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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008



  • bj9996bj9996 Posts: 7
    Hi bm0000092, better get those rear cambers sorted out otherwise your inner walls will be worn out fast should you forget to do the periodical rotations.

    I suspect the wheels and the whole suspension set up were assembled while the car was still unladen....maybe the basic frame/chassis only...thus once all the stuff were put in, it exert stress on the setup which caused the cambers to be off by a few degrees. Luckily the springs are quite stiff, otherwise the cambers will be off by quite alot!

    Since getting the cambers done about a year back, the cambers are still perfect even after a few rough drives over uneven terrains and potholes.

    My advise, get it done ASAP! All the wheel alignment as well as cambers specs are stated in the user manual.

    Additionally, I noticed the original tires, didn't have any of the standard ratings i.e Threadwear, temperature and traction. :confuse:

    Wonder what are these values for your Yokos?
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    Hi bj9996, on the Yoko are G92, Treadwear 280, Traction B, Temperature A.

    About the camber, it is fine, front 0, rear -1 15', no sign of inner walls wear, neither on my winter tires which are a lot softer. Rear spec is -1 15' +/- 0 15'.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    The rear wheel camber definitely is by design and is visible even with no load in the vehicle. I first noticed it when mounting the flat mudguards, and found that when the rear ones were mounted vertically, they did not line up with the side of the tire, and so they look crooked. The rounded molded mudguards would look ok anyway.

    I've seen an explanation for tilting the back wheels as the GV has them, and it made perfect sense to me. Again, we have over 15,000km on our GV, and it shows no sign of abnormal tire wear, has never been aligned since I bought it, and frequently carries full loads.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    After only 16,000 miles, my Yokohama Geolanders are in need of replacement. They are only rated a 280. Suzuki is doing a one time goodwill and replacing the tires with ones that are rated 600.
    The dealer will work with an outside alignment shop and get another opinion on specs before and after the alignment so that Suzuki has something to investigate with as far as alignment problems or just too soft a tire in the first place.
    Suzuki came through without any hassle. :)
  • Not sure if this is the place to post as the forum is a different format to what I'm used to, but here it goes.

    I am trying to find out if the 4wd GV can be modified to allow part time 4wd and part time 2wd as mine only has the options 4H, 4H-lock and 4L-lock. It would be nice to save a little fuel and slip it into 2wd while on the road yet still have 4wd for off road.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • tncarmantncarman Posts: 82
    I think it would be a great idea for Suzuki to bring over the smaller 3 Door version of the GV that they sell in Great Britian. In my opinion it'd be a nice addition to the Suzuki line up and almost make a niche vehicle for the company. Anyone else agree?

    Find it here:
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    The way the transfer case is built, there is no way it can be modify to use it in 2wd. There is just two forks on the transfer case, one for high/low, and the other one for differential lock shift.

    The only way to make it work as a rear wheel drive would be to remove the front drive shalf and install a cap to flange yoke cover hole (cap #09928-36510).

    Yes I'm sure the 3 doors would be a hit here, that segment as been left alone.
  • mcperrmcperr Posts: 74
    Rolling up to 18 months of ownership with our 2006 GV. Very reliable vehicle so far, only one warranty repair for a defective rear middle seatbelt retractor. Gas mileage is adequate, at least on the highway. Recent vacation to West Kootenays we experienced a low of 25 mpg on straight Alberta roads, and a high of 32 mpg (imp. gallon) on B.C.'s lovely but slow twisties. Vehicle remains tight, quiet and comfortable.

    Tire wear is our only concern. At 46,000 km the Geolanders are probably 75 percent gone. Not acceptable for expensive tires. Rotation has been at dealers 10,000 km schedule. Will be making loud noises to our dealer and Suzuki Canada shortly.

    I see no issues whatsoever with Suzuki quality control in our vehicle. Still the best value in the small SUV market.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    And that's great news... Also re:OE "rubber" quality, this is probably not a unique issue for Suzuki(s) alone. Actually at the extreme end of the scale, our "Old Trapper" friend at the north end of Kootenay Lake, searches out BIAS PLY tires to use on his classic Land Rover. Why?, no sidewall flex when crawling along those mtn. goat trails high up in the Purcell Range. But back to the real world, (including for even occasional moderate off road use), after market rubber makes a huge difference when and if "getting a grip" is of importance. Secondarily, wear is improved too, in my experience. Once ran a set of heavier load range truck tires, (but not mud boggers), on the Sidekick. They were a pain on "the Autobahn" but were the best set I ever had, off road.

    Keep the good news coming, (I hope). It's encouraging as I continue to await some sign [also] that Suzuki, like virtually every other manufacturer today in todays marketplace has likewise awakened and smells the coffee, re: fuel mileage. I've pretty well come to the conclusion that GV sales numbers, as good as they are, will probably not justify their trying to market the euro diesel version in North America, despite, (note), my having seen a while back that a diesel Honda CRV seems definitely in the works around the end of the decade. So again, bring on a fully modern new mill under the hood of the GV ASAP, please Suzuki. I continue to place my bets on '08, but who knows...? Unfortunately Suzuki seldom "telegraphs" ANY such news in advance to it's customer base.

    Former Kootenay (Nelsonite), Nwdsmn.
  • js06gvjs06gv Frisco, TXPosts: 444
    As I indicated in a prior post, I recently traded my GV for a new Santa Fe. The ridiculous tire wear, which is really just a by-product of a deeper problem, was one of my main concerns.

    For those out there with similar concerns, I'll add that my dealer called me a day after I traded to let me know that they were finally going to authorize 4 new tires and another alignment. (The fact that the first alignment they performed did not cut down on the tire wear is troubling) Also, my neighbor took his '06 GV in this past weekend and also received 4 new tires and another alignment. So I'm unsure if this is the result of Suzuki corporate waking up or if our local dealer is taking a goodwill approach due to the number of complaints. I hope this information helps.

    FWIW, I love the Santa Fe. I know, totally different vehicle but for just a little more money I got a lot more room, power, and most notably refinement. I expect quality to top Suzuki too. I think the Korean manufacturers are on to something good here.

    2016 Kia Optima SX, 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 2013 Ford F-150 King Ranch, 2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6, 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Right. How could one argue re: comparing highway performance, (if that's overwhelmingly ones chief usage of such a vehicle), of the GV vs. your Santa Fe, or the Rav 4, or the Honda CRV. Replace all the tires on most all GV's? Whoa, gotta doubt it. Value: ABSOLUTELY the GV has it in spades, but honestly only if you do venture off road now and then. Further, Consumer Reports current ratings re: handling, is an honest take. But again, take them, (and really you can only take a GV off road amongst the three rigs mentioned here), and then the VALUE quotient kicks in, all but for the dated much too thirsty engine. Fix the deficit under the hood, be an occasional off road type, and once again it would have to be the Zuke hands down value wise. Contrary to some consistent misunderstandings with one individual on this site who believe long term ownership of these vehicle is irrelevant, I'm here for only one reason. I've loved 'em in the past, and simply want them to be all they can be, ASAP. Your history of ownership mirrors my fears for Suzuki. They successfully lure in many new to the brand owners who discover they don't have a Honda or Toyota, quality wise out there in driveway. Then, what will they do...? Jump ship, I am afraid. None of this says they can't be used, and used well now, (see xostnot's posts, and others). But their true value, (and a unique value in the marketplace), only [presently] comes thru off road. Again this is because of the unacceptable highway mileage figure, possibly because of no two wheel drive only drive line, but again chiefly because of the well outdated engine design.

    Sorry, but those are the facts as I see them.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    You'd think this tire wear/alignment problem is common enough that the least Suzuki could do is fix it fast and properly whenever it's reported. Not to mention checking any GV in for service for the problem. A truly concerned manufacturer would contact GV owners to check for the problem. Aren't fast and unexpected tire wear, and being out of alignment, safety issues? If not on bare pavement, certainly in slippery conditions. Then there's the lower mileage, and higher wear and tear on the driveline.

    If it makes any difference, isn't the new Santa Fe made in the US? If you don't need a low range, you sure have lots of nice choices in compact suv's these days.

    The only problem you'll have with the Santa Fe, js06gv, is that now you're stuck with the wrong id on this site.

    As for a diesel GV, GV sales in Canada are running at about 350 per month. Given that North Americans avoid diesels even if they're available, would it be worth it for Suzuki to sell 30 or so of them per month in Canada? I'd guess not.

    And as I've said before, the mileage penalty for always being in 4wd has to be balanced against the advantages of permanent superior control.
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    Not that I really dislike the small Suzuki V6, since I get good performance and good mpg out of it, but I would like to get a modern diesel here too.
    I'm participating with a french forum in France about the GV as well, to see how it's going with it on the other side of the sea. People from France and Belgium are strongly in favor of diesel engines, probably out of the 250 and something participants on the forum, 2 or 5% at most are using 2.0l petrol engine.
    Suzuki is using a 1.9L diesel made by Renault out there, they like it, but as they say, it's far from being the best engine. They have had 2 recalls already for that engine (mainly turbo intake problems). They say that over time this engine will be high cost maintenance (higher than the petrol one) and you have to pay more for the diesel already when buying.

    For all these reasons, I doubt that Suzuki will come soon to North America with it. At least if they come here with a diesel, it won't be the Renault version for sure.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Thanks, very interesting, agreed. Further re: the interest expressed here about bringing the euro two door GV over here, likewise it just comes with a small(er) four cylinder petrol engine, and only the most basic four wheel full time drive line as I understand it. So ditto, it would be unlikely to sell well enough here to justify the effort. Still it seems unfortunate no distinct all new off road capable, highly efficient modern new four door SUV was on Suzuki's "radar" to replace the Sidekick/Vitara.

    At some point I believe the value of the seemingly ever waning concept of "simplicity" just might be rediscovered, (by necessity), both by we automotive consumers, and finally vehicle manufacturers, as the world comes to grips with ever diminishing resources. Keep it simple, stupid! , with compact highly efficient vehicles, including [please] models which still perform the many tasks which we as Suzuki owners have historically asked of "our "rigs". May we all live long enough to see that come about, eh?

  • In this part of the world, we used to have the 1.9 Diesel engine in the previous models but lots of technical problems. As mentioned, the KKK turbochargers aren't very durable and there seemed to be some generic defect of the engine setup whereby the cylinder head is very prone to either crack or warp. Its also well known that the engine will require a complete overhaul after about 100k kms or so due for some unobvious reasons the piston rings will tend to be "fried' and will loose compression. Even the valve will be having quite a buildup of carbon deposits.

    The engine will also sound very rough, loud knocking sound will be heard.

    For this reasons, the dealership is not importing the diesel powered version.

    From what I know, almost all owners of the diesel powered Vitaras had these problems.
  • That's VERY sad news. Was the previous GV diesel engine the same as the Renault sourced one currently being used in the new euro Grand Vitara? Or, does it have the same problems? Did "hear" it was noisy. A further disappointment [here] is no apparent change for '08 re: a Greener more efficient petrol burner to replace our sole "option" here, OLD THIRSTY the 2.7 liter.

    Seems Suzuki intends to turn many of us into "soft roaders" by default, as taking into account ALL content lying there between the front and rear bumpers, the most modern reliable and energy efficient models are only available from other manufacturers. Take the new upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan. No, again it won't be a bush beater as I understand it, but it WILL have the very latest clean spec VW TDI engine down there under the hood. When will Suzuki choose to progress beyond it's current focus on marketing glitz to actually offer the necessary content/quality changes, (in particular re: engine options), required to finally make the "new" GV truly ALL NEW.....?

    Seeing the '08 lineup here, I'm no longer holding my breath waiting....
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    And then there's the new Jeep Patriot and 2008 Liberty. Overlooking who makes them, they are price and feature-competitive with the GV, and also offer true off-road capabilities.

    (norwoodsman: Canoed to Blunden Island in August. At the south-facing beach, there is no cabin. But there is a flat clearing with a piece of cast-iron stove hanging from a tree.)
  • Yes, but it's not that Suzuki seems incapable of innovation. Except for that slightly modified original 1999 Grand Vitara engine down there under the hood in the new GV, the REST of "it" is certainly testament to that fact. Farther afield, they currently have one of the top ten concept cars on display right now at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Kizashi, an Accord fighter AWD vehicle powered by a 2 liter turbo diesel! It's a proposed future replacement for the Verona. Also debuting is their new Splash micro car. Further, on the lot locally here yesterday I saw the new SX4 sedan, which is truly a great looking little car.

    Only problem with all that welcome innovation seems to be Suzuki forget to remember to check under the hood of the "new" GV before bringing out the '08 model. Then there's the question of how well, (if at all), they addressed some of "your", (all current owner's), concerns about various issues re: the '06's and '07's. While other mfgrs tout annual improvements to existing models, with Suzuki you're just left out there wondering. I wonder if they've done this, or they've attended to that......?

    For now the new GV "value quotient" still holds true for folks who NEED them for demanding recreational applications. For those who don't, and I'd have to guess that includes the majority of new to the breed owners, that value quotient seems a real reach to me, given the soft roader competition out there. Oh well...

    Congrats on getting to the remote shores of Blunden Island. Ought to be ready now for the Hakai Pass Recreation area? Take the flight on Google Earth north from Calvert Island twds. Bella Bella, and you'll be hooked. Did an 11 day expedition there. The Tribal Island Group was my favortie.

    Yrs. Nwdsmn.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Well I suppose Suzuki is trying. The fixed the mileage readout on the '07, and I understand the Canadian '08 has a remote gas filler flap release. Now we're getting somewhere!

    How's about removable rear seats, given the rest of the GV's very poor provisions for carrying large objects.

    I think they should revise the model choice, which has too many too much alike and could be covered by options instead. Replace one model with a Rav-4 fighter (loaded 2wd with traction control, soft suspension and lots of sound insulation) and a Patriot/Liberty fighter (raised suspension, skidplates and perhaps a diesel and/or beefed-up drivetrain). But what do I know.

    We were on an outing this weekend with a 2001 Tracker (rebadged GV) and a representative of the next older generation of Vitara. Three generations of Vitaras.

    On roads not quite requiring 4Hi Lock, all did fine. I was impressed that I was able to desend faster than the others, and that so far I've never bottomed out the '06's suspension. While not terribly harsh on pavement, it certainly is nice and stiff on the rough stuff. And the tight turning circle is really amazing. While I was impressed at the rocks we had clearance for, it was also stressful worrying about hitting that vulnerable bottom. We didn't hit anything, but must have been pretty well at the limit.

    Going up steep rutted hills composed mostly of loose baseball-size rocks, the traction control kicked in a bit. The other two Vitaras would have been in the equivalent of 4High Lock.

    Spectacular Hakai Pass ups the safety ante quite a bit. Might be an option for chartering "Spirit Dancer", which belongs to a friend of ours. Are you a CCR participant?
  • May be you can start to dream, yesterday, at the Frankfurt auto show, Renault presented its new diesel V6 engine. The actual GV in France is powered by a Renault 4 cylinder diesel. There are strong rumours that this new V6 DCi will equip the 2008-2009 GV, even in North America and possibly some Nissan pickups.

    About that V6: it is a 3 liters (2993 cc), 2 common injection rails pressurized at 1800 bars, piezoelectric injectors with 7 holes, geometrical variable turbo, it will give 265 ch at 4000 RPM, and 550Nm (405.7 lbs/ft of torque) at 1750 rpm, wow !!! Never Renault has produced such a powerful engine !

    Its average fuel consumption will be less than 7.5 l/100km (or 31.4 mpg (us gallon). With its particle filter, its nitrogen oxide treatment trap, ..., it will pass hands down the most strict California emission rules, it has been built with this idea in mind, make it available to the US market. :blush:

    Yes, I'm already dreaming, 31.4 mpg with 265 ch and 405 lbs/ft, ooofff !!!
  • WOW INDEED! Surely at least some change will finally occur under the hood for the '09 model year, if only to a more efficient petrol burner. In the interim, thanks for the info.
    Of interest to fellow residents in The Great White North, our Canadian Loonie just reached par with the US Greenback this am, (1.004US). There is an excellent piece on CTV tv network's online site this morning re: saving money by buying vehicles in the US and importing to Canada. For instance, for the exercise I net priced a new GV on the US Suzuki website the other day, equipped with a 5 speed manual and the low range gear set and a number of essential options. With the online advertised specials, (never mind that you could quite likely do even better than that), an '07 on clearance came out to just under twenty grand US.

    To xostnot: Yes, the homely but capable new 4X4 Jeep Patriot seems to be the closest fit yet towards filling the vacant niche left by the unfortunate discontinuation of Suzuki's four cylinder Vitara model. Comes with an economical variable valve timing 2.4 liter engine, even a CVT transmission. Interesting stuff about yr. recent outing. I can appreciate the usefulness of traction control in the situation you described.

    Further re: adventures, we, (three couples), chartered an Otter float plane out of Pt. Hardy to a N. Calvert Island beach. Crossed Hakai Pass "rail under" under sail in our expedition folding kayaks, (kids, don't try this at home!), and wound up in Bella Bella eleven days later to connect with the coastal ferry for a return to Port Hardy. More recently, (we did that trip years ago prior to the Provincial Rec Area designation), knew folks who used the Discovery Coast BC ferry which will drop you off at sea, (via deck crane, seated in yr. boat), in proximity to the area. One would have to check with BC Ferries to get the latest info re: the handling requirements in bringing yr. gear on board. Still, a private mothership would be THE deluxe way to go. Am unfamiliar with "CCR".

  • Hello everyone. I called Suzuki of America corporate office to discuss my ongoing issues and I was told by a rather rude individual to "pound sand". In other words, Suzuki said that there is no way that they will buy back my vehicle, or give me another vehicle. :lemon:

    Oh really? You sure about that? :lemon:

    Well, I have found a very nasty Lemon-Law attorney that has dealt with Suzuki before, and told me to start looking for my next car, because Suzuki is at fault, and is liable for my loss. :lemon:

    I'm sure glad I took pictures and documented everything, including all my warranty repair invoices, showing miles and date/time in service. I even recorded all my phone calls to Suzuki of America and all the dealerships I have dealt with. (four Suzuki dealerships in my area have gone bankrupt and shut down). I now have to drive 35 miles to the nearest dealership. :lemon:

    I'll let you know how it turns out. :lemon:

    Regards, Vitaranot4me :lemon:
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Please do but it's not necessary to post it in several different topics nor is it desired. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Other than lousy gas mileage and early tire wear problems,
    why are you upset with Suzuki?

    Please explain why you had to hire a lawyer?
    Is there some serious mechanical problems with the Grand Vitara? Is there a safety problem?
    Is there cause for a class action suit or a manufacturers'recall? :confuse: ">
  • My 06 GV is still under the microscope, but I wonder if vitara4me (or vitaranot4me)'s GV was built on the same assembly line!? Sorry you're having such a bad experience.

    I will concede that the tire wear on mine seems premature (hitting the warning treads at 26,000 KMS (I guess that's now 26,000 Miles ... oh sorry, it's just the Canadian dollar that's par, not the Canadian kilometer), so I may be making a stink about that, both to Suzuki and perhaps the tire manufacturer. Admittedly, I was late in tire rotation, so the fronts did wear down quicker, vis a vis the rears, to be expected.

    Lousy gas mileage (kilometerage), well, it's an SUV, not a Prius, and hey, I get 60 mpg according to that little digital readout on the dash (going downhill mind you, it's the flats and uphills that's the problem !). Having been involved in a major rearender accident back in July ($11K damage, blew out the back door and window), with none of my 4 family members getting seriously injured, hat's off to Suzuki for the way they constructed the vehicle to absorb the impact... I'm more than willing to pay a bit more at the pump. And for our situation, I don't commute (work from home, more folks should try it), so we don't fill up that often.

    Vibration - we're all aware of the reports on this forum, and I do notice it with my GV at high speeds, so I'll be monitoring it throughout the warranty period.

    Appreciate your posts, vitara4me, good or bad, owners need to be informed. Overall though, we picked a winner, always get compliments, and it has served our purposes well. While my GV was in the shop, they gave me a GMC Envoy ... brutal vehicle, felt like I was piloting a houseboat around the corners.
  • My 2006 Grand Vitara almost caught fire pulling a trailer to Las Vegas, in the wintertime! Can you imagine if I tried that in the summer?

    It also still has the vibration problem. The dealership replaced the transfer case, and the vibration is "less", but it is still there. I feel it everyday when the transmission shifts into 4th gear.

    Now it has developed yet another problem. I go to Las Vegas at least once a month. I drive there by way of the 15 freeway. On at least 6 different occasions, I had to turn off the air conditioning because of toxic fumes coming into the passenger cabin. It only happens when the outside temperature is over 100 degrees. Well, it always over 100 degrees in Vegas in the summer, and I have to drive around in my new 2006 Grand Vitara with the windows DOWN, because my wife and kids can't breathe.

    In Vegas in the summer, you MUST have air conditioning. It is just too hot.

    Of course, the dealership cannot duplicate the problem in California, so they tell me, "No problem found, vehicle is ok".

    My vehicle must have been built on a Monday, after a long Japanese holiday, and all the Suzuki factory workers were still drunk or hung over.

    Suzuki has the attitude that if they have worked on the vehicle, and replaced parts, therefore, the vehicle is now fixed. Strange logic.

    Well, WRONG Suzuki of America. Just because you work on my vehicle, it does not mean that you have actually fixed anything.

    Hey, before you guys flame me for my comments, try reading prior posts so that you can see what kind of problems I have had with this vehicle.

    Regards, Vitarafromhell.......
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I'm somewhat amazed at the variation in owner experience different people are having. Subarus are like that too.

    I'm not going to criticize you. Having a problematic new car is enough without adding insult to injury. I'm somewhat peeved because Suzuki dealers won't do anything about the baggy leather seats. But that's nothing compared to your GV problems.

    I noticed that there's a piece of styrofoam under the floor carpet right where yours would have melted through. The styrofoam is to level out the floor. Seemed like an odd thing to find, but why not?

    Hopefully something will bust on yours and then it will be easy for the dealer to fix it. Or carefully document all these hassles and force a buy-back.

    Good luck!
  • Sorry, I did not mean to "flame you for your comments."

    Although "Edmunds" has a great forum,sometimes looking for previous posts can be cumbersome.

    I only have 12k on my 07 GV. I haven't experienced any major problems with it. It does get pretty crappy gas mileage for a mini suv. (17-18mpg rural)
    I will have to wait and see how the tire wear does.

    I also have an 02 Impala that is a total lemon!!

    I wish you the best of luck with "Suzuki of America!"
    I hope they fix their customer service problems!!
  • About the tire wear, watch them closely, there is a Suzuki TSB about it, some GV came out of the factory mis-aligned, they do correct it for free at the dealer.

    I got my GV almost 2 years ago now, no problem at all so far, just had to do the regular maintenance (oil, ...), it's still running as a champion.

    I wouldn't consider my gas mileage too bad for a compact SUV, I get around 21mpg (us gal.) average, (around 17.8 city driving and around 26-27mpg on highway. It is a little bit better than my previous Cherokee that was about the same weight and size.
  • Just thought I'd share a problem that I had with my '06 GV this past weekend. At this point I've got about 48,000 km. on the GV and have never had a problem with it that was not of my own doing.

    But this past weekend we drove from Edmonton to Calgary for a visit. When we got to Calgary the power steering stopped working. I was able to still steer the GV but it was not easy, especially when the vehicle speed was slow.

    I did get it in to a Suzuki dealer, who on a Saturday where they only work half a day and were already totally booked, still took my GV in and repaired the problem. Turns out that in '06 they used a plastic part to keep tension on the belt around the power steering pump. The new GV's now have metal tensioners and this is what they replaced in my GV now as well. The repair was covered completely under warranty.

    Had I known that this plastic power steering belt tensioner was a weak link in an otherwise great vehicle, I would have replaced it on one of my regular maintenance service visits... even if I would have had to pay for it myself.

    Hope this experience is of value to anyone out there with an '06 GV. I don't know when they changed to metal tensioners, so not sure if this also affected some '07's.
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