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Chevy Tracker

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  • I just returned from a business trip. I'm in the market for a new vehicle and am very interested in the Honda CRV. I noticed a TRACKER was availale in the rental lot so I thought I'd try it out.

    I currently drive a LUMINA. I know these are a different type of vehicle but my trip driving the TRACKER turned me away from it completely.

    Most of the trip was on a super highway. I do like sitting up a little higher on the road; however, I was very struck by how much of the vehicle on both sides has big blinds spots! I also drove through a snow storm. Some very nasty weather. On dry payment it was VERY noisy. Turning up the radio proved more annoying as the quality of the speakers was terrible. (I am no audiophile). During the nasty weather, the vehicle was being pushed around a lot by both the wind and the tractor trailors!!

    I wanted to like this vehicle..but could not. I felt very cramped (only 5'5") my left arm felt particularly cramped. I found that the right arm rest was too close and preferred using the passenger's seat arm rest.

    The interior just looked cheap. I know this is no luxury vehicle but 20K isn't chump change.

    Even with all of its age related warts, It was a joy to return to my Lumina when I got back home. I won't even rent a Tracker again.
  • bouybouy Posts: 14
    I had a 1999 four-door automatic Tracker with exactly the same problem. First you should have the wheels balanced before assuming this is a big problem. However my Tracker was a problem,it vibrated between the speeds of 40mph and 45mph. I went through a long drawn out hassle with Chevy about this vibration. The problem is the vibration is very annoying to have on a new car but Chevy will say the car runs normal. I ended up going through arbitration and won the case but did not get reimbursed for the full amount of the Tracker. The arbitrator said a new car should be free of vibrations since it will take away from the resale value. Some 99 Trackers had an inate design problem that resulted in the vibration. This problem has to do with the Transmission gearing. You should always get proof that you complained about a problem to Chevy. Some dealers will avoid giving you any thing in writing since it could be used for the lemon law or arbitration.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    i understand what you mean, but basically you are comparing apples to oranges. i mean they arent in anyway even close to each other.. a suv in most cases are rough riding, i mean what doyou expect when you ride in a Suv that is built on a TRUCK platform.? also you said there wasnt enough room for yourself? but you said you were Only 5'5.. I'm 6'1. and i found it to have plenty of room. the only way a 5'5 person cant have room in a tracker especially a 4 door model "which mine is a 2 door" is you would have to be a really W-i-d-e person. My buddy the is 6'5 didnt even have problems sitting in my 2 door model. but yet he is thin. now on the road noise.. once again it is a SUV not a car. basically i think it is safe to say you arent a truck/suv person. or maybe a suv person that is built on a car platform like the RAV-4.. but to me SUV mean all-terrain. hell if i was only going to drive on the street then i would just buy a front wheel drive grocery getter. see i might be wrong but i think most people buy a SUV because it is the trendy thing to do now a days... basically most people should just buy mini-vans if you really think about it.. I bought my 4x4 tracker 2 door , because i wanted a all-terrain multipurpose means of transportation. If someone isn't a suv person, then there is Nothing wrong with that at all..! but you cant complain about tire noise and other basic Suv Characteristics when that is pretty much common among Most "true" Suv's.. but that is just my opinion.. i could be wrong...
  • zeke707zeke707 Posts: 74
    There is no one vehicle, now or in the past that is all things to all people.
  • gene58gene58 Posts: 8
    My 2000 2WD, automatic, 4-door Tracker is just about to turn over on 20,000 miles. I still love it! I have had no problems other than fixing a hood latch squeak with lithium grease and tightening the radiator hose clamps once. But I have a few "issues" with the dealers.

    First off, the "suggested services" are such a rip-off... about 90% of all the "services" at each interval state, "Inspect this.. Inspect that". Anyway, I was going to play their little game for a while-- had them do a couple of oil/filter changes.. but then one day they would not honor one of their little "discount coupons" because I brought it in a day late. (When I went in the day before I had not really planned for sure to have them do anything-- just assumed I could bring the coupon the next day.) That gave me a great excuse to start doing my own service until something complicated comes along.

    I hope it is not the same where you live, but here in Amarillo, the Tracker is treated as an "orphan" by dealers. I first wondered about this when I asked the service manager a couple of questions and he would say things like, "Well, we haven't had a lot of those in here."

    Another example: Since the three dealers here (all owned by same company) offer an air-cleaner element change for $14.95, I thought I might buy a few filter elements from the parts department. Guess what? None of the three dealers even had an AC element in stock!! What would they do if someone came in for their $14.95 service? I got a blank stare. I suspect what they would do is-- shake out the dirt and bugs and close the compartment back up!

    Wonderful vehicle, IMHO, but the service attitude is pathetic. Am I just living in the wrong part of North America-- or have some of you had similar problems?

    BTW, FRAM now lists an AC element for the Tracker 2-liter, numbered 8069-- but none of the auto parts stores here have it :-(
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    i hade the same problem as you did.. i was searching for a air filter for my 1999 4x4 2 door tracker. but had no luck except as auto-zone stores. but i ordered a K&N aorfilter for mine, because it was only $40 and you can reuse it for the life of the tracker. i wanted to do that instead of doing the $20 a filter everytime it needed one. that fram part # that you listed. NO ONE carries that at all. i searched so hard. so stores even said that , that part # doesn't exsist.! but autozone also had my oil filters too! and not only did they have it. but they had it in many differnt brands too !! Mobil1, k&n, & many others. but personally i would AVOID all fram products. if you ever researched oil filters and air filter. then you will see that fram is all Hype.. on many many independant oil filter testsm they all said fram's oil filters were acutally Below average in their standards. and in many cases cheap cheesy named filters actually filtered out dirt Better than fram.. i used fram my whole life until i started research this stuff. I also read where frams owners changed hands a few years ago. so it is the same name but not the same quality.. 8(
    oh well just a word of advice..

    i use mobil1 oil filter
    and K&n airfilter.
    and amsoil fluids in everything
  • cosmo2cosmo2 Posts: 61
    Gene58, you don't live in the wrong part of North America. You just live in North America, where bigger is better. My Tracker is the first American badged car I've owned since 1976, and it will be the last. Dealers of American cars just do not appreciate or respect buyers of small, or even mid-size products. I've really wanted to buy American over the years, but the dealers' attitudes, not the American products, have driven me away. I've purchased three new VW's, four new Audi's, and a new Suzuki Sidekick during the past twenty-six years, and every time I shopped for American products before I chose the foreign product. My only regret about buying my Tracker is that the local Chevy dealer's service department is a rip-off joint. Now that my warranty has expired, I'll be taking my Tracker to Firestone for servicing. When the time comes to trade in my Passat, you can bet that I will not be looking at a Malibu or an Impala. And when the time comes to trade in my Tracker, I'll head back to the Suzuki dealer.
  • tronsr1tronsr1 Posts: 149
    That's funny...I always thought that the Tracker was built by Suzuki and that the Tracker and Sidekick were clones???????
  • zeke707zeke707 Posts: 74
    See www.cami.ca
  • cosmo2cosmo2 Posts: 61
    My point exactly, Norton. I appreciate your generous unsolicited assistance in simplifying the description of my position for participants in this discussion who may be experiencing significant reading comprehension difficulties. I still believe the Tracker is a better version of the Cami products because Chevy will provide for building to individualized options, and Suzuki does not. That is why I bought the Tracker instead of a Vitara. However, I bought my Tracker through the Internet because I have no patience for sales people telling me that I REALLY NEED a Suburban, or at least a Tahoe. I'll return to Suzuki products because I am tired of Mr. Goodwrench putting the wrong lubricants in my tranny, not having routine service parts, and trying to charge me $700 for a 30,000 mile routine service.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    omg are you serious about what GM charged you for your 30k miles servicing??? now i know not everyone can go under their trackers and change their own fluids. but i did this a few months ago. I changed my Trany fluid, Front & rear axle fluid, Engine oil, and Transfer case oil. i put in 100% synthetic amsoil fluids in everything. and the costs of EVERYTHING, all the fluids and trany filter was $135.. thats not bad for putting in 100% fluids in Everything. and i even changed the plugs, i went with Platium plugs for a extra $12-$15. I never ever take anything i have to the dealer UNless it is unwarranty. or they will do the service at a discount.. check this out my mother has a 1992 Toyota previa minivan. it needed front struts. toyota said arounf $980 for the struts and the labor. we went out and bought the struts ourself. Mcpherson, and took them to another garage "not dealer". and they changed the struts & put new front tires on and balanced and alinement. all of that for ONLY $375 + what we paid for the struts which was $90 for both of them.... and that was a few years, and the struts are still working well.. so my point is "after rambling on" is there is NO need to go to the dealer.
    1 last example. GM wants $70 for a tracker bug guard. they said that included labor. so i bought one at autozone for $39.95. and you would NOT believe how easy it was to install, it took maybe at the most 3minutes to install.. NO drilling. NO M3 tape to use. it uses your exsisting wholes under the hood.
  • gene58gene58 Posts: 8
    Cosmo2 said, "I am tired of Mr. Goodwrench putting the wrong lubricants in my tranny,"

    Yes, this concerns me also-- seems like someone in this discussion group had the wrong fluid put in and the transmission gave problems until the error was found and it was changed??

    Is there any way to know the *correct* fluid to use on the Tracker automatics-- and perhaps "suggest" that fluid to the GM mechanics??
  • tronsr1tronsr1 Posts: 149
    Cosmo,
    Why not just keep the Tracker and take it to your favorite Suzuki dealer for service??? {Just a thought!}
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    it uses dexron III I put in amsoil synthetic automatic transmission fluid and my trany runs great! no shifting problems. also mobil1 makes a great automatic trany fluid that you could also use. i really cant see how they are putting in the wrong fluid. i mean it really isnt brain surgery.. you do NOT need to go to a DEALER just for something as easy as that. you can go to any garage for a automatic fluid drain and refill.. actually i did mine myself and it took "maybe" 15 minutes if that..
  • cosmo2cosmo2 Posts: 61
    Gene and Chris, I said "lubricant", not fluid. I shift for myself, thank you. The GM service bulletin advises Mr. Goodwrench to use P/N 12345349 rather than P/N 12346190 as the lubricant for manual transmissions in 1999 and 2000 Trackers. My Mr. Goodwrench must be illiterate.

    During the warranty period, I take my vehicles to the dealer for routine servicing because I assume that they are aware of changes in specifications, and I want insurance that the dealer cannot blame me or other mechanics for problems that may arise during the warranty period. I'm usually willing to pay the higher dealer service rates for this service. I just had my Passat serviced, and the VW dealer charged me a whopping $24 for an oil change, bumper-to-bumper inspection, and advice on what I could fix myself to save money. I certainly have no complaints about that.

    And, Norton, I said that WHEN the time comes to trade in my Tracker, I'll return to Suzuki. I LIKE this rig! It does what I bought it to do. Judging from the way it runs when I keep it away from Mr. Goodwrench, the time to trade it in is probably 3 to 5 years down the road. In the meantime, Firestone or the Christian garage down the block will probably be just fine for routine annual servicing.
  • zeke707zeke707 Posts: 74
    When draining the transmission of a 2000 2.0 Litre automatic, how much (quantity) transmission fluid do you refill? Is the owner manual correct? How much fluid remains when you just drain (as opposed to pump out)the transmission fluid? Is it worth changing the screen (filter) assuming normal transmission usage? This screen is not like a filter you would expect (paper or some other absorbant material), more like a regular fine screen.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    the owners manual is correct or at least it was for my 1999 with 4 speed..
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    as for the stick shifts i was going to get a tracker in a stick until i heard about their transmissions then i said NO way. the 1999 are known for very bad manual transmission !!! and i dont know if that problem was corrected in 2000 or not. i had a manual in my ford ranger and it was great . but it did make the resale value Drop right down, cause when i traded it in. the sales man said. NOT to many people ever look for a stick shift. so this time i went for a (4-speed) automatic with a remote starter "nice for cold winters !!" or for that matter hot summers if you leave the A/C on. but as for lubes for your trany. GM oil is junk. i would put 100% synthetic. cause do you really think your garage is going to back you up if your trany goes bad.. if you are out of warranty. then you are out of luck. it doesnt matter what kinda oil you use... think about it...
  • dsjkmdsjkm Posts: 3
    I've heard that noise, sounds just like the frame was hit with a hard rubber mallet. Its the freewheel hub disengaging and quickly re-engaging under differential torque load and engagement pressure from the air actuator. It only happens on the 1999 model, and takes a new front differential case (inside the axle housing) which comes with the freewheel hub assembly, to fix it. It's a physics thing!
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