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Chevrolet Tracker Maintenance and Repair



  • Sounds like I have the same problem.

    This has stumped more than a few mechanics already. I'm sure the solution is something simple, but nobody can find it.

    I've got a 2001 Chevy Tracker (aka Vitara). 2.0L, automatic, A/C, power everything.

    Occasionally the interior fan and running lights will stay on, even after I have shut off the vehicle and removed the key.

    This only happens during extended periods of really wet weather. It is sporadic and not predictable. Often the interior fan and running lights will come on hours after I have parked the vehicle. The lights seem to be triggered by the night sensor on the dash, because they won't come on by themselves during the day. This results in a dead battery when I try to start the truck in the morning. I have resorted to disconnecting the battery when I park.

    This is a problem I need to resolve because I would like to give the Tracker to my wife to drive our daughter around. I don't want to give them a vehicle that is likely to leave them stranded.

    Any thoughts?

  • dibble1dibble1 Posts: 3
    This is from an official GM Service manual:

    99 - 04 Tracker 4WD Squeak Squeal Front Hub or CV Joint Area at Cold Temperatures - kw 1.6 2.0 2.5 axle cvjoint differential L34 LE8 LQ4 lubrication noise seal suspension #PIP3278 - (Dec 27, 2004)
    99 - 04 Tracker 4WD Squeak Squeal Front Hub or CV Joint Area at Cold Temperatures

    The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in the PI.

    Squeal or squeak type noise from the front axle area during cold ambient temperatures. The noise disappears after a few miles of driving. The condition will occur in 2WD or 4WD. The noise can occur at the left or right front hub assembly area.

    Operating characteristic. No repairs should be performed.


    Please follow this diagnosis process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.

    (99 Chevrolet Tracker 4WD) and (00 Chevrolet Tracker 4WD) and (01 Chevrolet Tracker 4WD) and (02 Chevrolet Tracker 4WD) and (03 Chevrolet Tracker 4WD) and (04 Chevrolet Tracker 4WD )
  • sypher86sypher86 Posts: 2
    edited March 2011
    i have a 2003 tracker and it has the exact same problem, was wondering if you ever figured out the problem...
    its def not a cruise control
    trackers pretty much powerless, catylatic converter smells often, but there is exaust flow at end of tail pipe. ive ran a few cleaners only one that helped was marvel mystery oil.
    i have two codes for low voltage on bank 1, but light went off when i ran marvel, was only off for a day.
  • blacktracblacktrac Posts: 14
    edited March 2011
    Did anyone try and stop the vibration noise from their rusted catilitic converter cover? The bottom half of mine fell off last year but the top half rusted by 2 screws and it's making a loud vibration noise when I give it the gas. I heard if you take the top half off it will burn a hole in the floor. It's happening on both of my Trackers. Any suggestions?
  • I'm going to Replace the converter in a few days, will post update asap.
  • ajp5ajp5 Posts: 3
    Are you sure it's the cover? Drove mine into the mechanic's lot, he walked over and told me it needs a new one as the element has come loose internally. $400 later, new aft converter assembly, no noise. Needed it replaced anyway as flange was leaking exhaust and entering the passenger compartment through the HVAC. alan
  • ajp5ajp5 Posts: 3
  • blacktracblacktrac Posts: 14
    Yes it's the cover. Rusted on one end. I can move it a little up and down. I got some wire and wrapped it around it, but that won't hold for too long.
  • jmdkmprjmdkmpr Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if the left front exterior door handle will fit as a replacement for the left rear exterior door handle? I need to replace both ext door handles on the left (driver's) side, but can only locate a replacement door handle for the front left side.

    Also, can anyone provide instructions on how to replace the exterior door handles?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance.

  • craylashcraylash Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 tracker and the power steering locked while I was driving. I had to have it towed to the dealership. I was told the joints and couplings in the steering column had frozen up and needed to be replaced. No parts available locally. I may take 7-10 days before the Tracker is fixed. The dealer told me that Trackers were notorious for steering problems. I'd like other Tracker owners input.
  • The first time this happened, the dash lights, radio light and headlights dimmed then went black. All the power went out in the matter of 1 to 2 minutes. The emergency flashers worked for about 4-5 minutes then went out. The ignition would not do anything, no power what so ever when the key was moved to the start position. The vehicle started after about 1 ½ hours of sitting.

    The second time this happened, the dash lights, radio light and headlights dimmed then went black. All the power went out in the matter of 1 to 2 minutes. The emergency flashers worked for about 4-5 minutes then went out. The ignition would not do anything, no power what so ever when the key was moved to the start position. The tow truck had to hook it up to the battery to move transmission from park into neutral. The vehicle did not start even after 4 hours of sitting. The Dealership checked the alternator and battery both checked good and scanned for problems it came back with no error codes, and could not duplicate the problem. Said they did not know what else to do.
    Anyone seen this one?
  • sypher86sypher86 Posts: 2
    well i replaced the 1st o2 sensor and i got my check engine light but still no power/bad mileage

    i figured id try the cheaper one first, am saving up for a new cat converter, will post results, or lack there of.
  • for info to others further checking by another dealership revealed diminishing output from the alternator the longer the car ran, bench test confirmed failed components. resolution replaced alternator.
  • I ended up with my husband's 2001 Tracker when he had to go out of town for work and it wouldn't start. I had it towed to a garage and the spark plugs were replaced, but I was told that the timing chains also needed to be replaced. They initially only changed one, but when they started it, it still made noises. They also said that they had to clean out the oil pump pick up tube. When I got it back, it had smoke coming out the exhaust all the time (lots of it). I took it back and they replaced the PCV valve. It still smokes, but not quite as bad, but is especially noticeable when I start it, have to idle, or when it goes into passing gear. I am afraid to drive this car because I don't want to blow it up. What else can be done? :
  • aar08aar08 Posts: 3
    I have to THANK everyone who put information on this web forum. I was driving out of my neighborhood on a Friday evening and could not steer my 2003 Tracker. It is a holiday weekend. I am sure to be stuck until next Tues to get any service .... After Googling the problem and getting this forum and reading ALL the things others have posted - I had a good idea of what needed to be done. I called 1800chevusa first but no one available in the 'medium duty' dept to talk to.
    I learned NOT to take it anywhere but the dealership because of qualifying for the special coverage.
    I took a chance on calling the dealership where i bought car originally and still go to and this on a Sat. I explain all the info I learned here and they said to have it towed in ASAP to see what it is. my service guy was aware of the 'crossmember failure corrosion' Special Coverage' for my car but did not know if that was my problem.
    I had visions of a costly repair as my Tracker was towed away.
    By three o'clock I got a call From him and he told me the steering belt was replaced and there was a hole in the crossmember that was replaced.
    They had my car ready at four o'clock and it was about $150. Including the towing.

    Thank you all for your info!! It gave me so much to be better prepared for this issue and to get my car towed, serviced and ready in an afternoon on a holiday weekend was amazing!
  • herasdayherasday Posts: 1
    I am aware that this post is some months old, but felt compassion for the poster, having "been there, done that, got the t-shirt". And maybe this information will help someone else. Don't be so sure that those other Trackers have not had the engine replaced. I am still driving my Tracker since I could not afford to buy a replacement vehicle, I had to go with the replacing the engine. When the timing chain breaks it chews up your engine in a matter of seconds and destroys it. Depending on which one breaks first (I am told there are two in the 2001 Tracker) you may limp along with your engine rapping harder and harder for a few miles before it will not keep running anymore. My Tracker engine blew for no apparent reason. (full up with fresh oil only a month or so after oil change, no oil system malfunctions, no other malfunctions, no overheating, or any other problems that would lead to engine seizure). I was really upset to say the least. My mechanic was less than interested in finding out "why", just told me the engine was shot and prices he could get for new or rebuilt engines, etc. So, not sure about your 2000 but here's what I found out with internet research about my 2001 2.0, to the best of my understanding. (I am not even in the "backyard mechanic" category, so some may be incorrect, inaccurate or wrong terminology. But its more than I could find out from anyone at Chevy dealership or my regular mechanic and DEFINITELY more than I could find out from manual or service or engine specs anywhere). 1. There are actually two timing chains an upper and a lower. 2. Neither one will be listed as a maintenance/change out item by Chevy and there is certainly nothing in the manual about them. 3. One or the other will probably break somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles if you keep the car long enough. 4. When it breaks (one or the other) the amount of driving time you have left will vary, depending on which one broke, how many rpms the engine was doing when it broke, and blind luck. If that is what it is, there will be no warning and it doesn't matter if you continue to drive it until it quits or you get somewhere you can stop safely because the damage is already done. 5. The timing chains are actual chains on the earlier tracker, made of metal like the "old days" not the newer type that are apparently non-metal in some vehicles these days. 6. Chevy doesn't warn you of anything regarding timing chains on a Tracker. Nobody knows when their timing chain will break, when it should be checked, when they should be replaced because there are no specs for this. Your regular service station or Chevy dealer will not advise you that you should replace or have them checked at any time because because in their books and maintenance schedules its supposed to be a non-maintenance item.

    So, I'd say around 60,000 miles try to find someone who will replace them even though no one can find any information on when they should be replaced. 7. You are NOT alone. I found a lot of posts of people who had their timing chains break on Chevy Tracker and chewed up their engine. Some made it all the way to 120,000 miles. But most were between 60,000 and 100,000. All were complaining that nobody had a clue when they should be checked/replaced because they are listed as a non-maintenance item so no mechanics ever suggested it was "time". Even after your engine blows mechanics are disinterested in timing chain investigation to see WHY it blew because of this sad fact, and it may be hard to get anyone to replace it since they will feel disreputable for replacing something that is not supposed to need replacement. Good luck to you. I hope you got a good deal on a replacement engine.
  • We made it to a little under 155,000 miles... Just went for no apparent reason!!! We have a 2001 2.0 4x4 tracker, I guess we will be looking for another engine? Any ideas where to buy one? :sick: :mad: :cry:
  • It will cost us, any wheres from $2000 to 3600 to repair our 2001 Tracker!!! Anyone with any good places to buy rebuilt or crate engines from? :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • Going to leave our 2001 Chevy Tracker 4x4, 2 dr. soft and hard top in Mexico this winter. I have driven it back and forth between Ontario Canada and Mex. 3 times. Now I am going to leave it there.

    Some parts are there but they tooled up for the Trackers differently and although the truck looks the same some of the parts are not. Thing is I don't know what parts are inter-changeable. I am thinking I may need to take front end suspension parts.

    Any ideas on which other parts I should take with me. The truck has 215,500 K's and has been pretty much worry free with only routine maintainence.

    Thanks for any ideas you may have

  • The control arm linkage on the 2001 Tracker (I hope to leave in Mex. and then fly for the winters in future) makes a irritating squeaking noise. How do I get at the linkage? The noise still comes from the drivers side with both wipers pulled forward off the glass. I have tried spraying lub down at the base of windshield wiper arms but no luck. How do I get at the hidden moving parts please???

    Thanks for any help

  • great reply.....I searched through the service guide and asked the dealer but no luck.

    OK so has anyone replaced the timing chains on a 2001 Tracker knowing they could go between 60,000 and 150,000 miles? If so what is the cost and how difficult is it?
  • cdl2cdl2 Posts: 15
    I'm working on replacing the timing chains now!!! I've got the whole front end removed , except the condensing coil. I can't get the bolt out that holds the lower pulling on. I've tried a chin wrench & a breaker bar, a 600 ft lb pnumatic impact gun, etc.
    Any idea's?????
  • cdl2cdl2 Posts: 15
    I'm working on mine now. Cost isn't to bad if you can do the work youself, I'm thinking around $200 with parts from NAPA.
    Can't get the lower pully bolt out, but as soon as I can get that out I can tell you about the rest of it......LOL
  • pts801pts801 Posts: 1
    My chain went out last week at 67,000 miles. looked high and low, found a great deal at Faith trading. this is a web site I found on ebay. parts were $107.00 with free delivory. set included 4 sprockets- 2 chains- 2 tensioners
    and sling bracket that fits on top. A great deal indeed. It took me 8 hours to complete. Trying to get both cam sprockets in place is a bear. I sugest that if you attempt this yourself take lots of photos and label every bolt and nut.
  • snicholsnichol Posts: 28
    I apoligize for not contacting you sooner ... I can't help you much in the mechanic deptartment (been out of it for over 50 years!) but I can speak from experience on my 2001 Chevy Tracker.
    You may have seen my eariler posts when my timing chain broke on mine at 120,000 mile!?
    This is what I learned/experienced: :cry:
    The engine is considered what is called a "Zero Tolerance" engine. There is NO CLEARANCE between the Valves and the Piston heads, zero clearance.
    When the timing chain breaks, the valve are no longer in sync with the pistons. If it is running and turns a complete revolution... BENT VALVES!

    This happened on mine, it was running at 60 miles an hour when the chain(s) broke. It bent all the valves before I could even slow down and stop.

    I would suggest you do an engine compression test to make sure this is not a problem before you waste any more time/money on it.

    It was going to cost between 3,000 to $5,000 to rebuild or replace (Short Block) the engine! (Houston Prices). I started searching the internet and had a friend mechanic do some searching online also.
    He found a wreacked tracker in Lousisana with low millage (around 30,000), that we had shipped to his shop in Pasadena and he changed it out for me.
    Engine cost, about $1800 shipped, total cost with labor and parts around $2400 driving out the door.
    My tracker is still running with about 250,000 miles on it.
    Although it's parked right now, as I believe it has the "Rusted A Frame" problem in the front end. I ran over some railroad tracks one day and afterwards it developed a shimmy and the steering geomemtry doesn't act right.
    So, that's my next project. I Love the Tracker, I bought it Brand new and it's been a dependable vehicle until this occured.
    So, back to your situation...
    ... run a compression check on the engine. If it won't hold a compression in each cylinder, pull the heads and visually check if valves are bent and if the piston heads don't have holes punched into them. If it does, shop for a short block, or a junk yard special like I did.

    I feel your pain... Good luck! :cry:
    Sam Nicholson, Pasadena, Texas
    2001 Chevy Tracker, 4 Door, Auto trans, 2 wheel drive.
    About 260,000 miles.
    (Another problem you might not be aware of, my Air conditioner doesn't work. The Compressor destroyed itself and scattered junk thoughout the system. A second conpressor lasted about a month before it destroyed itself also(due to the junk in system).
    They(The Manufacturer - SUCK-zuki) :P redisigned the compressors to be smaller and left-out space for the lubricating oils to reside, thus when it develops a leak, before you stop and realize it, it loses oils, thus, compressor destroys itself.) :mad:
    So now, I drive with the windows rolled down! :shades:
  • cdl2cdl2 Posts: 15
    How did you get the bolt out of the lower pully?? The one on the crank shaft.
    I'm fighting like crazy trying to get mine out!!
  • snicholsnichol Posts: 28
    I'm sorry, I can't help you there as my Mechanic changed out the engine and did all the work for me. I don't have a clue as to what he had to do to open it up. He did have it open and showed me all the parts and the broken chains.
    I can't get in touch with him as he has closed his shop and moved since then.
    I might suggest you try to get in touch with a local Suzuki dealership and ask them, since the engine is really a Suzuki and Chevy folks don't usually work on then. (They may have manuals on it so you could look it up. Get the right year as I heard that all years changed somehow.)
    If I get any information, or find out how, I will let you know.
    Sam Nicholson
  • Hi,
    My 2000 Tracker with the 2.0L has a small (5/8 inch) hose branching off the top radiator hose, and crossing over in front of the block to a fitting at the base of the inlet manifold, right under the throttle body. It brokand I replaced it. What is this hose for? Isit for the automatic choke?
  • does anyone have source for the three part idler on the 2.0 engine. I replace the tension idler and I have not been able to locate the proper idler pulley. I don't seem to be able to find a source for an original, or a part #. The one I have does not have, purchased as a direct fit, the right size hole, it has an adapter, it does not have any support at the base of the stud, therefore it flexes and causes the belt to slip. I have sort of mickey moused one on there but I am not all that confident with the installation.
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