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Suzuki Grand Vitara (2005 and earlier)



  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Fortunately for me, my wife likes going hard-core 4 wheelin' as much as I do, maybe more. Plus, as it is essentially my commuter car, I pretty much get to do with it what I want.

    Oh, and I was inspecting my tires today while getting gas. At 19,111 miles, three of them are within 5,000 miles, maybe less, of the wear bars. Not good. Calmini better get going on lifts and whatnot, because I don't want to have to comprimise on tire height.

    Kelly B
  • Didn't I see a picture on some vendor website of a Vitara with a body lift? It was a very minor variation on the 4-door Sidekick kit. Now you got me curious, I'll have to go looking again.
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    I know there were pictures in the August issue or 4x4 Power (I think it was that mag), with lifts done by Calmini and someone else. I wish I'd gotten it, now.

    If you find it, let us know.

    Kelly B
  • I complained to the Suzuki garage about the ridiculousness of new tires lasting just 15K and my having to replace them. I got a call back, along with a lecture frm the saleman, that I should have called them first, etc. etc., so they could check the tires (depsite the garage not being open on Sat. & Sun and me working 75 miles away from there...) Anyway, the service department is bringing the issue to their District Manager to see if Suzki will back it (even though they said it's Bridgestone's problem - yeah, right, but the upshot is they're willing to listen. I had to fax all my maintenance records (rotations, alignments, etc.) to them. We'll see. I'll write an update when I know...
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Well, the dealer doesn't seem to have checked for the rather obvious squeak coming from what seems like the dashboard area, so I started experimenting myself. A few commutes had me convinced it wasn't something inside, even though it sounded like someone was rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together. I decided to try one last thing...I popped the hood. The noise stopped immediately. I stopped, jumped out, closed the hood, and it came right back after the first bump. So, I tried it again, mid-squeak by a stroke of luck, and it stopped again as soon as I pulled the hood release.

    Now all I have to figure out is how to stop it. Anyone actually manage to have this fixed?

    Kelly B
    '99 JLX+, 5 speed, 19,300 miles
  • Kellyb,

    My Jimmy did this at 10,000 miles. Fixed it by adjusting hood levelers (one on each side of the hood towards the front of the vehicle). Try spraying silicon spray on the four rubber gaskets first. If that's not enough, adjust levelers in a parking lot with speed bumps (instant bump). Mechanic did quarter turn change, closed hood, and drove over two speed bumps. Process was repeated until squeaks gone. Took some doing but worked. Key was adjusting hood so wind could not get in under hood on either side and cause it to vibrate enough to jostle rubber leveler gaskets back and forth. While I didn't get a squeak on GV, I checked hood on each side with a micrometer and adjusted it so both sides were same height. Also set hood a little lower than fender on each side. Lastly, if you can't lower the hood much, try adjusting levelers just to get them equal.
  • I don't have hood squeaks in my 99 GV, but when I test drove the machine, I noticed that one side of the hood vibrated up and down while the other side didn't. After the drive, I found the levelers that gone2sea talked about above, and screwed the one side up until the hood stopped vibrating. Only problem then was that that side of the hood was above the side body panel by about 3/8 of an inch, and that looked stupid.

    After buying the machine, I moved the leveler back to its orignal position, then I grabbed the open hood and twisted it hard and down into the loose side. I then shut the hood, and it matched both levelers, an both sides are even with the body panels.

    Something certainly is weird with the hood fit from the factory, but the hard twist solved it for me--no more problems with a vibrating hood and it's level with the panels.

  • I had read almost every entry in the old Grand Vitara forum, test drove both the Honda CRV and the Suzuki GV, and I happy to report I just purchased my new 2000 Silver Grand Vitara JLX+, I've only got 100 miles on it so far but I love it already. I have to admit afer reading some of the complaints from owners I was somewhat skeptical, but the good press and deal I got were to good to pass up. The only slight annoyance is one I had read about in some previous posts: at highway speeds 50 mph and above, it sounds like the windows are open just a hair and wind is rushing in, even though of course all the windows are shut tight. Has anyone else come across this and more importantly is there a fix. My only other main concern before purchasing the GV was its lack of cargo space, but now I read future 2000 and/or 2001 models may remedy this. I not sure wether to be happy or pissed off. What if I really like my present truck and I trade up to a new roomier model and it sucks. I guess I could have waited antoher 6 months or so before buying, but i didn't see the point...until now. Well I monitor the future developments of the GV and see what happens. Thanks to all for your great input.
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Funny, 'cause I adjusted my hood stops the day after purchase, to make the hood even, and to stop the vibration at 65+ mph. Now, I haven't re-opened the hood since experimenting last Thursday, and no squeaks since.

    I need to get some silicone spray, thanks for the tip.

    Kelly B
    '99 JLX+, 5 sp, 19,500 mi.
  • I would like to install a security system with remote start. Any recommendations? Should I get the dealer option (is there one?) or an aftermarket system?
  • venusvenus Posts: 2
    I am really pleased with the Clifford alarm system that was installed (aftermarket by a very reputable dealer). It has some hi-tech features that are supposed to foil even the most sophisticated burglars. Mine is the Sabre II.
  • This is a bit off topic, but I opted for no electronic security system for our GV. Instead, I attach a Club to the steering wheel. Isn't the Club better than an electronic system at a much much lower price? It's a pain to store for sure.

    I guess I'm asking how a thief goes about stealing a car with a Club--does he just cut the steering wheel?

  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Swest, the thief can either cut the wheel, I've seen demonstrations in which it takes less than 15 seconds to saw through the wheel, or use Freon to spray the lock, which will easily shatter when hit with a solid object.

    Kelly B
  • I had a friend who had his car stolen. When he came out in the morning all he saw was the club lying on the ground... A theif can beat any system I suppose the trick is to make it more difficult to steal than your neighbors'...

    Venus: Do you mind saying how much you paid and where you got it?
  • Have any of you guys had a problem shifting your GV from 2H to 4H? According to the manual, I should be able to do it as long as my wheels are straight and I am under 60MPH. But it also has a note that "if it is too difficult to shift between 2H and 4H while the vehicle is moving, stop the vehicle and operate the transfer lever." I tried it last night in the pouring rain and it was pretty hard to shift from 2H to 4H while moving. If I stopped the vehicle, no problem. After shifting it once, it was easy to shift back and forth even while driving. Could it be that it is supposed to resist the first time you shift? Although, I can't figure out why? Or is it that the shifter needs to wear a little before catching real good? This is the first time I try shifting to 4H since getting the GV. I did notice that the dealer also had a problem shifting the GV that I test drove.

    I figure, if I have to stop the vehicle to go from 2H to 4H, this defeats the purpose of "Shift on the Fly", no?

    Your responses will be greatly appreciated.


  • venusvenus Posts: 2
    I'm not ignoring the request for more info on the security system - I have responded to dawing privately so I don't bore everyone with details. Long and short - I don't know how much a Clifford alarm system costs because I had ordered a different one - my dealer installed the Clifford (an upgrade from my order)because he was out of stock on the one I had ordered - but charged me the original price. I don't think this happens often! I did find the Clifford site yesterday at and see that they have a lot of detail on the Sabre II.

    Re.: the sticky lever. I have had to use the 4WH a bit over the last 24 hours. Miserable weather here in Ontario, Canada. The lever is, I believe, designed so that it offers a bit of a challenge to get it into 4WH - so that you don't accidentally go into 4W gear. But, it shouldn't be as stiff as you describe, Ed. Now that I've had it in and out of gear a few times, the lever seems to be loosening up. I'm sure the same thing will happen for you. Last night, I went into 4WH at about 40 m/h with no trouble at all.
  • My 1999 GV (which I really do love) has had major problem with vibration and it wasn't just the tires. Had to replace driveshaft, differential, all four tires and turn the rotors and drums on the brakes. A/C leaked into passenger side (about 1/2")and the acceleration is really bad one else having these problems??
  • fsumom28,

    I have the vibration. Did yours finally get fixed with all the stuff they've done???

    I need to know a few things:
    How bad is the vibe and where did you feel it coming from?
    At what speeds did you feel it?
    What State or Province are you in?
    Who was the dealer who worked on it?

    Thanx !!!!
  • kellybkellyb Posts: 23
    Personally, I think the vibration is caused by the mediocre tires fitted to the GV. You can replace parts to your hearts content and it might not solve the problem, because the parts *aren't* the problem. Could be as simple as the GV being more sensitive to wheel balance than the dealer's balancing machine is capable of. What I mean is, if the GV is sensitive to say, a half an ounce of being out of balance, but the dealer's balancing machine is accurate only to a whole ounce, there's the problem, and it'll never be fixed, or figured the dealer. Same thing with tires, if they're replaced with new, but identical, Headstone Duelers, then the problem won't go away. The GV I test drove, which wasn't the one I bought, had a terrible shake with only 200 miles on it. That isn't enough time to wear a tire 'funny' on a new car, it's manufacturing or balancing defect. My GV, however, hasn't ever been bad enough to complain, but it's still noticable on occasion. I have noticed odd tire wear on the left-front corner, excessive wear on the inside of the tread. Obviously, an alignment is called for, even though I've never had to align a car more often than every 50,000 miles, or so. Probably wasn't right from the factory.

    From what I've heard, a couple of folks have gone to different tires, and the vibes went away immediately. Might be because the tire place they used had better balancing equipment, or the tires are better. Either way, a differential is highly unlikely to cause vibration. Gear whine? You betcha. Just ask any Grand Cherokee or Suburban owner... ;-)

    If you still have vibes after they've replaced the tires, suggest they send you to Discount Tire, or wherever, and let you get something other than the OEM tires.

    Kelly B
    '99 JLX+, 19,750 miles
  • Thanks Kelly, but already tried new tires (Yoko's) and balancing from a racing shop that the dealer knew. What else... oh yeah, rotation, alignment, even tried new rims just for the heck of it. They've replaced bushings and even took the driveshaft out and had it balanced.

    The vibe is remarkably less than what I had before, but it is still there.

    Waiting to see what's next.
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