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Suzuki Sidekick - Maintenance & Repair
Hi, I just thought I'd start this discussion and let you guys in on my little experience! First of all, I am the owner of a 1998 Suzuki Sidekick Sport JX 4x4, that was purchased used on October 21 1999. The car had previously been a rental vehicle. It had 14,600 miles on it when I got it. Since I've had it, I've put a LOT of money into this car. For one, within the first year of of me having it, I had to replace the radio/cassette player within the first month of owning it, (warranty covered), had remotes for keyless entry replaced, well, the one that I was able to get from the dealer, both had been lost, had the front bumper repainted, as the painted blatently fell off (later found out it wasn't the car's problem, but a faulty body shop guy who had replaced the front bumper due to a minor fender bender, warranty covered), then last September, it all hit me, the tires, the brakes, the clutch was burning..., so I had everything checked out and had new tires and front brake pads put on, in which the brake pads have squeaked since I got them, even when the brakes are not applied, had them replaced again, still the same thing. Then, things were peachy for a while, until June 22. At that point, and at 34,800 miles, the rear differential started making a very loud, pronounced "whomp! whomp! whomp!" noise. On Monday, June 25, I took it to my then, local Suzuki dealer 40 minutes away, and they kept it for 4 days, and when I picked it up later that week, all the Service Manager had to say was "you got a sound in ya rear end there." I felt like a fool for driving 40 minutes just to have a guy who is supposed to be trained in this stuff, tell me something I already knew by keeping my car for 4 days and then dismissing me back to my home 40 minutes away over a mountain. He did, however, say that I would need an entire new rear differential, and that my warrany had expired. So, I requested an estimate for the replacement and repair, which to this date I haven't received. After weeks and weeks of truding and getting no where, I called my second local dealer, an hour away down yet another mountain (gotta love the blue ridge mountains!), and the service manager was very helpful, and did more for me over the phone in 10 minutes than the other dealship had done in a month. After that, I had the ball rolling once again. Something I forgot to note, I sent a letter to American Suzuki Customer Service in Brea, California, and never got a written response after the 1st, the 2nd send, or the 3rd send that was sent classified mail, not even the recipt that it had been received. Of course, when on the phone to the second local dealer, he gave me Suzuki's customer service phone number, which I called and left voicemail on twice and had to wait 2 weeks for a response. Upon getting that response, the representative found the 2nd send of the letter, very easily I might add, and had never written a response to it or called. After that call, I was set to deal with my second local dealership. I was happy. That is, until the Factory Service Rep. for that dealership said that I should go thru my closest dealership and at least give them a chance to fix the car. I then was told to call them and ask them for their Factory Service Rep's name, and that I should speak with him. When I called and spoke to the service manager at this dealership, he again didn't seem to know his role in life, and said he had no idea who the man was, which left me to call California again, and wait for a response to the voicemail I again had to leave. I got the call back, with the information I needed. That was last Thursday, August 16th. The Factory Service Rep and I arranged to meet at this dealership on Monday, August 20th. Well, at 9:00am that Monday morning, he called and said that the dealership was closed, went out of business, the bank had closed them. I later found out that it was because the owner was caught embezzeling, and the bank took everything he had. So, that left me with this Factory Service Rep, who had no control over the dealership that I had talked to secondly. He had no jurisdiction there. So, that forced me to get a roll back truck and haul the car an hour and a half away to another dealership to be evaluated. I was told today that it would be Monday before they could do so, and that they were truely booked up for quite some time. It has now been 9 weeks, and I still have no car, and will probably not have one for another 2 to 3 weeks. I have to say, this entire experience has been a nightmare, however if Suzuki will repair my differential as a "goodwill" repair, I will be more than satisfied. I do have to comment however, if ANYTHING goes wrong with the car after I get it back, and amounts to any sort of situation like the one I've been through, I will sell the car and save myself time and stress. If you have had any situations like this one, and more importantly, if you have had any problems with a Suzuki Sidekick or any other Suzuki product, please feel free to share them. I'll keep the discussion up to date as to what goes on next week and after. Thanks!
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