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Old 14th December 2007, 15:22   #1
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Default my little angel:'96 m800 my first car.

Well, to begin with , my little angel is a white June 1996 maruti 800 std. As such it is type 1 and carb model with factory fitted catalytic converter(bharat 1 I guess).
I bought it a week ago as a used car from Varun motors –begumpet(true value outlet) ; but this car is a non-true value vehicle ,meaning they don’t offer any warranty or free services.Thats because according to maruti only cars after 2001 are called true value vehicles( also not more than 2 ownership transfers.).
a. How’s the car?
Hmm.. to put it short: for that vintage , I must admit that it has been wonderfully maintained. There are a few dents and lots of scratches on doors but inside it is as good as any 3-4 year old vehicle (read 800).Before finalizing on this , I got a mech check it and he said it is absolutely trouble free,no mechanical repairs needed. Only some denting and cosmetic work (touchups) needed, along with replacement of a tail lamp assembly(its working but broken ). The tyres are all cross-ply type and 4 tires including stepney (spare tire) are Ceat Endura. Front left tyre is a JK jetspeed mfg. date is ’96!!!
Yes, it’s the original stepney being used still. Thread on all tires is uniform and has some 7-9 mm still left on it.
Oh, btw I did not mention the odo reading- it has run 46,624km by the time I took delivery.
That’s quiet low( I mean my bike has run the same amount of km in its 4 yrs of life. So in comparison, that’s quite low.) And it is genuine mileage as I found out later.
Pictures speak more than words but as I can’t post them now (no access to gallery yet) let me give detailed description of various aspects of the vehicle:
b. Interiors:

1.dash is the same as type1 800-all electricals working, no a/c(std u see). Steering wrapped by some wire type of grip.
2.Door side panels have fabric insert and all four seats also have fabric upholstery- all factory standard. It seems in later models maruti discontinued fabric upholstery and gave only vinyl seat covers; cost cutting exercise.
Rear sit is split(50:50) , it comes handy when I need to move in some luggage.Even this feature is missing in latter models(not even in 5-speed variants).
3.Carpet looks neat and under the carpets there is no rust. Infact all the drain plugs are in place. (this impressed me ). It tells something about how well the owner has maintained it. I mean even in most 5-6 yrs old 800s I have seen drain plugs removed and some rust around them. Well, can’t help people who treat this little car badly just because they get it cheap.
4.Roof is not uniform (inside lining is showing off age) and it needs refurbishing some 12 months down the line.
5. Boot is very neat, stepney is having good amount of thread left on, no signs of rust under it.
c. Exterior:
Nothing to write about here, on either side ,doors have good number of scratches and small dents(noticeable). The bonnet has some 2-3 small dents . One of the tail lamp assembly is cracked (by some hit I guess) but still in place and working well. Even hatch has a shallow dent but not noticeable normally.(this one I noticed only after delivery).
d. Engine:
before delivery got it checked with one mech, after delivery also got second opinion, both confirmed that its in very good condition.The battery is Lucas Endura(does anyone know if its still in production? ). Working fine now(only small key turn needed ot start) but don’t know how long will it last. All mechanicals are stock, no modifications.
Rear suspension is leaf spring as it was for type 1.
e. Tires:
All have good amount of thread left but they are all cross-ply.( I will change them in an year , once I pickup driving properly).One of the tyres is ’96 model that came with the car. I think it was unused stepney untill all the tyres got changed in 2003(as per date on the other tyres).
f. Underbody:

Did not check yet, I was sure it will be good , judging from above factors. A badly maintained car will show up in one or other cases. However wheel arches seem to be healthy.

I did not give much importance to dents and scratches as I myself will be experimenting with the vehicle . I was quite impressed by the care the previous owner has taken.

g. Performance: I cann’t comment on this as am not that experienced, but personally am happy as I can start from 1st gear without pumping any gas. Mech however has test-driven and said pickup is as good as it can be.

Insurance valid till next June(it’s comprehensive and with 45% NCB .
PUC is also valid till Jan end. All transfer forms signed(including insurance transfer) . So, all documents are in place.
As for the FE , am yet to check it.
h. The negatives:
Not many negatives but the general things like in any used car package:
slight window pane rattles, the window winding mechanism needs lubrication – well for that matter everything in the car needs lubrication- door hinges, steering joint , gear leaver bushes, seat sliding mechanism, etc.,. This is because of the car being idle for most part of the pervious 1-2 yrs (or more). I need to do all such kind of preventive maintenance to see that every moving part is properly lubricated. Will take care of it this weekend.
There is not even a stereo installed( ofcourse, i will go for a better ICE but for the time being I mean).
Even seats have no covers, the previous owner used it just as it was , no changes everything stock.
Tires are cross ply- not a big problem as it will do for my learning period.When I take the car to higher speeds , I’ll go for better ones.(an year latter).
There are visible scratches on all doors but I don’t care; inside(under the hood and roof as well) much more beautiful.
i. Buying experience:
Well, actually buying a used car itself is a risky job and that too from dealers is even more risky. But I knew( just good rapport ) one of the sales guys at varun . He is soft spoken and honest, so I trusted him. I was looking for a used car to be my first car ( am new to driving and so did not want to spoil a new car). I called up this guy to know if any true value cars are available( he give a fairly honest opinion). So, he said this is one car which needed no maintenance(other needed small / major repairs). That’s exactly what I wanted as I can’t spend much time around for hunting spares or getting it repaired often.
They allowed a test drive( mech drove it) , am satisfied with the performance.
Finished other formalities. By the time I took it home it amounted to something like 58k (including tax and other charges). They got it cleaned and provided me a person to drive it home. One advantage with buying from these true value people is that documentation will be perfect(but you have to pay a little more).
k. About the previous owner: While inspecting the vehicle at varun , I saw the papers and they read 2 transfers. So , I am the third owner(legally). But , latter(after delivery) I found (in car glove box) my cars pervious service sheet(on july 2nd 2007 at varun itself). Believe me, it read a reading of 46,5XX km. That means the car has run hardly about 100 km in 4 months. I doubted if the varun guys have meddled with odo. But then I found the owners phone number in it and called up. Came to know that he is a doctor working in a pharma company and he is the sole owner of the car since ’96!!! That’s a pleasant surprise to me.
Then what about the 2 transfers in R/C? He said that initially the car was in his company’s name and later it was transferred into his name. But he was not using it much as his company has given him another car. He confirmed that odometer reading is genuine as he had not used it much.
He was reluctant to sell the car but because his family needed a bigger car they had exchanged it for another new one. He was willing to help me with another information whatever I need.
Well, after that my car seemed more precious to me. While buying a used car and you know it was well maintained previously, you will adore it more.
I have driven about 30 Km so far ( just a week and am new to driving ).
A few important reasons that prompted me to buy this car:
1.Being new to driving , my brain said a strict no-no to a brand new car ; no matter how tantalizing a new car smell might be.
2.For a used car, I don’t have much time to spend for its maintenance, so low maintenance became top most priority finally( I did not realize it when I began
Search for used cars)
3.I don’t want to take a loan for used car.
4.The lower the amount I need to buy a car , that much lesser is the risk ( I mean even if I mess up with the car- I will not feel that bad then).

So, this particular angel fitted the bill perfectly. I will keep this car forever (until it dies it’s natural death), this being the first car I bought with the money I earned.

This is my first ever review on anything and hope I have put it nicely. I intend that this will be helpful to who are searching for a used car(new drivers and m800 in particular).

Last edited by Samurai : 15th December 2007 at 00:31. Reason: font tags
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Old 14th December 2007, 23:05   #2
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Nice work bro, well framed report.
I own an 2000 carb 800 myself and absolutely love it. Hope you have a great time with your car. Do u mind sharing how much u paid for it?

Also u can post pics. checkhttp://wgraphs-team-bhp.html
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Old 14th December 2007, 23:11   #3
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That was a very interesting account of your buying experience. Do write about your weekly progress as well in this thread -- it will be useful for newbies who need encouragement. I'm in the same boat as you are, except that my first car (which I bought two months ago) is a white 1997 Zen. I've been finding it very difficult to set aside time for practice, so my progress has been slow. Living in a congested suburb or Bombay doesn't help in any way!
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Old 14th December 2007, 23:24   #4
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Congrats! And excellent report.

Front left tyre is manufactured in 96? Its a 11 year old tyre. Please change the tyres. Last thing you want is the tyres to burst at high speeds.

I had a M800 for 7 years. After we sold it, realised the value!
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Old 14th December 2007, 23:28   #5
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M 800 rocks!!! I own 800 EX 5 gear MPFI model and i bet it just can give run for money to any cars even above its segment. Super mileage and fun to zip around in city.
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Old 15th December 2007, 03:55   #6
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Default pictures will follow

to moderators:
Thank you for editing the thread and making it easier for all.Thats a wonderful help.Next time i'll preview before submitting to see that tags dont pop in.
to Edsel:
Well, the carb zen has got its own charm,something very very unique to it(particularly old zens with wrap around lamps).Some how cat eye headlamps(later models) make it look more aggressive.(personal opinion)
<<Edsel wrote: I've been finding it very difficult to set aside time for practice, so my progress has been slow. Living in a congested suburb or Bombay doesn't help in any way!>>
I live more less towards the outskirts of the city. Hence the streets around are quite free in the mornings and after 9pm , so thats the time i take out the car and do a few winding rounds in the streets(gullys ).Only twice i succesfully ventured on to the main road(that too in the early morning only).What i experienced is, doing a little distance slowly everyday makes you accustomed to car and hence you feel more confident about the handling. gradually you can increase time and distance(ofcourse speed).

to Crazy Driver
: Thank you.Yes mee too am concerned about that,knew that 11 yr old tyre is trouble inviting, but right now am just learning . so the max speed i go is 30-40kmph that too for short distance.So, am just waiting for a few days to be able to confidently go onto main road traffic, then i will get tyres rotated and put this '96 model back to spare position. After a few months of my getting used to vehicle then i'll get the radials(just thinking of upsizing tyres- hence the wait ).

to sameer :
for a few days before buying this angel, i searched hard for a 5-speed 800 and alto vx1.1 , got a few good offers but in either case i had to go for a personal loan, which pulled me back. The logic is i can learn on my little angel and later can go for a new car ,keeping my angel with me forever . i thought it to be reasonable than going for a car>1lakh and then selling it later for money.Thats the only reasoning for not going with those cars-both are very good performers in their segment and excellent VFM in used cars.
to speed devil:
thank you brother, one advantage with carb engine over mpfi is that we can lay our hands on almost everything without fear of serious mistake.Thats something i realised after i bought it.btw, i paid rs.58K in all. The guys originally quoted 67k but carwale.com gave a price of 56-60 K. So , i thought its a good deal.
Thanks for the link, am posting the pictures soon.
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Old 15th December 2007, 04:48   #7
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Default finally here are the images:

Front view:

Rear View:

Side View:

Interiors-all stock, i need to start afresh.

another picture of interiors:

Floor under the carpet on driver side. Note the drain plug still in place

View from boot.Note the carpet still attached to seat. None of the old 800s i have searched for did match this.signifies how well maintained it is.

Split rear seats- can come handy for shopping.

The 11 year old front left tire i spoke about:

The engine bay:

The only visiible rust on the vehicle is this corrosion due to acid leak from battery. What can i do about this, can ony this part be repainted with out dismantling the engine??
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Old 17th December 2007, 08:12   #8
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Default car pulling to left

yesterday(sunday) i went for a short drive(25km) and when i tested the straight line characteristics of the car(left steering and watched) found that car is slowly pulling to left. I guess its because of misalignment. I rode the car over a good number of bumps and speed breakers before this. So, did they cause the misalignment or is it part of periodical maintenance? Also should wheels be aligned whenever we change a tire(say, like a puncture)?
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Old 17th December 2007, 13:53   #9
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Is your 1996 tyre on the left front wheel by any chance? Even if it isn't, the handling may be affected. As someone else suggested, it may be wise to replace the old tire even if it has tread left. Get your wheels balanced and checked for toe-in at the same time.
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Old 17th December 2007, 22:35   #10
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Excellent decision! Even I thought the same when I bought my first 800. I too bought a second-hand 800(4 yr old) after I started to earn. Even though I knew driving before, I was not at all a good driver, especially in the city, in tight situations. I learnt all this on my 800. I used this car for a year. But all good things have to come to an end. I sold it. And now, a proud owner of a Swift VDi!
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Old 18th December 2007, 14:14   #11
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Even i thought the same edsel, anyway while aligning i did get the tyres rotated (cross rotation) as per the user manual.Then they adjusted the toe in, but as per the readings i can see front left camber is positive. Hence , i think there might have been some pull ,whatever- after the rotation&alignment steering is responding much better,rather straight also. DId about another 25km trip this morning, didnot venture into thick city traffic though. I will keep that '96 tire as stepney and as i said, will change all tires at once after some time, probably will go tube less way.Got a quote of Rs.1300 per tire from good year for 12" tubeless(145/70).

Thank you blue_pulsar, yes logically this is the best decision.However people whose heart prevails over brain may go for a new one at first go.But, from i after purchase experience i think, if you get a very good used car deal, its always good to go for it.You will know more of the car mechanicals/maintenance than if you had gone for a new car. Also, see if initially am a bad driver ( i mean say i burnt the clutch) , it may only cost 5-6 k to undo any major mistake. However if you do the same to a new (modern) car , the cost will be much higher(also take into account the EMI if you go for financing.) But the catch is that , getting a good used car is kind of a lottery thing- either you have to wait long for finding a good one, or go for a average one and get it reconditioned. In either case , working people with limited amount of time can't handle the situation. So, for them even if it means a few dents and some early mistakes, they prefer to go for a new car.Well ,in my case itself it took 3 months to find a good one (at a good price). Also even now there are very minor niggling issues- like alignment, fixing rattles, minor touch ups/tinkering, getting battery and engine tuned etc.,. All these things are a head ache for normal people who just want to drive but not want to get their hands dirty.
Well for me its fun, am getting to know more of my car which definitely would not have happened had i gone for a new car. Am happy.
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Old 6th January 2008, 21:43   #12
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We just sold our Nov. 96 800 for 45k in Delhi, a few days ago.
Had become somewhat of a white elephant, but we loved it so much!
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Old 6th January 2008, 22:13   #13
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Nice report and good pics. I myself had an M800 of 1999 Model. Used the car upto year 2004. Nice car to zip inside the city. Do conduct a thorough test on functional parts including tyres before taking for any long drives.
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Old 6th January 2008, 23:00   #14
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Originally Posted by deetee View Post
I will keep that '96 tire as stepney and as i said,will change all tires at once after some time, probably will go tube less way.Got a quote of Rs.1300 per tire from good year for 12" tubeless(145/70).

I still have a 1998 4 speed carburated new shape maruti 800.What a
car.Do inspect the rims for rust before plonking in the new tyres.
Also u cannot keep one cross ply tyre as stepney when rest of them are radials as their overall diameter is different.
IF u have a punture on the front tyre then u cannot run one cross ply and one radial in the front as the 800 is a front wheel driven car.Will cause damage to your differential.
So if u change the tyres buy 5 new tyres of the same size
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Old 6th January 2008, 23:22   #15
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deetee first of all congrats on the purchase. Sometimes I feel nostalgic when I get to see the M800 at my neighbours parking. My FIL still owns a '94 M800 and I take it out for a spin once in while. I love driving this small thingy around Mysore once in a while.

Drive safe mate. Good luck.
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