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Old 9th November 2020, 18:54   #721
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

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Originally Posted by vsbabu
I had completely forgotten about ATF replacement, though mine is due only in 2022, thinking of getting it changed. May I know where you got it changed and whether that took regular daily service time only or you had to leave the car at service center? Approximately, how much does it cost - if you don't mind sharing that.
The ATF was Rs870 for 3litres. Don't have individual labour charge for replacing ATF as it was done as part of another big job. It was done at my friend's garage in Kerala. Should take only couple hours I think.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 16:14   #722
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

The A-Star's now covered 26k with us in the past 5.5 years. Odo has crossed the 37k mark. I did use it for some time initially, and it was idle for sometime in between. But over the past 2.5 years, wife has been regularly using it for what it was bought for - her commute to the hospital. And after Covid, we have ruled out public transport, incl autos and cabs.

Servicing is not fixed. Recently had taken it to Swastikaa Autos in Begur for a check on the auto-locking of the door. Asked Lokesh Aradhya (partner) to check it once - and he happened to open up the air-filter. We were shocked to see the air-filter partly chewed up by rats. Not sure where the rats came from since the car is parked in the apartment basement.

He changed the filter, and added a mesh in the air intake. So glad he checked it.

There was some noise from the front suspension area, and he got the calipers adjusted at the lathe. Car is back to normal now.

Steady FE of about 10kmpl. The projectors in the headlamps (by our @Varun560061) have really helped.
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Old 25th November 2020, 10:28   #723
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

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I drove my A Star AT on the highway and on rattling bad roads for ~120 Km yesterday. When parking it at my home, I slotted it into reverse and it emitted a grinding noise.
Update: The transmission now emits noises when upshifting, through all its gears. When it shifts into 2nd at around 15 Kmph for instance or from 4th to 5th at around 40 kmph, it goes "Rrrrrrr".

Once cyclone Nivar comes and goes, it's destination MASS that's down the road from my home. The head mechanic there had told me months ago that he would flush the old ATF and do a complete replacement instead of the drain-and-fill method. I know Scotty Kilmer has warned in his YouTube channel against flushing of old transmissions, but I don't have another option. Independent garages have turned me down for an ATF replacement as they're not confident of doing it correctly.
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Old 25th November 2020, 12:27   #724
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

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Update: The transmission now emits noises when upshifting, through all its gears. When it shifts into 2nd at around 15 Kmph for instance or from 4th to 5th at around 40 kmph, it goes "Rrrrrrr".
If possible, could you please post a short AV clip of the shifting & accompanying sound ?
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Old 25th November 2020, 12:31   #725
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
Update: The transmission now emits noises when upshifting, through all its gears. When it shifts into 2nd at around 15 Kmph for instance or from 4th to 5th at around 40 kmph, it goes "Rrrrrrr"...
Apparently, solenoids are easily replaced on most ATs (I have no idea why your AT is noisy, but I gather that poor shifting could be caused by sticky solenoids).
Hope the ATF flush does the trick. Good luck.
Not the Jatco 405E, but similar: (turn on English subtitles)
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Old 25th November 2020, 14:02   #726
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

Having said all this, I'm worried about getting taken for a ride by the MASS center. My erswhile CVT equipped Nissan Rogue AWD SUV in the US had a similar rattling noise but it turned out to be a heat shield rot issue in the undercarriage. The heat shield metal plate would rattle at certain vibrations because it had gotten loose in some places. A few screws solved it for me back then. Anyhow, I need to solve this problem one way or the other - fingers crossed!

Edit: Symptom #2 that's narrated by this guy below is exactly what I'd experienced, which is a delayed reverse gear engagement. It took a second or two before the car actually moved backwards for me after I had slotted it in 'R' gear. So an ATF replacement might be all I need - fingers crossed!

Last edited by locusjag : 25th November 2020 at 14:12.
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Old 7th December 2020, 09:49   #727
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Having said all this, I'm worried about getting taken for a ride by the MASS center....an ATF replacement might be all I need - fingers crossed!
Au contraire, the MASS center refused to do anything to the car at all last week I took it to them and went along on a test ride with the service advisor as he manually selected each gear and listened intently to the car's sounds. There was the customary rattle in every gear but only at lower RPMs within each gear; it would upshift smoothly and rattle only at lower RPMs. The rattle disappears when the RPMs pick up within each gear. This is contrary to my earlier mis-diagnosis of rattling when upshifting, my bad. And this is a resonance problem - which is what engine mounts are designed to prevent.

So anyway, the service advisor tells me that the engine mounts have deteriorated by ~30%. I told him to please take the car keys from me and change the mounts and also do a proactive ATF replacement. He says "everything is good in the car sir, the mount replacement will only result in a 30% improvement and you won't notice any improvement due to the ATF change. Net result is you won't be happy with me."

I was gobsmacked - my mind was screaming, "just take my money man. Change the damn mounts and replace the ATF proactively for me. Just get my car back to 100% perfect performance." Instead, since the service advisor was so emphatic about it, my mouth merely said "thanks" and my legs carried me back to the car.

I will need to take the car to my trusted independent mechanic, whose garage is a bit far away. At least he listens to what I have to say.
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Old 9th December 2020, 19:18   #728
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
...
So anyway, the service advisor tells me that the engine mounts have deteriorated by ~30%. I told him to please take the car keys from me and change the mounts and also do a proactive ATF replacement...

I will need to take the car to my trusted independent mechanic, whose garage is a bit far away. At least he listens to what I have to say.
Check out this video on why the ATF pan needs to be cleaned and not just do a drain and fill:

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Old 22nd December 2020, 16:13   #729
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

Finally after so many months of enduring mysteries with my A Star, it is back at home after spending 10 days with my trusted independent mechanic.

Firstly - the Maruti service center near home is worth nothing. They refused to even take the car in, as I'd mentioned a few posts earlier here. The amount of respect and gratitude I have for my mechanic (whom we've known in the family for a decade now) has only grown a few notches.

Anyway, here's a quick recap of all the symptoms I'd been facing:
* After slotting the car into "R" in my parking lot, the car would hesitate a bit before moving backwards. There was a groaning noise as well when it did so.
* At a certain RPM in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears, it would rattle. But it didn't rattle when actually upshifting; the audible vibrations were only felt and heard at a certain lower RPM in each of those gears. (To hear those vibrations, the windows had to be up.)
* The car had been vibrating quite a lot in the "P" or "N" gears. There was quite a bit of NVH going on at idle to the extent that the front passenger seat would shake!

The investigations and fixes that were made in 2 stages:
Stage 1
1) Automatic transmission fluid was drained and replaced upon my insistence. 3 litres drained out and was accordingly replaced. Suzuki's OEM supplied ATF was used.
2) The mechanic then tried diagnosing the car with an independent diagnostic kit and then once with a kit that is used exclusively for Maruti Suzuki cars. No error codes popped up that could have suggested a solenoid failure or anything serious.
3) The throttle body was cleaned, as this can also cause such rattling.
4) The spark plug was replaced

At the end of these many fixes and 4 days, he called me over to test drive it. I did and those rattles had persisted. He said that the ignition coil is weak and that the engine mount (he called it the "engine bedding") was completely gone; the engine was directly resting on the car's body.

Stage 2
1) 1 or more ignition coils were replaced (i'm not sure exactly)
2) The engine mounts were replaced.

Both these parts took 5 days to be sourced for some reason. The moment they became available, he fixed them in the car and had the car ready the very next day, which is today.

The net result
* The NVH levels at idle have gone down by ~95%. You can still feel the familiar vibrations brought on by 3 cylinders under the hood but by God, the car has been transformed.
* The engine and transmission are silky smooth now on the go. No more rattling noises.

The culprits
1) According to my mechanic, the root cause #1 for the rattles was the weak ignition coil. Perhaps this causes misfiring and hence a lot of the ambient NVH? I don't know...
2) The broken engine mounts were causing the rattles at a particular RPM

The unknown
Why did I face that irregularity when reversing the car a while back? That problem is not recurring now anyway, but it's a mystery still.

Post-script
Rattles at a particular RPM due to failed engine mounts have been reported by other members on this forum earlier as well. Here's one such random search result -
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techn...ml#post3497264 (Clutch judder & vibrations)

Lastly, needless to say - I am happy to have renewed the car now. It feels and drives newer. The mechanic hasn't sent me the bill yet. But it's going to be every bit worth it when he tells me the costs. I am happy, period
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Old 22nd December 2020, 18:13   #730
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki A-Star Auto - Road Test

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
Finally after so many months of enduring mysteries with my A Star, it is back at home after spending 10 days with my trusted independent mechanic.
...
Glad to hear that your AStar is running fine. Yes, bad engine mounts can cause problems with the automatic transmission and also lead to other problems down the line. Engine mount inspection is critical (as is the inspection of the CV boots) - at one of the scheduled services I had the mechanics check the mounts, they said they were fine, but there was no way for me to confirm (no idea what to look for or how) - I think this is where we should insist on replacement as per the recommended maintenance chart, usually the A S S try to avoid such jobs.

Thanks for the detailed report!

Last edited by mvadg : 22nd December 2020 at 18:14.
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