Looking for reliability with affordability coupled with low-maintenance and running cost? A used Maruti Suzuki Esteem is a natural buy. A second hand Maruti Suzuki Esteem is low-running cost saloon and known for its reasonable maintenance cost. This horse from the stable of Indian auto major Maruti Suzuki India limited was launched in the year 1994. Back in those days the Esteem was positioned as the first premium sedan and was a huge sold-out. It was the ultimate choice for the upgraders of Zen and Maruti 800 owners. Those were the days of monopoly when Maruti was among the handful of Indian car manufacturers. Later the entries of more comfortable, modern and sophisticated saloons found their way in to the Indian car market which ultimately led to the fall of grace for the Maruti Suzuki Esteem. So why do we need to discuss the Esteem now? There should definitely be some merit in it. Spare parts are readily available and at a much cheaper rate than today’s standards.
45,000 km is the mark at which a second hand Maruti Esteem needs work, due to usual wear and tear of the driving components and suspensions.
The car is of a trouble-free nature and the superbly matched gear ratio with a smooth engine makes its pleasurable experience to drivers. The 85 Bhp engine is certainly better than the carbureted 65 Bhp model, so it is prudent to find the 85 Bhp MPFi-engine equipped used Maruti Suzuki Esteem. The otherwise trouble free engine has one problem to count for its own, clattering noise at idle, this is been attributed to the noisy tappets. There should be no cause of alarm over it as it can be rectified with a simple adjustment. If the second hand Maruti Suzuki Esteem you are mulling to buy is considerably old, have a keen eye for any rusting cues. Corrosion is hastened by the missing plugs on the floor under the carpet which let the water seep in. So look for it and check if they have been replaced. Another area where moisture tends to collect is the floor of the area in the boot, inspect it thoroughly. Common areas where corrosion should be looked for are underside of the bonnet, condenser fan of the air conditioner, bumper brackets. Corrosion is a sneaking beast and does not spare even the plastic clad or the hinged section of the car. If feasible, mount the car on the ramp, and check the area around the bar of stabilizer in the front for any signs of rusting. Also a must-see is the area where the silencer meets the exhaust pipe.
Ball joints of the lower arm and suspension bushes, ball joint bushes and tie rod of steering starts wearing at the 45,000 km mark. And if that is the case you may be staring at a bill which is a tad higher than normal. CV joints and driveshaft are also prone to wear. Drive forward while turning the wheels both the sides. If you hear a knocking sound it indicates that the driveshaft has worn out. Replacing the bearing of the universal-joint can rectify this problem of the driveshaft. Misalignment of the rear suspension happens over time, check for it.
50,000 km is the lifecycle of the clutch provided it has been used carefully and politely. Taking a test drive is no offense. Go for it and if you feel judder while negotiating the clutch in reverse or first gear it is a sure sign of the pressure plate worn out. Replacing the release bearing and the clutch plate in tandem with the pressure plate is highly recommended. The clutch plate is worn out if you hear the engine revving abnormally on slopes- immediately replacing the unit is recommended. If the air-conditioner doesn’t work well, it usually does, the culprit can be the cooling coil. Replacing the cooling coil is an expensive affair entailing Rs 15,575 for a brand new unit. In other case it may just be a small leak which can be quickly fixed. Nevertheless it is always prudent to check for the specific problem. Check the lines of the sealant at the rear end in the boot section. If at all you are looking for damages due to crash, a broken or an uneven sealant line is a definite sign of the rear-shunting of the car in the past. If the shade of paint inside the boot doesn’t corroborate with the original shade, it indicates a car-repair job. During the test drive if you notice that the car pulls on any one side, it’s always advisable to inspect the front suspension’s lower arm. The car has lower ground clearance which makes it more prone to on-drive damage. Another never-dying problem is that of the odometers. Non-digital odometers were susceptible to rampant tampering. But one must look in to the positives of this car. Familiarity and the age have certainly pulled down the prices of a second hand Maruti Suzuki Esteem. Locating a potential buy has never been a problem as there is no dearth of owners who are mulling for an upgrade to latest midsizers. The drivers seat is the best seat in any second hand Maruti Suzuki Esteem. Do not forget, it was India’s only performance saloon of its time and hence is a perfect mate of the young family guy. The rear seats are cramped, ideal for kids, but the boot of the car is what steals the pie with its size. Esteem VX model came with an average audio system from Kenwood. Do not miss the opportunity of getting your hands on a saloon for the cost of a new hatch. Find a nice used Maruti Suzuki Esteem so that you may have many smiles, music and miles to keep you going happily. The used Maruti Suzuki Esteem price from the 2002 batch would be Rs 1.30 Lakhs, whereas a latest one of the 2005 batch would go anywhere around Rs 2.2 Lakhs.