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Old 13th March 2011, 12:29   #1
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Default Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

Hi,

I have a Maruti Alto purchased in May'04. It's been running great since the past 6 years. I'm now facing issues with my suspension, both front and rear. I'm outlining them below and hope to find some good solutions from people. Till now I have not done any work on the suspension and the mileage run is 67k kms till date. Guys... please help me!!!

1. The front suspension makes noise, like a loose clicking noise when it goes over uneven / rough roads. What could be the culprit? The ball joints could be worn out?
2. The front struts seem to have become weak. Generally after what mileage are the front strut springs changed? What are the expected costs for parts and labour (ballpark numbers would suffice)?
3. I have fitted a CNG kit in the car and have been using it since the past 1 year. The additional weight of the CNG cylinder has caused the rear car to go down a few inches. Also now that the CNG kit is there, the rear suspension bottoms out when 2 or 3 people sit at the rear. I need a solution for this. I however do not want to install spacers. I would rather prefer fitting longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Can you guys recommend anything? Basically looking for longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Also can anybody recommend shops in Mumbai to get this done? Looking for something more functional rather than exotic.
4. Generally what all work on the suspension is required for a car around 6 years and have done 70k kms? Till now I haven't done anything on the suspension.

Really appreciate as much inputs as possible. Thanks!!
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Old 13th March 2011, 12:40   #2
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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Originally Posted by SAS View Post
Hi,

1. The front suspension makes noise, like a loose clicking noise when it goes over uneven / rough roads. What could be the culprit? The ball joints could be worn out?
2. The front struts seem to have become weak. Generally after what mileage are the front strut springs changed? What are the expected costs for parts and labour (ballpark numbers would suffice)?
3. I have fitted a CNG kit in the car and have been using it since the past 1 year. The additional weight of the CNG cylinder has caused the rear car to go down a few inches. Also now that the CNG kit is there, the rear suspension bottoms out when 2 or 3 people sit at the rear. I need a solution for this. I however do not want to install spacers. I would rather prefer fitting longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Can you guys recommend anything? Basically looking for longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Also can anybody recommend shops in Mumbai to get this done? Looking for something more functional rather than exotic.
4. Generally what all work on the suspension is required for a car around 6 years and have done 70k kms? Till now I haven't done anything on the suspension.

Really appreciate as much inputs as possible. Thanks!!
These are signs of wear and tear IMO.

1. The ball joints are worn out, in all probability. Like I said, wear and tear, and rough roads of course.

2. Not sure about the costs involved, but rest assured, it will not be as expensive as parts in other cars, like the Chevy Spark, for example.

3. With 3 people and a CNG kit, it is bound to bottom out once in a while. Try improving your technique while negotiating speed-breakers. A slight angle should help.

If you want to avoid bottoming out altogether, then you'll need to stiffen the suspension, and by doing so, ride quality will be compromised. If you're really interested in stiffening the rear suspension, consult a tuner in your city. Koni offers shocks that allow you to enable a stiffer setting.

4. It depends on your use and your driving style. If you crash into speed breakers and pot-holes often, then you'd get a bill from the service station much earlier than you would have expected.
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Old 13th March 2011, 15:05   #3
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Post Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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Originally Posted by SAS View Post
Hi,

I have a Maruti Alto purchased in May'04. It's been running great since the past 6 years. I'm now facing issues with my suspension, both front and rear. I'm outlining them below and hope to find some good solutions from people. Till now I have not done any work on the suspension and the mileage run is 67k kms till date. Guys... please help me!!!

1. The front suspension makes noise, like a loose clicking noise when it goes over uneven / rough roads. What could be the culprit? The ball joints could be worn out?
2. The front struts seem to have become weak. Generally after what mileage are the front strut springs changed? What are the expected costs for parts and labour (ballpark numbers would suffice)?
3. I have fitted a CNG kit in the car and have been using it since the past 1 year. The additional weight of the CNG cylinder has caused the rear car to go down a few inches. Also now that the CNG kit is there, the rear suspension bottoms out when 2 or 3 people sit at the rear. I need a solution for this. I however do not want to install spacers. I would rather prefer fitting longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Can you guys recommend anything? Basically looking for longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Also can anybody recommend shops in Mumbai to get this done? Looking for something more functional rather than exotic.
4. Generally what all work on the suspension is required for a car around 6 years and have done 70k kms? Till now I haven't done anything on the suspension.

Really appreciate as much inputs as possible. Thanks!!
In all probability, the suspension might need to be comprehensively overhauled and its not such a bad thing, considering the mileage and the time you have spent with the car.

Alto suspension is actually very basic and quite cheap to overhaul as there is no fancy stuff involved. Last time I remember, a very comprehensive suspension overhaul for the Alto costs around 10k MAX if you get it done at a competent garage. If its a Maruthi Authorized service center, expect costs to be a little higher.

In my opinion, do not modify the rear suspension. The issues you spoke about like the bottoming of the suspension on bad roads will be taken care of when you overhaul your suspension. Fitting of a CNG kit does not usually warrant a suspension modification to take care of the added weight.
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Old 13th March 2011, 17:07   #4
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

Answered your queries inline in bold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAS View Post
I'm outlining them below and hope to find some good solutions from people. Till now I have not done any work on the suspension and the mileage run is 67k kms till date.
1. The front suspension makes noise, like a loose clicking noise when it goes over uneven / rough roads. What could be the culprit? The ball joints could be worn out?
The noise could be from any or all of multiple joints and links in the front suspension, viz. the tie rod ends, steering ball joints, wishbone, or worn rubber kit of the struts.

2. The front struts seem to have become weak. Generally after what mileage are the front strut springs changed? What are the expected costs for parts and labour (ballpark numbers would suffice)?
Strut springs generally last a very very long time, and only the dampers need to be changed, while the coil spring can continue to be used. Damper cost should be in the range of Rs.1000-1200 per pair, and should be changed as a pair only.

3. I have fitted a CNG kit in the car and have been using it since the past 1 year. The additional weight of the CNG cylinder has caused the rear car to go down a few inches. Also now that the CNG kit is there, the rear suspension bottoms out when 2 or 3 people sit at the rear. I need a solution for this. I however do not want to install spacers. I would rather prefer fitting longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Can you guys recommend anything? Basically looking for longer and stiffer springs in the rear. Also can anybody recommend shops in Mumbai to get this done? Looking for something more functional rather than exotic.
Spacers are the usual low-cost solution to raise the ride height. Since the rear suspension is only designed to handle a certain load, overloading it with the CNG cylinder plus 3 people in the rear seat is not a good idea. Even with stiffer springs and dampers, the mounting points and linkages are likely to give way if run in an overloaded fashion over rough roads.

4. Generally what all work on the suspension is required for a car around 6 years and have done 70k kms? Till now I haven't done anything on the suspension.
A suspension overhaul may include replacement of the front and rear joints and links, and changing the dampers. Steering rack may need lathe work if loose and noisy, with change of mounting bushes. However, at 67k km not all the work needs to be done comprehensively, and some of it can be deferred at the discretion of your FNG. MASS will change everything at one go in all likelihood.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 13th March 2011 at 17:09.
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Old 13th March 2011, 19:28   #5
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
These are signs of wear and tear IMO.

1. The ball joints are worn out, in all probability. Like I said, wear and tear, and rough roads of course.

2. Not sure about the costs involved, but rest assured, it will not be as expensive as parts in other cars, like the Chevy Spark, for example.

3. With 3 people and a CNG kit, it is bound to bottom out once in a while. Try improving your technique while negotiating speed-breakers. A slight angle should help.

If you want to avoid bottoming out altogether, then you'll need to stiffen the suspension, and by doing so, ride quality will be compromised. If you're really interested in stiffening the rear suspension, consult a tuner in your city. Koni offers shocks that allow you to enable a stiffer setting.

4. It depends on your use and your driving style. If you crash into speed breakers and pot-holes often, then you'd get a bill from the service station much earlier than you would have expected.
Thanks Suhaas, I'll be taking my car to the service center shortly. You mentioned about Koni. Are they stiffer and longer at the same time?

Also does anybody know about where I can get the rear springs modified? Any recommendations for a good garage / workshop in Mumbai western suburbs?

SS Traveller, don't worry, I won't load the rear with 3 people. It's seldom loaded. My problem is with the rear sagging with even the CNG tank installed in the rear and it being lower and softer / saggier than normal. I didn't want spacers, hence want to look at stiffer / longer travel springs and shocks. I just need something marginally stronger / stiffer and don't want to do in for something more exotic like adjustable shocks etc. Any inputs on after market solutions, specifically here in Mumbai? Thanks...
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Old 13th March 2011, 19:37   #6
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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...want to look at stiffer / longer travel springs and shocks.
Any inputs on after market solutions, specifically here in Mumbai? Thanks...
Longer rear struts/springs will change the rear suspension and wheel alignment geometry. Stiffer springs is an option, but I am sorry I have no idea where to source the same in Mumbai.
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Old 13th March 2011, 20:02   #7
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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Thanks Suhaas, I'll be taking my car to the service center shortly. You mentioned about Koni. Are they stiffer and longer at the same time?

Also does anybody know about where I can get the rear springs modified? Any recommendations for a good garage / workshop in Mumbai western suburbs?

SS Traveller, don't worry, I won't load the rear with 3 people. It's seldom loaded. My problem is with the rear sagging with even the CNG tank installed in the rear and it being lower and softer / saggier than normal. I didn't want spacers, hence want to look at stiffer / longer travel springs and shocks. I just need something marginally stronger / stiffer and don't want to do in for something more exotic like adjustable shocks etc. Any inputs on after market solutions, specifically here in Mumbai? Thanks...
Koni is an aftermarket performance suspension component brand. They have a wide range of products, I'm told. The tech in their FSE shocks is quite brilliant. But the purpose of installing Koni's are for better road mannerisms. Generally seen in cars that have been modified for performance.

I'm not sure if Koni's are the correct choice for the sole purpose of stiffening the rear suspension in order to negate the clearance issue. You still could consider Konis, I don't think that should matter. But you could find out more in your city. I'm not familiar with Bombay's car accessory stores, apart from one 'Four Seasons'.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 13th March 2011 at 20:05.
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Old 13th March 2011, 20:15   #8
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

Please make sure you get original parts only.If you are going for a independant garage instead of MASS which may be cheaper make sure you get OE equipment.For instance the struts should be Gabriel and the lower arms etc should be from Sona which i think (unless mistaken) is OE for Maruti.Aviod co's like Rane etc which also make lower arm kits.Lot's of fake parts are avaiable so be sure.

Use the T-Bhp directory.If you live around Bandra then i would recommend Nakita motors (listed on the t-bhp directory) for a honest , reliable and reasonable repair job.If you are going to visit them call Mr Joe and get a appointment.
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Old 13th March 2011, 22:32   #9
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
Please make sure you get original parts only.If you are going for a independant garage instead of MASS which may be cheaper make sure you get OE equipment.For instance the struts should be Gabriel and the lower arms etc should be from Sona which i think (unless mistaken) is OE for Maruti.Aviod co's like Rane etc which also make lower arm kits.Lot's of fake parts are avaiable so be sure.

Use the T-Bhp directory.If you live around Bandra then i would recommend Nakita motors (listed on the t-bhp directory) for a honest , reliable and reasonable repair job.If you are going to visit them call Mr Joe and get a appointment.
Thanks Sumeet. I stay at Borivali. I'll visit Nakita Motors (I'd rather travel than get screwed by a shoddy job). Do you have any experience with your car's suspension?

In the meantime, I'd like suggestions from others too. Shall then come to a decision and close it this coming weekend...
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Old 14th March 2011, 21:42   #10
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

General bump.

Would request others who have had some experience in overhauling their suspension, especially for an alto / zen to contribute. I've got till Friday till I decide on what needs to be done and at which workshop should I do it. Thanks guys in advance!!
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Old 15th March 2011, 21:11   #11
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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Thanks Sumeet. I stay at Borivali. I'll visit Nakita Motors (I'd rather travel than get screwed by a shoddy job). Do you have any experience with your car's suspension?

In the meantime, I'd like suggestions from others too. Shall then come to a decision and close it this coming weekend...
Here's a linky to my experience in gettin my 800's front suspension ovehauled.It should not cost you more than what it did to me as more or less i think i was over charged with bad parts.The Rane's suspension kit is so lousy it has made my steering tighter and even after a year after the o/h was done there is no sign of loosening of the same.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ul-cost-2.html (Maruti 800 Suspension Overhaul Cost)


If you visit Nakita motors please take appointment before going.Be assured of a honest job if you go there.
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Old 16th March 2011, 01:22   #12
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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...1. The front suspension makes noise, like a loose clicking noise when it goes over uneven / rough roads. What could be the culprit? The ball joints could be worn out?...
I am facing a similar situation in our 2006 Alto (61K done)....the MASS person has said it is a noise from the steering-box, and this needs to be replaced at next service. Cost about 4.5K (and wheel alignment needs to be done mandatorily after this change).
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Old 16th March 2011, 10:21   #13
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

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I am facing a similar situation in our 2006 Alto (61K done)....the MASS person has said it is a noise from the steering-box, and this needs to be replaced at next service. Cost about 4.5K (and wheel alignment needs to be done mandatorily after this change).
Its probably a small bush in the steering box. You can get the bush replaced outside of the MASS without changing the complete assembly.
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Old 16th March 2011, 21:44   #14
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Its probably a small bush in the steering box. You can get the bush replaced outside of the MASS without changing the complete assembly.
Ok. Have you had any personal experience with this? Also how much did the parts and labor cost? Were your symptoms similar to mine, viz rattling from somewhere near the front suspension, etc? Thanks..
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Old 18th March 2011, 00:36   #15
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Default Re: Suspension issues in Maruti Alto - need solutions

Check the following before pointing it to the suspension.
1. park on a plain surface.
2. Check for Oil leakage (6 year old alto had oil based, new one is gas filled) near the springs, If you cannot see the oil, you will probably see lot of moist dust sticking on the shocks. Same goes with the rear ones.

3. Push the car up and down by applying pressure on the bonnet or fender. The car should not bounce about. The cracking noise can be easily be eradicated by applying oil or WD 40 spray on the suspension.

Some other Culprit.
1. Tierods
2. Trailing arm
3. balance rod bushes.

Cost are as follows.
1. Gabriel or Escorts shocks front , Rs.1800 per piece. MGP ones you have to assemble them, it doesn't come as a whole package.
I suggest you use Gabriel, and you live in a big city you will probably get cheaper

2.Trailing Arm. Rs.475 per piece.

3. Tie rod and ends.Rs.175/-

4. Stablizer Bar/balance rod bushes. Rs.75/-

5. Rear shock absorber . 680 per piece.


Cheers

Last edited by SirAlec : 18th March 2011 at 00:42.
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