During may last 3-yrs or so of ‘practice’, off and on I come
across queries from visitors which are somewhat removed from the run of
the mill kind – like what car to buy or ‘I’ve just bought
a new so and so – pl tell me how to maintain it’ (!).
like the latter really get my goat, as I tend to take them more as an
announcement to the world that ‘I have arrived – pl take notice’.
What follows now is a continuation of a selection out of my personal archives,
which I hope visitors like you will find informative and useful.
A month back
I bought an Alto LX. From reviews etc and some replies it looks as if
Alto has distributorless ignition. However, when I saw under the hood
of my car, I am clearly seeing what I take to be a distributor (to the
right side of engine when seen from front) and Coil (fixed to the rear
wall of engine compartment). Does LX model come with DLI ? If not, can
a DLI be retrofitted ?
How much will it cost ?
DLI is there
only on Alto-vx and Wagon-R in this MUL segment.
it on to an Alto-lx will not be cost effective, as it'd involve a change
of the ECU as well - besides major wiring harnesses. The total cost may
easily be > Rs: 20k ! The reasons are that the LX (3 Cyl) engine/ head
sub assy is common
with 800 DX-mpfi.
VX (4 Cyl)
has 2 ‘ignitor coils’ which energies 2 cyl each. These coils
are placed above spark plugs on the cam cover. In case of LX- 3 coils
would be needed, 1 for each cyl - besides other changes in high-tension
harness/ ECU etc.
My Zen VXi
is approaching its second free servicing at 5000 kms. The servicing will
include a change of engine oil. Can you recommend any specific engine
oil such as Castrol GTX Magnatec or some synthetic oil, which will protect
the engine more efficiently than the "recommended" Maruti grade
engine oil ? Does it make sense to use these high performance oils for
a humble ZEN or are they to be used in only the C and D segment cars ?
The so called
quality gradation of Engine oils as per 'SAE' goes upwards like SF, SG,
SH, SJ etc., with SF being the lowest, recommended for low performance
engines like the M800 and SG/SH for the higher end C/D gr Cars.
It's logical to assume that using a grade superior than what is the OEM
recommendation can do no harm but only good to an Engine - so long as
it's 'cost-effective'. That's where the catch is.
Further, for Cars under Warranty, it's best not to try and use your own
oils and let the A/S/S do it's own thing coz should some thing go wrong,
even if the oil you supplied is not responsible for it, the Dealership
will have a very easy escape route and Engine repairs can be very expensive.
I have some recent/first hand experience of it and heaved a sigh of relief
coz I hadn't changed the oils to my liking during the warranty.
Once the Warranty is over, oils like Magnatec, provided they are genuine,
are excellent value for money. Synthetics - good for long drain/long haul
intervals - don't work out cost effective on an average Passenger Car
in India but if you have money to spare, by all means use it. Mobil-1,
the only officially available in India as far as I know, costs ~ Rs: 500/-
per Lr a/a < Rs: 200/- lr of the Magnatec !
Can you pl
let me know asap, what's the recommended PMP for changing
the AT Fluid on Cars like Esteem-AT - time wise and distance wise.
the Owners Manual is silent on it, though it does say
somewhere to wait for a while for the system to 'warm-up' a bit before
draining it off.
In the same vein, what's it for the Hydraulic PS Fluid ?
My common sense tells me that similar logic as for the MT/Gear Oil
changes should apply in these two cases also - unless the oils are
superior/synthetic/long drain interval types. Even then, there has to
time/distance Cap on it ?
80 kkm or
4 years is recommended – whichever is earlier. Normally, Garages
don’t change it until customer reports any problem as being totally
imported, it is expensive.
I have a 1999 Zen LX. I have a problem, which I would your solution to.
In the rainy season or on foggy days, I generally drive with the parking
lights on as a safety precaution. But I always tend to leave them on after
I have left the car since there is no alarm to tell me about the lights
being on or the electrical system does not cut of all the electric points
(which in my opinion it should). My battery has also run down twice due
to this. Infact on my instrument panel in the car I have stuck a sticker,
which reads as “Check Lights”, but sometimes you, tend to
overlook it too ! Could you kindly advise me on this problem and how to
This is quite
a common problem afflicting most of us at some time or the other. I too
gave it a thought only when one foggy winter day my daughter forgot to
sw of her side lights while getting into her office and by the evening
- her Batt was flat - to the extent that I had drive to her offices 20
kms away with a relief Battery.
The problem stands to get worse with Mpfi/AT Cars - as they can't be push-started
either ! Therefore, to my mind, there are two solutions to it :
1) That the OEMs build-in a feature which gives you beeps like No-Seat
belts - when you sw off the Ign with PLs on. One will have to manually
silence/reset it - such that by default, it's ready for the next cycle.
2) For want of above, I rigged up a simple ckt using a 12v-dc/PCB-Relay,
actually installed it in her Car and it worked. This little gadgetry ensured
that if you sw'd off the ignition while the PL's were on - the Car's Horns
went into a scream mode !
3) Its 2-initial drawbacks were - i) you cldn't leave the PLs on intentionally
and ii) If you tried to start the engine with PL's on - the horns did
their duty. Either of these cld be 'fixed' but I didn't feel a pressing
need for it to complicate matters.
If any Accessory Builder is interested in acquiring this know-how - he's
welcome to get in touch with me ?