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Suzuki Vitara Maintenance and Repair



  • I replaced the front brake pads on my 2002 Suzuki Vitara (JLX?) the other day and saw evidence of something slinging oil all around the right front fender well. I trace it to the right front axle seal on the front differential (is a 4WD). I have not had a chance to check the oil level in the front differential. Uh oh! How does an axle seal seize? Do you mean that it is frozen onto the axleshaft and is spinning in its seat on the differential? Something does not sound right here. The seal is "rubber" lip on the metal axleshaft, maybe with a spring band behind it to keep a tight grip on the shaft going thru it, but I cannot see how the seal would seize on the shaft; seems sort of an impossibility to me. Is the individual working on it an independent repairman or is he working for a Suzuki dealership? If he is an independent, I would suggest getting a second opinion, preferably from a dealer. Sometimes they cost more, some times they don't, but in any event, you're more likely to get an honest answer to what ails the car. If the shaft gets scratched removing the seal, fine emery cloth can probably polish it up good as new again. I would also suggest buying a Haynes or Clymer repair manual so you can understand exactly what is involved in removing the seal and what exactly seized up!! Good luck to both of us. If I was 10 years younger, I would probably attempt to replace the seal myself.
  • Just picked this up from a dealer with 26,700+ miles on it. Clean as a whistle inside and out...however; I'm now hearing what sounds like coke bottles rattling around and it seems to be coming from up front. I checked under the hood and can't find anything loose. Rattles on bumpy roads or when I hit a dip on the left or right side. And can't tell where it's coming from....I'm leaning toward something in the suspension. Motor mounts, hoses, brackets, etc all look fine..only place I haven't been is under the thing. :confuse:
  • Sounds like the place you need to go IS under it. Mine has a squeal somewhere in the engine, possibly a bearing on something that the fan belt runs over. I am considering trading it on an '06 Prius since it has 77K hard miles on it. Suzukis have come up in quality so much in the last 4 years it isn't even funny. I consider my '02 Vitara a bit of a tin can, but checking out an '06 Grand Vitara, it doesn't look like they were made by the same car company.
    On your problem, check the running gear closely, including the wheel and drive shaft bearings. One good place for a rattle is the exhaust system: not just how the pipe runs or may be loose, but the guts of the muffler and/or resonator can get loose and rattle. Also check the exhaust heat shields on the pipe and over the manifold. These are the most likely places that come to mind, and I have had a problem with just those same things over the 45 years of driving. Good luck with it.
  • Just bought 2001 suzuki GV 4wd. Was wondering why my tach shows 3100rpm @ 75 mph. Is this normal. Also went 105 miles and used a 1/2 tank of gas.
  • OK, so I'm a coward, or at least taking the coward's way out and am trading in my Vitara on a 2006 Toyota Prius. I have just had knee surgery and it has been very debilitating and I don't have the time to mess with an engine miss or skip, vibrations that did not use to be there, oil getting slung around the wheelwell from an unknown leak and so on. Basically, I think the handwriting was on the wall and it was telling to me get rid of the car before I had to spend lots of money on it and it would have to spend lots of time in the shop. Oh well!
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    I have a 2004 Tracker v6 and the tach is the same around 3100 at 75. I get around 21 miles per gallon and normally have about 150 on the trip odo when I get to half a tank.
  • trixitrixi Posts: 1
    Hi Robbo, bonnet release catch is in the glove compartment box on the top left. I'll try and get some photographs of my own roof being taken off to send you- its not half as bad it looks!!!
  • Sort of sounds like the electric overdrive switch is "Off", or the transmission is stuck in the power mode (if you have a "normal-power" mode selector switch. My 2002 Vitara had this problem and my mileage/engine rpm figures were similar to yours. Look for indicator lights on the dash that say either "O/D OFF" or "POWER". Good luck with it!
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    I don't have a problem with the RPM'S I was replying to Workingman6 post about his 2001. My O/D switch is on the light on the dash is off. The other switch is in the normal mode otherwise the Power light would be on. BTW if you are in the power mode at a steady speed the RPM's are the same as if you were in the normal mode. The only difference between normal and power is during acceleration where the shift points change.
  • No lights on the dash. But thanks for answering my message.
    RPM's just sounded high to me. Thanks again
  • Does anyone know how to keep the back door from rattling when you hit any bumps? Every thing seems to be tight.
    2001 Suzuki GV.
  • i just bought a vitara with 21565R16 tires, my question is if i drop down to a 15 inch tire would i see an improvement in gas mileage? and what size 15inch tire should i look at getting?
  • I'm having the same problem with a '04 Suzuki Grand Vitara . works most of the time. I've had the dealer look at the problem but when I get there its working. They've looked into it but have no idea why they work most of the time but for that 5% they don't. They have replaced the batteries in both remotes but still acts up.
  • Have had this car a year; now has 62,000 miles on it. She needs a new serpentine belt and while having worked on, wondered about Timing belt. You guys are going to love this: one mechanic said the car had no timing belt, one guy said it would need a new chain at $700, and one mechanic tried to argue with me that the 4 cyl had a 1.5 engine (it has a 2.0). How frustrating/scarey to be a woman and trying not to get ripped off these days. So question: Does it have belt or chain? When does it need to be changed? Serpentine belt is squeaking, mostly on the high humidity days we have here at the beach. Advice please!!!! :confuse:
  • 2004 Vitara. Left the rear view mirror light on and it drained battery down. I was able to start on 2 try but CD player ejects CD and wants to constantly eject with engine off and creates Err message in the tuner display. I current have a CD stuck in 1/2 way to keep the CD player from doing this. Radio works fine. Really wierd. Also have a odd rattle that sounds like it's coming from left side beneath the side door. More noticeable when I make a left or right turn
  • The timing chain on the 99 Vitara is gets changed when it breaks. That should be at around 250,000-300,000 miles. There is however a plastic guide inside the engine that's a wear item. When it starting to go bad, the engine will make a rasping sound on a cold start. As the engine warms, the noise will go away. Hearing that sound is no reason for panic, just get it fixed when you get a chance.
  • Hey guys,
    I've got a 97 TD Vitara, and the clutch went wrong on friday.
    I press the clutch down and the car just wont go in to gear.

    I can get it into gear by stopping the engine and putting it in gear and starting the engine again... but the car just moves away by itself then without me touching the accellarator.

    Any help would be muchly appriciated.

    Many Thanks

    John :sick:
  • please can anyone tell me how to turn off the engine light which I think indicates that thejeep needs a service... I am selling the car and do not want to service it before selling... stingy I know... but that is life.... thanks
  • I have had the same problem with my 04 suzuki grand vitara V6. Going to work this morning car would not go over 50, had to pull over and call for assistance. Had car towed, mechanic looked at it and stated it looked like oil pump. They towed it to Bill Gatton Suzuki for them to look at car. Vehicle has 7 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. First they said it was a bad oil filter put in wrong from oil change. Then they came back saying a leak around the houseing unit for the oil filter. They also said it was threaded wrong when oil filter was put in. If it was thread wrong, then it would have lost the oil back in November when the oil was changed. They suggested belts need to be changed, my husband said to replace them. They were planning to replace the problem under the warranty. They sent my husband to get a rental car. Then they called and said you can't get a rental car. We can't approve. They were saying something was more wrong to the engine then they thought. Jeff one of the service reps for Bill Gaton was telling this all to my husband. He said a general district manager would have to approve this to be fixed. They wanted all maintence records for service done. I have always had oil changes done on vehicle and now they are trying to say a bad oil filter has caused my problem. This has happened on Friday and they have left us with no resolution. I am going to have to take off work to make sure something gets done with my car to repair it. I bought this car since it had that extra protection of a powertrain warranty. I thought it wouldn't hurt to have. I passed up a honda for this car. I now am regretting passing up the honda. Did they fix your car since it was under the warranty?
  • siberiasiberia Posts: 520
    Sorry Muckerz,

    This response is probably too late to help. I have an 2002 5 speed Vitara and it has a hydraulic clutch. What you describe is symptomatic of a low on fluid clutch master cylinder. The clutch slave cylinder down by the bell housing is probably leaking. If it's a slow leak you could refill the master cylinder (under the hood) and get by for a while.
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