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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008

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  • I have read tons of messages on this forum as well as reviews and am now hesitant about buying a 2008 GV base model automatic with rear wheel drive. I found what I thought was a good deal at a Non-Suzuki dealership. The car has around 6K miles, so the 3year/36K warranty still applies for 2 years or 30K miles. But with all the tire issues and other problems I am not sure it's worth it. Are there owners who have not had as many problems, but just don't post encouraging comments on this forum. I am also wondering about a RWD and how it handles the east coast weather. Thanks
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    There is a general tendency for people experiencing problems to seek out solutions while people who don't experience problems are less motivated to write about it.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Thanks. I am also going to post in 'purchasing used vehicles' to get an idea of pricing and negotiating with the dealership.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    The best source of reliability information I know about, which is Michael Karesh's truedelta, rates the GV as average for cuv's. Just take great care to make sure you're not buying one of the GV's with the tire wear/alignment problem (although competent Suzuki dealers can fix it). With only 6000 miles, the 2008 should have the original tires and show very little tire wear.

    My guess is that about 5-10% of the GV's had this problem.

    I have no idea how it will handle your driving conditions, unfortunately.
  • lil302000lil302000 Posts: 149
    Hi girldriver1, I live in Ohio and we have a 2006 2wd GV. We have had good luck with ours and it does do well in the winter for us. I would not take it off road, but if it's bad enough outside that the GV can't get around then one should not drive anyway.
  • shooshooshooshoo Posts: 1
    I'm having some real issues with my rear end fishtailing around on any snowy or moderately slick surface more than normal. I've got a 4 wheel drive and have driven several different 4 wheel drives in my life time and have never experienced anything so squirmy in my life. My rear tires are wearing bad and I've only got 17000k on this set. I've taking it in and had it checked out to make sure my strutts where ok. They didn't find anything wrong with it other than being a little out of alignment. I don't feel safe taking it out in the winter any more! This defeats the purpose of having a 4 wheel drive. Has anybody experienced this with their's and how do I find out how to correct this as the dealership is of no help? Any help would greatly be appreicated!
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Many people have had this exact problem. Many of those have had a lot of trouble getting it fixed. It is a rear alignment issue. There are more than one set of specs for the rear alignment, and you have to find someone who has this problem nailed down.

    Besides the squirming and tire wear, you are also getting bad mileage and prematurely wearing the drivetrain. Worst of all, this is a serious safety hazard, since it is like being a little out of control all the time.

    The GV owners who never had this problem, or have had it fixed, find the GV is extraordinarily sure-footed. The worse the conditions, the better it seems compared to everything else on the road. The original tires should be good for 50,000km or 30,000miles. Good luck with it.
  • vitaraownr07vitaraownr07 Posts: 2
    edited August 2010
    Well I purchased my Grand Vitara brand new in 2007 and I have to say the vehicle runs excellent in the snow and carries itself well over highways I can't complain about that. However, I am currently at 59,000 miles and I have just replaced my tires for the 3rd time in 2 years. I have local Suzuki dealerships trying to convince me its "the roads around here" and that they're terrible conditions are causing the tires to wear down. I have had 3 different tire brands put on, and within 6-12 months the treads are worn down entirely. This is costly and I know the other consumers out there that are having similar trouble will agree. Even in spite of routine alignments and rotations, I can't seem to avoid this problem. First set of tires were replaced at 17,000 miles, now at 59,000 i just put on my 3rd set...the vehicle would satisfy me entirely if this problem wasn't persistant because it does ride well.
  • I feel your troubles boydp. You purchased yours the same year as me although you have about 5,000 miles more on your Vitara than me. I bought my car with 2 miles on it due to test drives and at 17,000 miles my tires were worn down already. They came with Goodyear I believe when I bought it. In 2008 I had another set put on at 45,000 miles, and by 2009 I was suggested to get another set put on. I put it off for a while but unfortunately now as of august of 2010 I had to put my 3rd set on at 59,000. They seem to wear in the rear more as I witness on mine too. I keep up with alignments and rotations but that doesn't seem to help. Local dealers convince me its the road conditions around here which is not at all true since this problem is occurring all over the country. if it weren't for the tires wearing I'd be happy with the vehicle as it runs excellent in the snow and over the highways.
  • luvmygvluvmygv Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Grand Vitara, AWD Luxury package with 124,000 miles on it. I am still making payments and owe more than it is worth. I absolutely love it and want to keep it. But it is starting to require work done on it and all mechanics I have talked to are telling me to drop it quick. I took it for an oil change last month and the mechanic told me I had to replace the steering arm assemblies (don't remember exact terminology) and engine had a bit of an oil leak. I paid over $1,300 for all that. About 2 weeks later I started hearing a rattle or knocking sound and check engine light goes on every single time I get gas. I turn it off, unscrew and re-screw cap and restart 3 or 4 times and light goes out every time.
    I took it in to same mechanic, where it sat for 2 days without being looked at. I got nervous and took it to a different mechanic that my landlord (a Porsche mechanic) recommended. They ran a diagnostic and took all belts off to see about rattle. They said that the 2 sensors that control the air/ gas ratio are bad and that all my tensioners for 3 timing chains are bad and I need to pay over $2,600. Does that sound right?
    I don't have experience with Suzuki vehicles and I love my GV but is it pretty much downhill from here? If I did get the repairs done is everything else pretty reliable? I am hearing so many negatives about Suzuki, that they are just throw-away vehicles with no long life expectancy. I thought they were better than that though.
    Anyway, thank you for your time in reading this and any advice or opinions you have are greatly appreciated!
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 77
    Maybe you need to get a third opinion from another shop. Did you have the dealship mechanics look it over?

    There should only be 1 timing chain.

    I think you should be able to get 200k out of this vehicle if you keep the maintenance up.

    Good Luck!
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 77
    edited August 2010
    I noticed a lot of rust on the inside of my stock steel rims on my 2007 GV.
    I have the base model with no frills.

    Also the undercarriage suspension parts seem to be pretty rusty.

    Any one else having excessive rust problems? I live in Pa and in the winter the township salts the roads.
    That may be one of the culprits of pre-mature rusting. :confuse:
  • luvmygv,

    From what you have said it indicates you have a high millage vehicle. Autos with over 100k mi usually become exponentially more expensive to maitaine. It is a universal rule that "parts ware out." and you should expect this as your vehicle ages. The only difference with the Suzuki GV is that it is an all [non-permissible content removed] import and parts must also be imported to the west making parts replacements more expensive still.

    As far as your Suzuki being a "throw away" vehicle. That all depends on it's overall condition. If it has been abused and repair is not worth it to you than it would be considered throw away. Cars with over 100k miles could be put in throw away category if certain conditions apply. With any car you can continue to replace parts and just keep it running but it may not be worth it if getting a new vehicle would be cheaper in the long term.

    If you love the GV so much consider trading it for a new 2010 GV. The 2010 has more HP and a more advanced engine. If you do get another GV than I would recommend using Full Synthetic Engine oil from the start and change every 3000k to 6000k miles depending on sevarity of your driving conditions.

    Good Luck
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    revjim64 - Our '06 GV is regularly used on salted roads. I try to keep it washed off, but in winter that's often not possible. It gets stored in an unheated garage, which means any salt on it stays wet, and wet salt means corrosion. The first winter, lots of underbody parts rusted (bolts, exhaust hangers, muffler shell etc), but none of them are serious, as body/frame rust would be. Since then the rust hasn't gotten any worse, and the GV appears to be basically very well built to resist rust. We have alloy wheels, and they too corrode.

    If you're worried about it, just get it treated every year or so by a business applying spray-on rust preventer.

    luvmygv - surveys on truedelta indicate the GV is of average reliability for small suv's. This does not support Consumer Reports claims, but I think the truedelta survey is better done. With any vehicle, it seems there are some lemons and, without pointing a finger, there are also differences in how people treat their cars. The GV's 2.7l engine is also used in an airplane, and is reputed to be very durable despite not being the smoothest operator.
  • Xostnot, thanks for your advice.

    My 07 GV has some rust on the undercarriage and frame, but nothing serious as of yet. The exhaust pipe heat shields/and hangers rusted away.
    I think I will just spray on some Rust Converter and Undercoating spray and see if that slows down the undercarriage rust.
    As far as the "Steel" wheels, I will
    hit them with a wire brush and re-paint them.
    If the steel rims get to rusty, I may go out and get some Chrome plated aftermarket rims or alloy type rims. :shades:
  • fishwarfishwar Posts: 2
    I also own a 2006 Grand Vitara. It is a tire eating machine. I have about 75,000 and I have never got more than 18,000 on any brand I tires I have installed. When you go around corners you can actuall feel and hear the AWD system gripping and grinding the tires away. The bottom line you either replace the tires at 18,000 miles or sell it.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 77
    I have a 2007 GV and I just replaced the original Yokohama Geolanders, (25k miles on them) with new Kuhmo Solus tires rated at 60k.

    They seem to have a better tread life rating than the Yoko Geolanders. I will let you know how these Kuhmos hold up!

    ;)
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    This is a very well known problem. By now, all but the worst Suzuki dealerships know how to fix it. In the meantime, the misalignment is costing you mileage, is prematurely wearing the drivetrain, and is a serious safety hazard since you are far more likely to lose control. I strongly suggest you get it fixed asap. You'll also enjoy the GV far more after it's correcte.
  • rougeonerougeone Posts: 3
    edited May 2011
    Dude, you got over 100k miles out of it and it's still running. I am thinking the mechanics are a part of your problem. I have a 2008 and I have 95k miles on it. I run synthetic oil in it and I have had no mechanical problems. You need to find a competent mechanic. I hope this helps.
  • rougeonerougeone Posts: 3
    I have a 2008 and I experienced the same issues with the original tires. I replaced them with Hankook tires from Sears and the alignment was done there also. I keep them rotated and properly inflated. I have had no further problems with tire wear or rear traction control. The vehicle has been great.
  • mbockelmanmbockelman Posts: 1
    Headlights are not working except on high beam setting. Fuse shows no sign of burn out. Turn signals work. Tail lights work.
  • bastusbastus Posts: 1
    I bought my GV in 06 and I was pretty happy with it. It used to run perfect.Loved it for the first 2 years. It's already 2011 and I didn't have major problems with it. First set of tires changed at 30K miles(wheel alignment done at 6K miles) and I replaced them with Yokohama A/TS. Now.....it started to have a noise after 4K like (It seemed like a defective strut noise). I have been to the shop (2 of them) with it and they were not able to find the problem. They changed 1 strut and the sway link.....and I still had the noise. I put now 49k miles on it and I still couldn't figure out what's the noise source (which became louder and louder). I asked them to inspect the lower arm and again the strut...."Oooo it's not from there" even though they were not able to identify the source. Now ...the warranty is gone and I have to pay for it myself. At 35k miles the caliper on the same side got frozen....it took me 3 weeks and a visit to another mechanic to convince them to take the wheel off and check it out. When they finally checked and confirmed what I was complaining about, they replaced the caliper and they left the same brake disc even though it was burnt out (blue color) and it has also a humming noise coming from the wheel hub (needs to be replaced also).
    Does anyone have any idea about some good or better brands for the brake discs, brake pads, wheel hub and bearing and lower arm control also? I have to replace both sides but I want some good quality parts. thx
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    On another forum, someone has reported their lower control arm bushings were shot. Someone else posted that they are not the best design, and that many suv's have this problem.
  • spatnodespatnode Posts: 1
    I have been having the same problem with my grand vitara. The dealer already replaced 2 of my tires already after we put 1,000 miles on brand new tires. I am about ready to take it back to the dealer soon because one of the tires is wearing more quickly than the other 3. We also just had our AC/ Power steering belt break. I am not having much luck with this vehicle!!
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    This is a well-known problem, and has been discussed at great length on GV forums. Only the most incompetent Suzuki dealerships are still unable to fix it. I suggest you print out some of these discussions and show them to your dealer/service garage. If they still can't fix it, I suggest you bring up the matter with Suzuki Canada/America. This is also a safety problem, since the misalignment means you are always out of control a bit. And it will wear out the drivetrain faster also, cost you mileage etc. The broken belt is uncommon to the point where I can't recall any other case of it being reported.
  • bob470bob470 Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    Took our 2008 Grand Vitara in for an oil change. Dealer says our Bank1 S2 O2 sensor has damage to the wiring...I have no" Service Engine Light" upon arrival at the dealer.
    Dealer wants $455 to repair. I decline. Drive the car home (50+ miles) still no light.
    After studying about this o2 sensor I have learned that the B1 S2 O2 sensor is supposed to be on the driver's side down stream of the catalytic converter. I have the car on jacks and I have no sensor after the cat. There is one on the head pipe on each side of the car.
    I have put my hands on every inch of the exhaust and the is no other sensor. I have pictures
    (and studied them on my computer) of the exhaust from one end to the other.. I don't see it.
    The car runs just as good as it did when I purchased it 2 years ago.
    Thanks for any help you may have.
    Bob
  • I have an 08 and it can pull more than it says without getting hot or slowing down almost at all, exept on the steepest and longest roads like going from CA to NV, I think it was going threw Tahachapee?, but only dropped to 40-45mph for a little and I was over weight and to much weight distribution on hitch tongue too! I love my Zuki!!! :shades:
  • I have an '06 Grand Vitara, 94,500 mileage, that has been a great runner for me, except for a recurring EGR valve issue. I've had this "fixed" at the dealer at least 5-6 times (valve replacement, cleaning). Rough and low engine idle, stalls at intersections, etc when the valve isn't working. I notice the problem typically starts when I'm braking hard going down a hill. Just got it back from the dealer after they replaced yet another part, and not 2 weeks later, rough idle and stalling again. Otherwise, love this car; it's been great having no car payment and I don't want to look for another vehicle right now, but am running out of options. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? I've always taken my car to the dealer - don't have a neighborhood mechanic. Seems the dealer would have the latest info on the valve issue, but it's clear they are stymied by this and I know by now (finally) that a dealer visit is going to be another waste of money. Any info is appreciated. SW (Pgh) PA area.
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