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Old 16th September 2012, 13:40   #1
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Default My Pre-owned Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LS

Hello friends, I would love to share with you all my experience with buying & owing a Pre-owned 2004 model Chevrolet Optra 1.8LS. I purchased this car back in October 2010 after a love at first sight case.

Now today, it's more than a year & it's a decision which I have never regretted. The car has been fantastic, had the oil changes & filters changed as well as the brake pads accompanied by brake servicing. The a/c freezes the car & everything else is sound. Only once, a couple of months back the car cranked a bit slower than normal. So I immediately took it to the Exide center & found out that the battery which had lasted for 4 years was nearing the end of its life. Fitted a new one & tested the alternator as well. All was well on the electrical front. The car as on now never ever fails to bring a smile to my face & it gives me a high when I drive it. Apart from that who wouldn't be happy with getting a D Segment car for the price of a used Wagon R in such fantastic condition for 2 lacs?

The odometer reading is now 41,716kms & the car fortunately had its tyres changed just 3k kms prior to me buying it at around 39k kms. It has a Blapunkt 5CD changer system with all the other goodies like power windows, locks, mirrors etc.

There's one thing in particular which I always loved about the Optra petrol i.e the exhaust note. It is refined & yet has a muted sporty roar at around 3k rpm. This sounds almost musical when driving it.

Other pros:
1) Good pickup, excellent ride quality, a/c & build quality.
2) Aerodynamic looks & curves.
3) Very spacious.
4) A rare site as one doesn't see many Grey Optras on the road, so it stands out.
5) Fantastic headlights.
6) Young age status symbol

Some apprehensions however which I have:
1) A minor squeak on bad roads from the wooden paneling on the lhs of the dashboard. I haven't been able to locate the source yet.
2) FE is about 8-10kms at its best (Something which pinches the pocket because of petrol prices)
3) A small speck of rust inside the lhs behind door.
4) Mysteriously I found rat excreta on top of the engine cover during the first monsoon. This however did not happen to 2 other cars an accent & a waggy parked beside mine. I sorted it out my putting rat medicine around the parking space, but still wonder if there is some opening I don't know about?
5) A scratch on the lhs behind bumper which I am yet to fix as being in Mumbai if you survive the drive home from the garage after painting without a scratch, your lucky

Service costs so far:
1st service: Rs 2300/- including oil changes & filters (after purchase).
2nd & 3rd service: Total 700/- = Rs 250+350 (No Oil change required as only 2k kms clocked).
Brake pad changing cost: Rs 2500/- including labor (New pads front + Disc resurfacing / polishing + rear brake service / cleaning)
Wiper Blade 2 no's = Rs 550/-
Punctures 2 no's Rs 600/- (Nail punctures)
De-carbonizing & fuel system cleaning = Rs 2400/-

My longest drives so far have only been from Vasai where I live near Mumbai to Thane as I rarely get time to drive. Besides I like to keep my car immaculate at all times & need to keep a check on the fuel expense as well to ensure proper financial planning. Perhaps the main reason I shelved my former decision of buying a new Manza / DZire & purchased this, is to remain liability free by not being locked into a contract for a few years & save money for the future. I intend to keep this car for 2 more years minimum as it helps me to do that.

The maximum speed I've managed so far is 160km/ hr on the NH8 towards Mumbai. Only once I noticed that when I was pressing the clutch sometime after the service, the rpm was dipping to 500 & coming back up to 900. This happened briefly & it became alright. But it however set off a warning bell in my mind & it happened again after a few days. However I sorted it out myself by resetting the e.c.m with the battery terminal disconnecting / reconnecting.

Apart from these minor glitches, she has been fantastic as before. I intend to keep her that way for some more time at least since i'm only 25 years old & this is my first car with my own money.

Photos of the car are as below. I will also keep updating this thread from time to time & would love to hear feedback from other Optra owners on how their cars are doing as well. (Please forgive me for the poor quality as I clicked it with a Nokia 2690 h/s.
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Old 16th September 2012, 18:42   #2
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Default re: My Pre-owned Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LS

Very good car. Have taken some long rides in this car when our car rental agency used to send this at times. the rear seating is amazing. excellent leg room and under thigh support. Ride quality over bad roads was superb. Dont worry about the FE and enjoy it for what it offers

Only draw back is ( of course for the first owners ), thanks to the GM tag and if its a petrol car, its a resale disaster. A friend's father has a immaculately maintained specimen (2005/6 i think ) and he is struggling to sell it whereas i managed to get a better resale value for my 2001 OHC than the quotes he is getting ( for a car positioned 1 segment above )
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Old 16th September 2012, 22:47   #3
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Default re: My Pre-owned Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LS

The Optra is an excellent car, specially for a 2nd hand buy at its prices. It build quality is way better and NVH levels are very low. I owned it for 2 years before coming to USA. 41k is very low miles. The room in the optra will spoil you so much, even in the newer cars < 10 lakhs you will not find one... it has good torque and is very responsive in the city as well. Have years of happy ownership with it. Just make sure to change the timing belt when required. That service will cost you almost 20k +.
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Old 18th September 2012, 13:50   #4
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Default Re: My Pre-owned Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LS

Congrats Rohan for the fantastic price on a sensible buy. A friend had the LT & the drives in the same were amazing & you felt fresh even after long drives. He was so hooked to it that he has driven it from Pune all the way to east UP & back.

I am sure you are having a lot of fun with the pre-worshipped status symbol. I know the fuel efficiency is not so great & hence the low resale. However I hope you would not be minding spending a bit from the money saved on EMIs if you would have otherwise gone for a new one & plan on a couple of long drives - maybe to Goa with friends

Happy Motoring.
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Old 24th April 2014, 20:18   #5
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Default Re: My Pre-owned Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LS

Rohan, how is your Optra behaving now? Certainly a very sensible buy, also your aspirational car.

I bought a pre-worshiped 2008 Petrol Magnum driven 16000 kms in 2010, so far I am very happy with the decision. Good ride quality and space, fantastic on long drives. For my daily commute in city I get a decent 11.5-12 km/l (I am driving on Eastern Exp. Highway and the eastern freeway to office).

Intend to keep the car for another 2-3 years, till I have the pocket to buy a SUV.

Drive safe !
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