Dilemma: Keep or sell my 1.43L km done 1999 Maruti Zen LX

Today, the ODO stands at 1,43,000. Over the years, she has been performing flawlessly.

BHPian vijuk21 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello Everyone,

We got into the Zen mode in Oct 2003. That is when the Zen entered our lives.

My daughter was born on Sep 2, 2003 and we got our Zen in Oct. Don’t remember the exact date.

I am the second owner. Got it from an automotive company in Hosur for a great deal.

Few points of the car

She has been with us since then and helpful as given below

Today, the ODO stands at 1,43,000. Over the years, she has been performing flawlessly. We have developed a sort of bonding with her and hence heart tells me not to sell her.

With age, I am now getting few challenges as listed below:

  • AC is not working which is a major deterrent for me to take the car out
  • Mileage has dropped considerably. I guess this can be tweaked by a good mechanic. Kalyani motors whitefield do not have good technicians who can tune her carburetor. I am also not sure if I need to do a complete overhaul of the engine.
  • Availability of spare parts is a concern. Kalyani motors did not have spares for AC / window mechanisms which are stuck
  • Pressure from family to sell it rather than keeping it idle and rust. I park it in the road as I don’t have much parking space.
  • No good mechanic to tune such cars now. Please suggest if you know any in Bangalore

I am in a dilema to sell it or refurbish this beauty. Wanted to know your views on it. Should I sell or should I do a refurbish and use her ?

Given below are few pics of my beauty

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Time to sell. It’s a 23-year old Maruti (much longer than it was designed for), run 1.4 lakh km, has the usual age-related problems and you don’t have parking for it.

There is some sort of bonding because of all the associated memories, but nothing special about the car per se (different matter if it was a 1st-gen Vtec, vRS, a Gypsy or something niche).

Time to sell it and move onto newer, faster, better machinery . Today’s hatchbacks & compact SUVs are wonderful (some have fast engines) and will nicely compliment your Skoda Laura. If you don’t need another car, sell the Zen and use the money to improve / mod your Laura.

Here’s what BHPian PreludeSH had to say on the matter:

Keep it if parking is not an issue. I had one 1999 Vx which was my first car bought for my parents. My Brother took it later and sold it

He got good value too. But it will feel very unsafe sitting in one and cant be used in higher speed situations or highways.

Here’s what BHPian Rajeevraj had to say on the matter:

The car seems to have reached the end of it’s useful life at least as far you are concerned. Came into your life at the right time, has served for 100k km, has been part of key moments like your daughters birth to being the car she learnt driving on. So in my view, your use for it is done. No point restoring and keeping it unused. It will again deteriorate in no time.

Best is to sell, and maybe to someone who can restore and have some use for it. If you are looking for an service center who can probably restore this, you can check with Engineering Exponents or Krithi Car Care

Maybe you can check with above places, what it takes to solve the pending issues and then find a good buyer for it.

Here’s what BHPian ninjatalli had to say on the matter:

I see the problems you are having as cosmetic. If the Skoda Laura is your default car for longer distances, then this car would be perfect for in-city short trips. I think the main issue for you is getting a good FNG mechanic who can work around and resolve your car problems. If it was your primary car, then I’d agree with @GTO – sell it off. But it’s the second car; and I don’t think you’d be interested in taking up additional EMIs for a new car (I believe you are already looking for a replacement for your Laura).

I would suggest reaching out to fellow Zen owner @jensjoseph; I’m sure lot of the spare parts & other issues you are facing, he’s probably faced them too. Plus both of you are Bangalore based so have a connect and figure out the next steps. Get a reliable FNG and most of your issues should be sorted; I seriously think you can live with the other minor constraints wherever possible – say for e.g. a weak or no AC in Bangalore’s cooler weather.

Edit: The only scenario where I’d suggest selling is if your family is good with one single car. Then you could sell both your aging vehicles and get a new car.

Here’s what BHPian smartcat had to say on the matter:

If you get the AC fixed, keep it. Check what parts are needed to fix and buy it from websites like Boodmo.com. After fixing the AC, use it as a second car. It is fine if it is parked outside.

However, you definitely need a new car, especially for highway runs.

Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

I voted for keep as I assumed it was the same Zen as I saw just recently in another new thread but reading about it not having power steering and being a carb model with you experiencing issues when it comes to its maintenance, I wish there was an option to change the vote to NO.

1st of all you should not have trouble maintaining a Maruti. Secondly, if anything needs this much love and care there ought to be someone younger in the family who takes charge of it as your time might be more valuable than theirs to be spending effort in maintenance. Last but not the least, it is a carb model without power steering. You deserve a more reliable fuel injected car and you can give your daughter a break from the steering.

The car looks nice I must admit with the grey paint and those alloys which look so quintessentially 90s/early 2000s (My favorite era in automotive design). That said, being someone who owns an arguably old 2004 2.4lac run WagonR, I would say sell your Zen and just pick up an S-Presso

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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