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Suzuki Swift 1.2 (First car travels)


#1

Finally! I have my first car, I’ve had it for a few months and boy I have some stories to tell.

Some general things about it, “Midnight Black” paint.
It has a 1.2L I4, fuel injection, N/A making 93hp which is actually fairly nippy and for a first car its good enough to keep your foot in up to the speedlimit. It’s front wheel drive obviously, front transverse blah blah generic hatch stuff. Manual gearbox, 5 speed and its pretty close range too, its just a little noisy at 70mph, so I might get a longer final gear on it.

Here’s some pictures. Black on Black on Black, with the racing stripes on the side :wink:

Pix


Now some of you may know, I’m a race driver, I race cars, used to race karts etc. You might think that makes me an idiot on the road, which to some people that might be true but what it actually does it make me super aware of the consequences, other peoples driving and general knowledge of driving is a lot more than many people on the road already. The road is not a race track. Do not use it as one.

Anyway, I actually went to look at this car after a school karting race. I had to beg my dad to go, since we were already 3 hours out of our way from home, and it was another 4 on top of that. (When you live in the south of the UK the north is quite far)
I’d been looking for a while, tossing up between Toyota Aygos, Citroen DS3’s and Swifts. This Swift was a literal bargain, it was a catagory S which means the insurace wrote it off as too expensive to repair, S just meant it had structural damage. If you’re not familiar with the catagories just look them up, there’s like Cat N,D,S,C and A, B

The car had been repaired already (too an extent which we’ll find out later) and it only had 21k miles on it. They were asking £4000 for it, and they said £200 to deliver it. We haggled the guy down to £4k for everything and the next week it was in my driveway. Badass. 66 plate car for that money was great, I’ll hopefully take good car of it >.<

The garage that had repaired it weren’t being very specific about what they had done, just that it was repaired. They were super vague and it was a little anoyying, but it was well worth it, the garage did all sorts of CAT repairs to cars so thats a trade that I’ve learnt about, you can actually get some really good cars for cheap, and depending on the insurance company you have they might not even care that its a Catagory car.

The car had some nice options on it, it’s got cruise control and a special bumper that only comes on the new facelift of the swift but is on mine because of the repairing stuff. There was a large amount of structural damage around the front driver side, the subframe was bent in, and the lower bar around the bottom of the radiator had to be replaced (i can tell because its blue, not black). Both lights were fine though.

Some things I discovered though was that I could only hold about two (2) squirts of washer fluid before I ran out, this was due to a large hole in the bottle that was made in the impact, the subframe had crushed it, the frame also crushed part of the airbox, so the pipe arm bit was loose. All this stuff is fixed now. I got to do a bit of fibreglass work which was cool, I’ve never done it before so it was quite interesting. Was a pain in the ass to fix though, since it was tucked in behind the light, and to get the light out you had to take the front bumper off. Still, could be worse.

Other things that were broken was the rear left brake light (that was actually really easy to replace, the bulb was broken (also repaired) and the front right side bulb was gone too. There’s a slight dent on the rear left quarter by the fuel cap, but its not noticable unless you point it out and the strut for holding the bonnet up was missing the clip in point (it had lost half the clip so it wouldn’t stay in place) but that’s glued in now. Oh and also the A/C didn’t work for a little bit, it just needed gassing up so we did that too, not that important for English weather but you know :wink: It blows hot quite nicely.

It’s a fun car, its quite chuckable although there is a large amount of body roll because the car is rather tall, thats probably my only gripe about it. The boot is decently big, you could fit a few sports bags in there, the head room is good in the front, not so great but still comfortable enough in the rear (I’m 6ft and a tiny bit).

The fuel eco is great, its fantastic when you drive with the intention of being effecient. I average 49mpg and thats with ripping around, but on a normal day to school its about 68 (lets call it 69 yeah?) and that’s pretty good i’m almost certain. It took me a while to figure out how to use the buttons on the dash bit, for changing time etc but of course Youtube does it’s thing so that was fine.

I’m thinking of doing maybe an intake and exhaust and that’s about it. It’s fun enough already, just need a bit of noise but not obnoxious noise. I’ve also got a Citroen Saxo VTR lying in the garage, but I guess thats another thread. I’ll try add more story to this in the coming days.


#2

OK, so it’s not a Swift Sport (which turned out to be the last-ever normally-aspirated hot hatch of any kind), but even with a sub-100-bhp engine it should still be fun and thrifty enough for your needs. If the adage that a slow car driven fast is more fun than a fast car driven slowly is true, then you have certainly made the right decision - most performance cars are so fast that you have to deliberately restrain yourself when driving them on the road.

Anyway, congratulations on buying your first car! I’m glad it’s a manual, normally aspirated example - just as a pure driver’s car should be (although cars with such a setup are sadly a dying breed, obsoleted as they are by customers’ desire for raw pace and theoretically lower emissions) - and the Swift has traces of that in its DNA.


#3

Of course! i forgot to mention that, honestly who could seriously drive an auto


#4

So, the car is going great! Travelled to silverstone in it (about 2:30h) and everything was fine, as it should be really, no high temps or anything. Cruising at the speed limit obviously :wink:

I have started to notice some strange things, like the suspension is quite stiff, but the roll bars are not, so when going over small tarmac changes and things on a corner it can throw the rear up and you kinda point in a slightly different direction. A bit unnerving especially since i’m used to feeling that on the wheel, but alas, power steering.

The idea hopefully is to keep this for a year, maybe another 2 until I can get something RWD, or some sort of 2.0L. There’s a really nice 350Z in a garage down the road for only £4995, I reckon I’ll try convince my dad to buy that as his car, since we already have a Nissan Navara, a Mitsobushi outlander (which we are planning to sell) and my car, the swift. So a sporty car makes sense.

I’m not sure what I would get, whether I stick with the swifts, and go to a swift sport (quite cheap actually) so I can do a few mods to it, because for this model there is absoloutely none. Or if I do some research for something else. Anyway, fun. I’ve put about 1500 miles on it probably since i got it.


#5

General stuff!
Rear tyres were a bit flat, probably 24PSI so got them all up to around 30PSI again before heading 4:30h up to the “north” of England for a little scholarship thing. I drove the first leg of it, up to Birmingham basically and the mpg was great actually.
It was around 70mpg, but I was doing the speed limit so that’s probably why it wasn’t 30. The car warms up in about 3 minutes which is great for drivig to school (which is about 12 mins from my house) and the a/c is about the same.

I’ve got some more longer journies coming up, on my own too. I’m going to be tutoring some people on a track day soonish so I’ll write something about driving up then probably. I had to top up the washer fluid a couple days ago, oil is all good too. It doesn’t burn through it like my freinds Mini so that’s nice.

I need to check if the car has a middle seat, because it looks like it could but I don’t actually know if it does because the belts and stuff could be under the seat and I haven’t ripped it out to see. I don’t really take anyone anywhere anyway but it would be nice to know. I was also thinking about swapping the rear tyres and the front tyres around, not because of wear but because the rears are 195, and the fronts are 185 and a little more grip at the front would be good. Saying that, the back end is quite light already and sometimes going over bumps it can jump a little.

Oh yes, and I hit 25k Miles last week, I got the car with about 21k, so in the last 3-4 months of driving I’ve done 4k miles or so, which is quite impressive I think. The gearbox is feeling great still, it feels a bit weird sometimes when it’s been parked for a while and you try to get into reverse, it just doesn’t go in, you have to go into first then back to reverse (which is strange because generally when I park i’ve been going in first and then go to neutral and engine off) so yeah.

I’ll edit this post with some pictures later of stuff. I think in the summer I’m going to go down to a spot to take some pictures with some friends so that’ll be nice.


#6

"it feels a bit weird sometimes when it's been parked for a while and you try to get into reverse, it just doesn't go in"

I used to have this problem on my car, which was partly due to the hydraulic system but mostly due to the transmission oil. I was able to fix my reverse (and make gear changes in general) much better with a transmission oil change. However, my car is 30+ years old, yours is 4.

I’d double check your car’s recommended maintenance schedule and see when the transmission fluid change is supposed to be due. With how low the mileage is on your car, and how old it is, I’d assume it sat for extended periods of time (possibly due to the accident it was involved in). Whether you’re close to the service interval or not, it may be a good idea to look into a fluid change as (afaik) getting into reverse should be smooth and effortless.

Just my two cents.

Little hatches like these are cool, it’s too bad we don’t get many in the US.


#7

You’d be right in saying it sat for a while, I’ve no idea how long, probably around 6months to a year. Anoyyingly due to the way I bought the car I don’t actually have the logbook / V5 for the car. So I can’t check what was “fixed” or maintaned on the car, I’ve been trying to get hold of it for ages but I’ve had no luck. Took me ages to tax it myself too because it was still taxed in the other persons name, and I couldn’t contact them to cancel it, that’s also the reason why I can’t get the history of the car.

The transmission thing does make sense, it’s usually very smooth (much smoother than some of my freinds cars) it’s just the odd thing (detailed explanation - Trying to push it in and it doesn’t go, something is blocking it is what it feels like. It’s not like I can put it into gear and then the car doesn’t move) , maybe 20% of the time. I’ll have a look and maybe you’ll save me a big bill haha :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

Cleaned the car, little bit of polish and hey presto the car isn’t brown anymore.


On this above image I’ll point out a few things. The top white part that holds the bonnet strut arm thing was broken and kept falling out, so we glued that back in. Also the intake pipe was cracked so that was patched too. Not much else to see really. The whole section was bent after it’s crash so they pulled it back out, but it’s not perfect so there’s around a 2cm gap around the bonnet, and it doesn’t line up at all at the bottom.