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Suzuki Vitara Maintenance and Repair
What problems have you experienced with your Grand Vitara? Please share any solutions!
I took it back for a warranty repair (some of you may remember the story about the defective "clip") and they changed out the whole front differential. So far, so good until August 02, when it started making that awful popping noise again, only now it only does it when climbing STEEP terrain or backing down the same. So...back to the dealer I went. They gave me some story about the differential fluid being low and old (with only 38000 on it?). Low, maybe I could believe. They did a full 4wd service (new fluid in both differentials and the transfer case) and said they test drove it and it only Popped once. So.... off I go to the San Juan Mtns and it STILL does it! Now, nobody wants to talk to me and they say it will cost $1500 for a new differential or $1200 for a new transfer case, whereever the problem really is. As far as I am concerned, the 4wd has never worked reliably or properly since I got it and I feel like I have a lemon. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the transfer case lever pops from 4high to 2wd on it's own frequently.) I have registered a formal complaint with the NHSTA since the dealers and Suzuki Corp have been uncooperative. If I can't get this resolved through them I am going after the Colorado Lemon Law. I bought this vehicle SPECIFICALLY for moderate duty off-roading and since that is SPECIFICALLY the function it is unable to perform, I will not be stuck with it.
Unlike many of the other complaints I have read about in the forum, my Suzi is PERFECT except for the above problem.
I don't mean to sound like a whiner; I really love my Suzi and want to keep it but I don't know what else to do and it seems unfair that the warranty repair never really took hold and now I am responsible for such an expensive repair on such a relatively new vehicle. It is now out of warranty.
Any comments? Suggestions? Similar stories?
Just recently I notice a hole the size of a quarter through the cloth upholstery on the drivers side back rest just above the seat. Upon closer inspection there appears to be a sharp metal bracket that after a period of time getting in and out of the car causes the bracket to wear through the cloth.
Since the car is out of warranty I'm sure I'll
be stuck with the repair.
Just wondering If any one else has experienced
the lights. I even went to the dealer, and they told me everything was working fine.
A couple months later, I had a problem with the lights staying on after the vehicle was turned off and the keys removed. There was no buzzer sounding when the door opened.
Next problem was sometime in November when the headlights stayed on, no matter what I did. I had to disconnect the battery cable at night so the
battery would not die. Next day I took it to the dealer, with the problem still occurring, and they indicated that the day/night sensor was
malfunctioning and replaced it.
Between November and December I had a problem with the left turn signal. It worked intermittently. I called the dealer, and Danny (service manager) indicated that they could not fix it if I did not bring the vehicle to them
with it not working. By the end of December, it was not working at all anymore. I brought it in between Christmas and New Years. They replaced the
switch on the steering column. The next day I drove to Niagara Falls, and still had a problem with the turn signal when making a turn, but now the cruise control did not work!
Due to the policy of the dealer's shop, that they have no vehicle loaners, I found it difficult to bring the vehicle in to the shop during January or
February. In the meantime the left had turn signal problem was back. At the end of March I was trying to book an appointment to bring the vehicle in to the dealer. I finally made an appointment! When I brought the vehicle in,
the left turn signal was failing intermently (50%), the manual head light control did not work. Danny advised again that he could not fix the intermittent turn signal problem. So, I pressed him on the manual lighting control, and the cruise control.
Danny finally made a call to Suzuki Canada to ask what the problem might be. This was April 23, 2002. Danny was advised to replace the wiring harness (order number 014489073, reference V69935). He indicated it would take 3 to 4 weeks to get the part. It is now May 17, 2001. I went to see Danny last night. He indicated he had no idea where the part was, whether it had even
been shipped, and it has to come from Japan!
Now I emailed Suzuki.
Anyone ever have a problem like this? Any advise on how to get these guys to fix the problem?
I ran this stuff in a Dak I used to own and I got 1.5 more MPG and dropped the engine temp a bit.
Next oil change the hamster gets a full dose of Mobil1.
Bear in mind, most condenser fins are pretty delicate and it doesn't take much to bend them at all. What I don't like is the design which makes in nearly impossible to run a comb thru there to straighten them out.
As for reliability, I think these hamsters are tough little mothers! I watched the aforementioned buddy put his thru hell and back and it still keeps a going!
Just do the maintenance, drive them like a 4 banger and watch the jackrabbit starts and you should be fine.
Wonder if your fan(s) has a blade of round or perhaps its flexing too much at hiway speeds?
Could you please let me know what you find when you check your condenser. Oh by the way, the cooling fan motor and housing has been back ordered now for a week because there were none to be found in the Detroit area where I live. Please let me know.
I live in Washington state, and my usual driving conditions are city driving mixed with some secondary highway driving, freeway driving, and a little "primitive road" driving. I drive in conditions from 105 degrees to -10 degrees, including 2-3 trips each winter over mountain passes in blizzard conditions.
Since the Tracker is the first vehicle I have owned with the cooling fan IN FRONT of the A/C condenser and radiator, I am wondering if the fin damage is due to the fan coming on when there is ice and/or snow build up on the condenser during highway driving in blizzards or freezing rain.
Any help with be appreciated.
I have had my tires balanced and they are at the propper psi value (26).
Has anyone experienced this type of behavior. When I go above 70 it fades away.
Any help would be appreciated.
What I did was inflate the tires to 32PSI all around. THis solved the tendancy to wander around on the hiway. Perhaps this might work for you?
I have checked and rechecked and I cannot find any evidence on the 2002 vitara I drive of this same damage.
Still you got me really interested. Going to check out my buddies tracker 1994 and see if the same thing is happening to his. So far as I know, his AC still works.
Good luck with yours......Chevy/Suzuki ought to chip in some $$$ to assist with the repairs!
damage looks similar to mine. I am going to the dealer with my 2000 Vitara.
zeke707- can you please let me know what your dealer says and what they plan to do about it(if anything). If you want I can e-mail you the picture of my condenser so you can print it out and show it to them. Please provide me with your e-mail address if you want it.
I contacted the Suzuki Customer Service Department in CA and registered a complaint. The regional service manager is to contact me early next week. I will update you when I have new information. I plan to refer Suzuki to this web site for additional information.
The district mgr had prepared the service mgr to tell me this type of damage was "normal" from sand, dirt, etc., which of course I did not buy. (I was born at night, but not last night.) In any case, the point was made to me that I will probably see the same damage to the new condenser in the future. While at the dealer,we looked at a XL7, Grand Vitara V6 and I4. The XL7 or V6 did not exhibit the problem (and their condensers appeared to be of a different design) while the 4 door Vitara 4 cyl did have some damage, but not near what my vehicle shows. All the vehicles we looked at were used.
The sales mgr who also looked at the damage ageed this appears to be a design flaw. Of course unless many owners complain a fix will not be available. I contend as time goes on, the damage will continue until the condenser fails (develops a leak.) Unfortunately this will probably be after the warranty period. I am more convinced this problem can be displayed in any 1999 to current 2.0 litre with air conditioning, the degree of damage dependent on the amount of highway speeds, say 55 or greater while using the A/C (electric fan in use.) I also would suggest those who own such vehicles closely check the condenser, especially nearing the end of warranty. If you have some damage now you would do well to contact Suzuki Customer Relations in Brea, CA. Their phone number is in your vehicle manual.
Might be the alternator or the battery....funny thing is, the idiot light never came on.
Pretty shocked to say the least......I was under teh impression Japanese vehicles were invincible.
Guess I was wrong huh?
Please pray for a speedy recovery.
Hope those with AC issues are on the track to getting them resolved and may your AC crank out the cold air this summer
What is NHTSA?