Presently, I own a 2012 Nissan Sunny XV diesel and have been advised by my service centre (SC) that the front shockers of my car have an oil leak and require replacement. Also, the brake discs require to be a replaced as well, as their thickness is low at about 19mm. The total parts’ cost would be about Rs 8,500, excluding labour charges. I have also been told that original Nissan parts are available in open markets like Kashmiri Gate, Delhi at very reasonable prices. Need your advice to check if the above is correct and how safe would it be to try my luck with something like this, considering that shocker and disc replacements aren’t very technical jobs and need not be performed at an SC. My second question is regarding the use of mineral or synthetic oil for the Sunny diesel. I got synthetic oil filled at its 30,000km service and it cost about Rs 5,800, and now at its 40,000km service, I got a normal oil fill at Rs 1,400. I hope this does not cause any engine issues. Additionally, if synthetics are better for the engine in the long run, I would prefer them, as I intend to run the car for long. However, is it okay to get synthetic oil from the open market? If yes, what make or specification would I need for my car? My last question is, could you recommend the perfect set of wheels for my Sunny XV diesel? I want to upgrade to tyre size 195/65/15 and want a set which will last long, has a strong side wall, great grip and solid braking, as Sunny’s braking does not inspire confidence from day one. My monthly run is about 2,000km in mostly Delhi-NCR and twice a year trip on highways/hills.
Prince Singh, Delhi-NCR
AAA As you said, a suspension and brake job is not hugely technical so it can be done at a good third-party garage but buying genuine over-the-counter spares is something you need to pay attention to. A set of Monroe front suspension units will cost about Rs 5,000 and a set of brake discs will be around Rs 3,000. So the parts cost is likely to be in the same ballpark, the only saving you will make is in the labour, which tends to be higher in authorised service stations. But even with a 50 percent saving on labour, you are unlikely to save a huge amount, even if you go through the entire ordeal. If you think it’s worthwhile, surely go ahead.
As for the oil, it is always good to run the engine with one type of engine oil, as clearances can get messed up if you keep switching the grades. Synthetic can keep your engine in good nick and has a longer drain period, but is considerably more expensive. Original-spec mineral oil is absolutely fine as long as you keep changing it often (as per service schedule). But once you decide, stick to it for the rest of the car’s life for the best results. The oil specification for the Sunny is 5W-30 so you need to stick to that when you are buying engine oil.
To answer your final question, no single tyre make/model will give you the perfect combo of long life, performance and robustness, but given your application, we’d definitely recommend the Michelin Energy XM2 in size 195/60 R15. Given that your stock size is likely to be 185/65, we’d recommend switching to a 60-profile in order to keep the overall diameter similar.
The sidewalls of the Michelin tyres are not very stiff like on the MRFs or Apollos, so you need to exercise some caution as the softer sidewalls are prone to cuts. But given that your running is mostly in the city and paved highways, there should be no concern as the tyre structure itself is pretty robust. The gains in overall grip and performance will definitely be worth it, and tyre life is not bad, although, don’t expect to run 50,000km as it is a softer compound which results in superior grip.