Buying a Pre-Loved SX4 Petrol, my OLX experience.


Mediocre me
1st: Apology for not being regular on forum. Was busy on OLX :grin:


We already have an Estillo 2010, 52K ODO, which is serving us really well. However long rides in a small hatch are painfull for passengers. Rear seat people get uncomfortable easily after 2 hour drive. I cannt imagine carring 5 onboard for more then 1 Hour.

Basically we needed a proper sedan. Did not have money for a new one, nor I needed a new one. Estillo still feels like new. And nothing beats easy on in-city-traffic ride of estillo (barring 800 and likes).

By selling estillo, and stretching my budget by large, I could hardly buy Dezire/Etios Petrol. And running cost would increase as they comsume more petrol. Insurance etc for new car again are expensive.

Understanding the Scene:
All in all, made a decision that we will not sell Estillo, afterall she is the most trusted one for us and she has safely taken us to some of most dangerous destinations with much ease.

What it all means is that we were on OLX, looking for a proper sedan which could come dirt cheap.
Are you thinking, why not a preowned SUV? Becoz they dont come cheap. Everyone in india these days is "me too SUV" person. Search OLX and you will know that very few are selling and sessling at much high price.

When in preowned market, buy the product which is not liked by others.

On OLX, there are many selling 2013 Ecosport/Duster for 11L, 12L rupees. WHY?? I can buy a new one cheaper.

Then there are some sedans which my family was keep on, but I knew they will not come cheap. Examples: Fluidic Verna, City IVtec. Because they are good looking, they are in high demand. 5 yr old scorpio, people try to sell in 6 Lac Rs.

Enough of OLX, lessons are learnt. Look for bad looking cars (No offence) or rather boring looking cars. Cars like Logan, Aveo, SX4, Fiesta, City ZX(City is Not boring but comes cheap). I even considered Baleno, but rejected by wife. Linea was another strong contender. Petrol do come for real cheap price.

The thumb rules: for this purchase were made: I would not deviate from them during purchase.
1) Has to be petrol (Diesel are sold much higher).
2) Has to be petrol (Petrol engine are cheaper to repair)
3) Has to be Petrol (Diesel are likely to be driven extensively and I have no means of judging odometer tempering.)
:) :grin: alright, forgive me. I will move on.
4) Preowned CNG is a strict no-no.
5) I will put CNG in this car after some time.
6) Has to have enough boot to hold CNG+ luggage.
7) Solid, Rigid car. It will be my family car, to be used on long drives. Cannot compromise at all on safety. To each his own, for me 6 year old honda city is safer then brand new Amaze. For me an SX4 or lenia with solid heavy built are safer then the likes of City and Etios etc even if they come with ABS. I know many would disagree, but thats me.
8) Preferably Maruti. Local garage repairs work so well on maruti.
9) Fuel efficiency was not big factor.
10) Would not consider older then 2008. Though I looked at some 2007 too.
11) Spare parts cost will be a major deciding factor. 2008 civic with 80K ODO can come for 3.2Lac, but part replacement cost will be huge.
12) Set a budget of 3L+ and a kitty of 40K Rs for after repairs if any.
13) Maximum focus on internal condition of car. Dent and pait work does not cost a bomb.
14) Dealers, including True Value were to be avoided. They are the biggest cheat IMO.

Last and most important.
15) Family should approve the car.

And did I miss GC. Yeah, when you are on BCMT, do talk about GC. Well, SX4 and Logan were the only 2 options with good GC, hence I went flexible on this.

Searching on OLX had become a hobby. Try it. It is a great time pass. People put such distorted english there. It makes you laugh out loud. And then those desperate seller who put a new ad every day, filling the whole OLD with same car.

Even when the funds were not arranged, I used to visit OLX. But I contacted the owner only when I was going to buy.

When you visit OLX, you will often see some well framed ads. The deals you dont want to miss at any cost. They are usually dealers. I learned it after wasting some time.

Most of my search, based on my above given 15 points took me to the 2 cars, City ZX 2007/2008. SX4 2008/2009. Look closely and you will know that for 3L Rupees you will have to buy a 5-6 year old car if you want a C1/C2 Sedan. And for 2007/2008/2009, SX4 and CIty were the main cars selling. Likes of Verna or Logan or Fiesta only sold in Diesel most.
So here it is, City or SX4. Answer is, preferably SX4 but if we could get a good condition City, we could have bought that either.

The search was tiring. Basically, this is not a season for buying old car. Come navratra, and market will be full of old cars. Jan/Feb was again a great time. So many options were in market.

I even had to go to preet vihar dealers. They had nice looking cars. But crank them and they tell the reality. All the cars there display an ODO or 50-60K. When I asked the actual Km clocked, they say, " Saab, shayad 80-90K chali hogi. Odometer to sab tamper karwate hain aajkal".

Long story short, one say I saw a 2008 SX4 ZXi Silver add with only 2 line of details. By the add I could say it was by some educated fellow. I Called up. The person on other end was father of the owner of car. He was polite and sounded a respected man. I knew I would prefer dealing with someone like him.

Next day was fixed for test drive. Went to his office. I was right. It was a well behaved businessman. Car was driven by the driver all the time. Took a 10Km test drive on noida expressway. It felt like a 5 Year old car, but was really stable at 110KMPH speed as well as at bumpy roads. Engine revved smoothly till 4-5K in 2nd gear. What more to expect.
Some metal parts and windscreen needed replacement.
Price quoted by owner was senseable. However, I believed that 10-20K could be reduced. 5 min talk about service history and I said I would buy the car but at reduced price.
He said that he will call me after discussing at home.

One thing I learnt is that judge the owner and most likely you will not need to judge the product.

For some strange reason, he did not call me for 1 week. I was looking for other cars then. Next Sunday, I randomly called him back. He picked up. He said that he was sorry because the details of car given to me were based on what driver had provided, and leter he got to know that some of it was not correct. Hence he said that car is not as good as you expect.
I said I like the car. I will still buy it, and if he thinks this way, he can reduce the price a bit. We both agreed on this on phone. I went to their home, paid the token amount in cheque.

2 days later I made the full payment by DD and Cash. Signed the paperwork and took the delivery. They did not use the car at all in these 2 days. Car came with more then half tank.
To my surprise, Battery is 2014 make, Insurance is valid till Apr2015, Service was done very recently. These are few of things which can be advertised for better resale value, but owner did not even mention these earlier.

After purchase:

So far I have driven 200KM, in city. I have not checked mileage but I expect it 10+. Overall ride is very comfortable. There is no rattle or noise. Engine cold start has a nice tone. Break disk may need rubbing or replacement.
Interiors are dirty, very dirty. Want to get them chemical foam cleaned, but that needs full day sunlight to dry up. The weather is not supportive.
I have ordered new seat cover already, will cost 5-6 thousand Rs.
Some dent/paint work is needed, will cost 4-5 thousand to me.
Music system sound acceptable. I am not planning an upgrade. Though the one in my estillo is better.

Comfort, much better then I expected. Front and rear both. Seats have huge cushion. On top, the suspension has enough travel, though it is stiff. For mr it is much comfortable then Etios which I have driven a lot. However Etios rear leg room is superb.

Stability: I would not need more then this. It is a tall and bulky car. But try to take sharp turns at 50KMPH, or quick lane change at 90KMPH, you will be surprised. And all this on JK tyres. I am waiting for the day when I put better rubber here.

GC: at 190mm on ZXi, it is segment leader. 2010 onward, SX4 have 10mm short on VXi and ZXi both, as per owner manual. so 2010 VXi should have 170mm GC. Remember VXi has 15" steel wheel. SX4 GC is widely discussed already, so I will skip it.
Tyres and wheels: It needs special mention. ZXi come with 16inch alloy which are super light weight. Alloy+Tyre combined would weigh approx 8-9KM. I was able to carry one wheel with single hand with much ease.
At 205-60-R16, this is a superb size. Put the same in City, it will look oversized. Put to comparison, Ecosport top model comes with same size. End result: the grip and ride quality is great. Breaking is also better then I thought for a 1200KG car. L TJet is the other car that comes with this size and has great grip.

Engine: I am no expert, but this engine is of my taste. For me, a 1.6 is any day better then a 1.5/1.4 if you dont bother about FE. It happily cruises at 75KMPH at 2000 rpm. And thats where it give good mileage too. Go to 3000 rmp and it will cross 100 mark very fast, but mileage could be a questions. This could have taken 6th gear very easily. Overall I am happy with this simple yet powerful engine. Well, 102BHP is not much for a 1200KG car, but what it is good at is at pulling power at low RPM, with 5 on board and AC on. Engine is rather rev happy. I believe 2010 VVT will be much better.

AC: is a chiller. I dont know how many other cars would have such good AC. To put to perspective, this 6 yr old ac works 2 times better then brand new etios.

Ownership transfer:
I am not getting enough time to get it done.
I have taken signed Delivery note, form 29, form 30, Original RC, Insurance (Transferred to my name). Pollution certificate, My address proof.
I believe I dont need any extra paper. I need to file transfer within 14 days of sale, else late feel of Rs 100 per month is to be paid.

Q: 1) Car is originally registered in south Delhi RTO office. My address falls in Loni RTO office. So, Which one shall I visit? Or shall I visit South first, submit s copy of docs to get an NOC, and then submit the ownership transfer papers in Loni RTO?
Pls suggest the process. I would like to avoid taking help from agents on this.

2) Is it safe to run car without transfer for 3-4 weeks? Afterall I do have all documentation.

Photos here:

Under the sun, silver color shines a lot giving the notion of a new car. Nah, paint is not that great when looked at closely.






EDIT: Adding this section with some Tips related to buying a preowned car I had taken most of them into account. Hoping these to be helpful to others.

1) I insisted on providing the Service history. I told the owners that I will pay if the service centre is willing to charge a few hundred Rs for this. Most owners were confident since their cars were always serviced form A S S. While many denied saying that they go for Local mechanic.
A full service record is the only method of proving if odometer is clocked. I believe Maruti and Honda do it free of cost. But not sure if it is a central database, accessiable from other dealers too?

I personally beleive in focusing more on car's condition, irrecspective of where it was serviced.

In case of SX4 purchase, owner had to produce service records before finalizing the deal. However, later I was so convinced that I did not give a damn about it and till date I have not seen those papers. I will some day go to Maruti and get a print.

2) Mechanic: I also made a deal that My mechanic will check the car before Yes/No decision. Seller agreed. I highly recommend showing the car to a mechanic, and more importantly to a skilled denter. Accidental cases can be detected by Denting experts, not mechanic.

Again, in case of SX4, I planned to do it, but didn't. I took the car to mechanic After buying it. :grin: Thats just me.

3) Documents check: Took the RC and matched the Engine number and chesis number to the car.

There were many cars with no insurance or only 3rd party insurance. I simply stayed away from them.

What 3rd party means is that I can not take claim on repairs. While my plan of buying this car was to replace any part that is broken. Something like bumper or windscreen may need replacement immediately.

FYI, cars above 1500CC have little expensive insurance and the compulsary deductable is 2000 on claims compared to 1000 on small engines.

4) Payment in the name of owner (Owner as per RC). I made sure to pay some portion of the price to owner's account. DD is the most hassle free method. Cheque is subject to realization. Netbanking is not trusted by all, specially across banks.

5) Address: Across state purchase: Registering across state car is a long process. Though it can be done easily by hiring 2 different agents at both locations. It usually involves paying the RTO fee again in new RTO and getting refund from old one.
For example, RTO fee in UP is 8%, which comes out to be 24K for a car values at 3L Rs.

It will be easier to produce the address proof of the other state. A nationalized bank's account is the easiest thing to do. A new account of SBI, BOB, PNB etc will do.

6) Maintenance expected: There are many things in an old car that you can fix with money, some you cann't. Knowing the difference is important.
I always assumed that the car I am buying may need following replacement, and kept kitty for this.

Full clutch replacement: 5-8K. Clutch can easily be ignored. Even an Innova clutch take less then 9K for full replacement at A S S.
Front shockers (Pair): 4-6K
AC overhall : Can become expensive some times.
Head Lamps may get dark and ineffective with time.
Body panels, usually covered in insurance, however you can mostly claim only 1st insurance during which photos are taken.

Above price is approximate for a sedan. However prices may vary drastically.
Ex: Shocker procis of City/Verna may come out to be more then double of SX4(I read on internet).

Then there are few things which I wanted to compromise with.

Engine trouble: I absolutely dont feel comfortable with this. I trust the cold start of engine to reveal many things about it. And another test of about revving it hard when its hot. Rest is upto the mechanic.
Look for the drill holes in trunk and engine bays which may reveal that car was running on CNG in past.

Gearbox: Again an expensive affair to fix.

Compromised Electricals: A dangerous territory. I saw a dealer SX4. Opened the bonnet, saw the wires hanging, some of them touching the exhaust and almost ready for short circuit. I moved on.

Keys/Lock Set: I would really like to avoid a replacement. Many cars you would find with worn-out keys, and sometimes with bad locks. With immobalizer equipped, replacement of key set alone can cost upward of 4K and more then 2 week time.

Rusting: I made sure to look underneath the car in detail. Rusing of anykind has no solution other then replacement of part. My SX4 also has a door rusted which I knew in adance. I am getting it replaced.

7) Regarding OLX: OLX is a funny place, so is quicker. Some more serious sites are carwale, TBHP-Classifies section. While some will ask 4L Rs for a 2005 model scorpio which is in bad shape. You will also find people selling a 4 year old car at less then half the price.
Case in point, you will see that Swift/ Dzire are hot cakes on internet. a 3-4 year old Dzire sells almost the same price as 3-4 year old Lenia. There are a lot of variations and no fix rule. You get it as it comes.
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Active Member
Congratulation, superb choice -- great looking vehicle and of'course the reliability of Maruti.

Wish you many many happy days of trouble free motoring.



Super Moderator
Staff member
Jeet, a very lucid account of your buying experience!
You've made a great choice. The GC is the biggest plus point!

And I cannot agree more about judging the owner and not needing to judge the product!

Have a safe and trouble free ownership experience! :)

John Mathai

john-the wanderer
Congrats jeet for the new acquisition. I'm sure it won't disappoint you.
And the narration could be adopted as a case study for a course on "How to buy a used car?":grin:

Jeet, I really liked the way you analyzed the pros and cons of buying this car. SX4 is a good buy... wish you all the best.. :)


Keep Driving
Congratulations on your SX4.
Nice detailed write up too, with accurate info on how to 'crack' the ads on OLX.


Mediocre me
Thanks you.
Congratulation, superb choice -- great looking vehicle and of'course the reliability of Maruti.

Wish you many many happy days of trouble free motoring.

Thanks Anup Sir.

Jeet, a very lucid account of your buying experience!
You've made a great choice. The GC is the biggest plus point!

And I cannot agree more about judging the owner and not needing to judge the product!

Have a safe and trouble free ownership experience! :)

Glad you liked it. I have added a new section just now.

Congrats jeet for the new acquisition. I'm sure it won't disappoint you.
And the narration could be adopted as a case study for a course on "How to buy a used car?":grin:

Thanks Ankur,

Jeet, I really liked the way you analyzed the pros and cons of buying this car. SX4 is a good buy... wish you all the best.. :)

Thanks. Hope you will like more detals I just added. They are all that I thought during the purchase. Of course there are more points to remember.

Congratulations on your SX4.
Nice detailed write up too, with accurate info on how to 'crack' the ads on OLX.


Congrats, a perfect choice. Few things I would suggest you get checked during any next service you are planning:

1. Both front and rear wheel bearings, in 2008/2009 models its used to wear out very fast and needed replcement for better designed bearings.
2. Replace the wipers with Bosch frameless wipres, absolute fantastic response. I recently got it replace for 900 Rs.
3. Get shocker and spring checked.
4. Alignment is a pain in SX4, get it done from a good place.
5. Check if there is an AC filter in place, if yes get it cleaned. AC in any case is a chiller in SX4.
6. Rear brake drum, makes funny noises in most of the cases. A cleaning solves the problem, but just for few weeks

Rear shockers are dirt cheap for SX4, when last I got it replaced, a pair for 2400 Rs. never needed to replace front shockers.

There is initial judder or jerks when you pickup from 1st gear, its common with pre turbo SX4. So don't panic if you experience it. Just need to adjust the driving style a bit.

Service record is centralized in Maruti and accessible at all MASS in India.

There is no empty fuel alarm or light, so keep an eye on the fuel gauge :)

For tyres I used Apollo Aceller in past which are decent and value for money. I am using Bridgestone GIII Potenza now, very costly but super quite and comfortable.

I recently made few changes in my SX4, which goes very well with our long drives.
1. Installed Blaupunkt Newyork 800, mainly for GPS, USB, Bluetooth and Hands Free call. This was few months back
2. Last Saturday, I got Kicker Components in front and Speakers in rear. I was really bored with the OEM came with the car.
3. TPMS, external setup, absolute must for long drives, can really lives. Also remember 205/15R16 is very rare size to get a new tyre, while you are on long drives.
4. Got the dual horns, roots vibrosonic, with a custom relay kit.
5. upgraded to 90/100 Hella bulbs with Hella Relay kit.

I will post a picture for you in the evening, that will make you really happy for choosing SX4 :)
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