacks are as much fun to drive on a fast ghat section.

Have you stopped by Ajmat's A-Star Automatic review? Would love to see your comments on there. In the meanwhile, drive safe!
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Old 15th October 2010, 13:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime View Post

2.The Bad
- Plastic quality is terrible at some places like door pockets and overall its okay only
- A/c - cooling is okay not a chiller
- poor grip from tyres
- poor headroom
- boot space is abysmal
- steering wheel feels heavy
- poor leg space for rear passengers.

3.The Ugly
- no day and night mirror even in ZXi
- The Outside rear view mirrors are of no use due to their limited view
- no rear wash wiper even ZXI
- rear view is very limited
- dashboard is set little too high for liking.
- engine feels rough not smooth like my 800
- jerky response at low speeds - very annoying in stop and go traffic.
- Maruti's genetic trait of rattle proness - Yes my Left front seat rattle ( not resolved after showing to dealer)
- vibrations in the cabin when engine idles
Did the left front seat rattle before you had seat covers put on?
In my AStar there was absolutely no rattle till the time i got seat covers put on. The rattle is irritating and the MASS said the guys who put seat covers may not have installed a washer.

My Star doesn't have a jerky response at low end, but i have a replacement airfilter installed and maybe its due to that.

I thought AStar handled well on stock JK Vectras compared to other cars with stock tyres, for eg., our i10 with Bridgestone (forgot model, stock tyre). It felt comfortable and planted at speeds upto around 120, braking could've been better though. But i changed to 185 Potenza GIII and now its handles really great and brakes good too.

Maruti could've provided the Day&Night mirror, with little additional cost to buyers and its unforgivable.

Wonder why they can't give atleast the ZXi rear wash&wipe when the car they sell in Europe has this feature and its built here in India.

Plastic quality is definitely terrible at the glovebox area and its fitting too. But door pads and pocket seem decent, neither good nor bad.
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Old 15th October 2010, 22:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
This is one heck of a detailed review! Thanks for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Honest review, just the kind that make Team-BHP what it is today. Appreciated.
Thank You. Its really a honour for me to hear your views.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Honestly, Maruti did a shoddy job with its market positioning.
Yes,you are right.What I felt was, maruti should have either redesigned A-Star with more wheelbase , headroom and boot space( similar to Japanese Alto) or should have positioned A- star in the territory of Alto and moved Alto down to Maruti 800 territory while completely phasing out Maruti 800( It did similar thing in 2005 with Alto)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Amazing how, in India, everyone has advice for you!
My Father's office car driver generally never gives his comments or views on anything but I don't know what made him speak this time. He gave his recommendation when my father was discussing with me regarding Hyundai. I was surprised and perplexed!

On just hearing the news that I was buying new car you will not believe what kind of advice I started receiving from friends, neighbors that too without asking them.
(Ranging from airbags are not useful in slow moving traffic of New Delhi to how Hyundai cars are expensive to maintain).It truly amazed me.

Unbiased advice, tips and other things automotive I just trust Team BHP- No other magazine/website comes close to this site.
" In class of its own, Team BHP stands alone"

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I learnt from another thread that OEM tyres sell for 300 bucks. Please upgrade to better quality rubber
Its really shocking to hear that OEM tyres cost just 300/-,
no wonder they are so noisy and lack grip.
Yes I am planning to upgrade tyres but I have a query though - If width of tyres are increased will it have an effect on ABS performance and also on Odometer reading?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Have you stopped by Ajmat's A-Star Automatic review? Would love to see your comments on there. In the meanwhile, drive safe!
Yes,I read the complete review -it was simply awesome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Did the left front seat rattle before you had seat covers put on?
No. It was after 300kms after delivery of the vehicle, the left front seat started rattling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
My Star doesn't have a jerky response at low end, but i have a replacement air filter.
Yes, I read about the air filter you installed.I thought jerky response was characteristic of K10B engine.
Will the installation of this air filter void warranty?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Maruti could've provided the Day&Night mirror, with little additional cost to buyers .
I find it difficult to drive in night as there is lot of glare from rear view mirrors.It defies logic why Maruti has skimped on rear wash wiper , day and night rear view mirror in Zxi variant.It will cost just few thousand rupees more.
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Old 15th October 2010, 22:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Nice review. What kind of traffic do you drive in ? Your FE of 11kmpl seems too low to me for a hatch that is supposed to be the FE king (as per the brochure, it has won many mileage contests and stuff).
I think cars with low daily run(under 15km) will give low mileage. Its something related to engine not reaching optimum temperature or something like that, don't know the exact reason.He has only 10km per day usage
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Old 10th January 2011, 12:37   #12
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Default Noise coming on turning Steering wheel

Since last month on turning the steering wheel of my car their is a metallic sound(sound is kat kat) emanating from front and the steering wheel feels heavy.

The cabin light dimmed excessively when A/C blower speed was increased.The front suspension feels spongy when car goes over speed breaker

I showed the car to MASS and the SA said that their was lack of grease in the steering column.He also said the some wires were loose which was responsible for excessive dimming of cabin light.The problems were solved to some extent.

But two weeks later same problems have recurred.Can any member throw light what could be problem?
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Old 13th January 2011, 19:27   #13
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Default Re: Noise coming on turning Steering wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime View Post
Since last month on turning the steering wheel of my car their is a metallic sound(sound is kat kat) emanating from front and the steering wheel feels heavy.

But two weeks later same problems have recurred.Can any member
throw light what could be problem?
1) If that kat kat sound is resurfacing, then check the drive shafts.

2) The electricals giving problems again means alternator, fuses to be checked. Battery is weak now so checking the alternator + fuse would lead to some cue IMHO. Also get all the wiring checked.
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Old 13th January 2011, 22:57   #14
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Default re: Maruti A- star Zxi - 2 Years ownership Report - Now Sold

Ain't it tooo early for drive shaft issue popping up ?

BTW, the ORVMs are crappy. Especially the stalk-based adjustment, which can drive you crazy.
And I was also surprised to note that there was no Day-Night mirror. I can understand them skimping on an M800 or Alto.
But hey this damn car is costing close to 5lakhs and has lesser rear and bootspace than its peers. The least they could have done is give the useful features.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 13th January 2011 at 23:03.
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Old 13th January 2011, 23:09   #15
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Default re: Maruti A- star Zxi - 2 Years ownership Report - Now Sold

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Ain't it tooo early for drive shaft issue popping up ?

BTW, the ORVMs are crappy. Especially the stalk-based adjustment, which can drive you crazy.
And I was also surprised to note that there was no Day-Night mirror. I can understand them skimping on an M800 or Alto.
1) I have noticed a few A-star in my city with driveshaft issue cropping up. The lack of greasing or proper lubrication will give out noise like an old door opening ( faintly near to this ) when the steering wheel turned sort of metal pieces moving and brushing but not kat kat ( I hope I am making myself clear on what type of sound I am referring to in case of metal brushing ).

Best way to check is that make half steering wheel turn or full turn, keep the steering wheel constant and then accelearate. If kat kat sound is still coming, then its drive shafts or something else, but I doubt if there are other mechanicals that take higher stress.

If the noise is coming from lack of grease, then the noise will come even when the car is stationary and steering is moved. And if the steering wheel is turned when car is stationary and then accelerated if still the sound comes its driveshaft.

However, this could also be mixed with suspension problem of bushes, lower arm and greasing if the above two are eliminated.

2) Wagon R that we bought for Rs. 4.57 lakh ( CNG K10 Waggie ) is also not having day and night mirror, which should be made standard in all cars like seatbelts were made.
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