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Old 10th May 2009, 20:19   #1
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Default Maruti Swift Brakes. I regret NOT buying ZXI + ABS

Swift has got some of the least responsive brakes - especially when you panic brake.
This incident happened when I was traveling to Chennai when a local villager on his bike without looking around tried to cross the road.
I had just taken the wheel from my dad and I was at about 80 KM/HR when the dude in his "lungi" tried to cross the road blindly and lost control of his clutch and the bike stopped bang in the middle of the road. I was 30 mtrs away from him. I slammed my brakes (Non-ABS) and turned the steering to the left and missed him by a whisker ...
In this process I observed -
  • The wheels locked though the speed was around 80KM/HR
  • The steering has no response when you try to veer of the object in your path
  • The car's body weight is not supported by the stock wheels at times of sudden steering.
  • The car's body mass is thrown forward and the car slides ahead though the brakes are slammed and the wheels are locked.
This incident left me shocked and perplexed and for a moment the whole scene froze my brains. The car was new (4300 KMS ODO) and I was driving with my family and the consequences of the incident would have been dire
The car I love soooo much does not have proper braking ! .. This incident left me crippled and I was hesitant to drive at high speeds. The car that I had driven at 160 KM/HR speeds does not have Proper Braking !!
I reached Bangalore a couple of days later and I explained the situation to technicians at Mandovi Wilson garden, where they checked my car and told the brakes are perfectly fine. But somehow I was not convinced as I really wanted a more reliable brake on the Swift as the car is often taken on long drives either by my dad or brother. I checked with them the cost of an after market ABS kit and received alarming responses. Some said there are no after marker ABS kits and some said it would cost about 100 grant to get them fixed.


A couple of days later when I was driving my cousins Swift there happened to be a similar situation on the Devanhalli main road when a Cab Driver jumped the signal and missed my car by inches. Again the same old phenomenon of wheels getting locked and no response from the steering to veer the car .
I checked some websites and the Pete's URL, I learnt the Tarox brake discs are prettly good and would be a good replacement to the stock brakes. Also going in for a broader set of tyres and would help in getting better control of the car at higher speeds. I enquired from some friends and checked out some threads in Team BHP could not get any information. I checked at Hot tracks for the brake pads but the guy had a real sad attitude and would not even care to answer properly.
...So I want to know
  • How much would a good After market ABS kit cost
  • Would broader tyres really help while panic braking
  • Based on your experience have there been any such panic instances and how did you react?
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Old 10th May 2009, 22:05   #2
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1: ZXi's have ABS as standard
2: There is nothing wrong with your car
3: Your car merely obeyed the laws of physics
4: ABS cannot be retrofitted
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Old 10th May 2009, 22:11   #3
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You've mentioned non ABS, so i assume the title should have read "I regret not buying Swift ZXi".

Instead of sticking with the stock tyres, why dont you go in for tyres offerring better grip? The braking feel would definitely improve. The stock tyres on the Swift are not exactly the most confidence inspiring.

Why dont you do a test drive on a ZXi variant or even a Swift with upgraded tyres and see the difference before deciding?
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Old 11th May 2009, 00:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
1: ZXi's have ABS as standard
2: There is nothing wrong with your car
3: Your car merely obeyed the laws of physics
4: ABS cannot be retrofitted
Very concise, to-the-point.
May I add:
5. Wider tyres of a different brand would help.
6. ABS was designed for panic braking on hard tarmac.
7. Don't drive at 160 km/h.
8. Change to a car with ABS.
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Old 11th May 2009, 00:57   #5
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9. Does the word warranty mean anything to you?

+10 to 7.
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Old 11th May 2009, 01:09   #6
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'Slamming your brakes' is not exactly the best way to slow down.Pump the brakes on a non-abs car,release if the wheel locks and pump again. Steering locked wheels is not going to help:(

Please anticipate such incidents and brake much much in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no_boundaries View Post
I checked at Hot tracks for the brake pads but the guy had a real sad attitude and would not even care to answer properly.
Typical, I think he should be in the biased or just blind thread ..
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Old 11th May 2009, 01:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
1: ZXi's have ABS as standard
2: There is nothing wrong with your car
3: Your car merely obeyed the laws of physics
4: ABS cannot be retrofitted

The op has a swift Lxi
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Old 11th May 2009, 02:06   #8
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A BIG question to you:
What tyres do you have on your swift??
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Old 11th May 2009, 05:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no_boundaries View Post
Swift has got some of the least responsive brakes - especially when you panic brake.
  • The wheels locked though the speed was around 80KM/HR
The brakes must be good if the wheels locked! not unresponsive!

Last edited by SLK : 11th May 2009 at 05:25.
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Old 11th May 2009, 07:23   #10
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It is more of your own panic than brakes. Brakes behaved as expected. You need to be cool at that sudden braking situation.
Make sure you are using engine braking and instead of slamming at one go. 2/3 pumps on the brakes would have slowed you down (in non ABS sense).

Abhi
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Old 11th May 2009, 08:43   #11
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thats why majority pay that extra money for wider better tyres. The stock setup is close to crap. Try driving any car with a wider tyre before you take a decision.
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Old 11th May 2009, 09:33   #12
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Simply, as ben said earlier, try driving swifts (assume you still love swift) with wider tyres, with ABS any other mods possibly and see you get any desired behaviours from them. Upgrade (tyres or the car itself) based on your findings.

And drive safe, I know you were not at higher speeds when that incident happen and it can happen to anyone anywhere, just a word precaution.

take care and all the best
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Old 11th May 2009, 09:38   #13
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Can the mods change the thread title to "I regret not buying the ZXi"

As everyone here has mentioned, you might want to check a few non-ABS Swifts with better tyres.
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Old 11th May 2009, 09:54   #14
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If the lungi guy was 30 mts and you missed him, thank god that your car saved him and his lungi. What do you expect when you brake that suddenly?
By the way your bullet points are what ABS makers use to advertise the effectiveness of ABS.

Last edited by srishiva : 11th May 2009 at 09:56.
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Old 11th May 2009, 10:30   #15
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ZXi comes with 185/70 while the other models have 165/80. However broader tyres don't increase straight line grip. It depends on the tyre compound and tread pattern.

Check your tyre pressures as well. Too high a pressure will reduce braking effectiveness. Remove pebbles and small stones from the tyre treads.

Note that ZXi also has EBD which further aids in braking performance.
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