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Everything posted by thermalpaste

  1. 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.
  2. Jetta or Civic ?

    I predict this one: The civic is more reliable, cheaper to maintain and is much better than the Jetta. German cars in general are over-engineered. The Japanese are very focused and this ensures that Japanese cars are infinitely more reliable than German cars. @DD: I remembered Jeremy Clarkson saying that the sat nav in the S class always points to Warsaw and the Mini cooper's fan belt will last for a 1000 years.
  3. Hyundai's New 800cc car on its way!!!

    The a-star is a newer alto, so from what i'm assuming, hyundai will be targeting the a-star. If they manufacture a car as cheap as the maruti tinbox, it's very unlikely that it will meet the crash test requirements in developed countries. The 800 and Omni should be banned on Indian roads.
  4. Mercedes Value

    Auto journos don't merely rate cars on the basis of handling/performance. BMW has better interiors, better plastics than most mercs. A BMW 5 feels way more luxurious than a Merc E-class. Also, the new C class has no electric front seats ( I think it's semi-electric) whereas the Beemer has electrically adjustable front seats. I love the i-drive and BMWs feel special. I can't comment on audi, never been in an audi. The mercedes E class feels terribly outdated as compared to it's counterparts and the Audis and beemers look way classier than the mercs. Speaking of which, I miss the good old W123,124. They were so well built and reliable. An Ambassador can be made luxurious, after all, it has more leg-room than the aforementioned cars. It's possible to change the interiors in the amby. But it's slow and it rolls like a hippo. In fact it's one of the worst cars. I hope you're getting the analogy.
  5. Maruti Esteem Engine Life

    You need an engine overhaul approximately around the 200,000 kilometer mark for the esteem. The rattle problem is pretty easy to fix, change the door hinges! 8 door hinges should cost you around 800 rupees. The front windows rattle too, so get that checked. If the suspension is clunking, get the lower arms checked. There's no need for body work unless your car is rusting badly and you have abused it. My esteem's doing fine @ 123,000 kilometers and the only reason I've kept it is because it's extremely reliable.
  6. 185/65 R13s for esteem?

    I need new tires. Presently, im using 175/70 R13s, but they are a bit inadequate. Has anybody tried 185 / 65 R 13 on an esteem? I have seen esteems with 185/60 R13s, but the circumference of this size is substantially lower than the 175/70s.
  7. 185/65 R13s for esteem?

    Thanks, I'll be buying Michelins tomorrow. Good year GT3s are the worst tires, I got those fitted because i wanted to sell my car back then, but now, i'm too attached to the car
  8. If you have 10 lacs..

    Old City VTEC or the esteem. I'll probably try getting my hands on the JDM ECU for the G13B although i'll need to modify the engine head a bit since it's a twin cam. B16A mod kits should be easily available in Thailand. I won't choose the zen, because the suspension sucks and it understeers a lot.
  9. the tale of zen lx 2001....

    I gave it to my cousin I think I should get 70-80K for it. The interiors are still pretty good. I also have an esteem which has clocked 113,000 kms, but the esteem is way more reliable.
  10. Maruti SX4 or Toyota Corolla

    You're correct, even the base version comes with an ABS. However, I clearly remember that when the corolla was just launched, they didn't even offer tubeless tires! They were convincing my dad to buy one, so they sent the test car to my place and the wheels locked a bit when i was testing the brakes. Back then, I asked the showroom guy whether it was equipped with ABS, he said that it came with airbags, but had no ABS. Please could you confirm this for me? This puzzles me because I've never seen a non ABS corolla except for the one I drove. But the brakes are really sensitive if you compare it to the SX4, they don't really have a progressive feel in the corolla. My uncle has the H4 variant and I've driven it frequently. FRG, please comment. As far as reliability is concerned, toyotas are extremely reliable. Have you guys noticed that the SX4 is heavier than the corolla? The SX4 doors close with that 'European thunk' and the doors on the Corolla feel relatively light. One thing missing in both: the sx4 and corolla - an independent rear suspension. The SX4 is stiffly sprung, but ride improves at high speeds. The corolla on the other hand, absorbs bumps really well at low speeds and starts jiggling at high speeds.
  11. Maruti SX4 or Toyota Corolla

    Since you're concerned about safety, the SX4 should be safer. It has a stiffer chassis and the A-pillars are designed in such a way that the roof wont collapse / crumple in event of an offset impact.
  12. maruti zen compressor info

    I had exactly the same problem in my zen and also the a/c belts used to wear prematurely, until i realized that the pulley was incorrectly aligned.
  13. Maruti SX4 or Toyota Corolla

    DO NOT BUY A NON ABS COROLLA, IT SKIDS. the corolla brakes are really sensitive, depressing the brake pedal more than required causes the wheels to lock up in a non ABS corolla. The corolla is an excellent car, you won't regret for buying one. The sx4 is sluggish and the rear seat is an uncomfortable squeeze for 3, the fuel economy is poor and the interiors rattle. Hope this answers your question.
  14. the tale of zen lx 2001....

    I had a zen which clocked 1.6 lakh kilometers. Pretty reliable, just that the suspension sucks and the air conditioner keeps conking off.
  15. Scorpio VLX TD

    THe scorpio is extremely reliable unlike the tata safari
  16. car advise 10-14 lakhs

    I strongly recommend a Hyundai Sonata Embera 2.0 Diesel since you'll need a car which is safe, comfortable, cheap to maintain and also with a decent fuel efficiency. Or try the Optra magnum diesel (though i wouldn't recommend). Avoid the octavia / laura by all means, they are expensive to maintain. Hyundai provides exceptional service and spares are cheap and readily available.
  17. Lost Skoda key? prepare to cry!

    Skoda should be penalized. I don't mind paying 10K for the keys, but I definitely won't wait for a month. And Skoda workshops are so sh|tty. Have you ever seen the Autobahn workshop in Pune or the one in Sewri? You'll see a line of octys parked on the main road. The astronomical spare prices coupled with long waiting times doesn't speak of quality per se. Skoda cars are good, but their after sales service is pathetic. They are busy milking money off customers who get conned thinking that this East European manufacturer offers the best in terms of quality. My cousin is so frustrated with the Laura he purchased recently and very soon, I'll have him write to Autocar india, so stay tuned.
  18. Fuel Economy Figures

    Esteem: City with A/C turned on : 13 Highway with A/C turned on (80-100ks) : 17 ~ 20 Driven really hard(160Ks) : 10 Swift: City with A/C turned on : 11 Highway: 16 ~ 17 Driven really hard : 9 Zen (8 v MPFI): City with AC: 12 Highway with AC: 16
  19. going green

    The Japanese supercharge their K-cars, on an average, the puny Kei generates 50 horses with a 660 c.c. engine. What if we had a 1.2 liter supercharged Honda city or an SX4? Just hypothesize the possibilities. If the government doesn't give tax breaks to cars which exceed 4 meters, it just shows their lack of insight. That's because manufacturers can make longer, fuel efficient cars. A car that occupies an extra few more millimeters of girth and an additional 0.5 meters of length shouldn't be taxed extra only for it's size. There are people who may argue that larger cars occupy more space, but in reality, Indians drive small cars and the SX4 or the city are small cars indeed. The government should classify cars by their fuel efficiency and tax them accordingly. Diesel cars should all have particulate filters. I'm not trying to say larger cars shouldn't be taxed, but there should be a progressive tax structure. Eg: 8% for small fuel efficient cars, 14% for fuel efficient large cars, 24% for fuel guzzlers If the government wants to think 'green', they should encourage all manufacturers to opt for small and efficient engines. Fuel demand is growing exponentially and every small step the government makes to save fuel translates into large fuel savings for our country. Unfortunately, cities like Pune and Bangalore lack basic infrastructure for public transport. Therefore, I conclude that the government lacks insight.
  20. Indigo CS with awesome looks !!!

    we need to tread carefully with the jaguarpoops scattered all over our roads. And very soon, there will be this exponential growth of jaguarpoops once they launch the nano. On a serious note, the indi* rides badly, it wallows over bumps, even simple things like footpedals being placed incorrectly shows that tata doesn't really care about quality. They are selling poop to village ***** with their philosophy of more poop per car. I hope you read this Mr. Tata. It's been 10 frikkin years since you've launched your blasted indica and we see no change in fit and finish whatsoever. The quality of materials used in the Sumo grande feel like the Chinese plastic toys sold on the streets and gaps in the panels are huge and untolerable. This is after a billion journos have hammered the hell out of the tata quality in a billion excerpts and articles published all over India. Try venturing into the Americas with this very same product and they'll sue you for sure. We have every right to get frustrated with the products you sell, because Tata is capable of competing with the best. But the question is: Does Tata really want to? I think not. The indica could have been a bigger success, when it was launched it had an image and sadly it's poop now and this poopness image will be handed over to the newer gen indica. SO good luck.
  22. going green

    @sgiitk: You're absolutely right. Tata's are working with a French inventor on engines that run on compressed air. But, we need energy to compress air. Hydrogen maybe abundant, but till now, nobody knows how to extract or produce hydrogen efficiently. So basically, we have no power to compress air or produce hydrogen, we rely heavily on unproductive agriculture which means biofuel is not feasible on a large scale. We would be feeding more coal to the coal plants to compress air. I think India badly needs nuclear energy, but those commies...
  23. Nitrogen instead of Air in Tyres

    I have been using nitrogen for the last 5months. I have done a 170 on the expressway with no noticeable difference. It's a waste of money. They claim you don't need to fill it for 6 months, but I had to fill mine in 2 months. There is no difference in mileage whatsoever. The tires run cooler, but that's about it. If you brake excessively and drive really fast, there is barely any increase in the air pressure as compared to regular air, which is a good thing. But I usually experiment on my old esteem ( a low 26 psi for 175/70s, which is relatively high profile) and handling marginally improves under heavy braking and tire overheating. I checked the air pressure gauge after a few drifts on sunny tarmac stretches and the air pressure increased to 29-30 psi, which improves handling (I'm talking about body roll, not traction). When I filled nitrogen, the maximum increase I have seen is 27 psi, so in this case there is no noticeable difference as such. Nitrogen should be useful for cabbies (indica) who over inflate their tires to extract maximum economy on the expressway. And frankly, they should ban tube type tires for cars that are capable of touching 140 and above.
  24. Ford Ikon 1.3 Flair or TATA Indigo LS

    the ikon is such a well balanced car. Rear legroom is decent, it rides well. Indigo is not reliable, ikon is expensive to maintain. You really don't have a choice. If you love driving, then go for an Ikon. If you want practicality, I strongly recommend the logan. Indigo CS is a close second option and Ikon should be the last unless you want a car that handles well.
  25. Judgement of Swift/Dzire diesel

    Why would the mileage cum? On a serious note, the dzire diesel should struggle to touch 165. I feel that it's adequately powered for Indian roads.