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Suzuki Esteem Wagon



  • I'm in the process of purchasing a used Suzuki Esteem 5 spd with high mileage (close to 100K miles). While the car looks and drives just fine, I've noticed that the clutch pedal springs back about an inch after I release it, and there is a bit of a ricochet (sort of like a loose spring). Is this a minor problem, or something more serious? Thanks.
  • I have a 96 Esteem that has an intermittent overdrive problem that sound similar. It will work fine most of the time but sometimes it pops out and the overdrive light comes on for just a few seconds, then it will go back into overdrive. This is not a problem that I want to take to a shop 90 miles away. Did you find a solution to this problem. Mine seems to be electronic but I am not sure. Yours was the only post I found on the internet regarding the overdrive. Thanks, Craig
  • I Have a 2001 Esteem GL 1.8L 5-speed that has an intermittent rough/low idle problem. When the engine is fully warmed and I pull to a stop light, the engine RPM will drop to about 500 RPM. This condition will last about 15 seconds and then it will return to normal. The car has 43K miles on it and has been stone cold reliable otherwise. Any Ideas? Also, is the fuel filter located in the tank?

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Model Description Miles Part
    Grade Stock# US
    Price Dealer Info
    Suzuki Esteem REBUILT,12MO WARRANTY,250.00 CORE 20AFTR $845 Albany Auto Salvage, Inc. USA-GA(Albany) E-mail 800-873-1669
    Suzuki Esteem F-5,1.6L,5-99 N205 $700
    $840.00 Team Auto Parts Can-MB(Winnipeg) Request_Quote 1-204-222-7333 1-888-832-6870 Request_Insurance_Quote
    Suzuki Esteem F-5,1.6L,10-99 N329 $650
    $780.00 Team Auto Parts Can-MB(Winnipeg) Request_Quote 1-204-222-7333 1-888-832-6870 Request_Insurance_Quote
  • suzkmansuzkman Posts: 5
    I have '99 1.8 DOHC since new 6 years ago. This engine runs clean. There has to be something else that is making the chain break. That chain is good for 200K if you do not hot rod with over 6500 rpm all the time. Some other brands of Asian design cars have sludge, but not the 1.8L design.

    something physical like a hydraulic lifter (lack of oil changes B4 you came into the picture) would-could have been the problem since 30M miles. Take off the valve cover(you can reuse the same gasket, but expect leaks around the sparkplug holes) and check out the oil staining in the cover and at the tope of the head. Should be fairly clean. If clean, then, you have other physical-mechanical problems from over-rev or bad lifter causing undue stress onthe engine in normal speeds, etc. vr
  • suzkmansuzkman Posts: 5
    alot of those original Suz Esteem's had fast wearing performance tires and the shock in the front would start to fade at 25K. Tire wear onthe outside of each front tire tread(about 1.25" in). keep the tires up to 32-33 psi and the back up to 30psi and you will be able to get more miles--with good shock--about 55-60K per set with rotation. The tire alignment is a big factor and if you had hit curbs and chuck holes with weak shock, then, this would have taken 30K miles of tread wear off in 7-10K miles of mixed street and highway driving.

    KYB makes replacement front struts for $70 ea and these will last 100K.
    good luck-vr
  • suzkmansuzkman Posts: 5
    we have the '99 1.8 GTLX+ wagon. There is a problem with some of the coils onthis model. the first of the 1.8 crop has and still has 4 individual coil packs located on the cast alloy valve cover. These are fired by a no maintenance distributor. The spark plugs will tell you the story if you have a "lazy" coil in the lot.
    The engine will warm up with a little faultering in cold-new start. and then, level off to a smoother running that the dealer will respond to by,"looks OK to me".

    You can install the correct plug with proper gap settings and still get poor performance from the stop sign with a slight baulk, and, never get over 25-26 mpg with light touch driving.
    The "lazy" coil will exhibit less gap wear in the center electrode measure after 20K miles--talking about .002" wear vs. a good coil with 3.5 to 4 thousandths wear.

    Another problem with spark plugs on this 1.8L DOHC is that the early manuals '99, show two different plugs. one with a smaller gap and one with Roman
    "II" on the insulator. The II is-has the larger gap and some dealers and parts people will sell you the smaller gap plug with the other part number being same as II number, but, with no II And they will gap the non II plug with the larger gap--you have a drop in MPG, slugish response . Get the II plug--says II on box, and the insulator barrel, and get the mpg and performance back up there.

    Torque is important on the spark plugs. make sure you have enough when first seating this plug--some mechanics think they will over torque and in 5K miles you have a loose plug that can cause roughness in idle and poor hot engine performance--damn thing just lacks upper end power???

    These new coils are expensive and you are best advised to not to buy junk yard stuff unless it's $35. ea.

    Air filter--change it every 18K miles. You start to lose power at 25K for a filter.

    This car has hydraulic valves and do not need adjusting. At 65K they will seem noisy, but, that is their nature.

    I get 27mps went big foot wife is city driving--30 when I drive it, 33-35 when she does longer highway; and 34-37 when I can drive the highway without her turning on the AC--AC drops it 4mpg.

    If you are not getting even tire wear on the fronts, you could be losing 4 mpg across the board. Couple that with lazy coil and wrong spark plug gap and you may be down to 22 city and 28-29 highway at 60 mph.. If you can keep it at
    63mph in the level highway even foot driving you are going to get 34-35mpg if all is correct. Drive at 66-70 and the milage drops 3mpg.

    There are two oxy sensors on this model--one at the engine manifold and one at the converter--further back. This would be my idea to check if you were not getting good mpg and the other things mentioned are correct. With correct setting, you will not have any residue in the tail pipe at the back--only a slight, slight dust on the end of your finger.
    Wipe the tail pipe clean and check it 4 days later-80 miles.

    Cheaper gas will lose you 3-4 mpg and cost you more in AC weather. pay the extra $.05 to .10/gallon and keep the oil cleaner and get better engine running.

  • suzkmansuzkman Posts: 5
    Before we bought the '99 1.8 DOHC in '99 we asked the Suz mechanic in the back about the 1.6L and he started to frown. He liked the newer 1.8 L for a number of reasons. The 1.6L has valve problems-keep on schedule with the valve adjustments. The 1.8L has hydraulic valves--no adjustments for the life the the lifter.

    Slap is a wear problem from lack of lubrication on startup and during cold running and even during warm running. You should be using some oil to have slap now.

    I would try some premium oil-Mobil 1 in 5W for summer and 0W for winter--below freezing. to lessen the wear on the 1.6L I have been running the 1.8L with 0-40 and 5W30 Mobil 1 since new and the motor still has little cold and hot sounds. I have taught my wife to let the temp gauge hit the bottom mark before driving away.This is the real secret to getting 250-300K out of an engine--even the GM stuff. With the Mobil 1 I go 6K between oil changes and use good grade of regular and still have 3/8 quart low on the stick at 6K miles intervals.

    The 1.6L was just an earlier engine that had several short comings.
  • suzkmansuzkman Posts: 5
    The 1.8L I have has been very tight and durable. The Escort will be easier to sell and easier to get used parts for, but, the Suz will out last the Ford engine and trans by 100K miles with a little care. You will tend to spend more 3X on the Suz for parts. It's what you want to drive and be seen in along with the financial.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,715
    Just an FYI... these forums may NOT be used for the buying and selling of anything. That's why a group of postings have disappeared from this thread.

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    If anyone would like to discuss these issues further, please feel free to click on my username and we can discuss it in email.

    Let's keep this topic for discussion of the Esteem wagon. Thanks!

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  • About your esteem wagon with the first gear problem, I'll make my email available in my member profile here if you would like to contact me. I think that is within the guidelines of this forum. Thanks.
  • Is this a manual gearbox? The manuals are known for all sorts of problems. Auto boxes are AW's and very good. I have a 96 with the 1.6 belt driven ohc. and auto box. We bought this car new in '95 and have driven it Very Hard ( yes the rev limiter works even on automatic cars) over 300'000 miles. No major problems. The engine and gear box have never been open and it uses no oil at all between changes. Problems have been few. Brake pads every 80'000 miles. Belts, hoses, and Timing belt every 60'000 miles. Trans and coolant every 30'000. At some point close to 200'000 miles I had CV boots replaced because I saw grease in the wheel. The early 1.6's had a distributor which has an O ring seal. This seal starts to leak at about 80'000 mile intervals. I just had the front suspension checked and it got a clean bill of health. The shop said the Struts could be replaced but were not totally gone. Over all it has been a wonderful car. Body panels are a bit thin and door ding easily. Our car is Oxford Gray which shifts from a grape color in the sun to gray in the shadows. It still shines great. This car is a gl so it came with the gray tweed cloth. I will say that is the one place they cheaped out. I had the seats recovered at about 210'000 miles. They had not ripped but the cloth had stretched.
  • I have a 2000 Esteem wagon with 1.8 engine. what kind of spark plugs should I use and what is the gap?
    what other parts should I change for a tune up other than the plugs?
    thanks so much.
  • I Have a 1999 Esteem 1.6L with a manual transmission. I would like to know if the engine is of interfering type (also called "interference head" or "interference engine").
    In interference designs incorrect timing (or timing belt failure) may result in the pistons and valves colliding and causing extensive engine damage. The piston will likely bend the valves. For that reason, in such an engines regular replacement of timing belts is especially important. Thanks, AB
  • Anyone know where to get a hitch for the Esteem wagon. They are easy to get in Europe where this car was sold as the Baleno so why not in the USA? thanks
  • When I bought 99 Suzuki Esteem Wagon I didn’t get any manual nor tools for the car stereo. My problem is I don’t know how to get it out without damaging the surface around it. Does anybody know where the pressure should be applied that is where the clips/joints etc are located and what could I possibly use to get it out?
  • to take out your stereo, first remove your ashtray,and heater slide knobs. there are 3 screws that have to be removed. the first one is in the middle of the stereo, just above it in the center( under the top), the other two are under the top of the hole where you pulled the ashtray out of. then remove the whole fascia that surrounds the radio, heater controls etc( it has clips, but just pull on the fascia carefully to release them) then you will see the 4 screws that attach the radio and 'cubby' to the dash. to replace the radio you will need to remove the screws that are on the side of the unit and use them to attach the new unit in the same frame. I found that you may need to file the fascia a little to clear the faceplate of the new radio. good luck!
  • I have a tow hitch that is on our wagon that may be availible if I cant find a decent 5 spd trannie for our 99 1.6 wagon. I may need to convert it to rear wheel drive and thus will not have room to use it as there will be a rear axle assy. in the way. I beleive it came from some Mercedes 300 or something like that quite a few years ago(maybe 12 yrs.)hold onto something long enough you just may find a use for it. I will keep you posted as to if i decide to get rid of the hitch.
  • I have a suzuki esteem wagon gl 1998, with 85000 miles on it, how to change timing belt? does any one knows detailed steps or recommend a good manual, so that I can do it by myself? I read some manual like Chilton, does not look like very clear. thanks for the help.
  • well remove ashtray is easy, but hot to remove slide knobs? I do not want to break it, but looks no way to get out this slide knobs (there are funs and circulation slide knobs also) by the way, I did find that 3 screws. thanks for help
  • the slide knobs just pull off, move the adj, knobs to the middle, then pull on them firmly and they should come off with slight resistence. (you may have to use needlenose pliers or the like, but be careful not to damage the knobs in the process).there is also a wiring harness that will be connected to the lighter socket and to the heater contrils. be care ful not to damge these when you remove the radio bezel. I leave them connected and just CAREFULLY lay the bezel to the side and then work on the radio.
  • First I would inspect the BELT itself by removing the bolts that hold the Upper Cover on. this can be difficult but is worth the effort. You stated that your car has 85000
    miles on it. There still may be time left on the belt and may only require an adjustment of the tensioner. My 99 wagon has 106,000 on the motor( tho my 5 spd trans has committed suicide), and the timing belt STILL looks real good. It also has not needed any adjustment of the tensioner. I have heard that SUZUKI has recommended to extend the mileage replacement to 105,000, though i have yet to see it in writing. and to be TOTALY honest..... If you don't know how to change a timing belt, I STRONGLY recommend that you have a reputable local shop handle it as it is very easy to screw it up and cause irreversible engine damage. You can always contact local AAA clubs, car service orginizations, and your local better business bureau for a list of recommended shops. if you persist on doing it yourself, try a 'HAYNES' manual if you can find one. or goto your local SUZUKI dealer and purchase a real shop manual for your specific model car(can be quite expensive $50-$125). alot of shops have specials that can cost you a littleas $85 -$175 for this kind of job.
  • :sick: I am looking for a 5 speed transmission(manual) to fit my 1999 Esteem Wagon. The motor is a 1.6 and the trans is only availible from 1999- 2001 w/the 1.6 engine only. :( I am trying to find one that's not gonna cost me $1000 or more. :confuse: Esp. with a car that is bluebooking @$1100. the cheapest I have found was $850+$200 core+freight.anyone know of a rollover, totaled or one in need of a motor that may be willing to sell the trans cheap? thanks for your time.
  • I have the 16v 4 cyl in a 2000 Esteem wagon, It has 66k miles on it, It is begining to sound like a push rod is going to shoot through the hood when you crank it up cold, Also it's slow to start even with a new battery. Any ideas what may be causing this. Are the valves adjustable? Does it have a belt or chain? and could it need to be replaced. thanks for any help
  • Hi I have a suzuki esteem 99 and I trying to find out how a tune up usually cost on this car. I called places that is telling me $180 to $79 dollars. Because my car has about 65,000 miles on it and its shaking so bad and then cuts out. We are hoping a tune up will do the job, anyone else have this problem? In addition I am looking for a out side drivers side door handle cheap, it broke and am trying to replace it soon. (Can't even get in thru the drivers side door have to go to the passengers side and open it from the inside door handle to get in) If anyone can help I appreciate it
  • Yes I have a Suzuki Esteem 99 it does the sames thing, you heard a knocking exspecailly in cold weather but when it warms up enough you dont heard it anymore plus when its knocking, plus its cold, there is no excelaration power to the car until it warms up. Just got use to letting it warm up to start out for the day. NOW I got bigger problems now it sputters, jerks, shakes and then the engine cuts out every 8-10 minutes when driving it. Anyone else experiencing this? Does it just need a tune up? What do you think?
  • Hi I have an esteem wagon and its got 114km it has a problem with its fuel consumption .the engine litght is not on but it consumes 19miles/gal and a 1998 model should provide about 26-28 miles/gal in the city. please let me know if you have experience with solving :confuse: this problem.
  • Wow! I have had a bunch go wrong lately. My alternator went two weeks ago (it was definitely the alternator, radio was clicking out in stop/go traffic). Then, a week ago it would not start at all on a cold day. It couldn't be boosted, I had to have it towed and they couldn't boost it at the garage. I got a new battery and it worked fine for a week and then on Christmas day (of all things) I was about to head out on a long road trip with presents in tow when - it happened again- totally dead. It was above sero and raining. My interior lights work fine; so it isn't the battery. I tried five hours later and it started without issue, but the engine light came on. I was afraid to go anywhere, for fear of getting stranded when the garages were closed. I tired it again the next morning and it wouldn't start, but then it started fine in the afternoon and has started fine since. A freind suggested it might be the attachments to the battery had corrosion and there was not full metal to metal contact. I got tools ready to attempt a clean-up, but managed to find a garage open. I was concerned it might be the starter and wanted an assessment before I got too confident. They checked all connections and metal surfaces and said it was fine. I really pressed them to look closely, but they swore there was no signs of corrosion at all. They recommended a starter replacement as they felt the brushes might be deteriorating inside and that was the reason it would start sometimes and not others. I am not 100% comfortable with this after replacing the other parts recently I don't know that that makes full sense and it is not my regular garage, but the holidays left no option. Anyway, they said that it was the only other possibility and ordered the part, and detached the existing starter in the few minutes it took the part to arrive = problem: the part was not the correct one (at least they spotted that) and I am starnded anyway unitl other parts suppliers open. EEEK . I did have an issue with the starter a few years ago when I bought it used with 85,000 km on it. It wouldn't start in three separate incidents in the middle of the summer and suzuki totally missed it. They sent me away twice (the second time with a new battery to replace my new battery). A better trained tow truck driver was kind enought to have a look and noticed that the starter was sparking but a wire was loose. They fixed it atthe time. I suppose the scenario is similar. So, it may be the starter, but could be some other faulty contact or connection thathey have missed (the check seemed pretty cursory). Any comments????? ... and why alternator and then the starting problems to follow???? (an aside: a taxi driver slammed into my front end while my car was parked at 6:30 in the morning a week ago - and he travelled in reverse across two lanes to do it) I think I am having a really bad car month) :(
  • First of all, you didn't state if the starter was dragging when you tried it, was it trying to rotate at all, or was there no click or nothing when you tried to crank the engine over. With what you have stated, it sounds more like your problem lies either in the 'neutral' safety switch (automatics only) or a bad key(ignition) switch. The 'neutral' safety switch is the switch that allows you to start the engine only when the gear select or is in "P"- park or "N" neutral only. Next time the starter does not want to work for you, try putting the gear selector in the "N" neutral position and then try to crank the engine. Also try to move the shifter between "P" park and "N" neutral positions while holding the key in the "start" position to see if that will get the puppy hummin'. Due to the age of the car it is quite possible that this switch is going bad. I'm not sure if the neutral safety switch is under the center console or on the transmission itself, either way, it is not too difficult to replace with some average tools and some minor mechanical knowledge. :P

    Another possibility could also be that your actual "key" ignition switch in your steering column. Suzuki's in the past (SAMURAI'S, etc.) have had some trouble with the key switch wearing out and not energizing the starter side of the switch. The "key" tumbler itself works fine, just the electrical switch located on the backside gets loose and begins to burn the contact points of the switch and thus makes it difficult to engage that part of the switch. :sick:

    Both of these problems will act intermittently with no rhyme or reason as when it happens. The other possibility could lie in the starter itself or the solenoid of the starter but that should have been eliminated when you replaced the starter.

    PS.. what "engine" light came on? :confuse:
  • I just bought a '99 Esteem wagon. My wife and I love it but it has one problem... If we lock the doors we can't get it to unlock consistantly. Also sometimes the key gets stuck in the locks and ignition. Has anyone else had this problem? Would it be good to just get all new locks and ignition switch? Or is there a less expensive fix?
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