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Great Indian Hatchback
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I have an old Maruti Zen (2001 model) which has clocked 42000 Km and in very good condition, except for the A/C compressor which has gone bad recently and is beyond repair (Delphi make). To get the A/C running, we need to change the compressor and upgrade the system to the new one (it used the old refrigirent R12 or something). The whole A/C repair and upgrade will cost around Rs.20K to 25K but nobody is willing to give warranty for that.
Is it worth investing on new A/C or is it better to dispose off the car for whatever price we can get and buy a new one like Estilo since lot of offers are available now for petrol cars. The running is very less (around 300Km per month). I am more concerned since there is no warranty even if we fit the new A/C.
My suggestion will be to sell it off rather than get it mended unless ofcourse you think getting it repaired will give you any better resale value which i doubt. Also there is no guarantee as you already said. So might as well sell it off and get a new one.
Thanks, Sridhar for the suggestions.
Acutally the car is 2002 model (not 2001 model), but that does not make much difference. Anyway, I checked with Maruti True value. They are offereing 90K exchange offer + 20K exchange bonus (total 1.1L) if I go for Estilo. But if I spend 20-25K and fix the A/C, they will give another 5K only (95K + 20K)!! I dont think there will be much change in the status even if I sell it outside. And I dont want to cheat anyone by hiding the history of A/C even if I sell it outside. So ... the conclusion is ... it is not worth repariring it; the only decision to be made is to sell it off now or use it without A/C for some more time, since I have another new car.
By the way one A/C mechanic was suggesting that I should complain to Maruti (and threaten to sue them if they dont respond) for selling me a product using R12 refrigerant which was banned before 2002. I dont know if this is true. If I had a product using the new refrigerant (R134, I think), the A/C repair would have costed me only the compressor price (around 12K).
What I could understand from some sites (again, dont know if it is correct), is the R12 was banned in UK (and possibly in US and Europe) by end of 1999. But in India it was banned only in 2004. Anyway, this is an important point to be noted whenever anyone buys used cars. Never go for one using R12 refrigerant.
If it is banned then there is no way manufacturers would still sell cars using R12 refrigerant. Nevertheless from your post all I can say is that selling the car makes more sense than repairing it and selling it. You will end up in a kind of loss in the latter case.
However, if you must get a new car, then do so without the repair.
Its true ... repair it and use it 300Kms is very less running ... it will be a value
But I am also amazed true Value is offering such a decent price, I also own a zen Lx 2002 model and wanna get new car .... thinking of eon or K10 alto
@tomy - before you sell off the car, consider the following:
1. Do you really want a new car if the old one is still fine - keep the AC aside for a moment?2. With the 25k worth of AC installation would the car's value to you (not in terms of money) diminish so much as to warrant selling it off?3. Weigh the cost of running this car v/s that of a new car - you spend 25k to 35k for the old one and continue using it or spend almost 3-4 lacs for a new one (upfront cost). Yes the old car must have cost nearly that much when it was bought, but in terms of miles using the old car is still the cheaper option.
My take: If the car is working fine, has been reliable till now, gives reasonably good mileage then you should continue using it unless of course a new car is an absolute (for whatever reason), but if its purely about getting value for money, nothing can beat an old car that is still going strong. Now consider that you spend 30k for AC and other small things, you get a car that is still cheap on a mile-per-mile basis than a new car - I'd say worth it, subject to the car's condition.
Also, IMO resale value should not be a deciding factor for buying/repairing a car. What should matter is how many miles you can extract from it: A car is a dead investment whether we like it or not (unless it is used as a taxi)...so better to use the car you have than sell it off and buy a new one. This way you make better use of the money you spent on buying/maintaining the car.
Again, the above comments do not apply if you indeed want a new car.
Thanks, Rohit for the valuable inputs. The points which you have mentioned are very important.
I have another new car (Ritz), only my dad uses the Zen, mostly for short running. So I dont really have a pressing need for another new car. But my worry is that after spending 25K on A/C for my old car, since they dont give warranty if it gets damaged again, I will be nowhere. Though the car is otherwise in good shape, if other things start failing like this, I dont know whether i will endup in spending more money.
As of now I am retaining the car without reparing the A/C, but in summer it is going to be difficult without A/C. Infact I got the compressor removed. My dad has similar views as yours. For long travel we can always take the Ritz.
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