The plan is to drive it as much as I can & then keep it as a memory & buy a new one in the next 5 years.
BHPian Mav3rick recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
I hope you all have been well.
Till now, for me, a car was just a means of transport from one point to another. My car clocked ~35000kms in 15 years is a case in point. I have a black metallic Alto Lxi bought as a gift in 2007. The only changes in the car were the oils, coolant, battery, and front shock absorbers. Occasional liners and rodent-bite repairs maybe. The stepney is still new. I didn’t even get ONE puncture in 15 years! I changed the tyres only after 11 years and that too not as a necessity but as an impulse. Such is the situation.
The car now obviously needs a makeover and inspired by a lot of you, I am thinking of making some modifications to the car. The plan is to drive as much as I can and then keep her as a memory and buy a new one in the next 5 years.
Sifting through the threads I managed to make a list of modifications which add to mine. I need your help in either adding or removing them and above all point me to someone who is best suited to do all this in PUNE. Right now, I am in Saswad, a town 40 kms away, and need this car to be ready by Christmas.
- Same paint – Black Metallic
- Ceramic Coating
- Power Windows
- Good powerful lights
- Thinking of either changing the seats or just an upholstery change would do?
- Hub Caps
- The AC vents rattle or just droop down. Can they be changed?
- Other aesthetic changes like the door lining, wipers, dashcams etc.
- Good windshield where the light from the oncoming vehicles just doesn’t “break” and create a blinding effect for me – the only driver yet.
- And other parts that need to be changed.
From the forum
- Internally adjustable ORVM (OEM/MGP)
- Day / night mirror (OEM/MGP)
- Boot opener (OEM/MGP)
- Rear doors cabin light switch (OEM/MGP)
- Clear side indicator lens (OEM/MGP)
- Philips T10 LEDs x4 (front + back)
- Sylvania T10 amber LEDs x2 (side)
- Philips 100/90W H4 headlamps + wiring
- Internal TPMS (Honda)
- Alloy wheels x5 (NEO)
- Celerio Fogs (OEM/MGP)
- Custom art leather seats with blue stitching + leather adjustable (welded) front armrest + leather door pads + leather steering wheel wrap
- Few other bits like audio upgrade, dashcam, noodle mats etc
- Install cabin filter
- And there were some discussions about FFE and Conical Filters
Please don’t judge me if I say, I don’t even know what some of these mean!
Hoping to hear from this wonderful community. Till then you all be well and stay blessed.
Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:
Your car is 15 years old, so I’d suggest not spending too much money on it. I see from your profile that you’re an education professional. With time, you’ll make more money and you’ll move on to better cars, whether bigger Marutis or something else. Your Alto will be feeling old & outdated by now and will feel even more so with time.
Since you intend to keep the car for 5 years, just spend a bit of money on her maintenance, which makes her drive better. In terms of accessories, only the high-priority stuff. Example, if you’re big on music, get nicer speakers and a small amplifier (you can carry this ICE equipment forward to your next car too).
Your list in the opening post is too long and too expensive for a 15-year-old economy car. Instead, save up on that money and use it for a lateral upgrade to a newer, superior car. Invest it and do a lateral upgrade in a few years.
Here’s what BHPian shancz had to say about the matter:
No punctures in 15 years/35000 kms? Spectacular.
Your requirements and list are good, will add some suggestions on the points I can.
- If the seats haven’t sagged much then getting a good seat cover should suffice. There are some really good ones from dedicated makers like Elegance etc. and MGA should also have some well-fitting ones, may not be very plush though.
- They should be changeable, you can check the OEM catalog on Boodmo or this excellent thread maintained by Leoshashi.
- For the windshield, check it after the Ceramic treatment. A friend wanted to change his windscreen for the same reason but post a ceramic treatment he found it to be significantly better and dropped his plans for changing it.
Just to be clear the ceramic coating itself had nothing to do with it since it’s applied on metal. What helped was the “glass cleaning” which was a part of preparing the car before the ceramic coating was done. It had a lot of watermarks and the usual scratches. The watermarks are gone while the minute scratches need to be checked but they don’t seem to be there. Deeper scratches/pits (from small stones) are there and to be honest look more prominent which could be because the other stuff has been removed hence they stand out more.
But even if you want to change, the Alto’s windscreen shouldn’t be that expensive.
Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say about the matter:
Firstly congratulations on owning a mint-condition Alto.
Now coming to mods
Alloys – get yourself alloys but only those sold for the Alto so make sure to check offset and not just PCD. Do not buy multi-pcd stuff, you can alternatively go through the OEM catalogue for part numbers to alloy wheels and buy those from Boodmo.
Audio – Keep it simple get yourself 4-inch speakers that fit in the stock location on the dashboard, can pair them with separately bought tweeters and use the best 6×9 coaxials mounted in the dicky door facing the cabin with loads of damping in the dicky door. This way the only damping you will need to do is in the boot door and that’s it. Power them with a class A/B amp and pair a subwoofer of your choice with it.
Lighting – Simply go for projectors in the foglamps they are cheap, effective and will maintain the stock headlamp’s look as they can fade out if you add higher power bulbs. And change your windshield.
Power Windows – You might have to get a different ECU for this if you want the stock ones along with new door pads so not sure if it is worth the expense. Also I myself recently restored my 2004 WagonR lxi and was wondering if I should add power windows but chose not to as I did not want to rely on aftermarket power windows and also decided that since manually winding windows are pretty rare, I’d keep mine stock for nostalgia’s sake.
Seats – Fix them, no need to replace them as they have only been sat in for 35k kms. Go for real leather and avoid the artificial stuff as they will simply lead to you having a sweaty back in the summers.
Paint – Stick to Glasurit best stuff in the aftermarket as far as I can make out.
Lastly, make sure to get everything done at the right place as your car is bone stock and in mint condition so it would be a shame for some installer to ruin the wires or put something back the wrong way and end up breaking stuff. Doesn’t matter if it is out of station also, but go for the best. Places like Bangalore, Delhi and Bombay would have the best options.
Here’s what BHPian Kosfactor had to say about the matter:
I can imagine a lowered Alto, white steel wheels. Rest all can be restored to stock, visibly they make no difference.
Alternative – You can do something more exciting than an Alto. Exchange this Alto for a K10 or Jelly bean Zen – now lower it, add white steel wheels, that is it. With the Zen, you now have a classic car that can be daily driven.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.