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Old 5th December 2011, 12:23   #1
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Question '02 Maruti Zen MPFI - Steering becomes hard when hot!

Hi Guys ,

My dad has a ZEN LX MPFI (75,000km and running)
It has only the normal steering system (no PS).
Such a lovely car with awesome mileage (18kmpl)

We are facing a nagging issue for almost a year and half.
Whenever the car is parked in Hot midday sun for a while and when we start the car , the steering unit becomes so rubbery and stiff :(

In heavy traffic , this problem is causing much difficulty in maneuvering.
This problem fades after driving continuously for an hour or more .

The service guys say that , it is a common issue in normal steering units
and it cannot be resolved

This problem was not there before 2 yrs.

Can anyone help me with any solution for this issue

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Old 5th December 2011, 23:01   #2
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Default Re: ZEN LX 2002 MPFI - Steering problem

First of check the small thingy, if its find you can move along to rack. Check the universal joint that connects the steering wheel to the rack. Its a cheap Rs.800 rod made of iron with two U joints. Normally this U is made of iron and gets rusted over time. WD 40 spray is a quick solution but in the long runs replace it.

If this joint is fine you can move on to steering rack and its related parts like tierod ends etc.
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Old 5th December 2011, 23:13   #3
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Default Re: ZEN LX 2002 MPFI - Steering problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vignesh Mohan View Post
ZEN LX MPFI (75,000km and running)

The service guys say that , it is a common issue in normal steering units
and it cannot be resolved
And which service guys are these? MASS?
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Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
Check the universal joint that connects the steering wheel to the rack.
If this joint is fine you can move on to steering rack and its related parts like tierod ends etc.
Agreed. Hey, it's an almost 10-year old car, the rack needs some greasing and lubrication too. Have an FNG open up the rack, lube it up, replace the rubber boots if they haven't been touched recently, and fit the whole thing back again. Should take about 3-4 hours of work, and the car will feel like you have installed power steering once it comes back!
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Old 5th December 2011, 23:36   #4
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Default Re: ZEN LX 2002 MPFI - Steering problem

As others mentioned check the rack and steering system in general, sometimes a service does help. Also how is the tyre condition, if its worn out steering becomes hard to turn esp in a non power steering vehicle.
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Old 8th December 2011, 09:16   #5
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Default Re: ZEN LX 2002 MPFI - Steering problem

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Have an FNG open up the rack, lube it up, replace the rubber boots if they haven't been touched recently, and fit the whole thing back again. Should take about 3-4 hours of work, and the car will feel like you have installed power steering once it comes back!
That was an Authorized service center (ASC) at chennai. If Mods agree i ll reveal the names . Not one .. all the ASCs i ve been to were not ready to fix this issue up .

Thanks for your suggestion . Could you please tell what FNG means ?
Why is that issue happening when it is in hot sun an goes away after a while as if nothing had happened . Thats why i felt it as bizzare.

BTW Can u tell me a place in chennai where i can get this lube work and rack check done ? Apart from the service centers ?

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Old 8th December 2011, 12:21   #6
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Default Re: ZEN LX 2002 MPFI - Steering problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vignesh Mohan View Post
Could you please tell what FNG means ?
Friendly Neighborhood Garage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vignesh Mohan View Post
BTW Can u tell me a place in chennai where i can get this lube work and rack check done ? Apart from the service centers ?
Please check this forum.
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Old 8th December 2011, 12:33   #7
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Default Re: '02 Maruti Zen MPFI - Steering becomes hard when hot!

Hi Vignesh,
I faced the same problem with our Zen, except it didn't take as long for the problem to present itself. We faced the problem almost 3-4 years into it's ownership. We took the car to an ASC in Mumbai, but though, they said they fixed it, it used to recur after a few weeks or months. We were never told that it was a known issue.
We never found the problem when we had the Zen. Now that I think about it, the temperature sensitivity seems to suggest that it might have something to do with clearances and/or lubricant. Have the ASC check the lubricant and the clearances during such an "attack". Perhaps something is drying up or expanding.
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Old 13th January 2013, 09:17   #8
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Default Re: '02 Maruti Zen MPFI - Steering becomes hard when hot!

Hi Vignesh,

I too own a 2001 MPFi Zen LX (Non PS). The same problem of stiff steering crops up after the car has been parked in the sun for a while. Of course it goes away after driving for a few kilometres.

Was this problem resolved in your Zen?

If yes, then what was the culprit & what needed to be done, so that I can tell my mechanic to specifically look out for that particular issue .

Cheers !
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Old 13th January 2013, 10:41   #9
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Default Re: '02 Maruti Zen MPFI - Steering becomes hard when hot!

How much tyre pressure are you maintaining ?
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:06   #10
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Default Re: '02 Maruti Zen MPFI - Steering becomes hard when hot!

We have a 2005 model Zen LX (non PS) and I do not have this problem at all on our zen. The steering is so well balanced I wonder why the zen was ever offered with PS, it just does not need it.

Anyways, could this problem be related to the older model zens? I think the last update that the zen received was in 2004 (pls correct me). Then the headlamps, rear lamps and bumpers were changed, the tyre was downgraded to R12 from R13's as well. Did maruti bring about any mechanical changes during that update to eliminate this problem?

Last edited by amrisharm : 13th January 2013 at 12:11.
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