Maruti Zen ownership: Getting my hands dirty with repairs & maintenance

Seems I had forgotten about how sweetly the engine purrs in the midst of daily driving the car.

BHPian BeemerBug_06 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

4 years have flown past and how!

As I type this update, I can't believe it has been 4 years since I got 1513. It only seems like yesterday that it came home, as my first car and the one that I would "learn" to drive in. My folks didn't know at the time that I already knew how to drive lol

A lot has happened over these 4 years and all I can say is that I'm glad to have kept the car and have it by my side. The car has been part of several first experiences I've had, including the first time I got my hands dirty working on a car to having my first accident, and many more which I need not mention here.

One of the first pictures I took of the car back in 2018, just around the time we finalised the deal.

The most recent picture of the car was taken during a Sunday morning drive, a week or so ago.

As part of the upkeep of the car, I have made it a point to have the annual service and maintenance work of the car done between the months of March and April, since it's around the time the ownership period increases by
a year.

Last year at about 33,500km I had the oil changed along with the addition of new coolant after a radiator flush (coolant was done last in 2019), a simple brake service and a tune-up for the carburettor. The car has been driven about 7k km since then and work was done at 40,120 km.

This year, however, I decided to do things a little more extensively. Besides a basic mechanical service, I also opted to change the Gear Oil and Spark plugs this time around as I myself don't know exactly when they were changed last. So as part of preventive maintenance, I decided to add it to the service plan. Time for some real pampering.

The goodies!

Note that this car has had Castrol Magnatech Synthetic Oil of grade 10W40 used for it since over the past decade, so I decided to stick with it. In my experience, it has been very good and lasts the prescribed interval of 5k km. I have also noticed that it causes the motor to run and rev super smoothly. Would 100% recommend to all Zen owners. IF you do not wish to go the synthetic way, then Castrol GTX 5W30 is the best one to go for.

As for the gear oil, the owner's manual prescribes 2.4 litres of gear oil of grade 75W90. Since I could not find Castrol, I went for Eneos which is also a reputed brand.

The coolant I opt for is also made by Castrol. It is a concentrate and prescribes that the ideal mix for your car's radiator is 1 litre of coolant and 3 litres of water (preferably distilled water)

Brake fluid is nothing special, just basic DOT 3 brake oil which is pink in colour.

The plugs are regular NGK R plugs bearing the number BPR5ES. They are compatible with BS6 petrol and CNG cars as well. I was considering putting Iridium plugs in the car, however, it was turning out to be an expensive ordeal, so had to push it for the next time.

Has anyone here used Iridium plugs for their Zen?

If yes, please elaborate on how much of a difference it really makes to the car vis-a-vis performance, mileage and maintenance.

The condition of the fluids after a year of daily use and about 7500km of running. Well due for a change as you can see!

This time around I decided to make a quick DIY job out of the oil change and coolant change, instead of sending it over to the mechanics. So one evening, my compound was turned into a makeshift workshop.

Special thanks to my buddies Ananth (vishy_76), Aadesh, and Janak who stopped by and helped out. It was an eventful evening indeed.

Getting our hands all dirty !

Use OEM wherever possible!

The old coolant. While it may still appear green, it was not in good shape. The mixture consisted of dirty water, muck and rust. Again overdue for a change.

Flushing the radiator and cooling system turned out to be the most time-consuming job and it took us 2-3 full flushes to get all the mud and rust out of the radiator and block respectively. Seeing the all-mucky green and brown water turn to crystal clear clean water was satisfying indeed.

Post that the radiator drain plug was put back and we topped it up with the correct mix of water and coolant. The expansion tank too was deep cleaned.

The following day! A very noticeable difference.

Also, I had forgotten how good the car feels after an oil change. The first drive, post the oil change felt heavenly. It pulled extra cleanly and once again became super silent. Seems I had forgotten about how sweetly the engine purrs in the midst of daily driving the car.

Continue reading BHPian BeemerBug_06's Zen maintenance for more insights and information.

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