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Chevy Tracker



  • Steven:

    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 Posts: 4
  • oilzoilz 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!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • As I understand it, you can get warranty service at any Chevy dealer you want, not just the one where you bought the car. So if a dealer's treating you badly, I'd complain to GM and go to another dealer.
  • I see here several complaints about manual transmissions but none on automatics. Any problem with them? Also, I was wondering how owners are finding the ride and the pickup, especially with the automatic?
  • tim98tim98 Posts: 16
    I have a 99 Tracker 4wd conv with 6000 miles. The car has been in the shop twice with engine mis-fire problems, once for a faulty fuel gauge, once for the brake light recall and four times for a rattly tensioner pulley. One week from the last repair, the tensioner pulley is rattling again. Chevy is reluctant to approve a buyback. My concern is will this car last? So far, the car likes the Chevy Service Dept more than it likes the highway.
  • We own a 96 Tracker and as of now we have 65,000 miles on it. Has it been reliable? Basically, yes. We did have to take it in for a problem with the 5-speed wanting to die on us. We had it in the shop twice and we still have this annyoying problem. It is not as bad as it was but still once in a while it dies. Other than that problem, I cannot say it is a bad vehicle.
  • tim98tim98 Posts: 16
    The Lexington Ky Area Vehicle Manager has denied a buyback. The avm refuses to give me his phone number to contact him for questions. It appears customer service communication is only one-way. As long as the car is running, the avm will not refund my money or replace the car. The avm keeps asking me for another alternative to satisfy me. I do not understand what he is asking for.

    I am very disappointed with Chevy and GM for the treatment I am receiving with this problem. I would be happy with a replacement vehicle. But, Chevy would rather lose a customer than admit they built a car with flaws. I am pursuing the matter with the Attorney General's office. I will next contact the Better Business Bureau and next an attorney if necessary. This car clearly fits the Kentucky definition of a "lemon".
  • tim98tim98 Posts: 16
    The Lexington A.V.M. re-inspected my Tracker. I made sure he heard the awful rattle coming from the front of the engine. I offered to pay the difference on a trade for a new 4x4 S10. I offered to let Chevy make a profit from the trade. The A.V.M. refused to sell me a new vehicle at a profit. The A.V.M. did offer to extend my warranty to 100,000 miles. I did not have time to find out the details. If the warranty means giving up my lemon rights, I will not accept the offer. I will continue my pursuit of a buyback. The paperwork from the BBB arrived yesterday. I will fill out all of the forms and mail it in this week.

    The A.V.M. does not listen to my plea why I bought a new car. I bought a new 4x4 to increase the odds of making it to work without a problem. I had hoped the car work function properly and make it through the snow. I have not had a chance to drive in snow yet. But, I do not have the confidence the car will run properly to get me to work and back without more problems.

    General Motors has already lost. I will no longer purchase anymore GM products and I will encourage friends and family to consider other products.

    I still cannot believe Chevy will not trade me out at my expense. That was my one-time offer. They turned it down, so now I will continue the legal battle.
  • I might buy a 99' tracker and I was wondering if that would be a wise decision considering all of the things I have read. It is a used one. I need a vehicle for winter, and this is the only place that will take my motorcycle on trade this time of year. I'm not sure how many miles are on it, but I know they are low. It is a red five speed 4x4 convertable. It seems to be in exc. shape. They are asking 13,000 for it. My brother-in-law told me to make them take 7.5% off the sticker price. I need some help on what to do in dealing with this car.
  • I would suggest you find out WHY!!! someone traded in a '99 Tracker, the 2k Tracker is the same vehicle. I don't know what state you are in but, our lemon law has a gray area, stating the vehicle, if it is a lemon, can not be resold in "Ohio" but it does not exclude other states, and from what I have heard most state lemon laws are worded the same.

    My '99 Tracker w/6k miles is going back in to the dealer AGAIN for the 8th time. On 01/03/00. The belts are slipping again!! Just had them replaced 500 miles ago. 3rd gear has already been replaced 1st and 2nd are bad now, AND I can not shift into 4 wheel drive on the fly. I have to come to a complete stop!!

    My Tracker is a LEMON. I have a couple friend who have Trackers w/no problems. So who knows what the deal w/the Tracker you are looking at is. My Tracker is a 2 door convertable with no extras, just the 4 wheel drive and I only paid 14K brand new.

  • Thank you for your assistance Klucho. When I go to the dealer I will try to find out was has been replaced, if anything. I will also try to find out why they have already gotten rid of it. I can't remember if they are allowed to give out information on who owned it before, but I would like to ask the person about this vehicle. I am very appreciative of the info you gave me. I hope if I would happen to buy this vehicle; it won't give me as much trouble as yours. I hope you can get all of your problems with it resolved.
  • I paid 12400 for my leftover '99 2 months ago. You might be better off buying new now because of the large (at least $2000) rebate and the urgency of the dealers to get rid of leftovers. Use the GMbuypower web site to search on the vehicle you want. That's how i found my 4x4. after locating the dealer with the vehicle you want, call them and explain you want to trade a motorcyle. I think you'll be surprised with the response!

    FWIW my tracker has a cassette player and the larger engine so it wasn't stripped! sticker was 15750! they'll deal if you do your homework!
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