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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008



  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    They never explained how he got home, though. Glad to hear you got the tire wear problem sorted out.

    An externally rear mounted spare tire may be very costly to fix in a minor accident, but it may provide substantially more protection in a really bad one.
  • boydpboydp Posts: 3
    We have a 2007 Grand Vitara with 64,000 miles on it and we're on our fourth set of tires on the rear of the vehicle. We took it to the dealer who insisted "over inflation" was the problem and that the alignment was "dead on. It came from Suzuki with Yokohama tires, they wore out on the rear after 26,000 miles. We put Bridgestone Turanza tires on the front and moved the original Yokohama’s (which were still in great shape) from the front to the rear. At 47,000 miles the Yokohama’s were bald. We put new Bridgestone Turanzas on the rear at that time and had the alignment checked, it was perfect. At 64,000 miles the Bridgestone’s on the rear were bald and needed to be replaced. Meanwhile the Bridgestone’s on the front are still in great shape after 38,000 miles. The tires wear out in the center . Excessive wear starts showing after only a few thousand miles and by 15,000 to 20,000 miles safety becomes an issue due to extreme wear in the center of the tire tread. The vehicle also feels very unstable at the rear end, on wet /icy/snowy roads at nearly any speed during the entire life of the tires. With safety in mind, not to mention the cost of replacing these tires so frequently, we are trying to raise awareness to this problem by getting enough Grand Vitara owners together to potentially/hopefully get some kind of recall for this problem with Suzuki Corporation. We have set up a facebook account for grandvitaratires and have also opened a gmail/email account - If you are interested in helping to expose this problem, please respond to either place. If anyone is aware of other established sites for this complaint, please respond with that information.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    boydp, sorry to hear you're having tire issues. Some people have great luck but I was also one of the unfortunate ones with excessive tire wear on our 2006 GV.
    Had 3 alignments done and I even had to pay for the 3rd one in less than 16,000 miles!!! The front tires would get a "featheredge" on the outside of the tires so we had to rotate the tires every couple thousand miles. :mad: Our GV was also not very stable on the open road. It was always a chore to keep it going straight.
    At 16,000 miles, the Geolanders needed to be replaced. And the 17" tires weren't cheap at the time. I thought it was ridiculous to have a $600 a year maintenance item such as tires to be replaced. Suzuki said it was normal and denied our claim.
    Along with all the silly oil leaks and numerous visits to the dealer, we happily got rid of our GV. :lemon:
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Good job on applying pressure on Suzuki to get serious about this problem. They should have done a recall when it became apparent back in late 2005 that significant numbers of the new generation Grand Vitara had this problem. I'd be willing to bet that a few accidents resulted from this.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 77
    My 2007 GV has about 16k on it and the Yoko Geolanders look like they are more than 1/2 treadlife used up.

    Did you rotate you tires every 6000 miles?
    Also is your model 2 or 4 wheel drive??

    I don't think you can mix tires on the "all" wheel drive model. It may cause problems with the drivetrain.
  • boydpboydp Posts: 3
    My Grand Vitara is 2 wheel(rear wheel) drive.
    No I did not rotate the tires at all, did not have time, it is my wife's car. As it turns out, I think that the only thing that would be accomplished by rotating the tires , is that ALL the tires would wear out faster. The front end does not wear the tires abnormally. When I took it to the dealer, I was told that since I did not rotate, the tires would not be covered by Yokohama's warranty AND I was accused of overinflation. I am not a mechanic, but I know my way around a car fairly well, and I am not stupid. I did not/have not ever overinflated tires. I have a good gauge and an air compressor in my garage. From what I have read anywhere on the internet, this abnormal wear on the rear tires has happened on both 2 and 4 wheel drive, perhaps more frequently on 2 wheel drive
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I suppose with a 2wd, rwd, you can get away with having dissimilar front and rear tires. Our GV is 4wd, and I wouldn't consider having mismatched tires.

    And since they're matched, it doesn't make sense NOT to rotate them and thus spread the wear over all four. Rotation doesn't, of course, change the amount of wear, but by spreading the wear over the tire faces of the set, you don't end up with two completely worn out on one side of the tread.

    Even if the alignment is correct, and it sounds like yours is far off, the GV must have tires rotated because of the cambered rear wheels.

    As I've said before, our '06 GV has about 35,000km on the original tires, and they're not quite half worn out. They have been rotated at about 4000km intervals.
  • lil302000lil302000 Posts: 149
    Hi all, 52800 miles on our 2006 2WD and still going strong. I will say we only got 20000 miles out of the junk Yoko tires. We replaced them with Sumitomos and they are still on the GV. I just changed the OE brake pads last week and I replaced the OE air filter with a K&N at 15000 miles. The only other things that have been done are oil and ATF changes.
    I did read a report that the GV was more expensive than CRV over time, not for me so far. Try to get a leather and loaded CRV new in 2006 for 24,000 dollars as far as resell not an issue when you keep your car over ten years like I do. I just dropped my 2000 Tundra at the shop for a new front axle it has 128000 miles on it and this is the first time in the shop for a non routine problem.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Thanks for reporting in. You might want to join truedelta(dot)com.

    I wasn't aware of this until recently, but apparently manufacturers have been "gaming" the cost of ownership stats. The way they do it is to cut far back on maintenance visits, (ahem, BMW) which means you spend less on servicing. You then pay for replacing parts earlier, but after the surveys aren't interested any more. It seems to me that Suzuki requires the GV have a lot of service visits, which end up costing enough to make the cost of ownership look bad. But presumably the vehicle will last a lot longer.

    I did my own survey to compare resale values to original cost, and the GV didn't do badly. The Escape and the Forester had the worst resale values compared to original cost. CRV and Rav4 were only a little better than the GV.
  • lil302000lil302000 Posts: 149
    Hi xostnot, I don't think that is the only games being played. I think the gas mileage game is in play and needs an update. I used the CRV, but to be honest I could not find another cute ute as nice as the GV for the price when I went shopping in 2006. I think Honda makes a great product, but what I don't like is they charge extra for everything from floor mats on up. By the time your done you have 30 grand in a midsized to small ride. Back in 2006 the Honda dealers didn't deal a lot, getting a set of floor mats thrown in was like cutting out wisdom teeth.
    Another cost of ownership when it comes to Hybrids battery replacement. True story here my daughter and her husband have a Hybrid, I will not say what one because I'm not here to bash any brands. Back to the issue at hand, after five years the batteries died and the cost to replace them is eight grand. So add the the extra cost at purchase with the cost to replace batteries and that is a crap load of gas. As of today they now have an under powered non hybrid hybrid.
  • 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: 10,110
    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!
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