Maruti Suzuki India limited has always been known for producing cars which are high on fuel economy and reliable save for one, the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy. Although it was reliable enough, to be later on adopted by the police forces in many states of India, but it was markedly poor on fuel economy. The car has been amongst us for the past two decade and a half and is still deemed by purists as the decisive 4×4 vehicle in the country. Ever since the launch of the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy in 1985 it became an instant hit among the fraternity obsessed with rallying. The Gypsy enthusiasts rolled over the combination of awesome 4×4 wheel drive and bullet proof built quality and that too under the toughest of conditions. At present it is among the very few petrol-only 4×4 vehicle in the country on account of its robustness and ability to absorb abuses thrown at it. Comparing a Maruti Suzuki Gypsy with any of its kind is a daunting task as such models are miniscule in numbers.
Gearbox and Engine
Maruti Suzuki Gypsy was originally equipped with a four-cylinder 970cc motor which produced 45bhp. The same motor due to its sheer reliability was also utilized for powering Maruti 1000 and such was its fame that the machine was famous for stride as long as 160,000km, without calling for any major repairing. The year 1996 saw the Gypsy sport a 1.3 liter, alloy engine boasting superior performance with an electronic ignition.
The gear stick have a propensity to build up play over time with usage, so check if the stick moves back and forth than normal within the gateway. The reason attributed to this state is a worn pin at the top of the covering of the gearbox, which holds the lever.
More important than that are the manually lockable units which were integral to early variants that need to be frequently used to maintain them in fine condition. If this undemanding task has been uncared for, the odds are that brand new ones will be required, and at cost of Rs 2500 they don’t come up to be called as cheap. Eternally locked hubs arrived later and deciphered this scrupulous problem.
Suspension and Chassis
The chassis of the used Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is a ladder frame on to which the body is attached. Although durable and tough, rigidly used cars can lead to bent cross members. This has the potential to disturb the steering’s geometry. It is always advisable to check a second hand Maruti Suzuki Gypsy by getting it up on the ramp and checking for the same.
Look at the leaf springs at both the rear and front suspensions as they are inclined to be rugged. Also check out for worn out bushes and dampers and sagging leaves. Nonetheless if the prescribed silicon based oil is not used, the probability of bushes wearing out prematurely increases. This leaves the steering vulnerable and in the event of it going hard, the probability that the universal joint is jammed is significantly high. However setting things in perspective is relatively an easy job.
A normally driven used Maruti Suzuki Gypsy will make the brake pads last for almost 40,000km, the rear brake shoes for around 70,000-80,000km. But if the vehicle has been abused at by reckless off road driving, the calipers are inclined to be jammed because of grit and dirt crawling in between caliper and the disc. This can surely be avoided by regular maintenance and washing. Nevertheless it’s worth the effort to see the evidence of servicing if the second hand Maruti Suzuki Gypsy has clocked more than 70,000 km
The electricals wired on the Gypsy are usually a trouble free aspect of it. Check for a jammed wiper motor, a phenomenon seen post-monsoon due to inadequate use. Removing the unit from the rear of the dashboard is thorny and substituting it is expensive. In event of additional lights being installed on the car, inspecting the wiring becomes a must.
The key advice here is to go for a car that suits your budget best. Notwithstanding a separate chassis, the phenomenon of oxidation is the nuisance of the second hand Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and as our cardinal rule goes, cars victim of corrosion are better kept at arms length.
Following are the most rust-prone areas in the Maruti Gypsy:
Door hinges – These can get jammed due to inadequate lubrication. If rusting is found in and around the hinges, leave the car alone.
Windscreen frame – Inspect the hole located on the frame. All the holes have grommets to prevent water seeping in the cabin.
Roof mountings on hard top- If it is corroding where it is supposed to mount, best to leave the car at its own mercy.
Right fender - If corrosion is found in the arch of the wheel just at the back of the frontal right wheel it is testimonial of an overflowing battery water attack. Similar problem is also apparent just above the accelerator paddle. In both the cases, stay away from such buy.
Soft tops – These ideally last for 3 to 4 years and after that they have the propensity to become hard. Signs of cracking are usually shown by plastic windows. Substituting it will cost you an estimated Rs 3000.
Test drive – things to look for
- A harsh thudding sound in event of going over a pothole indicates a loose or worn bolt used for mounting the body. This is found mainly on cars which have clocked more than 1, 00,000 km, better to be left alone.
- Listen for any reverberation while cruising at a constant velocity. A whine from the gear box is difficult to get rid off and definite indications to steer clear.
- A slight swinging of the course-plotting wheel can be caused due to a worn navigation stabilizer shock which is inexpensive to replace.
- An erratic engine is regular on the 1-litre sculpt when the contact breaker gap adjusts. Fixing the same is not a great deal.
- Maruti Gypsy is known for its superb gearbox so examine if the gears connect effortlessly. If not, it could be case of worn locating pin or gear lever. It is not of extreme importance to change the same.
- If the car that you are driving has a propensity to ramble from a straight line, wearing of leaf spring bushes are the real culprit. Swapping these bushes are an inexpensive exercise.
- Check for the manual locking hub in the front for their operational efficiency. Probability of these being jammed are more due to inadequate servicing and usage been less. Substituting them with new hubs is a costly affair and trying to repair these can be a real mind-numbing experience.
- If there is a detectable tremble at high velocity which fades away with the drop in speed,it is a testament of worn shims and bearings on the axle in the front. A repair job is an expensive affair.
- The used Maruti Suzuki Gypsy price from the 1995 batch would be Rs 22,000 whereas a later model from 2005 would go anywhere between Rs 2.3 -2.5 Lakhs.