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110,000 on an Esteem (Euro -II)

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Brief description of the car I'm talking about:

September 2001 Esteem VX, Euro2

Running: 110,957 Kms

Top Speed: 185Km/h (On the speedo in the 4th Gear)

Top Speed per gear.

1st Gear: 60@6000

2nd Gear: 100@6000

3rd Gear: 154@6000

4th Gear: 185@NA

5th Gear: 175-180 @ 4500 ( I think, can't remember)

Please keep in mind that I haven't taken speedo error into consideration.

We (dad and me) decided to buy an esteem and back then, the only choice we had was the Hyundai Accent and the Ford Ikon. The interiors of the Ikon felt cheap and I was disappointed with the high maintainence costs associated with the Ikon. I didn't like the accent's handling much and it was the most boring car I drove. I liked the Ikon, it handled superbly, but we decided to go for the Esteem.

I don't know why Journalists crib about the interiors in the esteem. Agreed that the slider type HVAC controls look antiquated, but the soft feel associated with the dashboard and the door pads are way better than the interiors in an SX4 or a Swift. Even the power window buttons are better than what Maruti offers at present.

The Ikon always felt powerful, but I noticed heavy brake fade in my friend's ikon and for some reason, I intuitively knew that it was a tyre chewing, fuel guzzling car. My uncle warned me against buying an ikon, he was furious with the fact that he had to spend 3800 on a plastic coolant tank for his ikon.

The accent never felt like a 94 bhp car and I found the gearbox too noisy.

I finally decided on the esteem.

It's a Japanese tinbox, it's flimsy, but I'd like to highlight the reliability of this car:

Maintainence costs:

1)Clutch plates were changed twice, I think I paid approx. 7000 per change, which includes labour charges.

2)Rear drum shoes, drum pistons were changed twice.

3)Front discs, pads were also changed twice. (3200 I think)

4)Front stabilizer link and tie rod component with one shock absorber was changed once.(6000 odd I think)

5)Tyres were replaced at 45,000Kms and 80,000 Kms respectively. (Currently on Goodyear GT3 175/70R13)

6)Headlights, spark plugs and silencer can were replaced once.

7)AC gas was refilled twice.

I don't think I replaced anything else, which is remarkable for a car that's been used on the highways regularly. It has never even broken down once, I haven't changed the AC/ alternator belts as yet and I still use it on the highways.

In fact I'm driving down to Goa tomorrow.

I change the engine oil every 5000/15,000(depending on oil) kms and the transmission oil every 12,000 Kms. I've been using semi-synthetic/synthetic oil throughout.

--------------------------------

Problems associated with the car:

1)Power windows are slow and squeaky

2)AC stops working abruptly and I can smell exhaust fumes (from outside) in the cabin despite of the AC being in recirculation mode.

3)Dashboard used to rattle, but I fixed this by gluing soft rubber pieces near speakers, AC vents and glove box.

4)Extremely unsafe

5)The Rear suspension is a bit spongy, it wallows as if a hippopotamus dancing at the rear seat.

I can still beat Lauras, Accents and Swifts when dragging on the expressway and to be honest, my engine feels slightly more responsive than the other esteems I've driven. Once I was dragging with a C180 on the expressway and the merc C was struggling to keep up. Of course, I had the air-conditioner off and I wasn't too observant to see how many passengers were there in the C.

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IF you remember I had started a thread on 0-100 km dash between swift and Esteem and our forum members said that it due to long gearing (or short I don't remember) and also due to its less weight.

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No its not like that. Taller gearing means a higher top speed but lower acceleration, it generally gives you better fuel economy as well.

You can't necessarily say that a car suited for highway driving will accelerate faster.

 

FRG

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You have the right to feel proud. Have lived with the Esteem for almost 8 years and 110000kms. Sure a great acheivement. At this juncture you must have become emotionally attached to it. Sure you have looked after it well. How about some snaps? smiley20.gifsmiley32.gif

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Correct me if i'm wrong, but I think one advantage esteem drivers have with tall gearing is that they have to shift one cog less to reach 100, so instead of 3 gear changes in any other car, you have to change gear twice in an esteem. That shaves off a few seconds. Couple that with a high revving engine which has this peculiar affinity of spinning faster toward the top revs, the tacho jumps after 4Ks if you've noticed. The swift has a clear 200 kilo disadvantage here in comparison to the esteem. I drive a swift too and I find it a little sluggish in the 2nd gear when climbing uphill.Never pulled the swift much in the second, though I test drove the SX4 recently and was unable to exceed 90 in the second gear.

I will attach a few photos/videos soon.

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i ahve only been able to do 80 ks in 2nd gear in 2007 esteem@ what rpm i donno....after that i felt it was out of getting out of breath so changed.....it really pickes up after 2000 rpm

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Nice write up and thats a long time to keep a car dude, congratulations. I heard people that the esteem does 100 kmph in 2nd gear and today it is confirmed. Is 6000rpm the max an esteem engine can do?

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a very nice review indeed.... sure this ownership review has come out a classy one and also long pending after a Long term ownership review on Santro from a fellow member.... the observations on the tacho, speed/torque also are a lot informative... enjoyed this great work buddy!!!

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well  ur esteem has done a decent mileage nd u can now find d strong reliability of esteem nd maruti's products !!! i hav driven my friendsz accent wich is 1 lakh km down nd although he maintains it well d engine feels as if itz just abt 2 die nd itz noise is 2 much nd wat i think is dat esteem is beeter dan accent nd ikon !!!

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I had a carb esteem which I kept for 65,000km (6-1/4) years, It proved to be totally reliable. I changed the clutch at about 55,000km as a precaution, but when taken out it had about 15k left in it. The suspension was overhauled once, again around 55k. The front brake pads were changed twice (this was pre-ventilated discs, and pad wear was a known issue). The only other problem was shorting of the power window wires due to wear and tear (twice) and failure of seat belt spring (oce).

All I did was to do regular maintenance with annual oil changes - synth (Esso Ultron) or semi-synth (Castrol Magnatec)m etc.

The taxi operatior who bought it from me ran the engine to over 400,000km without an overhaul, before he sold it. Towards the end of its life with him I happened to ride it once and did feel it low on power, but was not smoking or anything.   

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My dad's friend has a 1996 esteem with 3,50,000 kms on the clock, no engine overhaul. I had an accord with 700,000 on the clock and they use 1986 W124 mercs in the middle east as taxis which have a million miles on the clock. Also seen old cedrics and crowns with insanely high mileages.

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I had a Esteem di which has clocked 98000kms and was declared total loss in an accident though the occupants were safe. It was a great car. Good handling, solid stability,reliability, good brakes and fuel efficiency. It returned not less than 16kmpl on whatever way it was driven(touching 4000rpm out of 4500rpm redline on every trip, coz it was a bit underpowered). It returned 22kmpl when driven casually. But it is not suited for start-stop traffic. I almost cried when the car was declared total loss, as i will not get it back again. I had a great feeling towards that car. I loved it very much.

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We also had an Esteem & in those days pick up was mind blowing. It was a lovely car, comfortable, fuel efficient & had many other good virtues. Our car did 1.15L km, without a hitch & could have gone double but for our our hurry to swap in for newer alternatives.

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Looking at the liking for the car in this thread, i am pretty impressed!! Could you also suggest me if i want to own a used Esteem, what are the things to look for and how much will it affect the performance if i get it fitted with a LPG kit?

I was actually planning for a first car for my wife who is new to driving and i am more inclined towards a second hand car which has a boot! Please advice guys!

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Sharash, Esteem is a good car & you can get a 2nd. hand Esteem pretty cheap.

Try out at Maruti true value outlets & you would not have to bother much about quality.

LPG does affect performance, but trade off is money saving. But as your wife will be driving, I wonder how much is she going to run the car in order to break even the cost incurred in converting to LPG.

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Agreed! about the LPG, just out of curiosity i wanted to know, and since i have a Indica Turbo without boot, i wanted to get one with a boot!

She does not want to drive my car and i dont want to have another car without boot since i travel often to my native and its about 400kms, wanted to know if the LPG would add more value..

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Among the cars with boot, Esteem 2nd. makes sense as it will come cheap in the 1st. place & does not cost much to maintain.

Alternately you could look towards Indigo 2nd. hand, if you are satisfied with Tata products.

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So if i am willing to go in for a Esteem, the best place to buy it is from the true value outlets?

If i want to buy from any other second hand dealer, what are the things which i should look out for? Since i am new to Petrol cars, could you guys advice me on this??

 

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