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Suzuki XL-7



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    All 2002 or 2003 MY vehicles require DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) I think a few manufacturers use the handbrake to activate them.

  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    Speaking of the hand brake, or emergency brake as some call it. Have you all noticed that this is not the old style brake where there is simply a wire cable that runs to one of the rear brakes and operates it manually?
    This one engages very sharply and abruptly via some mechanical means. Sometimes when I back a vehicle out of my garage, I just gently pull up on the e-brake while rolling back and then park it there. With this one, it engages with a BAM and stops very hard. I wonder what would happen if you engaged it while traveling at speed, I think it would lock up the rear wheels.
    I seem to remember on the Trooper board some discussion about the same type of set-up, Paisan, what do you know about these systems? I don't like it.
  • louxl7louxl7 Posts: 2
    I have had my XL7 for about 7 months now. Mostly a good little vehicle. However I do NOT like it's automatic headlights. Yes, the parking brake will turn off the daytime running lights, but it does NOT turn off the auto on headlights. If it is the least bit dark out once the car is started about two minutes later the headlights will come on, and it doesn't matter if the hand brake is on or off. This feature will make this car less desireable when I have to jump start my plow truck or tractor, as will happen a couple of times this winter. As far as the XL7 in snow, we got about 16-18 inches last week and it did very good. However I also have studded snows all the way around on here. They are 225/70-16's, I wish that I had gone with 215/70-16's these just barely touch the inner fender wells on full lock turns when starting up a hill. A Blazer with unstudded snows spun out on my driveway a few days after our last storm and the XL7 was able to be stopped on the hill while I checked out his tracks and then start to climb right up the driveway with almost no tire spin. 18,000 miles on her so far, and well pleased mostly, averaging 20.4 mpg
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm not sure how they work on the XL7 but from my subaru and isuzu knowledge, on those 2 makes, they all (almost all subies) have 4-wheel disc brakes, whichmeans that they have a different kind of emergency brake/parking brake system. Basically it uses a rear drum on the inside side of the rear discs and essentially has it's own pads for just the E-brake. Traditionally it used the pads for the rear brakes. On my Trooper I can yank it at speed without any kind of banging. Recently I was doing a "brisk" road rally event for SCCA with the trooper in sandy/dirt road conditions, and needed to use the E-brake often when making turns because the ABS would kick in and I couldn't do anythingwell with the ABS on. I've also used the E-brake athighway speeds without adverse effects. I also notice that it works a lot better as a parking brakes than the ones that use theregular pads.

    My guess if the XL7 has 4-wheel disc brakes is that it has a similar system, and by yanking on it, you are locking them up easily because the pads are rarely used, and grab quite well. These pads rarely get used (no wear if you only used it as a parking brakes)

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    is there a fuse youcan pull to turn-off the auto headlights?

  • I read an article in the Washington Post auto section a little while back and you can not disconnect the auto light system without making it so the lights will not work at all. I am sure youare aware this is a safety issue. It is a proven fact that cars with DRLs are safer than those without and your insurance reflects that fact.
    Anyway, good luck with the jump starting.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Lets not start a DRL war here. But as far as I'm concerned it is the operators responsibility to put his lights on when conditions are such that lights are needed for others to see you or you to see them. Too many times I've seen DRLs cause accidents because people drive with only their DRLs on at night "oh I can see perfectly" because DRLs do not activate your tail lights and people can rear-end you due to lack of rear light.

    On the subarus the DRLs are easily over riden with a jumper wire. I'm sure the DRLs are just as easily over ridden on the XL7.

    Also I think the poster was talking about the automaticly turning on of the lights via a sensor, not DRLs (2 separate issues).

  • zeke707zeke707 Posts: 74
    I never turn on my headlights at night...the automatic light sensor does of course and it also turns on my tail lights so I don't understand the last post?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There are 2 items being discussed Zeke, 1) DRLs on the XL7, and 2) Automatically turned on headlights/running lights.

  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    I'm not a big fan of auto headlights, but I do like DRL's. I think Paisan's concern of someone not using their headlights at night because they have DRL's is not an issue on the XL-7 (because it has the auto headlights), but it is an issue on a vehicle that does not have auto headlights for the reason he mentions (no tail lights w/DRL).

    The auto lights are not a big nuisance, but sometimes you don't want the headlights on at night. Like if your tailing someone or running from the law and you don't want them to see you (just kidding). But seriously, we have a holiday light show around here that you drive through. Everyone is asked to only use the running lights so you don't blind the folks in front of you. Well, DRL's are bad enough, but full auto lights make you look like an inconsiderate jerk.

    I do wish you could override the auto lights.

    Paisan, thanks for the explanation on the e-brake. I might try a careful engagement while driving, but I was afraid of it locking up and creating a dangerous situation.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Try it on dirt first, that way if you lock it up, the ground will have some give.

  • zeke707zeke707 Posts: 74
    Guess my point was at least with Suzuki, you can't run "with DRL on a night and not have tailights on", i.e., the auto lighting system turns on all lights, front and rear when required. I did not on consider or was aware other mfg's have DRL systems (only?)that can present a situation where you are driving with DRL such as at dusk, then it turns dark and you don't have tail lights (you forgot you needed to turn them on...the vehicle does not have auto sensing system). Been driving our Suzuki for 2 years and never used the light switch.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Jan 15th: Imports vs. Domestics: Is there a quality gap?


  • Yes, there is a quality gap and the domestics are on the short end of the stick. Is it a big gap? I think so. My XL-7 has not had one problem or recall. You can not say same for US competitors. The Escape has finally settled down and is doing well but the recalls were one of the reasons I purchased the XL-7 (plus it is a little larger). It may not be as fancy as the Escape, but it is better built.
    My mother passed away this December and I now have a 1990 Maxima with only 82K on it. I would drive it while visiting in Tucson and it is more reliable, rides better, and overall it is better and nicer than many of the newer cars put out by the domestic builders.
    I may consider another Ford (I own two: 94 Probe GT with 115K and a 99 Windstar SE that is replacing my 95 GL that had 135K till a man ran a red light and totaled it)in a few years after the "Nasser effect" is gone. He screwed Ford up so bad it will take a decade for Ford to recover.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Don't forget the probe isn't really an american car, it was a re-badged Mazda MX6, a great pair of cars IMHO.

  • I agree and that is why parts are expensive. However, it runs like a really fast greyhound. I drop about 1K a year in repairs but things ware out after 8 years and 115K. My dealer gives me a good break on the cost of repairs. My wife uses it to go to work and it is really great for merging onto the beltway here in the DC area and she moves and scoots (read heavy foot).
    However, she also like "MY" XL-7. She takes a few of the dogs in it and likes how it does in traffic.
    I see you are in New York. I get up that way on a regular basis--infact I will be up next week.
  • clay11clay11 Posts: 17
    Just as an wife's 88 Olds has an auto light system that activates front and rears via a sensor - same as XL-7. Credit to Suzuki for safety but the idea is not new. By the way...Canada has had mandatory DRLs for many years and there has been little outcry. Safety first!
  • I agree about safety and that is why I can not understand why someone would want to disconnect their DRL. I like the way the Suzuki system works. The one problem with it is if it is still fairly light out but still dark enough to activate the lights the display on the radio goes so dim you can not see it unless you manually brighten it up. For those who do not know you can push in on the radio on/off button and hold it for about three seconds. This will brighten the display. You have to do it every time. If you get out and turn off the truck when you get back in you will have to do it again. It took me about 30 minutes to find this out in the instructions. I was sure it could be done, but the instructions were buried in the radio instructions book.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    < rant > Why not add chips that do not allow vehicles to exceed the posted speed limit? This would vastly improve safety more than any DRLs could ever do, same goes for 100s of other things which are not "automatic" on a car. Why? Because it is the responsibility of the operator to know when he needs to put his lights on, if there is a low-light situation, or a glare situation where he can't be seen. Must we make everything idiot proof, and remove the responsibility from the users? < /rant >


  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181

    When: Saturday Jan 19
    Where: Pine Barrens (Lebanon State Forest, NJ)
    Meet: Intersection of Rte 70 and 72 near Whiting, NJ
    Time: 10:45-11am
    Who: AWD/4wd Vehicles (no 2wd please)
    What: Off-road Trail Ride through the barrens, will be fun for all, we encourage Subarus, Rav4s, CRVs, Isuzus, Highlanders, 4-runners, Santa Fe, Explorers, etc.

  • Get a grip guy. It would be nice if people did actually do what they are supposed to do behind the wheel, but they do not. It seems many people lose their perspective when they get in a car. You know the ones I am talking about. Like the one that makes a right hand turn from the left lane--through three other lanes on the DC beltway in the middle of rush hour and does not have the slightest idea that what they are doing is stupid and dangerous. I am not one of those that like government messing with our lives and in fact DRLs are not required in the US and are optional on many cars. It just happens to come standard on the XL-7. DRLs are a small price for a proven safety item.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have never seen any stats that definitely prove that DRLs are safer. You will still have the same idiots making turns etc. etc. Fix the driver, not the machine, similar arguement for gun-control.

  • clay11clay11 Posts: 17
    Geez, I feel like I have wandered into Montana (no offence to the wonderful folks in the midwest). DRLs do not dazzle or blind other than ridiculous high-placement driving lights on some Dodges and the high-powered lights on older Explorers. Besides, how many of you have actually driven - even if only for a few minutes - with your headlights off in a well-lit city area without knowing it at least once in your life? C'mon...truthfully own up. I know, we Canucks are just too darn nice and live in our own little world to understand the "real" pressures of motoring. Bottom line - the XL-7 is still solid machine even if the lights are idiot-proof.
  • according to Suzuki you can turn off the DRL by pulling a plug under the dash. I will do my best to explain which plug it is. If you stick your head under the dash on the drivers side you can see where the steering column passes thru the firewall. Towards the center of the vehicle side of the steering column there is a plug that is about 3 times the size of a phone cord plug, unplug this and you no longer have DRL. For the auto light system gently lift DRL sensor on dash(black circle on passenger side dash near window) Once the sensor and plug are pulled out of the hole, disconnect the plug, DO NOT LET IT FALL BACK IN THE HOLE! To prevent this tie a string around the plug and tape string end to sensor and replace sensor into hole. I apologize if this has been covered, if not I hope this helps. Also have had complaints about intermittent a/c and fog lamp cut out. Make sure the ground wire for your A/c is secured properly. Been selling suzuki for 3 years and they make a good customer(few complaints)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Thanks for the heads up onthe DRL disconnect :)

  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    Thanks for the tips on disconnecting the lights. I wouldn't do it on a regular basis, but it's nice to know it can be done fairly easily if you need it.
  • I brought my XL-7 to Walmart for an oil change and they declined to service the car: no oil filter in their database for this model. Some other outlets also refused because of the same problem. Anyone experienced the same and where do you take your car for a regular service. I'm in Northern California. Thanks.
  • xl7xl7 Posts: 20
    Any recommendation on tires for the XL-7.

    I'm beginning to notice more road noise, apparently from the tires. They were rotated twice with a slight wear. At aprox 18,000 miles I hear this sound simular to when you are in 4h.

    A few days ago here in Va. we had a small snow. It was the first test for the 4wheel drive gear.

    It tracked very well; however caution was used on icy surfaces; a few spins,slides,etc.

    This xl-7 rides smooth and normally is very quiet reguarding road noise. I don't know what effect the cold weather may have on the tires but there is noticeably more road noise. I'm almost certain that its the tires;however I may be wrong. The noise seems to decrease with higher speeds,sort of like you are riding on a unpaved surface.

    I've checked to make certain that its in 2h,etc.
    If anyone has experienced simular road noise, I certainly appreciate your input.

    Thanks.....and safe motoring!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a vibe on my Trooper now that it is cold, until the tires warm up. Also I notice more road noise due to kicking up of the salt and sand on the road.

    I reccomend the Pirelli Scorpion ATs That is what I upgraded my Bridstone Dueller 684s for on my truck. They are slightly louder but provide more traction on and off road.

  • xl7xl7 Posts: 20
    Thanks Mike!

    In the past I have had great service with Pirelli products. They seem to last forever.

    I don't do much off-road. My travel is mostly open road I-95 N/S & Va beltway. Occasional Va.
    Shenandoah mountains and across W.Va. thru Ohio,mostly turnpikes, and interstates.

    I really enjoy the quieter, smooth ride. The sound of truck tires is very annoying to me. I do realize that I have a truck frame; however my 18,000 miles with the bridgestone dueller tires has been good...but not great. Purchased March 22,2001.

    Realizing that I don't have a vehicle with more weight,wider frame,and heavier suspension...I find the XL7 a better riding vehicle than imagined.

    Hopefully I can add a few quality products to obtain the quiet,smooth ride.

    Again, thanks and if you have any advice I certainly welcome it. This is my first 4 wheel drive vehicle. Hopefully, I'm not expecting miracles from this small Truck/suv/cycletruck,
    mini limo. However, its fun to drive.

    Safe Motoring!
This discussion has been closed.