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Old 15th September 2009, 15:46   #1
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Default Help-Fixing up my 1997 Zen.

Hi Guys,

I own a Maruti Zen MH410, 1997 model. It has been an awesome car and durable too till lately. I have taken it to places, drove it nicely, rashly, over smooth roads and rough terrain.

After so many years of service the car has started showing signs of problems. An occasional problem or two would have been normal but lately it has been giving some problems continuously. And I reached the breaking point when it broke down on me at midnight while going to airport to pick up my family. It was such a bad experience. I called the Maruti helpline and they cudn't fix it. Finally, I had to get my car towed by a crane, with my family in it, for around 50 kms (Palam Airport to Faridabad), at 2:30 in the night. When I got it checked the service center said that the alternator has problems and will need to be repaired. Well, I was wondering why it broke down so soon since I just got it fixed around 3 weeks ago. Anyways, I got it fixed. Then, my door locks started jamming. I have got them lubricated but sooner or later they start signs of jamming again. After few weeks I had to drop my mom to airport and I was scared to take my car. Anyways, I dropped her at the airport and everything seemed to be going fine when suddenly I started smelling something burning. I thought it was something outside but to my horror smoke started coming out from under the steering. I parked my car on the side and disconnected my stereo wiring (at an earlier occasion my stereo wires got short circuited and got burnt). The smoke subsided but I was scared to turn it on. I started the car and it was all fine. I then noticed that one of the points in the headlights was not working.

There have been times where there have been problems with the wire sockets, coolant storage, oil leakages, broken hoses and so many small things. I have told the service center so many times to just change the whole wiring, or atleast the sockets and take care of all the pipes. But, I don't know why they just keep breaking down. Also, the rust problem is affecting a lot. I have already got my car repainted once and underbody protective covering too but the rust is bothering me a lot. There is rust on the doors and around the beading on the front windscreen.

Now, I wanted to take your help guys. What measure and checks do you recommend to get my car working fine without these constant problems? Also, do you think that its now time and it is going to give continuous problems? How to get the rusting problem fixed? Is there any long time solution for it? What all electrical components and pipes/hoses I should get checked and fixed? The service center guys follow "If you don't tell it, we won't do it". So, I am trying to get a list of things I should specifically tell them to check and make sure it is working fine. What all parts I can get repaired and what I should get replaced? Like the alternator has been giving lots of problems and I might get it changed, even though it costs a bit. I was getting my car fixed by a good local mechanic whom I know very well. Now, I have got in touch with a Maruti Authorised serice center.

Any kind of pointer, insights, hints, directions wil be really helpful and appreciated.

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old 15th September 2009, 16:03   #2
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Alternator servicing is best done at the nearest Lucas TVS service center.

Its been a while since I've looked after a maruti in Delhi but Maruti service masters should be your best bet for quality repairs. See - MARUTI SERVICE MASTER
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Old 15th September 2009, 16:09   #3
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These are all signs of old age , you should cousider - 12 years !
These are all common problems all old cars give.

rusting can be tackled at some good body shop, you need to strip your car down and find all rusted spots and then they can be taken care of.

I guess easiest solution would be see; her off and may be its time for another car ,
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Old 15th September 2009, 16:21   #4
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Maruti A.S.S is your best bet. Since you have already contacted them, all should be fine with the mechanicals and wiring . Explain the service advisor about the problems clearly.

Do post some pics of your car meanwhile.
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Old 15th September 2009, 16:36   #5
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Correctly said by karizma_devil, its the age of car that is showing. However, the door jamming is caused by play in door locks and those rods which connect lock may need adjustment. I am not talking about that door lock where you put keys, but second one which actually locks the door to car body. I don't know what to call that lock. Get this lock checked. Jamming of doors is serious issue.

If your car paint is in good condition then forget rust for a while and get your electricals checked, it seems they are all messed up causing alternator trouble and burn of wiring.
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Old 15th September 2009, 20:53   #6
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You need to get hold of a good service centre and you are done. Contact Delhi members who can help you to find a good one. Your problems are small and are nothing overwhelming - it all can be sorted out with the help of a good service centre.

My advice would be to find an independent service centre instead of MASS and spend some time with them when you give your car for service. You mention the things that need to be taken care of - not just mention "check everything and fix what is needed". From my experience the service centre people don't give too much attention especially to a old car.
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Old 15th September 2009, 22:54   #7
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@Crackedhead: Thanks for the link. I'll check them out for sure.

@karizma_devil: Yeah, we are going for a new car but we still want to keep our Zen since it has been with us for a long long time . If things get worse then definitely there is no other option but I want to keep it with me as long as I can.

I'll be taking all your suggestions into consideration and select the best option for each of the problems. I am not sure if MASS can do good body work but still check them out. The MASS that I go to is not really that busy. So, I am guessing they should be free enough to fix my car properly. I'll post the picture too and update you about the progress.

@ALL: How much does full re-wiring should cost? Any idea?
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Old 16th September 2009, 09:28   #8
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for an esteem it costs 6k,

I would advise to keep the car, zens are very reliable and are becoming rare. i remember when i sold my 96 zen in 2004 i got 80k for it, my friend in kerala is looking for a zen and the price of a 96 model zen is still close to 1 lac. i feel this car has a lot of potential. Do it up completly. Strip it completely and get the rust fixed and at the same time change the wiring. You can get the genuine wiring and other parts at kashmiri gate at a very cheaper price.


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Old 16th September 2009, 12:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pramodkumar View Post
for an esteem it costs 6k,

I would advise to keep the car, zens are very reliable and are becoming rare. i remember when i sold my 96 zen in 2004 i got 80k for it, my friend in kerala is looking for a zen and the price of a 96 model zen is still close to 1 lac. i feel this car has a lot of potential. Do it up completly. Strip it completely and get the rust fixed and at the same time change the wiring. You can get the genuine wiring and other parts at kashmiri gate at a very cheaper price.


Pramod
+1
The old Zens are very much in demand. I also own a Zen. It's a very good car.

Find out a good service centre first - a good mechanic can do wonders to your car still. Rust is not a problem - specially in NCR. You need a good garage for body work and painting. Should cost you around 15K outside MASS if you don't change the shade.
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Old 16th September 2009, 13:30   #10
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@Pramod & Archat: Exactly my views. It is an excellent car and that is the reason I intend to keep it. I once thought of selling it but my dad told me to keep the car since it has been with us for such a long time .
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