Chevy Tracker

maria7maria7 Member Posts: 1
I think these SUV's used to be by Geo are they
essentially the same car and if so I am looking for
any Tracker owners out there...How reliable are
they? How do they drive? Seems like everyone has
a CRV or Rav. ARe you happy with your tracker? Mdp


  • luckyduckieluckyduckie Member Posts: 1
    I bought a new tracker in April. I really love it. The only bad thing I can say is that it is slow. Does not go up hills at a good speed.
  • scheelescheele Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I'm interested in buying a 4WD Tracker, However I live in Wisconsin and heard they are very poor in the snow. Any comments appreciated.
  • mtenamtena Member Posts: 58
    Don't know about the snow issue (I live in sunny CA), but I bought one about two months ago. I got mine for about 4,000 under MSRP - dealers really seem to be discounting heavily to move vehicles. The relatively weak engine is the only thing I don't like, but it wasn't a surprise. In my opinion the 1999 Tracker is a decent value and a big improvement over earlier models. Stay away from the small engine (I got the large one). I wanted to use my GM Card earnings, or I might have looked harder at the Grand Vitara. The GV's six cylinder was disappointingly sluggish, based on my test drive. Considering fuel economy, I can live with the 4 cylinder, 4WD. But I don't have to drive a lot on high-speed freeways or hills...
  • pookie88pookie88 Member Posts: 1
    We just purchased a 1999 Tracker on Tuesday evening (2 door, 4WD convertible w/the 2.0 liter engine). Can anyone give me a more recent reliability update on any aspect of this vehicle? I apprecaite it!
  • cosmo2cosmo2 Member Posts: 61
    I bought my 4-door Tracker in April and now have over 4,000 miles on it. No problems with the fresh air/recirculating control, vibration, shifting, squeaks, clutch, air conditioning, remote locking, rattles, loose vents, or water leaks. In fact, I've had no problems at all. Seems like this Chevy is free of the problems plaguing the Grand Vitara.
  • teqsterteqster Member Posts: 1
    we purchased a tracker new back in 92. It has been a GREAT investment. It now has over 98,000 miles on it. As for in the snow, last year we had a storm that dumped close to 20 inches of snow. I was passing explores, and blazers that were stuck on the side of the road. I think the key is the darn thing is so light that it doesnt get bogged down....when this one dies we will def. be looking to get a new tracker
  • tlamatlama Member Posts: 1
    I am interested in flat-towing a Tracker behind my motorhome. Is this possible without having to disconnect the driveshaft? Also, if so where can I purchase the base plate to attach the towbar as I do not want to use a tow dolly.
  • DREWALIDREWALI Member Posts: 1
    I looked at one of these yesterday.I was very impressed!I'm six feet tall and the vehicle seemed very large.The quality seemed real good,visibility great.My only concern is the slow engine. Because I have not driven it yet.The concept is great.4wd with great gas mileage.
  • risqillyrisqilly Member Posts: 1
    I believe there is some info in the manual; you can put the 4x4 shifter into neutral to tow it.

    I bought my 99 4 door in April, love it, no problems at all!
  • rmoorhourmoorhou Member Posts: 4
    I don't know what all the complaints are about the 1.6L engine being slow. I just returned from a trip through the mountains of Western Maryland and PA with mu '98 Tracker. I had no problem topping any of those mountains at more than the legal speed. 95% of the time I was in 5th gear. Occasionally I would have to use 4th. Only once, on a particular steep, twisty mountain did I have to go down to 3rd, but I still topped it at the speed limit in 4th. Even with all these mountains I got over 31 mpg. My 93 Ranger with the 3.0L engine and 5 speed couldn't climb these mountains as well as this Tracker does. I was constantly down shifting with that truck, and it wasn't 4WD.

    Before the Tracker, I had a 95 Sideckick JLX 4 dr. with the same engine. Here again it would perform flawlessly in these mountains.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy the small engine. these engines are nearly indestructible. I know of a number that have over 200,000 on them and still going strong. These are abused vehicles that are used for severe off-roading. Both of mine have performed better after getting 10,000 miles on them; much more peppy than when it was new.
  • gscrogginsgscroggins Member Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing a used 1996 tracker. I live in a rural area and have to drive about 25 miles in the winter to work. At times the roads haven't been plowed. Currently I drive a 1994 honda accord and could easily be killed. It handles terrible in the snow. Does anyone have any advice. I am a single mom and don't want to spend alot. (20-30 thousand) Is out of the question which is why I am considering a tracker. Thanks
  • emmett1emmett1 Member Posts: 20
    Dear gscroggins,
    I would recommend a Tracker to you. I have owned 2 of them, a 1990 Tracker 4x4 convertible, automatic as well as a identically equiped 1993 model. They are very relaible, and between the 2 of them I put on over 100,000 miles. I did nothing but change the oil every 3,000 miles, as you would with any car. The 93 version was leased, and after the lease a friend of mine bought it and has put roughly another 30,000 miles on it, and they too have been trouble free. No car is perfect, and you need to have some sort of idea about previous maintenance if you are purchasing a used vehicle, but I would recommend the vehicle without any fear.
    The 4x4 worked great, and got me through the Blizzard of 93 without a single problem. Good luck single mom....and maybe if you find a convertible, the kids will love it all summer too.
    Have a great day....and don't forget to look up the value of used Tracker at Edmunds and before purchasing. If you know how to drive a 5 speed, you should try and find a model with that transmission, as they will be even more inexpensive and easier to maintain.
  • emmett1emmett1 Member Posts: 20
    Excuse the typo..the word is reliable, not relaible..sorry, typing isn't my best
  • denise23denise23 Member Posts: 1
    Can you tow a boat behind a tracker?
  • coralreefcoralreef Member Posts: 1
    Yeah, I want to know about towing too. According to another informational source I saw, they can tow 1500lbs, but when I looked at the options list I didn't see a towing package there.

    So can someone who has towed something with their tracker tell me how much it cost to get the towing hardware, and where they got it from? Also how well did it tow? I'm looking at the 4dr 4WD tracker because I can get a good discount through my credit union...
  • tommixtommix Member Posts: 1
    I am buying a Tracker tomorrow and I checked on this. It is a special tow hitch that the use. Not a GM part.
  • susa4susa4 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 4 door hard top Geo Tracker that has been flawless in performance, reliability and value. I am very interested in the new Tracker convertibles but hate to give up my hardtop. I have had many different types of vehicles over the years and the Tracker is tops! The problem with a 1.6 engine stated by others has never been experienced by this driver. The Tracker has plenty of power within ranges of legality.
  • tj12tj12 Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if a tracker can be outfitted with a small plow just to plow out my own driveway ?
  • hurtubisehurtubise Member Posts: 9
    Not recommended for such a small vehicle. The first year the new Ford 150's were out plowing would void the warranty, and that is a much heavier truck. Plowing is hard on the transmission, esp. a standard. My 2 cents a snowblower!
  • mkrebsmkrebs Member Posts: 3
    You mentioned being interested in the Tracker convertible, but don't want to give up your old Tracker hardtop. GM produces an accessory hardtop for the Tracker convertible. It is shown in the Tracker brochure and on the Chevy website. No idea about its quality or cost.
  • jeffj5jeffj5 Member Posts: 1
    Saw the earlier towing question, I'm looking to buy a Tracker and I would occasionally be towing a 500-600 pound jet ski. The only negative thing I've heard so far is the possible lack of power, can anyone tell me whether they've had any experience towing items, and whether the engine power has been an issue? It would be over rolling hills, no mountains.
  • coffeeholiccoffeeholic Member Posts: 1
    I wanted to ask if any owners have small children that sit in the back seat of their trackers. My husband and I are seriously considering purchasing either a 1990 or a 1994. Believe it or not, they are both listed at the same price! Do you find that your kids have enough leg room sitting in the back, and how comfortable it is. For the owners who have either the 1990 or 1994 models, can you give us some advice on what to look for while doing a pre-purchase inspection, as well as any problems or pet-peeves that you have with these vehicles. All input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • susan40susan40 Member Posts: 2
    we don't have children, but my husband's 6 year old niece sat in the back of our 1996 tracker and loved it! I sat back there myself and thought it had more room than first appears. You sit higher than in the back seat of a car. Ours has been very reliable so far (owned for one year)
  • bouybouy Member Posts: 14
    My new tracker vibrates at about fourty miles an hour. This vibration seems to come from the front end. Has any body else experiencd this problem! My dealer did not check this out yet.
  • elswifeelswife Member Posts: 1
    I am comparing a Tracker (99 or 00) and a CRV. I would like to know if the Tracker really stands up to its reputation? We have four small boys, and I don't know if it will be roomy enough for them for the next couple of years...before they drive it themselves.
  • alleykat2alleykat2 Member Posts: 1
    I am looking into purchasing a Tracker, a vehicle have always wanted but I here they roll really easily because they are so light, has any one had a problem with this or heard anything about this? It is putting doubts in my mind about purchasing this vehicle.
  • jenishcrjenishcr Member Posts: 2
    The Trackers that are said to roll easy are the old style models, 1998 and older not the new models.
  • susan40susan40 Member Posts: 2
    i do not believe that trackers roll that easily, but they are not sports cars! their target audience is first time car buyers, young, who would be more inclined to drive too fast and especially to take corners too quickly. a side note-apparently gm refused to market the samurai because of the rollover factor. but trackers are not as narrow so not as inclined to tip.
  • mycroftmycroft Member Posts: 3
    I have driven my 99 about 6000 miles now and have never felt like it was prone to roll over. The only problem would be in an emergency; swerving hard, spinning around, etc. -- but that's true to some degree of all SUV's.
  • bouybouy Member Posts: 14
    I bought my new Tracker from Paul Conte Chevolet of Free Port, New York. The truck seems like a good design. I have no problems on how it drives or accelerates. The four cylinder engine is very fuel efficient but will not win any trophies for speed.
    What I don't like about the car is I think it is a lemon. I first had problems with the break lights. Then the car started making vibrations. The dealer is trying to tell me this is normal! The most pathetic problem is with the outside body moldings. The moldings are starting to fall off at each end. The dealer said they can pull the moldings off and re-glue them! I know this is little stuff but it should not happen to a new car. Had anybody else had problems like I do? When I bring it back to the dealer it seems to me like they dont really care.. they just have my money and that is it!
  • speakspeak Member Posts: 1

    I just picked up my 1999 4WD, 4-door Tracker. Funny that you mention the brake light problem. The only problem I've had so far is a bad brake light switch. Fortunately, my wife was following me home the day we picked up the new Tracker, and she was the one who noticed that the brake lights did not come on when I would stop. I, of course, was a bit peeved with this. Kind of dangerous, and definitely something that should not have escaped the showroom. All they had to do was replace the brakelight switch, and it was fine. I'm sort of discouraged, though, that they let the car get out with this problem. All in all, aside from a lack of power, I'm quite satisfied with the '99 Tracker. I'm getting about 24-25 mpg, and that's with a lot of hills up here in the Poconos. At speeds of 55 mph or greater, or when the rpm goes to about 3500, I switch to overdrive (and back again when I fall below 55 mph). I'm curious to see how it fares in the snow, in 4WD. I've heard good things about previous Trackers in the snow, so I'm expecting the same or better from this one. If anyone out there has info about the '99s in 4WD in snow, please enlighten us.

  • haserhaser Member Posts: 4
  • oilzoilz Member Posts: 1
    Dear gscroggins,
    my wife and I own a 2-door '96 4WD tracker
    (5 speed)and have about 60,000 miles on it.
    most of the time it is run in 2WD, and because
    we must have broken it in right, gets about
    30 MPG! I have nothing but praise for this car.
    In 4 wheel drive, it is very sure-footed and will go just about anywhere. We love this car!
  • steve42steve42 Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I have been considering a new vehicle
    for a while now (okay mostly me). I test drove a
    Tracker around town and was impressed at how
    comfortable it was and how solid it felt. I also
    had the chance to tour the plant where they make
    them at Ingersoll,Ont., which also left me with a
    favourable impression of the vehicle. I`ve read a
    number of postings concerning the lack of power,
    but I`ll reserve judgment on that until I take a
    full test drive. What concerns me more at this
    point is whether or not the Tracker will be large
    enough to live with on a daily basis. We have a
    three-year-old daughter and we like to go camping
    in the summer (tenting). If we take along a fourth
    passenger, will we have enough room for a cooler
    and the other outdoor essentials? If anyone has
    thoughts on this , I`d appreciate reading them.

    Thanks, Steve
  • clintonjohnclintonjohn Member Posts: 99
    i have a '92 tracker with the 1.6 liter engine. very pleased with it. bought it new in 8/91 for $8500. completely stripped model-no AC(its a convertible-what do i need ac for?) no rear seat($400 option and i'm driving so what do i care if they're comfortable back there)and 2wd. Now have 165 thousand miles on it with relatively few problems. exhaust lasted five years before being replaced. typical routing maintenance-very religious about oil, coolant, plugs, etc. only semi major repairs were water pump at 150k and catalytic converter at about the same time. only complaint is from passengers that the ride is extremely bouncy and somewhat uncomfortable. would imagine the new 4 door models would be better. will probably drive it till it dies. think i got my money's worth.
  • clintonjohnclintonjohn Member Posts: 99
    also as far as towing-with my engine, i think its rated for 1500 pounds of towing. never tried, though. also, while its not a corvette beater, i haven't been overly disappointed with acceleration. if you understand what its physical limitations are and accept the fact that you wont be doing 0-60 in 5 seconds, you'll be ok. i think the acceleration is certainly adequate, but i also have a manual trans which i think makes a big difference, especially in how you perceive the acceleration. auto trans just seem slow to me almost no matter what car you have
  • teddyjteddyj Member Posts: 3
    I have a 99 4 door tracker with 4 wheel drive. I've had it for four months and about 3000 miles.
    The quality seems good so far. No major problems, but I do have vibrations throughout the vehicle at 47 mph and again at 59 mph. Above and below those speeds everything is OK. One other thing, when the automatic transmission downshifts, it seems to get "stuck" in that lower gear. It doesn't shift back. The dealer says it's a common complaint for the tracker and Chevy is working on it.
  • bouybouy Member Posts: 14

    My 1999 Tracker vibrates when I slow down from 45 mph to 40 mph. However it does not vibrate when I accelerate to 40 mph. Is this what you mean by downshift? It seems to me you have a similar problem as mine? Also did you speak to customer service about this problem, they did not tell me anything about this vibration.
  • teddyjteddyj Member Posts: 3
    I am describing two different problems. 1)My tracker vibrates going at steady speeds. 2) When I go up a hill (especially with the air conditioner on) the truck downshifts, usually TWO gears, and revs the engine to around the 4000 rpm mark. At that gear and engine revs the transmission gets "stuck" and does not shift back to the 3rd or 4th gear (overdrive). The Chevy dealer called the factory and was told that they were aware of the problem and that it was a common one, but the solution was not simple. The computer that controls the transmission could be reprogrammed, BUT the change would have to be approved by...the, the EPA?... since it would affect mileage and emissions, etc.
    My wife drives the Tracker and loves it, but these little things drive me nuts.
  • chall3chall3 Member Posts: 1
    I'm a mail carrier and thought about purchasing a 99 4D 4WD Tracker to deliver the mail in. (Eventually we would move the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals to allow me to drive from the right side, after warranty is out) I need occasional quick acceleration to get out of the way in dangerous traffic areas. I was curious to see if this vehicle would hold up to driving a lot of gravel roads, bad driveways, etc. The price difference from Jeep is about 12 to 15 thou.
  • gone2seagone2sea Member Posts: 33
    Since the Tracker is essentially the same vehicle as the Suzuki Vitara, why don't you call the folks at Suzuki and see if you can get one that is made for sale in Japan? That way the steering and pedals are built on the right side as you need and the vehicle is covered under warranty. Besides, if this vehicle is for official USPostal service, you may be able to work with some folks on any EPA stuff that might need to be done. I drove a Vitara and a Grand Vitara and purchased the GV because I wanted to be able to tow a small trailer at 65mph without much engine effort. But the Vitara seemed just as competent in local traffic and accelerated well onto 50mph highways, including situations where you were making a left turn across several lanes of traffic and merging up to speed. But that was the Vitara and I don't know if the Tracker gearing is identical or not.
  • erheathererheather Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at a 2000 Tracker but I can't find any crash tests or safety info? Does any one have any experience with a crash of a 99 or 00 Tracker?
  • mitzi7dmitzi7d Member Posts: 1
    i'm completely flexible about what year of tracker i'll buy. for this reason, i'd like to know the range of prices for given models/ also, does anyone know where i can find a concise list of pros and cons about the tracker? thanks.
    [email protected]
  • kunderdahlkunderdahl Member Posts: 1
    I see that many people here have had good luck with their Trackers. Alas, my '92 2wd had many problems. At 60,000 miles one of the camshaft retension screws vibrated loose and destroyed the head (read: very expensive). I noticed that those screws tended to loosen on the replacement head as well until I secured them with locktite.
    There were also many problems with interior materials breaking (too many to list, basically almost everything), and as others reported the water pump died at ~150,000 miles. I traded it off at 155,000 and in dire need of a valve job (on a head with just 95,000 miles on it).
    I've had similar material quality and valvetrain problems with the only other Suzuki car I've owned: a Metro. Resale value for my Tracker was pitiful, to say the least.
    If you ask me, get a Jeep. Parts are readily available and much more affordable, material quality is vastly superior, and the resale value can't be beat. Resale alone makes the Jeep worth the extra $2-3000.
  • tlqtlq Member Posts: 1
    I've had great luck with my Tracker. We bought it used with 20,000 miles on it 6 years ago. To be honest, I didn't expect much from a Chevy vehicle. Today it has 141,000 miles on it and is still running strong. We've done basic upkeep- tuneups and oil changes, but little else. I'd say Trackers are definately dependable vehicles. I delivered papers in it for a year too- great for messy days!
  • kluchoklucho Member Posts: 4
    My brake light switch went bad also, my tracker was 2 weeks old. Fortunately my father drove home behind me from my sons football game.I called the GM 800# they wanted to tow the car to the service department and give me no alternate transportation, they did advise me though that this was a very common problem with the 99 Tracker. My spouse was a body shop manager for 20 years and he first bipassed the brake light switch to make sure that was what the problem was, then pulled the mechanism, the problem is a design flaw. The highly paid engineers who designed the thing made it so the connections float loosely in the cylinder, mine actually turned sideways in the cylinder. He repaired it and then I took it in to have it replaced under warranty. The service department was not happy at all that he had made my vehicle SAFE to drive. TOO BAD!! I also had a bad 3rd gear that would grind when I would shift down from 4th. They also replaced under warranty. I had a Geo Metro for 7 years and 97k miles prior to this purchase. It also had a manual transmission, the manual transmission on my Tracker is much more stiff and does not shift as easily as my little Metro did. Overall I do like my Tracker and living in the snow capital of Ohio (we have already had 6 inches of snow this year)the 4 wheel drive is great. It handles very well on the narrow rural road I have to drive in the snow where we can't use salt. I have no fear of rollover, I get no sense of pull when I take a turn. I would have liked a more synchronized manual transmission though.
  • jcoughlinjcoughlin Member Posts: 2
    klucho,my '99 tracker appears to have similar problems with the transmission. how many miles did you have on it when you brought it in? also did the replacement tranny shift smoother? will the transmission shift smoother after a few thousand miles? i know...alot of questions.
    did you also have problems with any other gears?

    Thanx in advance...jfccac
  • kluchoklucho Member Posts: 4
    In response to jfccac, I purchased my '99 Tracker w/44 miles on it, it had about 1,200 miles on it when 3rd gear started grinding, (like I didn't have the clutch down)only on the downshift. They replaced 3rd gear the plate and the synchro. I was just at the dealership last night as 1st and 2nd gear are becoming difficult to engage. My significant other (a car guy) drove the Tracker for the first time @ the dealerships request, he says the transmission feels like a "crash box", The service dept. keeps telling me there is nothing wrong w/it. So the salesman took it for a drive and then asked me to go w/him on the 2nd drive around town. I watched him have difficulty putting the car in 2nd, but he claims (still) there is nothing wrong w/it. I don't think it will get better with mileage, my Tracker is progressively getting more difficult to engage in the other gears, especially when it is cold, and it gets cold here. Unfortunately the dealership that had the vehicle I wanted has a reputation for having a substandard service dept. They even had the audacity to say I didn't know how to drive a standard shift and insisted they watch me drive the car,(I am woman), all my vehicles in the last 15 years have been manual transmissions, '84 Honda CRX, '88 Ford Escort Wagon, and a '92 Geo Metro, never had a problem, never replaced a clutch or any part of the transmission. Needless to say I was a little perturbed, but I drove it for them and showed those guys I have no problem driving a 5 speed. (JERKS!) The explanation they gave me was that I am used to driving a small weight vehicle and the Tracker is classified as a truck, and therefore would have a heavier handed transmission. Again, I am sure that the idiotic statement was made because I am a woman. Other than the crappy transmission, the Tracker handles very well for me. The braking system and the power steering are very smooth, I don't have a problem with the little 1.6L engine not having enough pickup on the highway. Hope I answered your questioned along with blowing off a little steam.
  • jcoughlinjcoughlin Member Posts: 2
    I stopped at a dealership tonight. (my tranny loosens up significantly when it gets warm driving ten miles) of course they couldn't see any problem(drove about 15 miles). I've been working the synchros hard while i drive (either i'll break it or they'll loosen up!) and it appears, just over the last few days, that it may be loosening up a bit. I'll be paying alot of attention to the 2nd/3rd gear synchros over the next couple months. So...did they ever completely fix your tranny? and how is the 3rd gear shift now?
  • kluchoklucho Member Posts: 4
    3rd to 4th (the one they replaced)work perfectly, but again they seem unwilling to acknowledge there is a problem w/1st to 2nd. It may have something to do w/the fact that it would be the 4th repair on the tranny which would then come under the lemon law in Ohio. My Tracker has also been in for repair for 3 other items, brake light switch, loose belts, (squeeling) and a leaking roof, along with the 3 tranny repairs, 2 more visits for any repairs it will also come under lemon law statute. I have no worries as my Tracker was purchased 8/20/99 and the statute covers "standard warranty period" 3 years, 36k miles. So they either fix it or give me a new Tracker. If the service dept. at my dealership would have done what I told them to do, "replace the entire transmission" I nor they would have a problem now. Beside the fact that it is easier just to slam a new tranny on a car than it is to rebuild one w/a new single gear, all us manual shift drivers know, when one goes bad it screws up the other ones. I also have a very difficult time getting it into reverse on a cold start. the dealership claims that it is GM that won't allow them to replace the entire tranny, that they are required to "try to fix it first". So I will do the same thing as you drive it hard until they have to do something to appease me.
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