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Suzuki Vitara Maintenance and Repair



  • My 99 GV didn't pass the Emission part of the inspection. I was advised to take it for diagnostic testing which I know will cost me. I purchased this car through a dealer and it only had a 60 day warranty. It came with the inspection and everything else! And though I purchased an additional warranty it doesn't cover this part of the car! R&S strauss claimed that they couldn't fix the problem b/c of the year and make of the car is too new???
  • I am having the same problem with my 99 GV not passing emissions insp. I have been told by the service tech at the dealer to just drive the car and I have placed over 1500 miles on the car to try to get through the drive cycle and it is not working. Just wanted to know if anyone knows what to do?
  • I went in to Firestone today to order tires to replace the originals on my '99. The service manager told me that he serviced two '02 Trackers this week, and both had smashed condenser fins identical to the damage to mine. Neither owner had a clue anything was wrong. He suggested they could either go to the dealer to try to get the condensers replaced under warranty, or to bring the Trackers back when the A/C quit. He assured them he would know exactly where to start the A/C diagnostics. As far as I know, neither Suzuki or Chevy has acknowledged this design flaw. My replacement condenser still looks brand new. I have run the A/C constantly for the past four months, but I did no driving in blizzard conditions last winter.
  • I have a 2000 Vitara convertible and the heat does not work in the winter. Last year the heat would not shut off in the summer! Any suggestions, before I take it to the shop and await the huge bill? Thanks!
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    their is a cable that controls the air damper which directs air either through or around the heater core. My guess is that the cable slipped or came loose.
  • phill5phill5 Posts: 4
    Thank you! How would one get to the cable? Is there a Chiltons book on this vehicle? I have looked around and the gentleman at the auto shop said that the vehicle is too new for one to have been published. Any suggestions?
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I would remove your glovebox first. Then follow the cable from the temp control lever down to the air damper on the HVAC box. On there, where it terminates at the HVAC box is a clip that holds the cable in place. Move the temp control and verify you have movement of the temp control door in both directions. Verify its connected to the temp control lever on the HVAC panel.
    IF all is good, then I would venture a partially blocked heater core or collapsed inlet or outlet hose.

    Good luck.
  • 1999 Grand Vitara 2.5L V6 with 20,000 miles. On start up 9 out of 10 times I get a rattle/tapping noise from the top of the engine from both sides of the camshaft banks. This disappears after about one mile when the temperature gauge has moved into the marked area. The vehicle has been regularly serviced by the agent (I live in Sweden) and he uses Castrol 10w-40 semi-synthetic oil. Anyone experienced this problem.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    5w30. Your current grade is a bit heavy for this engine, especially on cold startup.
  • ray127ray127 Posts: 4
    I've been reading this whole thread and I thought you guys did a great job finding the condenser problem. Hats off to you all. I was wondering what year model and engine size do you guys have, and are they CAMI-built or Japan-built. I am planning to buy a used GV, preferably 2001 and up because people are telling me never buy first/second year model because of the little quirks and stuff. Should I also used CAMI-built or Japan-built as a factor in choosing a used vehicle?
  • cosmo2cosmo2 Posts: 61
    Mine is a 1999 Tracker 4-door with 2.0 and manual tranny. Despite all the bad PR regarding the manual tranny, mine has been flawless except when Mr. Goodwrench put in the wrong fluid at 15,000 and 30,000 miles. The A/C condenser has been my only significant problem with the rig itself, and I have 65,000 miles on it now. Mr. Goodwrench hasn't had a chance to mess it up since the warranty expired. I chose the Tracker over the GV because I did not like the ride or handling of the GV. The sport suspension and wide, low profile tires on the GV give it a harsh ride and unstable handling IMHO. Also, comparative road tests, even CU's, rated the Tracker better for off-road use than the GV. I don't believe the additional power of the V6 is worth the sacrifice in gas mileage, either. As for Japan built vs CAMI built, I don't know if there is a difference in quality. Both my '95 Sidekick and my Tracker are CAMI products. The Suzuki dealer parts manager did tell me that parts for the Japanese built rigs are more expensive.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    1. Alternator and wiring harness pooched at 4K, needed new alternator and main harness coming off the back down to the starter.
    2. Just got back from dealer and I have a heluva leak where the reciever/dryer join the condensor! Guess what? New condensor baby!

    Otherwise, its been a tough rig. THe vitara 2 door and 4 door as well as the tracker lineup comes from CAMI Ingersoll Ontario. The GV is pruduced in Iwata Japan along with the XL7.

    THe entire drivetrain is native to suzuki, its shipped over here and the body is attached to the frame......there ya go! Instant Vitara/Tracker.

    My rig is the 4 banger, basic 4 door Vitara Five speed. 4WD.
  • I've been hearing some chatter about timing chain tensioner rattles and wondered if that could be my GV's problem. I have a strange rattle/vibration going on at 2500-2700 rpm. It doesn't do it when I'm changing gears (yes, it's a 5 spd) but it does it pretty consistantly at those rpms in any gear. I had the guys at the shop see if the exhaust heat shield was loose but they said no and could not find anything else loose either. The rattle does not seem to affect the performance but it is very annoying. I have just turned 80,000 on my '99. Any ideas?
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    from what I have been reading. Not sure if you can live with it or if it needs immediate attention. Mine does not make the noise.
  • my 2000 GV won't start in cold weather (Below -10 to -15 Celcius)I use 5w30 semi synthetic oil and bosch platinum plugs. The battery is good but it just won't fire. Suzuki says it is a known issue but they have no cure. Can anyone help?
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    but ifyou do a search on Alldata or someplace like google for suzuki TSB you will find one I am sure.
    I'm sorry but at the moment I cannot exactly recall what it was but I do recall seeing something about your problem.
    Good luck.
  • There was a recall for the GV dealing with the fuel pressure regulator. I'm not sure if this link will work, but give it a try:
  • About 7-9 Months ago I went to start up my little Suzie Q and the starter just would spin, but not the engine. It would not start at all! My husband said he use to have an old Chevy pick-up truck that use to do the same thing, anyhow, he fiddled with it until he got it to start. Then everything was fine again until yesterday when I got ready to leave for work and it happened again to me! Does anyone know why?
    Dixie and Suzie Q
    Cameron Park, Ca.
  • cone7cone7 Posts: 1
    Do you know where I can purchse a positive traction enhancement for said car? Given the flat tow capabiltiy of the Vitara, positve traction rear end would be a plus and I would forget about buying a Subaru Forester.

    Thank you for reply.
  • It has been several months since I posted my experiences with the condenser fin issue. After reviewing my problem with Suzuki when I first discovered the problem, they agreed to replace the condenser at no charge. The vehicle, a 2000 Suzuki Vitara, CAMI built 2dr now has 25k on the clock with no visible condenser fin damage. Other than the plastic interior marring easily, the seat edges developing "fuzz like a sweater", the car continues to perform quite well. I use Mobil One 5/30W oil and had the auto trans fluid changed (pumped out) at 13K. Heater works very well as does the A/C. Have considered installing a hardtop and larger tires...any experience with either of these?
    Also, I take it that Suzuki no longer offers the 2dr? If so, too bad...same as the X90. Great little vehicles.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    hope this little beast keeps on keeping on runnign well.
    Yes, the 2 door is history. And Cami will no longer build the vitara or tracker.
  • My Little Suzie Q is a 2002 Grand Vitara, does anyone have any idea why my starter doesn't always connect with the engine?
    Thanks for any reply
    Dixie in
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    either at the battery or starter?
  • Thanks so much for the response Mopar, the starter does spin, but your saying that perhaps there is not enough connection from the battery to the starter to engage the bendix?
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    or a dead short in your starter can cause the problems you just described.
  • Hello all There is a problem with the 2.5 and 2.7 in cold weather starting thay run to rich and foul out the plugs. The bulliten calls for a cylinder compression check (waste of time) and to install a new up graded spark plug NGK Iridium plug #IFR5J11. If the problem occures then thay will install a counter measure ecu. Good luck.
  • I just bought my 2002 Grand Vitara on New years Eve it has 47K miles on it all of the speakers were blown, the windshield wipers did not work and everytime I hit a bump the thing seemed to bounce all over, I only have 30 day 1K warranty on it and want to make sure it will last. I have taken it back to the dealer to make these repairs would someone suggest me getting a tune-up out of them too? Also shall I check the 4x4 before my 30 days is up?
  • cneacnea Posts: 2
    I just purchased my new/used 2000 Vitara (80 k)two days ago and noticed that when I start it there is a vibration that immediately goes away but happens sometimes when I press the brake peddle. I thought it might be a problem with the brakes because they feel weird, like they need to be tightened or might have air in them, but they stop the car fine and I don't hear any squeaking or rubbing? What do you think?

    Also, after purchasing I drove 10 hours to get home, with no problems, but the gas mileage doesn't seem to be as good as I thought it would. Any suggestions? Perhaps it needs a tune-up?

    I had a friend start it up to "diagnose" the vibrating and he said that it was just the motor moving, but not a serious problem.

    What sort of oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid would you guys recommend?

    Also, does anyone know what the little buttons by the gear shift stick mean? They have something like P, N, and A/T on them, I'm not looking at them right now so I'm not didn't come with a manual.

    Thanks for any help you're able to offer.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    and or drums.

    The P N means "power" and "normal" it governs the shift characterisics of the transmission, power mode holds it longer in gear for a slight improvement in performace. N is the normal mode for every day driving.
  • cneacnea Posts: 2
    Thanks for the help. I'll have it checked out.
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