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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008



  • gcram399gcram399 Posts: 1
    Our 2007 cooked the rear tires down to the wear bars on the outside in less than 8000 miles The inside of the tires were still like new. The front tires were also like new.
    After a couple heated conversations about the tire wear, our local Suzuki dealership called the factory and then realigned it to new "modified" specifications and rotated the tires front to back. Now with over 18,000 miles the rear tires still look like new and the worn rear tires that were moved to the front have not experienced any more noticable wear. They can fix this problem if your dealership would take the time to do some research.
    I was told that the factory knows about the problem and that they beleive it lies in the way that some of the trucks are being strapped down for shipping.
    My Dealership is Courtesy Suzuki in North Huntingdon, Pa.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You may be interested in writing up a Dealer Ratings and Reviews.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • vitdeanvitdean Posts: 9
    Last march 2008 I took my 2006 GV to dealer to have new tires installed. Had 23000 miles on them. Instead bought a 2008 with locking trans case that 2006 lacked. Now have 12000 miles on 2008.
    With the treadwear rating of the geolanders that's about what can be expected of them especially if you do all of your driving on pavement and don't baby it. The tires were probably good for another 3 or 4 thousnd miles pushing them to limit. My 2008 had the "engine knocking at idle when warm" thing going on. Retensioning of the belts cured that. Had a SLIGHT rattle coming through the dashboard when running over bumps that was driving me nuts. After process of elimination I found the noise is coming from the airflow control actuator when it is set to floor when the fan speed is below 3 bars on the display. I did the investigating for the replacement of the actuator when and if I take the Vit back to the dealer, people that ride with me think I'm crazy when I say "hear that"? Not really a big deal at all. I haven't posted in over a year, sorry I'm winded but my point is I guess is that so far knock on my head these two GV's I've had have been the most dependable vehicles outside of my suzuki bikes that I have had the pleasure of owning. By the way, I do all scheduled maintenence myself. Like a fellow said to me once when I worked in a garage when I was younger "treat it like it's yours". Garage monkeys take note.
  • csjmommacsjmomma Posts: 1
    I purchased the 2008 Grand Vitara a week ago and since than I have brought it back to the dealer twick for the knocking noise when at idle, I hate that my new car that has barely 7000 miles on it sounds like a clunker. The first time they adjusted the belts and the noise went away.... for a few days.... it is back so they picked it up and now they tell me that there is no way to get rid of that noise, that it is normal with the style of the aluminum engine. After you fixed the tension on the belts - did the noise come back for you or did it go away? I am really upset because I put everything that i have in getting a nice car that i could afford.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I haven't heard of any complete failure to fix the knocking noise. Our '06 has never had it. I have heard of a few cases of complete engine replacement, although I can't recall what that was done for or if the symptom was a knocking sound. Did you buy the '08 used or new? You might have bought someone else's problem, but since the warranty is transferrable, it's up to Suzuki to fix this.
  • xxgrzesxxxgrzesx Posts: 9
    Check the lemon laws of your state and call attorney. Or just do a search on internet for lemon law and call attorney. My friend had some problems with his car, which dealer conveniently could not duplicate. After few repairs he contacted an attorney and filed the lawsuit. The manufacturer settled and he sold he car to a dealer. Basically with all his calculations he drove a car for free for one year. Just make sure that you only pay for court filing fees and no split. I know that one attorney wanted a split of whatever he gets. Another one told him that according to law manufacturer pays attorneys fees. Good luck and get rid of a lemon. By the way I considered purchasing 2008 Grand Vitara as dealer took off $9k of it, so I figured $17k for car with MSRP of almost $26k is a good deal. But I see that I will put that $9k back into the car quickly. So I changed my mind and I will buy something else.
  • Hi everyone.

    I have been reading many of the comments left about excessive tire wear and alignment problems on the GV from different years. Since buying my 2008 GV new, I myself have experience excessive tire wear and alignment problems. After purchasing my 2008 GV new, within 3 months and only 3,000 miles, began to notice excessive tire wear on my rear tires, a constant skidding of tires whenever I turned a corner and a loss of control in the rear end while driving the GV in wet weather. I took my Suzuki into a Suzuki dealership because of the tire wear and handling problem. Upon inspection, was told by the service technician that the tires had been over inflated and was the reason for the excessive wear and instability. As soon as I was told that, I asked for a tire gauge from the technician, checked the tire pressure in all 4 tires while the technician was standing there just to prove to him that the tires were not over or under inflated. I told him that it might benefit him to do the proper diagnostic tests needed to see if my GV was out of alignment. Keep in mind that this is the dealership that I purchased my GV from that was suppose to put my Suzuki through PDI when it was taken off the truck and before allowing me to drive it off the lot. When we walked back into the office, the technician tried to located my records from when my Suzuki went through PDI to see if the alignment was checked at that time. Come to find out, the records could not be located because my Suzuki never went through PDI which, was a shock to all.

    Once the technician put my GV on the machine to check the alignment and specs, he quickly found out that it was out of alignment and spec. So, he did an alignment on it and I was assured that that the tire wear would stop. I continued to drive my Suzuki only to notice that within 1 month, the tire wear had gotten worse. I took my Suzuki to NTB to have the alignment checked and come to find out it was out alignment and spec. I took it back to a Suzuki dealership along with the spec sheet from NTB to show them that the alignment did not hold, the tire wear was worse and the my Suzuki was out of spec again. They aligned it again and told me that they were able to get it aligned properly and into spec. So, I had the tires replaced. My tires have been on my Suzuki for 2 months as of date and are completely worn bald, handling of my GV is very difficult because it does what mechanics call "walking" which is dangerous because the driver has no control at the steering wheel when this happens. Stability is very difficult in dry and wet weather.

    I took my GV back to NTB just yesterday to have the alignment checked again. Come to find out my Suzuki is so badly out of alignment and spec, worse than before, that the service technician was not able to bring it into spec for a proper alignment. The eccentrics had been adjusted as much as possible and could not be adjusted any more. Upon further inspection by the service manager of parts, bushings, rear suspension,cradle, frame, etc., everything seemed to be ok. So, the news that I got from the service manager and service technician about my GV not being able to be aligned properly was not good at all.

    Needless to say, I started doing research and came across this site among others. I was really amazed at how many stories were posted about the same problems I am having with my GV. So, I decided to hired an attorney to get to the bottom of the ongoing tire wear and alignment problem I among other GV owners, are experiencing.

    If anyone else has had to hire an attorney, I would be interested in knowing how your cases have turned out. It seems that Suzuki has been aware of the problem for years but as of date, but still has not done anything to correct it. :lemon: :sick: :mad:
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Sorry to hear of your problems. I'm one of the past zuke owners that will bad mouth the GV till the end. Others have had great "luck".
    I didn't hire an attorney. Should have. I had my GV in for at least 3 alignments. They said i wasn't rotating my tires enough. Geez, what was i supposed to do, bring my floor jack with me and rotate tires every week? Who replaces tires at 16,000 miles in the first year and for 17" wheels it was almost $600. Suzuki flat out denied my claim. Said it was normal. :mad:
    You're better off buying real estate in Vegas and taking the loss. At least you'll have a place to stay. :shades:
  • Ah yes, brings back painful memories - my "new" vehicle with bald tires at 22,000 km. Both the dealer and a Kal Tire claimed that it was typical for OEM tires (Geolander) to wear quickly (soft rubber, better ride, and less money for the manufacturer who is buying these tires in bulk). Reluctantly, I bought new rubber (Toyo H/T Open Country) and at around 60,000 km, they are holding up well.

    Sounds like dlcorbin may have an incompetent dealer on his hands, or at least a suspect alignment machine at the dealership. Getting a second opinion was smart. I'm one of the fortunate ones ... even after being rear ended big time 2 years ago, alignment issues haven't plagued my GV, nor any other satisfied owners of GV's I know locally.

    Then... there's that "characteristic" (as my dealer says) hummmm at about 110 km/h under slight load. No vibration on the steering wheel, but you can hear it and sense it in your seat. Transmission, transfer case? I don't commute, and I rarely go that fast anyway ! If I did a lot of freeway driving, I think this would start to get annoying. I was able to purchase a 3 year extension on the manufacturer's original 3 year warranty just in case it gets worse, or something snaps !!
  • How funny! I guess I would be better off buying real estate and possibly buying a scooter as well. :)

    From what I have been told, if you put a 50,000, 25,000, etc., mile tire on a vehicle, the tires under normal driving conditions specified for that tire by the manufacture, should last up to the 50,000, 25,000, etc. limit. Rotating my tires was not an option for me because the wear had begun way before my tires were do for rotating. So, I had to have new ones put on.

    It has been only 2 months since the new ones were put on and now they are completely bald. Still way before recommended rotation. I don't even get a chance to rotate. Now, it is really scary to find out that my GV can not be brought back into spec or properly alignment at all. NTB tried however, after they tried to align my GV, did another spec report and showed me were they were not able to bring it back into spec. So, my tires will always wear at a very fast rate, I will always have stability and handling problems.

    After speaking with my attorney, it was indicated to me that there are more cases like mine that have been filed against Suzuki. Gosh, one would think that Suzuki would recall the SUV. :confuse:
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    This problem was mostly reported for 2006 GV's, and it may be the first 2008 I've heard of with the problem. I've heard that Suzuki very quietly bought back some of the earlier ones with this problem, which would suggest they had something wrong with them that Suzuki could not fix. I have not heard what happened to the buybacks, and suspect they may have ended up back on the market.

    Anyway, this is not just a costly hassle and a ripoff. It's a serious safety hazard. GV's with fast treadwear means they are always in a bit of a skid. It means you will cross the threshold into loss of control very easily. Cases of this should therefore be reported to the NHTSA/carsafe website. And I would drive the thing only very cautiously until it's sorted out. Or not at all if you can afford it.

    You might try sending a registered letter to Suzuki America about it as a last resort before calling in the lawyers.

    Our '06GV has 40,000km on it. The original Geolander tires have 35,000km on them, and are less than half worn out. Tracking and stability are perfect. Only Suzuki knows for sure how common this problem was, but it's ridiculous that so many people who ran into it had bad customer treatment added to the harm they already suffered. I'd estimate that half the people with the defect could not get Suzuki to fix it. And obviously they were never compensated for the effort they put into it.

    Enough reports on the NHTSA site should eventually trigger a recall. Good luck with it.
  • Hey everyone,

    Looking to import a 2008 Grand Vitara in to Canada from the USA. Does anyone know if the 2008 Grand Vitara is fitted standard with an immobilizer in the USA?
  • My 2006 GV is a tire eating machine. It has been a excellent vehicle. I have 53,000 miles with absolutely no problems but I have to count on replacing the tires every 25,000.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    If you're rotating the tires regularly, 25,000 miles is on the low side. Some people have done far worse, of course. 25,000 miles would be doing well if you don't rotate them.

    We have about 35,000km on our original tires, and they have about half the original tread depth.

    It seems most of the GV's didn't have this tire wear/alignment problem. Of the ones that did, some were fixed on the first try, some took many efforts, and some were never fixed no matter how hard the owners tried.
  • I feel your pain...I own a 2007 Grand Vitara and whenever the roads are wet or worse yet, icy, you risk your life driving the thing. It "wanders" so bad, you have absolutley no control over the vehicle. My Geolander tires were bald at 28000km. My local Suzuki dealer up here in Canada will not acknowledge that this is a factory defect, neither will the Suzuki customer non-service people I was adviced to call. They just tell you that warranty covers alignments to 20000km. That's it. My truck is booked in with an independent garage this week, to get this alignment done. Ironically, my mechanic has the the same Grand Vitara, only a 2008 model, with the same problem. He said the problem is with the rear wheels. He aligned it once using factory specs, with no improvement. The second alignment he did using specs he got after talking to several Suzuki techs fixed the problem for the most part. Shame on you Suzuki for not addressing this serious safety issue!
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    To start on a happy note, Happy New Year to all. Hope everyone is surviving the great white north.
    canwest, I had the same issues on my 2006. Multiple visits to the dealer and at least 3 alingements and Suzuki wouldn't pay for more than 1 during the warranty. Constant tire rotation (3000 miles). Didn't help. Geolanders were rated for 22,000 miles but mine needed replacing at 16,000. Try and find a good deal on 17" tires. $600+ and Suzuki didn't help a bit. They didn't care, said it was normal. I don't know about you, but replacing tires yearly doesn't seem normal to me.
    I also had a hard time keeping the GV in a straight line. it was always an effort. Almost like driving on ice all the time.
    I won't even go into all the other visits to the dealer. Not surprised the dealer is now out of business in our town.
    Hope norwoodsman is having good luck with his Honda. I just took a quick look at my maintenance chart for our Honda's/Acura, 94,500 miles accumulated and not one visit to the dealer and only the Accord with 52,000 miles is ready for new tires.
    Suzuki, are you listening?
  • Yo, Bud! Just happened to "drop in" [here] for a look see. Yes, no worries whatsoever with the '05 ex lease, top of the line AWD CR-V, in just about one year of ownership now. Re [summer] tire'ed "it" with the more aggressive Geolander AT-S es in July, which should work well on trips to the fishin' hole. Unfortunately I don't think they are available in GV sizes.

    As I noted on the '09 GV site recently, Honda is delaying the launch of their next Civic as they work [again] to get it all just right. So what, for a future Suzuki SUV owner? Honda actually wants to make the next one (Civic), a bit smaller and of course ever more fuel efficient, etc, etc. So? So as the Honda CR-V and Element are [somewhat] based on the Civic chassis, expect the next gen of those two to be equally: a bit smaller, and more fuel efficient. Add in all the other goodies/goodness that comes with owning a vehicle produced to such a state of the art level of manufacturing quality, and IMO, when then next CR-V hits the pavement, I think Suzuki will probably face its greatest challenge since the NGV launch, in order to retain market share.

    IF ONLY, (almost VW-Bug-like), had they continued to evolve the Sidekick, (for instance), year by year since its demise in '98, well, one can only speculate how refined it might have become. Yes, there was the underwhelming Vitara, but its ratings clearly told the tale there...

    But here's hoping [for Suzuki fans] that the Co. is looking MUCH farther down the road NOW in their SUV division. Ya, please give the next "new" one an all new name too... In the meantime Bud, have to agree, its Honda and Co. for me.

  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I think the Grand Vitara's next major redesign will be for the 2012 model. Probably the basic structure has already been designed for it, as it would be about 18 months from the car shows.
  • It's good to read everything, the good the bad and the ugly - thanks for posting... even the nasty stuff on the GV. I've used some posts to my advantage, especially with respect to tire wear, and a noise from the driver's seat (tech bulletin on that cleared things up).

    However, here is a "good" review for the 2006 Grand Vitara, at least for the one I was privileged to purchase.

    It rocks. It's a big reason my family walked away from a serious rear-ender 2.5 years ago - the read door took a beating, and the rest of the vehicle stayed true.

    It gets me around in any season, and it saves me from shoveling my steep long driveway in the winter (our friends with sedans and min vans park at the bottom and walk up). The ESP keeps it straight on slippery, slushy roads, while other vehicles (including some SUV's) end up in the ditch.

    And although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it's a big reason we opted for the GV over the Hyundai, Honda CRV or RAV4. It just plain looks better, inside and out. But that's my opinion only, and it's not even up for debate, even if you took a survey and found 98% of respondents thought otherwise. I still remember sitting in it for the first time, after trying out all the rest, and smiling - from that moment on, I owned it.

    Sure, there are better options if you want more power, better fuel economy, diesel or hybrid... but I'll be keeping my GV for a bit longer (and if my 15 year old has her way, she'll be asking for the keys !).

    Oh, and by the way, Suzuki GV has the best commercial.... ever.

    Cheers !
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    They never explained how he got home, though. Glad to hear you got the tire wear problem sorted out.

    An externally rear mounted spare tire may be very costly to fix in a minor accident, but it may provide substantially more protection in a really bad one.
  • boydpboydp Posts: 3
    We have a 2007 Grand Vitara with 64,000 miles on it and we're on our fourth set of tires on the rear of the vehicle. We took it to the dealer who insisted "over inflation" was the problem and that the alignment was "dead on. It came from Suzuki with Yokohama tires, they wore out on the rear after 26,000 miles. We put Bridgestone Turanza tires on the front and moved the original Yokohama’s (which were still in great shape) from the front to the rear. At 47,000 miles the Yokohama’s were bald. We put new Bridgestone Turanzas on the rear at that time and had the alignment checked, it was perfect. At 64,000 miles the Bridgestone’s on the rear were bald and needed to be replaced. Meanwhile the Bridgestone’s on the front are still in great shape after 38,000 miles. The tires wear out in the center . Excessive wear starts showing after only a few thousand miles and by 15,000 to 20,000 miles safety becomes an issue due to extreme wear in the center of the tire tread. The vehicle also feels very unstable at the rear end, on wet /icy/snowy roads at nearly any speed during the entire life of the tires. With safety in mind, not to mention the cost of replacing these tires so frequently, we are trying to raise awareness to this problem by getting enough Grand Vitara owners together to potentially/hopefully get some kind of recall for this problem with Suzuki Corporation. We have set up a facebook account for grandvitaratires and have also opened a gmail/email account - If you are interested in helping to expose this problem, please respond to either place. If anyone is aware of other established sites for this complaint, please respond with that information.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    boydp, sorry to hear you're having tire issues. Some people have great luck but I was also one of the unfortunate ones with excessive tire wear on our 2006 GV.
    Had 3 alignments done and I even had to pay for the 3rd one in less than 16,000 miles!!! The front tires would get a "featheredge" on the outside of the tires so we had to rotate the tires every couple thousand miles. :mad: Our GV was also not very stable on the open road. It was always a chore to keep it going straight.
    At 16,000 miles, the Geolanders needed to be replaced. And the 17" tires weren't cheap at the time. I thought it was ridiculous to have a $600 a year maintenance item such as tires to be replaced. Suzuki said it was normal and denied our claim.
    Along with all the silly oil leaks and numerous visits to the dealer, we happily got rid of our GV. :lemon:
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Good job on applying pressure on Suzuki to get serious about this problem. They should have done a recall when it became apparent back in late 2005 that significant numbers of the new generation Grand Vitara had this problem. I'd be willing to bet that a few accidents resulted from this.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    My 2007 GV has about 16k on it and the Yoko Geolanders look like they are more than 1/2 treadlife used up.

    Did you rotate you tires every 6000 miles?
    Also is your model 2 or 4 wheel drive??

    I don't think you can mix tires on the "all" wheel drive model. It may cause problems with the drivetrain.
  • boydpboydp Posts: 3
    My Grand Vitara is 2 wheel(rear wheel) drive.
    No I did not rotate the tires at all, did not have time, it is my wife's car. As it turns out, I think that the only thing that would be accomplished by rotating the tires , is that ALL the tires would wear out faster. The front end does not wear the tires abnormally. When I took it to the dealer, I was told that since I did not rotate, the tires would not be covered by Yokohama's warranty AND I was accused of overinflation. I am not a mechanic, but I know my way around a car fairly well, and I am not stupid. I did not/have not ever overinflated tires. I have a good gauge and an air compressor in my garage. From what I have read anywhere on the internet, this abnormal wear on the rear tires has happened on both 2 and 4 wheel drive, perhaps more frequently on 2 wheel drive
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I suppose with a 2wd, rwd, you can get away with having dissimilar front and rear tires. Our GV is 4wd, and I wouldn't consider having mismatched tires.

    And since they're matched, it doesn't make sense NOT to rotate them and thus spread the wear over all four. Rotation doesn't, of course, change the amount of wear, but by spreading the wear over the tire faces of the set, you don't end up with two completely worn out on one side of the tread.

    Even if the alignment is correct, and it sounds like yours is far off, the GV must have tires rotated because of the cambered rear wheels.

    As I've said before, our '06 GV has about 35,000km on the original tires, and they're not quite half worn out. They have been rotated at about 4000km intervals.
  • lil302000lil302000 Posts: 149
    Hi all, 52800 miles on our 2006 2WD and still going strong. I will say we only got 20000 miles out of the junk Yoko tires. We replaced them with Sumitomos and they are still on the GV. I just changed the OE brake pads last week and I replaced the OE air filter with a K&N at 15000 miles. The only other things that have been done are oil and ATF changes.
    I did read a report that the GV was more expensive than CRV over time, not for me so far. Try to get a leather and loaded CRV new in 2006 for 24,000 dollars as far as resell not an issue when you keep your car over ten years like I do. I just dropped my 2000 Tundra at the shop for a new front axle it has 128000 miles on it and this is the first time in the shop for a non routine problem.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Thanks for reporting in. You might want to join truedelta(dot)com.

    I wasn't aware of this until recently, but apparently manufacturers have been "gaming" the cost of ownership stats. The way they do it is to cut far back on maintenance visits, (ahem, BMW) which means you spend less on servicing. You then pay for replacing parts earlier, but after the surveys aren't interested any more. It seems to me that Suzuki requires the GV have a lot of service visits, which end up costing enough to make the cost of ownership look bad. But presumably the vehicle will last a lot longer.

    I did my own survey to compare resale values to original cost, and the GV didn't do badly. The Escape and the Forester had the worst resale values compared to original cost. CRV and Rav4 were only a little better than the GV.
  • lil302000lil302000 Posts: 149
    Hi xostnot, I don't think that is the only games being played. I think the gas mileage game is in play and needs an update. I used the CRV, but to be honest I could not find another cute ute as nice as the GV for the price when I went shopping in 2006. I think Honda makes a great product, but what I don't like is they charge extra for everything from floor mats on up. By the time your done you have 30 grand in a midsized to small ride. Back in 2006 the Honda dealers didn't deal a lot, getting a set of floor mats thrown in was like cutting out wisdom teeth.
    Another cost of ownership when it comes to Hybrids battery replacement. True story here my daughter and her husband have a Hybrid, I will not say what one because I'm not here to bash any brands. Back to the issue at hand, after five years the batteries died and the cost to replace them is eight grand. So add the the extra cost at purchase with the cost to replace batteries and that is a crap load of gas. As of today they now have an under powered non hybrid hybrid.
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