Cars with surprisingly high maintenance costs

We always knew the Polo would be more expensive to maintain, but didn’t expect the gap to the Swift to be so wide.

BHPian Omkar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Maintenance costs have always been a deciding factor when purchasing a car in India. You don’t want to spend lakhs on a car to get it and then spend some more lakhs on the upkeep. We have 2 cars in the family currently, a Maruti Swift Petrol and a VW Polo TDI. The Swift was bought brand new and the Polo is pre-owned. Both these cars don’t see as much of the highways as they should, but they’re used regularly in the city. The Swift has clocked about 35,000 km over the years and the Polo is at 55,000 km. We also had an Alto for about 11 years.

Volkswagen Polo TDI

The Polo wasn’t in the greatest of conditions when we got it, so had to spend some time and money to get it in shape.

Hereโ€™s a look at the first OBD scan report:

  • There was an issue with the turbo boost pressure sensor which was replaced.
  • The clutch had worn out and hence replaced.
  • Rear shock absorbers had to be replaced.
  • Then there was a gasket oil leak followed by an oil sump leakage.
  • After getting all the major stuff sorted out in the beginning, the car hasnโ€™t given much trouble in the last year.
  • Yearly cost of maintenance is ~Rs. 8,000 – 9,000. Alternate service includes diesel filter replacement, which adds another Rs. 2,500 to the cost.

Maruti Swift & Alto

Both the Marutis have been extremely easy on the pocket. The Swift was getting serviced at the authorised service centre till the time it was under warranty. After that, it has been going to a friend’s garage. The yearly cost of maintenance is ~Rs. 6,000 – 7,000. The Alto since it was always serviced at the authorised service centre, the yearly maintenance was ~Rs. 4,500-5000.

In conclusion, the VW emerges as the one with higher-than-expected upkeep. Yes, itโ€™s a diesel and yes, itโ€™s a used car, but still, the Polo’s spares are expensive and it’s also a bit more complicated and harder to work on than the Maruti. We always knew the Polo would be more expensive to maintain, but didn’t expect the gap to the Swift to be so wide.

Do share your experiences with some of the cars that you have owned. Which of them had surprisingly high maintenance costs?

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

Great thread, really made me think.

Surprisingly, my barebones basic Jeep, the 1997 Mahindra Classic! Total engine failure at 140,000 km, gearbox fully overhauled, has needed two complete body overhauls (one within just 7 years of ownership), radiators, oil leaks, overheating, starting issues etc. etc. The factory body was a rust bucket. I eventually installed a new body and dipped it in Wurth to solve the problem.

Somehow, things completely settled down after the 3rd engine was installed (Bolero 2.5L IDI diesel from Mahindra itself) with all brand-new components & ancillaries. The Jeep has been way more reliable since. But there is a LOT of money sunk into this barebones car.

Here’s what BHPian greenhorn had to say about the matter:

My Indica! Its yearly service costs far exceed those of my other cars (Civic, Etios)

Details here.

People think I’m crazy to spend 40k a year on average on it (and those people are probably right)

Here’s what BHPian Bhodrolok had to say about the matter:

The VW2.0 maintenance costs are actually much lower but the quality is just not the same. So there is a trade-off when the cost cutting happens.

Here’s what BHPian Newtown had to say about the matter:

Our Tata Estate without a shred of doubt. Had two engine rebuilds within 60,000 kms. When it worked that was an awesome vehicle to cruise in. But such times were few and far between.

My now-sold Baleno manual – I was alarmed at the Nexa maintenance pricing. Cost was in the ballpark of my previous gen VW’s!

Here’s what BHPian Kosfactor had to say about the matter:

I remember my uncle saying that his M800 was cheaper to service than his then-Hero Honda CD100, so Maruti had taken care of such things those days.

Our own M800 was easy on the pocket, hardly needed anything, nor would most people who own an M800 would bother knowing much about car maintenance as such – fuel, service – drive.

Fast forward to 2016 – Nano was surprisingly expensive to maintain for what it was.

Here’s what BHPian revsperminute had to say about the matter:

A picture is worth a thousand words.

With the old girl knocking on the door for her 9th birthday, maintenance costs have inadvertently crept up. Have spent about ~2L over the previous 2 years counting all the parts replaced and general service.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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