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Old 26th November 2010, 12:14   #1
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: was DL9, now UP14
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Default 2000 Hyundai Santro: The neglected warhorse...

Bought this car used, in 2007 from a used car salesman who my dad knew. The odo read about 70k clicks at the time (I was in for a surprise about 3 years later when I took it to the Hyundai service center.. more on that later). Did duty for my dad and our family from 2007 on, and was repaired in local garages, with local spare parts. I took the beast from my dad's hands when I sold my M800 in 2009, and it already was the most fun car to drive, ever.

Roomier than the M800, powerful AC, and a 5th gear! WOW! I felt like a teenager getting a new car on his birthday. It might've been built like a tank and take the rough roads better than an SUV, it still gave an FE of about 10 with the AC on. So, at the end of 2009 we decided to get a CNG kit retrofitted. Three months on, the decision to get the CNG kit was already paying dividends... I used to leave the car on idle with the AC running on traffic lights and even when I had to go to the local store. The FE remained the same, but since CNG was ~20Rs/kg at that time, it didn't pinch my pocket that much. We got the CNG tuned from JMB Autogas in Indirapuram a few months later, and the FE grew to about 14 in the city, 100% AC. Put in spacers/lifters under the rear suspension for the CNG cylinder and the car wouldn't droop as much either. After about 3 years of solid abuse from local garages and mechanics, I finally decided to take her to a Hyundai service station.

Did some research on the TBHP board, and NCR folks recommended to take her to Capital Hyundai, Sector 2, Noida. Awesome service, but the first shock I got was when they told me that the car shows about 85k on the odo, and when this car was last serviced at a Hyundai station, way back in 2007, it had read 1.5L on the odo! Well paint me suprised. A few harsh words were muttered by me and my dad, but we went through with the service... the timing belt replaced (as it is supposed to be changed at 80k kms, it'd run twice that!), regular servicing of the engine (throttle body cleaning, decarbonization etc.) and the bill came about to be 10k for a job well and deservingly done. The car ran butter smooth after the service. But then I again made the grave mistake of getting a new clutch system from a local mechanic, and even after numerous trips and tweaks, it never really gave the feeling of the clutch I had from Hyundai.

Decided that I'd done enough damage and torture to her, and started to look for a new car. Saw the i10, finalized the i10, then rejected the i10... saw a Ritz parked when I went to a TD of the new WR... long story short, booked, bought and brought home the Ritz Genus VXi. The photos from the penultimate day with the car are up in my garage, when we sold it to a used car salesman, informing him that the car has indeed run more than 1.6L kms.

There were times when I'd leave my Noida office, and it'd be pouring like it's the last day on earth. I've seen new Swifts literally being swallowed by the Noida floods. But this car, like the truck it was built to be, straddled through any floods, potholes, anything you could throw at her, to get me home. Like it wanted ME to get home more than IT did. I might go on to buy luxury sedans or SUV's in the future, but this car will always hold a special place in my heart, and I'll always curse myself on why I didn't take care of something that took so much care of me. Thanks buddy, for everything.
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