My Maruti 800: Ownership Thread


Thread Starter #1
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The story actually started in 2005 when my sister wanted to buy her first car. She did not want to go in for a new car because she was not proficient yet at driving and her budget also constrained her to the second hand market. So after a bit of searching, she found a 2002 Maruti 800 with A/C which had driven around 25,000 kms that time. She finalized on the car and we were all set to pick up the car from Sagar Automobiles Maruti True Value showroom.

When we went to pick up the car I remember the guys at the showroom giving it the final touch ups and giving the keys. As soon as I sat in the car I was a bit disappointed. Not because there was something wrong with the car, rather because the dash had a Chinese HU fitted to it and the speakers were just jarring. The whole ride home I had to sit in the back seat and have these speakers jar into my ears.

For the first month or two the car was just parked in our garage, washed and driven only around our Layout. It was only after my sister mustered enough confidence to drive did the car become a daily drive. The car was not really regularly given for service although my sister always claimed that it was maintained well. The car though never had too many problems. It broke down a couple of times on the road. Once because the timing belt gave way and we were stranded on the road and the second time was when the right hand side axle broke and we had a tough time even pushing the car to the side of the road. Subsequently even the left axle was changed after it too started making noise.

Fast forward to mid-2011 and my sister got a new car in the form of the Swift Dzire. So instead of selling the M-800 she gave the car to me. I was actually very happy but the joy was short lived. I could never really use the car much because it was not feasible for me to take her to college every day. I use to start her once in a while and drive around sometimes on weekends. Although, before I never had too much of a liking towards the car, these drives in the car started to make me enjoy this car and love the machine. Slowly but surely her charm worked on me and I was smitten.

From the past month or so I finally have got the time to give to the car. I finished my college and have been able to take her out more often. There was a discussion in the house about selling my car. Both me and my dad decided not to sell the car and keep it for a few more years. For me it made sense to keep the car for many more years to come. There are a couple of reasons why I thought I would keep the car like this. The first being that the prices that are going around in the second hand market especially when the car is not in the best of shape like mine is pretty low and it would hurt me to let her go like that. I just feel the car is worth much more. Secondly, being a fresher who is going to start working, it does not make sense for me to invest in a car in the next five years or so. It’s best I invest when I have money in surplus.

So now I have decided to keep the car and work on her and bring the car to the condition I really want. I know the money I might put into the car may far exceed its value in the second hand market but I would like to invest my time and energy into it nonetheless. I have a long list of to-do for this car and I hope that I succeed in fulfilling all of them. So time will tell how the whole thing turns out.

The car has been recently given for service. We spent around 10 grand fixing it which included a new battery. I can say now that the car has gone from relatively bad condition to decent condition. The car now has clocked 78,000 kilometers. Not much mileage actually for car which is going to complete its 10th year.

Here is a small review of my car. Many of you would have driven the M-800. This would be how I feel about my car in particular.

The car is driving well after the service and even with the puny engine the car is really fun to drive around the city. I guess this owes to a decent power to weight ratio. Although, I do get a bit annoyed because I have to drive on bad roads near my house and the car is not the most comfortable in such situations. Your spine definitely feels the road and the thud noise when it goes over bumps annoys me. I do not know if this is a characteristic of the M800 because when I drive my dad’s spark on the same roads I do not get to hear such sounds. I am facing another problem with my M-800 which is the steering. When I drive alone or just another passenger its fine, but when there is weight in the car it tends to pull towards one direction. Even after wheel alignment this has not been rectified. I should look into that.

As far as my car interiors go I have a lot of work to do on it. The car still has the original seat covers that came with the car. So that needs a desperate change. There are other small bits that annoy me too. Slowly I should be looking into all of them. Coming to the audio system in the car, I thank the heavens that my sister discarded the chinese crap that was given with the car. She got a kenwood cd receiver and a couple of kenwood speakers. Before I remember the system used to be pretty good, but nowadays it does not return the same oomph. That is one more area that I have to look into.

As far as exteriors go my car needs a lot of work. There are no big dents on the car, but little dents everywhere which annoy me. The paint is getting dull in certain parts of the car and losing its shine especially on the roof. The car desperately needs body work done in my opinion with a complete paint job which will surely burn a hole in my pocket in the months to come.

Right now my car has nothing special in it. The car does not give me any bragging rights. But it is my aim to bring it to a condition where I can be proud of driving it. I shall have to make this a long term plan because of the position I am in my life, where I am just starting to step into the working world. However, I know that it is possible, definitely with the help of fellow TAIans, by whose knowledge I’m greatly inspired.

Following is some of the work I intend to get done on the car. Updates with finished work will surely not come soon. It will be a very gradual process, but I will update whenever I get something done.

- Fix all dents and get a complete re-paint.
- Brake booster kit for better braking.
- Alloy wheels and precede this with adding spacers
- Redone upholstery
- Fix all broken parts in the interior.
- New ICE
- Fuel and boot levers inside ( I saw that in this forum. great work)
- Installation of stronger headlights
- New alternator to take the load of all the electrical equipment in the future.
- FFE system
- Fog lamps
-Central locking and car security system
.... and many more things like change of steering wheel, rpm gauge and the like.

Anyway, this is going to be where i post all updates and understandably I will need lots and lots of help from more knowledgeable TAIans. Thank you in advance.
 
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Thread Starter #3
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Following is the break up of the bill during my last service. Kindly do tell me if the prices quoted reasonable or if they have fleeced me. This is the first time I have been to this service station.

Engine Oil= 750
Gear box oil= 420
Oil Filter- 85
Air filter=175
Coolant and distill water= 220
SF Sonic Jet battery= 3687
Rear shock absorber (1 set)= 965
Wheel mud shield 2+2= 385
Cooling sun film (only for rear glass)= 450
Head light, parking set with bulb= 220
Starter rectification= 950
Wheel alignment= 150
Clutch cable= 150
Car fender lining One set and kit= 280
Total = 8957

Labour:
General: 550
Full water service= 250
Interior cleaning= 250
Polishing= 400
Replacement shocks= 200
Total 1650

Grand Total: 10607

Acceptable?
 

Varun560061

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A good review ..Another 800 in TAI !!

Great to know that you want to retain this car..
The bill is ok if the job done is good..
 
Thread Starter #5
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Thank you Varun.

The job done was good enough in my opinion. Do you service your car at MASS or you do it outside? I was told to give my car always to MASS but the last few times it went to Solar Automobiles I wasn't too happy with their reception.

Another question: Is it okay to keep the car under a car cover under the sun? My problem is that I don't have a shelter for my car parking. Still has to be made in my house. Secondly, being a new area, the place still has mud roads and lot of vacant plots which means that overnight I get a film of loose mud on my car. Even my wipers have loose mud accumulating on them.
 
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Varun560061

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Thank you Varun.

The job done was good enough in my opinion. Do you service your car at MASS or you do it outside? I was told to give my car always to MASS but the last few times it went to Solar Automobiles I wasn't too happy with their reception.
I never get my car serviced at MASS.. I usually do all small repairs by my self.. Or else I have a trusted local mechanic.. [:)]
 
Thread Starter #7
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^^ I guess I'll have to build a rapport with a mechanic too. Had to go back to the garage yesterday. I think one of the mechanics there broke the bonnet opener and never fixed it. They fixed it after I went back but its not entirely okay. There is too much play in the lever and have to pull it all the way up to open the bonnet.

P.S: One thing I surely must learn to do is fix small things myself. Must develop some mechanical skills.
 
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Firstly, many congratulations on your car. The 800 is India's icon and most trusted model. A very mature decision by a young guy like you to keep the old car for few years more and not buy a newer model as you are still in your early stages of your professional life.[clap]. Also, as varun said, get hold of a good reliable local mechanic who should do the job for you. MASS, company showrooms etc usually are expensive, charge all sorts of sales tax, service tax etc. They have the habit of only replacing,not repairing. Your car is past the warranty period, your car is not likely to be with you for many more years as you may buy a new one when you go up in your career, so don't spend much for getting it back into shape 100% , if not battery, next tyres, next seats, next suspension etc something will always be needed to be done. What, I am trying to say is spend only what is necessary in the least possible manner to keep it running. Check out cost of parts in shops like car automobiles, popular automobiles etc in jc road ,you will find them way cheaper. Buy the parts and give them to the local mechanic and stand and supervise when he is fitting them and voilà! , your car is ready. Enjoy a safe ride and let the 800 solve the purpose.
 

350Z

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Good write up and welcome to Maruti 800 Club. From the exterior, Your car looks to be in a decent condition. It is at least not as bad I as I have seen some 800s. Minor denting painting should do well. I would also suggest to get rid of those badges at rear. They have lost the shine and are spoiling the looks. Do keep us updated about the developments and also consider uploading some snaps of the interiors.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
Thread Starter #10
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Firstly, many congratulations on your car. The 800 is India's icon and most trusted model. A very mature decision by a young guy like you to keep the old car for few years more and not buy a newer model as you are still in your early stages of your professional life.[clap]. Also, as varun said, get hold of a good reliable local mechanic who should do the job for you. MASS, company showrooms etc usually are expensive, charge all sorts of sales tax, service tax etc. They have the habit of only replacing,not repairing. Your car is past the warranty period, your car is not likely to be with you for many more years as you may buy a new one when you go up in your career, so don't spend much for getting it back into shape 100% , if not battery, next tyres, next seats, next suspension etc something will always be needed to be done. What, I am trying to say is spend only what is necessary in the least possible manner to keep it running. Check out cost of parts in shops like car automobiles, popular automobiles etc in jc road ,you will find them way cheaper. Buy the parts and give them to the local mechanic and stand and supervise when he is fitting them and voilà! , your car is ready. Enjoy a safe ride and let the 800 solve the purpose.
Thank you Markiv for the advise. Will definitely make sure I find a good mechanic. I'll also make it a habit to buy the required parts myself. Yes, I am in a dilemma about how to go about with this car. Sometimes I feel strongly about getting it into prim and proper shape while other times I feel I should just keep it running. I guess I'll better assess my situation once I'm settled in a job. Thanks once again for the good advise.

Good write up and welcome to Maruti 800 Club. From the exterior, Your car looks to be in a decent condition. It is at least not as bad I as I have seen some 800s. Minor denting painting should do well. I would also suggest to get rid of those badges at rear. They have lost the shine and are spoiling the looks. Do keep us updated about the developments and also consider uploading some snaps of the interiors.

Drive Safe,
350Z
Thank you. Yes, the car is in decent condition. I know minor dent painting can be done. But on the roof and even the bonnet, not visible on the picture, the paint has completely faded off in some parts. I am not sure what i can do about that. N yes, I shall remove the badges. Can it just be removed by me? What would I need to do the job?
 
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