Suzuki Aerio Maintenance and Repair



  • jasonwolfejasonwolfe Member Posts: 3
    I didn't know about the precooler on the A/C system, since I haven't spent much time under the Aerio yet, except for oil changes and installing the underdrive pulley. It does explain why the Aerio's air conditioning is so cold, though. I wonder if they did it that way for the tropical markets that the Aerio gets sold in?
    Anyway, thanks for the info--now I'll know why I'm shivering in August.
  • jclifjclif Member Posts: 3
    Appreciate reading about everyone's experiences with the Aerio SX. Have about 11K on my 2003 and am mostly happy. Don't like the rattling, though, from a couple of the windows and also the brake clunks. Have lost 2 of the stock tires from sidewall punctures - too expensive to replace so am now putting Yoko AVS ES 100's on for almost half the cost of the OE tires.

    Agree about the A/C seeming to suck a lot of power - how would I go about getting the underdrive pulley / how expensive ??

    Had a run-in with a blown tire from a semi which ripped out the driver's side 'slide out' portion of the air dam and also cracked it in a couple of places - any suggestions other than full replacement of the dam?

    Again, thanks for the information and comments everyone.
  • davidd5davidd5 Member Posts: 79
    The underdrive pulley is a custom made from a guy in cali. Does real quailty work. Open your e-mail address in your profile and I can send you some info.
  • junglegirljunglegirl Member Posts: 1
    The detachable piece of my front bumper (which prevents damage when towed) dislodged after I hit a deep pothole two months ago. I was able to reinsert it, but it started coming loose again and eventually fell off while I was driving. I recovered the piece, but am not sure that it is salvageable because it is bent out of shape and badly scratched. Has anybody else had trouble with this piece? Is this expensive to replace? Any suggestions?
  • pml27pml27 Member Posts: 4
    I've posted this in the regular Aerio SX owners forum as well, but haven't really spoken w/ anyone that has the same issue or solution.

    Any suggestions are appreciated:

    I have an Automatic 2002 Aerio SX w/ 41k on it, and I have had an ongoing issue w/ my 'service engine soon' light. Occasionally the light will come on and my car will not shift properly. It will start off in what feels like 3rd or 4th gear, and I will have to manually shift from 1st to Drive to get any power. Eventually the car will begin to shift on it's own.

    I have had 2 input speed sensors replaced and a TCM but it still does this.

    Also my 'service engine soon' light doesn't always stay on, and due to the design of the Aerio, I was told no codes are stored in the computer once the light goes off. (I am a computer programmer and this makes absolutely no sense to me, but that is besides the point. It must be a way to keep them from having to fix cars.) So needless to say, many times I've taken my car into the dealer and they find nothing, and tell me to come back when the light is on. This usually happens for me after work and they are closed, and once I park my car for the night it cools and the light goes out.

    I notice the problem mostly in early evening after a cool morning and the car has sat in the sun all day while I'm at work. It has happened after the car was warmed up as well, while I'm driving it. I noticed on later models there is talk of an engine cool light and shifting issues, but my '02 doesn't have that light, only the temperature guage lights etc...

    My dealer has been unable to solve for 2 years now. Any suggestions?
  • lugsterlugster Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Aerio Sedan, manual transmission. I have also had a rattling in the right dash?/door? I was planning on taking everything out of my glove box and driving it to see if it still ocurred.

    Also had brake noise at slow stops --> told the dealer and they said there was a bulletin for it and they put clamps on the calipers (no charge). So far, no more problems.

    The major problems we have had are with the transmission. It was 6 months old when out of no where it starting slamming/grinding when put in 2nd gear. Brought it in to service--they were going to replace the transmission, california sent the wrong transmission 3 times! Service dept. decided to replace 2nd & 3rd gears and parts associated with it instead. Did that, and car was shifting very poorly. 3rd was stiff, overall felt like car was 10 years old.

     Brought car back in, replaced transmission assembly. On way home from picking car up---5th gear on highway made a "waw-waw-waw" noise. Only happens on highway, only 5th gear. Service manager drove the car, called the sound "droning" and said he would have the suzuki representative drive it to see if it was normal for suzukis to do that. I told him we did not hear it or have any problems for 1st 6 months of driving car. He said the rep. would be here in 1-2 weeks and he left a voicemail with him. He also said he would call us when he knew what day we could bring the car in for the rep. to drive it. That was March 30th, 2004. We still have not heard from anyone!!!! It's now the end of June!! It's been 3 months!!!

    I am documenting all of the problems we've had with the car and the poor service and mailing it to corporate. Before now, we have called the Suzuki Customer Relations Phone number in the warranty manual and complained a few times about the first issues and the service dept.--they don't seem to care. when we have the 1st problewms w/ 2nd gear slamming--the service manager told us to keep driving the car skipping from 1st gear to 3rd while we waited 3 weeks for the trans. assem. to arrive (he said we were replacing it anyway!)
  • galvanizegalvanize Member Posts: 3
    I'm a little late joining this discussion, and you've probably fixed your clunk by now. However if you haven't, I might be able to help. I own a 2004 manual trans Aerio sedan. I too was experiencing the "clunk" going over bumps, from the front of the car.

    The first mechanic didn't admit it was a problem, and basically insulted my blondeness, but another mechanic at the same dealership, when I brought the car in for an oil change, fixed the problem without me having to ask.......said the "swaybar" was loose and he tightened it. Since then I haven't heard or felt the clunk.!!
  • galvanizegalvanize Member Posts: 3
    I own a 2004 manual trans Aerio Sedan and have been experiencing a rattling sound associated with acceleration.

    Dealership has basically told me "they have spent enough time on the car", and they can't find the problem.
    The rattling seems to happen when you hit the accelerator, and it is a quick annoying loud noise (sounds like something loose). I do use high octane gas, as I was told this could be the infamous "ping", but the car still rattles.

    The noise reminds me of my old toyota tecel, when the valves went-- the embarassing noise being one reason I got rid of it----- now my brand new car sounds like this! Yikes!!

    Other then handing the keys over to the dealership and saying "keep it till you fix it", does anyone else have this problem or could lend some insight into some possible solutions?

  • librarychicklibrarychick Member Posts: 2
    I've done some searching of the message boards, but haven't seen any mention of this problem.

    My car (automatic, 4WD) all of a sudden one evening in late May 2004 started being extremely sluggish. It felt like I was driving with the brakes on. I checked the emergency brake, but it wasn't on. The car made horrid groaning noises and didn't want to accelerate. When I removed my foot from the gas, the car came to a rather quick stop, without me pressing on the brake pedal. Putting the car in reverse, it did the same thing. Acceleration was almost impossible. There was a nasty burning smell as well. Also the brake pedal was very stiff and wouldn't go down very far. The car at this point had almost 15,000 miles on it.

    I ended up having it towed the next day when the problem recurred as it just wasn't drivable. It (of course) didn't perform this problem for the mechanic the next day, but after I described the problem, they ended up bleeding off some of hydraulic pressure. The exact description on my receipt is as follows:

    A cust states the brakes are sticking.
    Cause: Brake pedal rod is mis-adjusted causing hard brake pedal and restricting vehicle movement. Adjust brake pedal rod and retest (OK)

    I didn't have any more problems until last night (August 8th). Did the exact same thing. I was fairly close to home, so limped there with my hazard lights on, cringing all the way. I got home, pulled in the garage and got out of the car only to notice smoke coming from the right front wheel. Got back in the car and moved it from the garage to the driveway. The wheel (not tire) was still smoking. Horrible smell as well. As far as I can tell, the brakes are sticking again. The brake pedal was also hard again.

    Drove it to the dealer this a.m. with no problems. Got an appointment for Thursday. Not sure how I'm going to make the car misbehave for the mechanic. It currently has about 17,000 miles.

    Has anyone had similar problems? This seems to be way more than the brake clunking problem that was much discussed. I've already had the rear differential replaced at about 10,000 miles. I'm not very happy with this car right now!


  • librarychicklibrarychick Member Posts: 2
    I do not have ABS brakes.

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    I have had this exact problem in another car before. It was a failing brake master cylinder. My problem was also intermittent but it usually acted up after the car was driven for a little while. Another possibility is a collapsing rubber brake hose, but I'm 99% sure your master cylinder is the problem. You could potentially make the car act up by pressing and releasing the brakes as much as possible before heading to the dealer. Next time it happens, take it straight to the dealer, unless you know for sure it is closed. Maybe document the problem by taking a picture of smoke coming off the front wheel. Good luck and let us know what fixes it.
  • sanjoaeriosanjoaerio Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with the bumper piece, but I have no idea when it came off. At the dealership they asked if it had been towed. NO, it hasn't been towed. I didn't follow through from there.
    THEN... I saw the exact model,color,etc. I thought I'd look to see if his was missing, sure enough, it was gone. The guy saw me at my car and looked at mine for the very same reason. He also pointed out that his windshield was cracked, not by any chips. I got his number and we plan to go to the dealership together.
  • lianaliana Member Posts: 3
    Hello, i'm a bit of a hands on mechanic my self and i had the same problem when i bought my 2003 model. i found that all the front suspension was loose and needed to tighten every bolt to 40ftlb with a torque wrench if u have someone handy a think dealers are useless so i investigated the problem for myself the suspension is now quite.
  • lianaliana Member Posts: 3
    Hello, i cought mine falling off in the act. there are to plastic clips underneath that hold it on,wen you go out driveways that scrape the front bumper it takes them off. i put some self taping screws in to the back of it and it hasn't moved for the last year that i have had the car.
  • lianaliana Member Posts: 3
    hello, i have 18' (215/35 ZR18) chrome rims on my car and i have no problems with them, speedo is only out by 5km/h (3.2mph). Slight loss in power 1-2hp, which is expected.
  • bcbarrettbcbarrett Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem and recently took it to the dealer to get repaired. They kept it overnight as they couldn't find the source of the clunk, but felt it wasn't safe to drive. The next morning they called me and told me several bolts in the suspension had come loose and they re-torqued them. Problem solved.
  • merlin8254merlin8254 Member Posts: 1
    I have had an intermittent problem with my 2003 Aerio SX, that started occurring about 3 months after I purchased it.
    The transmission sometimes will not shift into 4th gear (overdrive). The first time I had a problem, I was driving 55mph, and the car shifted down into 3rd. It was about 8 minutes before it went back into overdrive. This was on a level surface.
    The latest event was this weekend, when it would not go into 4th, for about 45 minutes. In all instances, the overdrive was never turned off.
    The Suzuki dealership cannot find a problem, and went so far as to suggest that the car must have been cold. Please! After 45 minutes? I am not in the Antarctic. They also made the suggestion that the rpm's would be high driving 60 mph. Granted, it will be a little high with only 4 gears, but not 5000+ rpm.
    Has anyone else experienced this sort of problem or have any suggestions?
  • onglidepathonglidepath Member Posts: 6
    YES, I had the same problem last week with my 2003 Aerio SX with automatic transmission, and the car has 7700 miles on it! I was cruising I80 west about 150 miles east of Reno at 80mph with the cruise control on. Going up a hill the cruise made the transmission downshift. It never "upshifted" and I couldn't make it upshift. So, I cruised at 75mph at 4000 RPM into Reno and gassed up. Upon leaving Reno, the car was just fine. It seems to me that when I turned the engine off at the gas station, that "reset" the transmission shifter. No problem with it since. Does anyone have any experience, explanation or remedy for this "problem"?
  • mohdmohd Member Posts: 1
    I experienced the same problem with shifting to 4th gear. After driving for a while it is normal. I am not sure what should be the RPMs at 70 MPH. mine are about 3000 but my Toyota runs at about 2300 to 2500 with a smaller motor.
  • hwyguyhwyguy Member Posts: 1
    I drive lots of rental cars and the wavy lines are very common in all makes. I find the factory windshield to be very tough and I have had several larger rocks bounce off with little to no chipping in the last 35,000 K. The only concern I now have is my 5 speed transmission which failed yesterday. It spit out the LH drive CV twice but Suzuki is jumping right on the problem and replacing my transaxel without any delay as well as providing alternate transport. The bad tranny is not good but the service has been second to none so far.
  • bingerbinger Member Posts: 2
    I have an '03 SX. Love the car, but have has a shudder at 2300 RPM (55 - 65 MPH). One sad thing I've learned is that Suzuki does not seem to care much about after-sale service to the customer. I've had the car back for the problem several times and the shudder is still there. Service people and Suzuki rep seem to care less. Good luck!
  • dsclaydsclay Member Posts: 1
    Get those brakes fixed now.

    Have 2003 Aerio. Had brakes redone 10/03 and again this month.

    As far as the ac goes. Am waiting right now for a new compressor. Has been noisy for a while.
  • khammondskhammonds Member Posts: 1
    Every single Aerio I've seen in my area has that piece missing. They aren't too sturdy. I've gotten mine replaced from the dealer - about $35. They mounted it permanently so if I ever have to have it towed (which, with all the problems I've been having with it lately wouldn't be a surprise) the piece would have to be replaced yet again.
  • aeriohawaiiaeriohawaii Member Posts: 3
    What is the width of your 60s-series tires ?
    Where did your get your under drive pulley from ?
  • luvmyaccord5spluvmyaccord5sp Member Posts: 61
    **I am posting for a friend**

    Has anyone noticed abnormal brake pad wear? My friends’ front pads on her Suzuki are @ 35% with 20,000 kms (12,000 miles) on the car. She has a 5 speed and doesn’t drive hard… say 80% city (basic traffic here, nothing like grid-lock). Why I ask is that my Accord has 50% left on it with almost twice the mileage on the clock (mind you I’m 50-60% city). We drive similarly and they are both 5 speeds. If this is unusual wear, can she claim warranty? Thanks for any help.
  • aeriofallingapaeriofallingap Member Posts: 14
    1. My 2003 Aerio pings and pings and pings .... even super gas will not stop it in the summer months. After opening the engine 3 times, Suzuki can't fix the problem. (I hear this is a very common problem with higher millage Aerio owners)
    2. The inner CV joint fell out of the manual transmission!!!!! I talked with a number of transmissions experts. All said "thats impossible ..there isn't enough play in the drive shaft to let it slip out..its got to be a design error". I payed for this one ($1,400.00) even though Suzuki USA has a technical bulletin warning about "Drive shaft pops out", Bulletin # 06284
    3. The brakes clack and grind even after the "new and improved" brake shims were installed. How many brake pad revisions will be required before they get it right???? (lots of tech bulletins on this one)
    4 The remote entry system died. Key fobs and control unit were replaced. (another technical bulletin from Suzuki Canada)
    5 Had the fuel temp sensor in the gas tank replaced.
    6. The seatbelt retractor needs help getting the belt back in.
    7. Both front wheel bearings were replaced under a technical bulletin by Suzuki Canada .......the passenger front bearing failed again less than a year afterwards.

    Thanks to the reliability of my 2003 Suzuki Aerio, I get to drive a lot of new cars...... mostly rentals .

    When it comes to issues that are clearly caused by defective parts or poor design, Suzuki Canada's attitude is ..... thank you for buying our nightmare ... will that be cash or credit card?
  • aeriofallingapaeriofallingap Member Posts: 14
    My left hand drive CV dropped out too. it wrecked the splines at the end of the CV shaft and chewed up the matching splines of the spider gear inside the transmission (manual). So ...the transmission was removed, spider gears, bearings seals and one inside CV joint were replaced. I checked with a few certified transmission technicians. None could understand how this CV could simply drop out unless the spring ring is substandard. (Welcome to CV joint 101) .... Most inside CV joints are held in place by a retaining spring ring which expands after the splined end of the CV shaft is pushed through the spider gear in the final drive. It takes a significant amount of force to remove that CV joint once the ring is set. (The use of pry bars are not uncommon.) So, how does an inside CV just pop out??? Read Service bulletin #06304 which is available from for a mere $2.50 (US dollars) This service bulletin is issued in the USA (not in Canada ) on this problem. Suzuki Canada and its dealers are playing dumb on this one. (whats new, eh?) I don't know how Suzuki USA treats these issues when they happen after the warranty is over .....but in Canada its "will that be cash or credit card sir?"
  • socaljasonsocaljason Member Posts: 1

    I have this problem currently and am attempting to record the sound while driving using my mini-disc recorder. I would describe the sound as a flutter/clattering sound that happens when I slowly accelerate in third gear. Yes, it reminds me of valve sounds also, but I'm not a mechanic.

    My engine has already been replaced under warranty when my oil pump failed (before the first oil change) was in the shop for 28 days. My attorney says that when it hits 30 days within the first 18k, it could qualify as a "lemon"

    Same thing with me too regarding the dealership. I think they see the 28 days and get a flag or something that tells them not to hold the car in the shop. I will keep you posted, did you ever have your problem solved?

  • chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    I'm not a fan of Automatics but in the suzuki case I would avoid the manual. It has been a sour spot for many years. I do not know who supplies the gear box for Suzuki but it is not uncommon for them to have to be rebuilt a few times over the life of the car. Go onto the European forums where most cars sold are manuals and you can see the high number of failures.
  • jiminyjiminy Member Posts: 1
    Our two-year-old Aerio's been an absolute gem since the day we drove it off the lot. This evening, my wife called my office to say the gear lever was "acting weird." When I got home, I checked the stick and it was literally hanging limp, as if it had been completely disconnected from the gear selector fork. The car was operating perfectly only a few minutes earlier. Anyone hear of such a thing?
  • suzukiheadachesuzukiheadache Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Suzuki Aerio. The other night I was driving my car on cruise control (approximately 65 MPH).. then all of a sudden the stick shift popped out of gear. The temp gauge went up. Nothing is leaking from the outside and the radiator isn't hot but there's fluid leaking on the inside floor on the driver's side. When this started I was also able to hear a hissing type sound inside the car. Does anyone have any idea what the problem may be?
  • davidd5davidd5 Member Posts: 79
    I would say you have blown the heater core. As to why it popped out of gear,I really can't even guess.
  • suzukiheadachesuzukiheadache Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response davidd5. Does anyone have any idea where I can get price quotes on replacing a heater core? Is it hard to do yourself or is it best to get it done in the shop? How does the heater core blow out anyway? As you can tell...I don't know too much about this type of stuff...

    Any information would be GREAT!!!!
  • frozentundrafrozentundra Member Posts: 8
    I've never heard of a heater core blowing but I have heard of them clogging up with corrosion. Once clogged up they restrict flow and the pressure can build up and cause the hoses to burst or leak.

    This can sometimes be cured by having the cooling system flushed at a garage. if not, then the core needs to be replaced and this should be done by a mechanic also. Any reputable mechanic can do this work for you - although you may want to stick to a Suzuki garage to get OEM parts.
  • davidd5davidd5 Member Posts: 79
    Think of the heater core like a small radiator. It has fins and two side tanks. As the air is blown through the heater core[from the heater fan],heat is transfered the passenger cabin. So just like a radiator can leak,the heater core can leak. The heater core is located inside the car,so this is why you noticed coolant on the floor. Replacing the core can be a pretty big job on some cars as the dash has to come out. The Aerio is one of those cars.
  • jrubinjrubin Member Posts: 1
    Mechanic stated the rattle is normal for 2003 Suzuki Areo SX. Stated the problem is a inexpensive cover with bushing. Can anyone assist.
  • dmmaddoxdmmaddox Member Posts: 1
    I may be a little late on this reply but I took my car to the dealership today to have it re-aligned (pulling to the left). Also, mentioned to them that I heard a "flutter" sound when accellerating. 20 minutes later, they tell me there is a "major engine problem" with the rods. They said it was an internal problem and nothing I did caused it (unless of course I had driven it real hard and not replaced fluids, etc). Said it ballpark figured to be $5000 to repair (Thank goodness I bought an extended warranty - bought 9 mo. ago used now has 41K miles) !!! They are putting a new "short block" in it. Said it wasn't safe to drive in current condition. YIKES! Anyone else w/ this problem?
  • ca770ca770 Member Posts: 16
    I took my 2003 SX in today, the service guy said that the noise from my break is NORMAL, especially when applying break while in 1st gear and reverse. He said the clunking noise is caused by "the break pad is trying to fall into the calipers". Smeone mentioned that there was a bulletin for this problem, I couldn't find it. I need advise!
  • albyseenyaalbyseenya Member Posts: 1
    In response to the rattling , I'm having a similar sound, but the noise happens when I deccelerate and only when the car is warmed up, it sounds like a loose exhaust, I removed the heat shield but the noise is still there so I'm going farther underneath maybe by the cat converter not sure I don't know if this is your problem but I'll let you know what I find.
  • themadhatterthemadhatter Member Posts: 4
    :sick: yeah i have had that problem, my lil sister backed into my aerio in my dads cherokee and broke the plastic piece that holds it on. Before that i backed outa a driveway that had a curb on it that was too steep and yeah it busted off. I am afraid to find out what its going to cost to have fixed....anyways other than that i love it. Oh yeah and i did do a pretty cool lighting mod under the dash...put those red honeycomb lights you get in like advanced underneath the dash. Wired em with a fuse and a switch right into the fuse box. Now im tryin to rig up some aftermarket fog lights. :shades:
  • ca770ca770 Member Posts: 16
    My 2003 Aerio has only 7000 miles, two weeks ago the engine developed a new problem - CHOKING on the first start in the morning. The RPM runs extremly low around 200-300, it feels that there is not enough fuel going into the engine. After choking for 5-10 seconds everything becomes normal. Last Sunday, the engine finally stalled (the "check engine" light did not come on) but started right away on the second attempt. I took it into the dealship twice already and they told me they cannot duplicate the same problem, therefore, there is no problem with the car. What could be the problem? Thanks :sick:
  • roadyroady Member Posts: 1
  • larrysparkslarrysparks Member Posts: 4
    I just bought a 2005 Aerios SX 5 spd and just in last few days have had need to run the AC and my passenger side floor pan front is flooded. Any ideas. The condensate doesn't seem to be vented to the outside!

  • larrysparkslarrysparks Member Posts: 4
    We have owned our Aeiro for about 4 weeks! When the air conditioning is turned on it collects about 1 - 1 1/2 inches of water in the passenger side floor pan. It doesn't vent to the outside. Anyone know what to do about that?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Your AC drain hose is either clogged or the hose has detached from the exit hole in the floor. Take it to the dealer and they will clear the debris or reattach the hose. If you park your car outside, try to keep it away from trees that drop lots of leaves because they get into the dash area through the vents at the base of the windshield and will reclog the hose. Good luck.
  • larrysparkslarrysparks Member Posts: 4
    I took it to the dealership and it was a disconnected hose from the condensing unit. Seems to be fixed.
  • larrysparkslarrysparks Member Posts: 4
    You were exactly correct. Took to the dealership and it took about 5 minutes and it seems to be ok.
  • nicksimonnicksimon Member Posts: 6
    I am currently looking at buying a new car. the aerio first caught my eye when i had to choose which rental car i wanted. i chose an aerio sx. it rode great and had a great deal of power for its size. i wanted to know if this is a reliable car. is it problematic. i am only 20 and am on a budget. i need a reliable car thats new and gives a good bang for your buck. is this it or will this car be horrible and cost me alot in repairs. can someone please give me an opinion or two. i would really appreciate it.
  • evenstevenevensteven Member Posts: 8
    The Aerio would absolutley be a reliable car to buy. I love the way suzuki builds thier cars. Except one thing, stay away from the Manuel transmissions. The automatics are very good but suzuki is well known for thier crapy Manuels. If you are planning on buying a 2005 model, that is a newer design and I dont know if that one is good or bad. But I would get an auto just to be safe. The Aerio also gets really good gas mileage for how much power it has. I drive a Suzuki Esteem, it has been extreemly reliable. The engine runs like new, unfortunatley it is a stick shift and my tranny went out on me 2 months ago. So I am going to swap in an engine and automatic transmission from an Aerio.
  • fidelblancofidelblanco Member Posts: 1
    hi i just recently bought a used 2003 suzuki aerio gs(sedan). im having the hardest time locating either a turbo or supercharger setup for it. as well i cant seem to find an aftermarket header. any help would be appreciated.
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