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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008



  • easy2t2easy2t2 Posts: 31
    I have been waiting to see if the GV was going to get a new (or different) engine for 2007, but at this point in time, I think it would not happend. No updated V6, no diesel.

    Too bad, I think an outdated engine is the only problem with this otherwise fine SUV.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I haven't seen the Motoring episode yet because I have to tape it, and I'm still learning how to use our new DVD/VCR combo.

    I understand what you're getting at about the new GV. But I think we have to admit the sales figures show they made a good decision as far as the market goes. Given their background, the new GV could hardly be doing better than it is unless they were giving them away in cereal boxes.

    And in most of the world, the need for a product such as you'd like to see, is covered by other Suzuki models such as the Jimny. When you look at the GV's sales last year in North America, it's easy to conclude there's not enough people who want that sort of car.

    No bad vibes yet with our GV.

    BTW, someone's trying to get an '06 GV exclusive website going here:
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I watched the entire episode of Motoring 2006 for this week, and no segment on the GV. So I checked their schedule, and the entry for it has been replaced by the report on the Honda Ridgeline.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Are you looking for the long term road test? If you go to the Motoring 2006 website, "test drive", then scroll down to show 11 and the GV has a short video.
  • pciro2180pciro2180 Posts: 43
    Hi everyone,

    Does anyone else notice that all of the reviews on the GV say it is a great car except for one thing...The rear door opens towards the curb? Well, they tell Suzuki to get wit hthe program, but then why aren't they bashing the new Rav4 for the door opening the same way!!! It is like Toyota is a god that they don't want to upset or something fearing retalition. just my two cesnts on the subject,and I would love to see what the rest of you think.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    If that's the most serious issue, then the GV is doing well.
    I can't see the door opening on the curbside a big deal unless you do all your shopping in a big city where you park by a curb. When has anybody done any grocery shopping, home improvement store, mall, etc. and parked in a street?
    I think it works well because the door opens on the driver's side and you can walk right to either door when the rear door is open.
    For me personally, it works great when it's parked in the garage and the door opens so that I can unload and walk into the house without walking around an open door.
  • pciro2180pciro2180 Posts: 43
    I agree totally, also it is pretty obvious that they made it for a right handed driver. It would be so un-natural to open it from the other way because I would have to get out of the way of the door, and come to think of it, I don't think I have even seen a car that the door opens from right to left, have you? And budman, you are correct, if this is the only issue, then I am happy, compared to the issues I had with the Suzuki Verona I just traded in, I am just happy that Suzuki discontinued that and they are getting ready to ditch the Forenza as well, to end the GM/Daewoo issue cars.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    It would be a bit of a problem for me since my garage is on the "wrong" side of my house, and since roads are crowned, there's some risk of the door swinging open pretty fast at the curb (although I've never heard anyone complain of a sprung door).

    It's not a huge deal, but I still don't understand why the manufacturers don't move the hinges for North America - they don't have any problem moving the steering wheel and controls over.

    People who want to dis the Honda CR-V bring up the rear door a lot. :P
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I'm perfectly happy with the side the rear hatch opens on. Yes, it's "in the way" when parallel parked, but not the rest of the time. And usually we're not parallel parked. I'd rather it be hinged at the top, but not at the expense of adding a spare tire carrier or putting the spare inside. I also completely agree that reviewers are far more critical of it on the GV than the Rav4 or CRV. Maybe they have to complain about something, and can't find much else on the GV. There are one or two suv's that have the hatch hinged on the other side, domestics, I think, and I can't recall which at the moment.

    Don't worry about it swinging open too easily. It's actually unusually resistant to being opened. It closes easily, though.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    No surprise [to me] if there are no different engine options for '07. Suzuki never has moved that fast in the past upon intro'ing a new model. Way long in the tooth, even the previous generation Vitara, (the four cylinder model), was kept in the lineup one additional year to be used as "a vehicle" to help move the last of the OLD 2.5 liter V6 Grand Vitara engines out the door, (much like the New Grand Vitara is currently used to do likewise with the 2.7 engine, (for how long?). HOWEVER, if all new, new GV owners out there are just pleased as punch with the way that mill responds to the application of the right foot, particularly say at 3/5ths throttle and above, on varying up hill freeway mountain grades like here in the Norwoods, (with the automatic transmission too of course, so you can get the low range transfer case), well, if they all dig it big time, why not just keep screwing the 2.7 together adinfinitum as long as they can keep attracting more new owners to the brand?

    Or, is the unqualified MARKETING success of this new model really the chief yardstick by which it ought to, and will be measured, on down the road? To me, again, only time will, (and it WILL), provide us with all those answers.

    In the meantime, on other engines/models elsewhere in the world: The Jimny is a direct ancestor of the Samurai. Fully agreed, too small and Samurai like, it could never sell here in today's market. What other 4wd model is there is out in the rest world besides the new GV, (xostnot)?, I don't know of one, do you?

    Diesels elsewhere, and in the new GV. As folks with keen vehicular interest(s), we know the VW TDI mill well, and therefore are great admirers it, right? Then we also know there is an optimally equipped, (for OR duties), diesel powered, HIGHLY ECONOMICAL new GV elsewhere. Why not here?

    I think the old prejudice against diesels, (in the New World), ought to/will become history sooner than one may think. Guess what vehicle won the 24 hrs. of Le Mans this year? How about a,(get ready for it), DIESEL POWERED!!!

    On to a hypothetical, (or is it?). Say more fun stuff happens over there in the Middle East, and guess what, whatta ya know, it affects gas prices, M O R E.....

    Now fast forward to [whomever] thinking they need an economical new SUV, (say about two years hence). Sure, the all new GV has it's SLIGHTLY more economical, (than the 2.7), all new 3.2 liter gas engine by then. But also imagine if there was a diesel engined one there on the lot too. One that gets approx. 36mpg city highway combined. Don't you think my buds, there could/would be a market for them after all, even here in North America?

    A couple of other things. First, it's always been the case that YOU/we have to be careful of what YOU/we
    DON'T ask Suzuki for. Why? Often it seems nearly impossible to get what YOU/we do want, (to see happen with the brand), no matter how hard YOU/we might ask for it....
    Secondly, I wonder, do you suppose any of us might live long enough to see THE NEW RETRO manifesting its self in form of SIMPLICITY of vehicle design/engineering and function, all committed towards the precept of yeilding maximal fuel efficiency at the end of the process, thus replacing todays marketing glitz and glamor as first place in importance? By default, as world wide energy resources are depleted, I do. So just sitting back and waiting for all this to happen, while being dealt out [only] the hand those marketing types want you or I to buy, (just suffering this gladly from any manufacturerer!), is looking more and more antiquated an equation each and every day, in my book.

    It just might be on sites like this, we can affect some of those positive changes, while remaining aboard our favorite ride(s)?

    PS: A four cylinder all new "Vitara" model wouldn't sell? No reason why not in my opinion if it was simple, economical and tough off road. Whoa!, here I am talking NEW RETRO yet again. Why not...

  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    To answer your question about "true" small 4x4 suv's, there is the Liberty. Until recently available with a diesel. But unfortunately from DC. Doesn't the Santa Fe have a low range? I don't know much else about it.

    It could be that we won't see diesels here until we have cleaner diesel fuel. Then again, who knows what's conspiring against this by Big Oil, Big Car Makers, Big Politics etc.

    Been reading up on "Peak Oil" recently. I've known about this problem for many years, but I didn't realize how serious things could get. Never mind driving Jimny-like cars, the survivors may be doing well to have bicycles. Which we would be using far more if we want to delay or avoid the looming collapse. In that sense, what engine the GV has is largely irrelevant.

    No doubt some accountant decided economies of scale did not justify 4-cyl and diesel versions in North America. Yet.

  • dclark2dclark2 Posts: 91
    I make no bones about the fact that I don't own a GV or that I think the current motor is an outdated gas hog. The outgoing CRV looks more economical, but even that sucks down gas.
    For perspective, the vehicle that I'd be giving up is my 50mpg Jetta diesel wagon manual five speed. I only see the cost of fuel going up.
    Each day, I am more and more scared to replace my diesel with a gasser that gets less than half the mpg....
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Agreed, and well done re: your choice of ride. Still stickin' with the Zuke brand here, (for now), since the manual 5 speed Esteem wagon gets us down the road @ 37mpg. Likewise, I can't get my mind around the idea of piloting a new GV, much as I basically am physically attracted it's great body and oh so comfortable cockpit, etc., given those long term "high maintenance" mileage figures....

    Then again maybe xostnot (you've) got it right? Afterall, there's no small 4 cylinder VW TDI powered SUV cousin offered along side it's larger Toureg stablemate. Still with no apologies necessary, (before), Suzuki historically made it's reputation selling a distinctly different product. Namely a real SUV, albeit one which traded glitz and glam in favor of stock out of the box OR capability, while returning decent mileage figures with it's four cylinder models.

    Still, (xostnot), I feel it was not so much the oft seemingly mindless dictates of the North American marketplace that killed the 4 cylinder Vitara. Remember, there is still an '07 4 cylinder Honda CRV due out in October. But instead, by allowing the Vitara to grow so VERY long in the tooth, Suzuki assured the demise of it's 4 cylinder SUV all by it's self. Had similar efforts been made to ALSO redesign and significantly upgrade the woefully inflatable toy look Vitara, while improving it's performance, and dare I say it?, even enhancing it's fuel economy at the same time, (yes, other mfgrs. can pull this off, so why not Suzuki?), well, if, if, if, I think "it" would also be selling well out there on the lot alongside the new GV.

    Instead what do we get? A tarted up, (though doubtless improved), Chev Equinox, (the "all new" '07 XL-7), as an answer to a niche marketing question which, who or whom, (I'd ask?), was asking [of Suzuki] in the first place???? This is the future for Suzuki?

    Suzuki needs to start [yesterday] to communicate better with it's customer base about where it is heading, along with getting serious about soliciting input from it's clientelle. Particularly it needs to get serious [also] in the area of fuel economy, if it hopes to hold on to it's current gains in the North American marketplace.

    Saw a piece the other day rating the Suzuki website as last place in terms of effectively dissemenating info out there into cyberspace. ALL of this, (and more), needs to change, or ultimately many of us will be changing [driver's] seats.

  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    This is the improved GV with more power, but I doubt the fuel mileage is any better. ;)
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  • rszaborszabo Posts: 13
    g'day to you all. Here in Oz there are no suzukis sold with diesel engines either. Suzuki with a decently made diesel motor would have captured the Australian market compared to the toyota ravs and honda CRV and nissan xtrails. makes ya wonder about some sort of conspiracy between petroleum comapanies and car manufacturers. My 4WD suzuki grand vitara 2006 is going like a beauty - and I am taking it over some goat tracks (much faster than I should be driving) in my quest for the ultimate landscape photo. Sticks to the dirt goat tracks like glue. However, I would have to agree the vehicle is pretty heavy on the petrol. Cannot fault the ride quality on the 16" bridgestone duellers. Suzuki needs to extract their digit and start selling their vehicles with diesel engines. I hope they read these posts. Replaced my standard CD player with a JVC DVD MP3 player/radio and have now unfortunately lost the ability to control volume etc through the steering wheel controls - any suggestions or kits/connectors that you could put me onto in the USA or Canada would have to be worth a carton of good Aussie beer. Take care Xostnot and Norwoodsmn.

    Cheers from Dowunder
  • vitara4mevitara4me Posts: 35
    Well, I called "Suzuki of America" in Brea, California. (The number is 1-800-934-0934 in case anyone needs it) About a week later they called me back and told me that the original dealer (who now sells only Subaru) will finish the repairs.

    Ok then, that still does not fix my vibration issue and melting floor.

    The melting floor I can take care of myself, by building heat shields out of aluminum plate (available at Home Depot). I will just cut and bend pieces of aluminum plate around and above the exhaust system and that takes care of that! Of course, it costs me money out of pocket, but this is just a design flaw plain and simple. I would like to see the exhaust system on a '07 Grand Vitara to see if the heat issue has been addressed. It would be nice if Suzuki would reimburse me for any money spent fixing THEIR problems.

    Vibration: The vibration certainly feels like drivetrain. If I accelerate to 55-65 mph, and immediately put the auto trans in neutral, the vibration goes away. It isn't wheel balance. It isn't the torque converter. I'm beginning to think that it isn’t the driveshafts either. This feels like engine harmonics. Perhaps a weak cylinder? Maybe a couple of collapsed lifters? Partially clogged fuel injector? Poorly designed fuel rail/ return system? Crappy engine management software? I don't know. I'm still working on it. If the dealer can't find the vibration, I will. The hard part is ruling out major components such as transmission and engine. I have to narrow it down.

    I will keep all posted on my progress. Even if I do find a solution, I may still trade it in or use the lemon law. It really all depends on how I am treated by Suzuki Corporate.

    Right now in Chino, California it is 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius). I wonder how many Grand Vitaras are melting their floors as I type this?

    Regards, Vitara4me?
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Sorry to hear about your problems, Vitara4me.
    The melting floor still sounds like Suzuki's problem from the original issue. I wouldn't bother with heat shields until they correct their problem.
    We just made a trip from Lake Havasu,Az to Vegas this weekend and it too was over 110*F. We were fully loaded, A/C on and cruised at least 70mph without any hot problems. With the majority of highway driving, we averaged just over 22mpg. That was actual mpg, not reading the cheezy digital gauge.
    Let us know how Suzuki takes care of your issues.
  • dclark2dclark2 Posts: 91
    This comes from what I know about my GM v8's, but it would apply to your car.
    Excess exhaust temps (egt) is causing your floor to melt. This is probably caused by excessive leaness in your fuel mixture. It could be one cylinder or more than one.
    To prevent this, manufactors often dial in extra richness into the mixture (I know for a fact that VW and GM do this, everyone else probably does) to preserve the cat converters. Extra fuel reduces egt.
    I have read numerous stories of people who with the help of software, leaned out the mixture and got more mpg and hp. A few of these people have also gotten melted cats!
    The outside temp should not affect your condition. Drive your zuke hard then look at the cat in a dark garage. If it is glowing red, then that is not normal. If I was a 'zuke mechanic, I'd get an infrared temp gauge and compare the temp of the exhaust coming out of your zuke to others that are still stand ing on the lot. I'd also test the O2 sensors as these can cause these problems. Other things that cause your cats to over heat via excessive leaness include too much alcohol in the gas and a bad gasket somewhere.Don't insulate the floor as that is a bandaid solution. If your car is running hot like that, I guarantee you that you will have more problems down the road, like a blown head gasket.
    As for the heat in your area, well, keep mind that most every car company in the world torture tests their cars in Death Valley. Even Alfa Romeo (who hasn't sold a car in the U.S. for years) has brought in cars to the 'states under the karnet program and has used to Death Valley to shake down their cars. Last week, it hit 126f degrees there.
  • vitara4mevitara4me Posts: 35
    Hello budman3. You can't smell it burning, nor can you actually see the floor melting. To check to see if your floor has melted, remove the floormat from the drivers footwell. Now look at your floor. It should be completely FLAT. If there is any depression, however small, in the floor under the gas pedal, then you have melting issues.

    To be sure, you can check the floor yourself without removing the seat. Just lift up the carpet.

    There is a plastic "door sill plate" that you just grab with your fingers and pull up till it pops loose. Then remove the two black round plastic carpet retainers behind the brake pedal. (they unscrew counter-clockwise). Next, remove the "dead pedal" by simply pulling up till it pops loose. Now you can lift up the carpet and take a look at the big white piece of foam (this melts last), and the black, gooey tar like sound insulation (this melts first). If there is a small black stain in your carpet (where the heel of your foot rests while driving), then this is the tar like material leaching into your carpet.

    If any of you that own a 2006 Grand Vitara with an auto trans live in a warm or hot climate you really should check your floor. I can't be the only person out there with this issue.

    regards, Vitara4me?
  • pciro2180pciro2180 Posts: 43
    Well, right past Baker, CA is a steep grade, about 40 miles long, to the top of the pass. I was driving in the slow lane (the same lane that the 18-wheelers use), about 65 MPH. The GV was in third gear revving about 6,000-6,500 RPM.

    In my mind, you might be the only one that has this problem, as no one else seems to be having it. What were you thinking pulling a trailer for 40 miles at 6500 RPM, redlining the car up a steep grade???? Most vehicles under those circumstances are going to get a very hot catalytic converter. this car by far is not made to do 6500 rpm up a mountain for 40 Miles!!!! You are very lucky that Suzuki did not deny the repairs since you were redlining the car. Be lucky you weren't driving a GM or Ford vehicle, because you probably would have blown the engine!!!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You can't smell it burning, nor can you actually see the floor melting. To check to see if your floor has melted ...

    From your description it doesn't seem that actual melting is occuring. Rather, it sounds like the floor is softening. Of course, neither melting nor softening should be happening.

    tidester, host
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Vitara4me, I pulled up my carpet and saw the foam in perfect condition. I could see the black glue that holds it down but it seemed to be fine. There isn't anything on my carpet.
    We haven't towed anything. I think we talked about this before and I agree with pciro2180. I wouldn't tell Suzuki too much about what you were doing, but they should be able to tell from the computer what the engine was operating at during that situation.
    Sort of off subject, but I've been denied warranty because of "flashing" my GM trucks computer and a lift kit. Manufacturers are getting smart and denying claims to people putting aftermarket kits on their vehicles.
    I was even asked by a Ford dealer if I put a K&N filter on my Mustang. If the oil from the filter gets on the MAF sensor and burns it out, warranty denied.
    Dclark, I have a question. If the engine is running lean, wouldn't the exhaust manifold or pipe get red hot? OK, 2 questions. If the catalytic converter was red hot wouldn't that be an indication of too much fuel/hydrocarbons and the cat overheating or working too hard? Maybe one bank is running lean and the other rich and also causing a vibration.
    Has anyone scanned your computer or even checked your tailpipe for emissions? It seems something should be very obvious.
    I hope you get it figured out. Let me know if you need me to look at anything else. Budman
    P.S., it was a good weekend in Vegas. Deuces wild!$$$
  • vitara4mevitara4me Posts: 35
    This is in response to pciro2180:

    The Grand Vitara only has 184 HP. With the family and luggage in the car, and with the trailer in tow, it puts quite a strain on the engine. You posted, "What were you thinking pulling a trailer for 40 miles at 6500 RPM, redlining the car up a steep grade????" The Grand Vitara has an automatic transmission. I CAN"T force it to up-shift into a higher gear. The Suzuki chooses the gear and I have no input. Even if I lifted my foot off the accelerator, the trans still would not up-shift (another problem with the transmission shifting logic/ software). If the engine had just a little more HP and torque, I would not have had this problem, as I would have been in a lower gear. How many of your owners out there have even attempted to tow with your Grand Vitara? You are in for a big surprise!

    You can only drive so slow on an Interstate Highway. Even at 65 MPH, I saw Toyota Tundra with a huge boat in tow, passing me as if I was standing still! Also saw a Hyundai Tuscan pulling a U-Haul closed trailer and he passed me no problem. Most people drive between 85-90 MPH on the way to Vegas. Most of the highway is in the middle of the desert and it is mostly flat and strait. I was TRYING to keep the speed at 55-65 MPH because I had a trailer in tow, and the Grand Vitara chose either 3rd or 4th gear to go up the hill. Yes, it was revving quite high, but if I lifted my foot enough to let the trans up-shift, the Grand Vitara would damn near came to a stop on the hill. When I tried to lower the RPMs, by lifting my foot off the accelerator, the Grand Vitara slowed to 40 MPH!! Sure, the engine is now at a happy 4,500 RPM, but now I am in danger of being rear-ended. Unless you have towed up a hill with your Grand Vitara, you really can’t chastise me for what happened.

    When I asked the dealer if I could tow with my 2006 Grand Vitara, the answer was, "Yes". According to the sales brochure, I can tow. The Grand Vitara tows just fine on a perfectly flat road, but it does not pull well on hills; not at all. It just does not have enough power or torque to get the job done properly.

    I did tell the dealer about the high RPM, and how the trans would not up shift. Even the factory rep told me that his company car (2006 Grand Vitara) does not sometime up-shift while accelerating up a freeway on-ramp. The rep stated that sometime you have to lift your foot slightly to get the trans to shift. So there is some sort of problem with the trans shifting logic. The Grand Vitara is a "Drive-By-Wire" vehicle. What this means is that there is no "throttle cable" between your foot and the engine. The gas pedal is an electronic device, like a volume control, that tells the computer how far to open or close the throttle. There is a little electric motor on the intake manifold that actuates the throttle. Somehow, there is a problem with sensor input to the trans computer, or the programming is way off.

    My Grand Vitara is a very early model, built in 2005. I will be driving a newer 2006 or a 2007 soon to see if any of these problems have been addressed.

    Regards, SkyRedline4me..
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Vitara4me, AKA, Skyredline4me, How does your GV feel during normal driving? Does it have enough power? Maybe with your engine issue, you may have lost alot of power. You may have also "melted" the inside of the converter.
    I've been driving into a head wind and going up a slight grade and the trans would shift in and out of overdrive. I've found it better to just leave it at #4 until conditions change. I've found that my Honda and truck with 200hp more than the GV does the same thing on the same road so I never really found any fault with the GV.
    Maybe the next time you're in Vegas, we could meet for a couple free beers and swap GVs.
  • vitara4mevitara4me Posts: 35
    Hello budman3. The dealer replaced two of the three cats. There are two "pre-cats" on each down pipe coming out of each head. The main cat, I was told, was fine.

    Too bad Suzuki couldn't bore and stroke the 2.7 a little more and make into a 3.0 or a 3.2 liter.

    Is your a Luxury Model with the 5-speed auto? I would love to swap GVs and compare. I have another home in Henderson, so I could meet you at either the Sunset or Green Valley casinos. I try to avoid the Strip as much as possible as the tourists clog it up with traffic. Even the Fiesta would work.

    When I test-drive the GV with the service tech, they always say, "What vibration are you talking about?". And I reply, "the vibration that is causing the rear view mirror to dance". Am I the only person that can feel this?

    Perhaps you can drive it (a non-biased, non-Suzuki employee), and give me your honest opinion. I don't know how to give you my contact info in a way that the whole world does not see it.

    I did go look at the new Saturn Sky. What a beauty! The Redline version does not come out until October.

    Anyway, I pick up my GV today at the ex-Suzuki dealer (they sell only Subaru now) and they pretty much repaired all the damage they caused putting in the new carpet. Four of the plastic pieces that they had damaged were ordered, and came in the wrong color. So they have to re-order them....again. Plus, my new floor mats came in the right color, but they ordered mats for an XL-7! This time they told me that they are just going to give all the correct parts when they come in, and I can have them and install them myself.

    Wow, the saga continues......... :cry:
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    I have the Luxury auto 2wd. The plastic parts aren't very flexible. I broke some of the pieces trying to remove the rear seat.
    We looked at the Vue but haven't been a fan of Saturn since having the displeasure of owning one of their cars.
    My daughter goes to college at the International Academy of Design and Architecture in Green Valley. We bought her a condo while she goes to school and had so much fun we bought one out in Summerlin. We rarely go to the strip. The locals are more fun.
    Maybe we can ask one of our very kind hosts to intervene and share our info. :shades:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Invite each other to be CarSpace friends and you can use your CarSpace email to correspond (Vitara4me is already up and running - sign in with your Edmunds user name and password Budman and you'll be set).
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    This parts ordering foul-ups really give you confidence in them, doesn't it.

    Anyone with vibration problems who has had the tires dismounted for any reason, should know that Suzuki matches up not just rims and tires, but matches how the tires are mounted on the rims. They rotate the tires and rims with respect to each other, to cancel out imbalances, before doing the final balancing. That's what the colored dots on the sidewalls are for. Making sure the dots stay where they were is important if you want that great vibration-free sensation that our GV came with.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    That's crazy with the balancing. Remember when you would just go and get 4 new tires on your car and you were good for 50k miles?
    You would think by today they would have a decent product without having to go through so much trouble.
    I have had my oversize truck tires rotated on the rim to balance them properly, but you wouldn't think it would be a problem with 16" or 17" tires.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I suppose, but I think our expectations have gone up. Now we expect to have completely vibration-free steering wheels, whereas at one time it was normal to have vibration, and to be sawing away at the wheel all the time to keep the vehicle in a straight line. (Still is with Ford vans.)

    As consumers we tend to go for lower prices, so the manufacturer can provide us with smoother rim/tire combinations made out of cheaper/less precise rims and tires by matching them up like this.

    Part of it is that there are a few things that give an impression of a quality vehicle out of all proportion to the real quality of the vehicle. One is sound levels, which can be dealt with by acoustic insulation, and the other is vibration, which can be dealt with partly by carefully matching rims and tires. The vehicle could be a pos, but if it's quiet inside and smooth, it will seem nice.
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