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Suzuki Sidekick Problems

1badsidekick1badsidekick Member Posts: 135
edited March 2014 in Suzuki
I have a 1998 Suzuki Sidekick Sport, with 34,900 miles on it, which I've had for 1 1/2 years, bought when 1 year old and 14,600 miles, and the rear differential is going out on it. I took it to the local Suzuki dealer, they kept it for 4 days, then told me what the problem was. The Shop Advisor told me that it was safe to drive the 45 minutes back home, however they hadn't made any repairs. I was told by him I would need a brand new rear end. If anyone can give me any estimates on the repair, or any other suggestions as to what I need to do, please let me know, I appreciate all the help I can get. Also, if anyone else has had ANY other type of problems with a Sidekick/Sidekick Sport, please let me know. I will be contacting Suzuki about this problem, as I was told it is out of warranty by the time (3 years), but is under the 36,000 mile limit. Any help is appreciated, thanks!


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    With so few miles, it sounds like it must be a bearing rather than the gears themselves (unless the oil ran out, then of course anything could happen).

    Are you experiencing a very loud whining noise that increases as you accelerate? If the noise is not severe, this could go for quite some time, and then you could replace it when it became unbearable.

    I'd say the best thing would be to petition Suzuki for some relief (possibly a 50-50 share on repairs), since it is quite unusual for this component to fail so early. If that doesn't lead to anything, I'd swap out the entire unit with a used one.

    Removing a differential and then sending it out for rebuild to a specialist (I doubt the dealer has the expertise to rebuild your unit) might be quite costly. Figure the removal and replacement time, the parts whatever they are, and the $300 or so for an expert to precisely assemble and align all the gears and bearings inside) maybe 4 hours labor + parts + $300 outside labor fees...that could break $1,000 easy.

    I'd go used and just do a swap...maybe $250 for the parts and $300 labor and you're done.

    I'm just guessing here on costs, so don't hold me to it.
  • 1badsidekick1badsidekick Member Posts: 135
    Sorry it has taken so long for me to reply. I have been on vacation to Canada and was busy once I returned. The sound that I hear starts as a slow "whomp, whomp, whomp" that increases in volume and frequency of the "whomps" as I accelerate. When I first heard the sound, I thought it was my tires, because it sounded like a tire that was out of balance or alignment. I haven't been driving it since I got it back from the Suzuki dealer, who, also, has yet to call me with an estimate, after I have called and called and begged them to get it for me. I am now at the point that I want to get rid of the obvious pile of junk and get something else. Any suggestions? I like the car, and wanted to keep it long enough to get me through college, but it barely got me through high school. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
  • 1badsidekick1badsidekick Member Posts: 135
    Also, I did send a letter so Suzuki about the problem. It has been in the mail about a week now. I'm hoping to hear something soon, and I will post it when I find out. Thanks!
  • sistertsistert Member Posts: 1
    I bought a '98 Sidekick 4WD JX and paid to have after-factory AC put in, and it never did work right. I fought with the dealer for three years over the AC, repeatedly leaving it for days (no replacement car provided), and then having the new AC unit from Calif. break in a few weeks. I tried to get satisfaction thru the dealership manager, but I was stonewalled. No one would give me his name or any Suzuki area manger -- only the 1-800 number to California. Now I feel like the rear of the car sort of swings back and forth over bumps in the road and turns. THIS CAR IS THE PITS. I am trading it in.
  • erikheikererikheiker Member Posts: 230
    Looking at a 1993 JLX. Owner started it once and it was fine. Seconde time around, about five minutes after it was shut off, all there was was a clicking sound. Owner diagnosed a bad battery connection. They looked fine to me. Tight, with no signs of corrosion. I couldn't see the other end due to the sunlight. However, I'm thinking selonoid. Any known problems with Sidekicks/Trackers and the selonoid? This one has 116K on it. Owner wants $3900. I'm thinking that's too high. Any opinions on that? Internet gives such a wide range of prices that I can't determine which is most accurate.

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