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Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 through 2008



  • tim66tim66 Posts: 22
    Last week we took the GV in for the annual Pa inspection. The vehicle passed but the mechanic told us the tires were just off the wear bars and should be replaced soon. With only 17000 miles and rotated every 3000, the Geolanders wore out prematurely. We went to the local Suzuki Dealer with our complaint. After inspection of the tires they agreed to the premature wear. Today the tires were replaced along with a four wheel alignment compliments of Suzuki. This is the only problem to date and we are very satsfied with the performance and gas mileage(high 20s)...I think it's a keeper. :)
  • Wow, thanks for sharing. I hope my dealer is just as generous. Although from what I've been told by the Suzuki dealer, and tire dealer (Kal Tire), OEM tires are much softer rubber and wear out prematurely vis a vis after market tires. I have about 25000 KMS (about 16000 miles) on my Geo's, with only one tire rotation, and the 2 that were on the front are beyond the warning treads. I'm running new Geo winters on steel rims now, but come Spring, I'll be seeing if I can get the same deal you got !!
  • tim66tim66 Posts: 22
    I will say that our wear problem was from the soft compound as all four were worn evenly across. The only downside was the Dealer stated this is a one time deal and we had to take the same type tire that was on the vehicle. Was hoping for a different brand.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I imagine you know the tires are supposed to be rotated much more frequently than that. It's especially important on the GV because of the negative camber on the rear wheels. You need to rotate them to the front to even out the tread face. Ours have 21,000km on them, and are not visibly worn. They look good enough that I haven't bothered to measure them.
  • aalupoaalupo Posts: 1
    I wanted to find out if there are any 2006 GV owners that are having a probvlem with a high idle or acceleration problem. If your vehichle just revs up to a high RPM or any kind of a racing of the engine. My dad was in an accident a couple of days ago and was gassing up his GV. When he was done he put his foot on the brake to put the GV in drive and the car revved up and he said it happened so fast that the car took off and he hit the garage of the gas station. He is alright, but I wanted to find out if there are other people experiencing similar problems.
  • tim66tim66 Posts: 22
    I had a similar situation happen to me. It was my size 11 shoe that caused the problem. I depressed the brake and put it in drive,the edge of my shoe caught the accelerator and the car leaped forward. Luckily I released my foot and hit the brake again and stopped the vehicle. The brake and accelerator pedals seem closer together in the Vitara than my other car. May be what happened.
    Just my 2¢
  • I'm pretty sure also that unfortunately he did hit the gas pedal when he pushed the brakes. It did happen to me once, I was to go from "Park" to "Drive", so nothing happened. I had big snow boots.
  • I have had recent electrical problems with my Grand Vitara. It is a 2006 with 43,000 miles.
    First, my "check engine light", "abs light" and "esp" light all came on at the same time while driving. I also lost my speedometer, cruise control, 4 wheel drive switch, heater/ac controls, center console dash lights, and my outside temperature/gas mileage guage. I put my OBD 11 scanner on the car and received a "P1875" code. I looked it up and it told me it was a transmission sensor for the low range 4 wheel drive. I took it to the dealer to which they informed me it was the right rear wheel sensor. After having the car fixed I drove it around for about a week.
    I went to hook up a trailer to the vehicle and none of my trailer lights worked nor did the running lights on my car. Took it back to the dealer to be informed my trailer wiring harness had malfunctioned and melted itself together causing the fuse in the car to blow. They replaced the wire harness, the fuse and told me all was well.
    The other day I go to hook up my trailer and the running lights on the trailer don't work. I unhook and back my son's truck up to the trailer, plug in the harness and to my surprise, all the lights work on the trailer---indicating the problem lies within the Suzuki! I called the dealer and told him the problem still existed and needed the car fixed. In the mean time the "ABS" light and "ESP" lights come on again causing most of the original electrical problems all over.
    I take the car back to the dealer--- he tells me the wire harness is fine according to his test, and that the new codes "C1035" and "C1036" indicate the other side speed sensor has malfunctioned. They repair the sensor but the wiring problem he insist is in my trailer. I already know that it is not or it would not have worked properly on my son's truck.
    Here's my question, (finally) ---When I returned home I looked up the two codes he claimed came up on the diagnostics-- Code C1035 and C1036! My scanner does not have either of these codes nor does the Suzuki website OBD 11 code list!
    Can anyone verify these two codes and are they a speed sensor? Also, are there speed sensors on each wheel or is there one speed sensor on the vehicle? I have a gut feeling I may have been bull shi.ed!
    I was charged for an alignment when I found specific information on here stating "Denver Suzuki" acknowledged Suzuki used the WRONG specifications at the factory on certain Grand Vitaras! I'm looking for answers so I can file a complaint if Suzuki is not doing recalls as required by law!!!!
    Any information will be greatly appreciated. I have been a mechanic for 35 years but these new computerized vehicles are quite challenging at times!
  • Hi, I have the maintenance manual, I looked it up, and yes there is individual speed sensors for each wheel, also I found the codes:
    C1035: is for the left rear wheel speed sensor circuit failure, Wheel sensor signal is out of specified range.
    C1036: is for the left rear wheel sensor or encoder failure, Abnormal wheel speed sensor signal is detected.

    About the wheel alignment, there was a technical bulletin issued, but it is not a recall, they should look after it if there is a complaint from the customer. I don't know about US, but here in Canada, I know that some people even had their tire replaced by the dealer because of excessive wear, unfortunately I'm not able to find back the number of the TSB. So they should charge the expense under that TSB, not to your wallet, I would complaint if I were you.

    My trailer harness is working fine, I did the installation myself and bought a converter from HiddenHitch for it, here are the wire colors:

    Tail light Red/yellow
    Left Turn Green/red
    Right turn Green/yellow
    Stop (brake) Green/white
    Backup (not normally used unless you have trailer brakes) red

    You should check it with a multi-meter, you most probably have a fault there.
  • So far, my 06 GV plain jane single mode 4wd has done good by me. What I have discovered in the last two years is as follows. Yes the oil filter could be easier to get to, the right angle with the left hand and arm thru an opening in the suspension when you find it makes it not too bad. When on a rough road I was hearing a buzzing sound, this comes from the latch on the center armrest cover, flick it with your finger, you'll hear it. A subtle clicking sound had me baffled, tap the plastic cover between the map lights above your head with your knuckle, there's that one. If the rear privacy cover is not snapped to the back seats it will swing and bang around. The tire thing; with 23000 miles the Geolanders will need to be canned shortly. They are rated a 280 for treadwear, can't expect much more from such a soft compound. As you all probably know now the engine has shim over bucket valves. I'm not really worried about this. In the past I have torn the covers off of Suzuki motorcycle engines, both screw type adjuster and shim valve trains. Believe me, unless you hear clatter, don't fret it. Of course in very rare occasions the tolerence could shrink between the cam lobe and the tappet, with hardened seats this is unlikely. I'm sure the GV engines are run through a cycle somehow to seat the valvetrain in the factory before final measurements are made.
    Moral of the story, so far, knock on my head this is the best vehicle I have owned, It gets me from point A to point B.
  • Reply to bm000092.... You have a manual?... wow... could you tell me why my horn doesn't work and the airbag light came on after i felt somewhat of a "tug" when i tried to make a 180 degree turn to the left? This is a 2002 GV.
    Any and all info would be greatly appreciated
  • I got a copy of the 2006 European model over the net, not the same engine and tranny, but the rest is the same, so better than nothing. I think that I cannot be much help for a 2002 model, completely different.

    That 2006 GV is one of the best vehicule I had also, considering fun to drive, handling, and reliability. I did have the first 89 Sidekick model and it was really reliable as well.

    About the tires, I personally don't experience that fast tire wear that somes have, but I agree with you, they are 280 and won't last for more than 30k miles.
  • I want to update readers on my 2006 GV!
    The tire problem was as suspected! Suzuki used the wrong calibration at the factory and mine did need realignment. NO, I did not hit the curbs or anything else that affected the alignment. It did this from day one.
    The electrical problems stem from faulty speed sensors on the rear wheels. My extended warranty cover both defects.
    Overall, I like the vehicle but feel we shouldn't be experiencing these kind of failures on a $25,000 vehicle in the first year or two of ownership! Suzuki also had problems with the auto tranny but did make modifications to correct it. Hopefully mine is one of the modified versions. They also used a plastic part on the power steering pump that has given people nightmares but they have owned up to it and rectify it at no cost to the customer.
    I feel they should own up to the rest of the KNOWN factory defects and repair those free of charge to the customer also.
    Please also note that Suzuki used various Geolanders on their vehicle and not all were equipped with 280 tires. Mine were G93's that the dealer insist were 40,000 mile tires. I got about about 20,000-25,000 before wear was totally noticable however, with the alignment defect, my right rear wore completely out at 25,000 while the other three still had significant tread at 40,000. It was definitely the alignment and the dealer informed me he had numerous complaints---some that tires were replaced and others that were not. Unfortunately, I had to purchase a new set to which Geolander was not my choice of tire!
  • den54den54 Posts: 1
    Has anyone had any problems with there keyless entry. My door locks do not function properly. I have changed the batteries in the remote and I still cannot lock the doors without using the key. The open door icon on the dash indicates the doors are open and there not. Could this be an electrical problem?
    Any help would be appreciated
  • vitara4mevitara4me Posts: 35
    Well, the Suzuki lemon from hell is now gone. I am now the proud owner of an Icy-blue Mazda MX5 Miata Grand Touring Edition with a 6-speed auto. Consumer Reports "Best Buy", J.D. Power "Best Buy", Car & Driver "10 Best" in the world, Road & Track, "Best Buy"............ :) :shades:

    No more burning, smoking, vibrating, gas-sucking, saggy-leather, buzzing, clicking, creaking, gear-hunting, no-balls Suzuki products for me anymore.


    Ha! Ha! The '08 Mazda Miata is pure fun and I am loving it!

    Bye-bye you POS Vitara :lemon:

    Best regards, EX-Vitara4me
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Have you had an alarm system installed? This can foul up the keyless entry, and then you have Suzuki and the alarm vendor pointing fingers at each other. Been there, doing that.

    We had the power door locks quit working on another car. It had blown a fuse. I'd have your dealer look at this since presumably your GV is still under warranty.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    What did you tell the person who bought the GV about it? :-) Sorry to hear the GV was such a pia for you, and that Suzuki wouldn't sort it out. But it's good you're now free of that hassle. Take care.
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    I'm glad that you're happy with your new aquisition, but I just cannot understand someone who goes from a 5 seater 4x4 not really intended for gaz economy, neither performance, to a 2 seater performance oriented car, as I would never buy a 4x4 if I wouldn't need its characteristics. It's unrationnal.
  • gvmomgvmom Posts: 1
    I had my clutch replaced and the mechanic cannot get it to work now. It workd for about 2 hours then the clutch pedal goes to the floor. I have had nothing but issues with this vehicle and it is undriveable now. Can anyone help?
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Scuttlebutt "out there" seems to suggest the '99 2.5L Grand Vitara derivative 2.7L engine currently motivating the GV, will finally be history soon.... If the rumors are correct, at long last finally an up to date modern fuel efficient GM designed 3.2L engine, (built in Japan), will find a new home under the hood of a tweaked '09 Grand Vitara. Most notably [also] seems it may have rear discs replacing the current rear drums, and some other new bits and pieces here and there along with some minor cosmetic changes. Further, (and I sure hope this one is true), they will be bringing in the 2.4L inline four 5 door also. One source even suggested we may get an appropriately woodsey looking new forest green one to boot. If this info is accurate Suzuki will at least have a chance of recouping [some] of their former customers by closing the huge gap left upon discontinuation of the basic utility oriented four cylinder "Vitara" model. Now if they just don't do a Suzuki on us by loading that particular model by giving it an auto trannie only, etc., in hopes of maximizing profits in year one, or no low range gear set either [of course] until a few years after its released, if they can avoid all those woeful past mistakes, some of us could finally be attracted back into the fold.

    Should caution here none of this has been personally observed as having been writ in stone yet, and represents a gleaning of postings from various sources. So I am waiting myself to see if these dreams really will come true for '09.
  • budman3budman3 Posts: 187
    Hey norwoodsman, welcome back. I have to say something, you were right. ;)
    We still have our GV, unfortunately. It's OK, but there are many other vehicles out there in the price range that would be far better choices. Our GV has held up, unlike vitara4me's, but it has visited the shop a couple times. I never saw the oil leaks but they said they were there and it was fixed under warranty along with a few other minor issues. Strange but that happened twice. I think they just wanted some work.
    Suzuki never did reimburse me for tires wearing out by 16,000 miles, they said it was normal. :confuse:
    AND just wait till you want to trade the ol zuke in. It's not worth s!@#. :mad:
    We decided to drive the zuke into the ground and then off a cliff since that will bring more satisfaction to us.
    Not only will we never buy another Suzuki again, but I was also looking at the Suzuki Hyabusa for a bike and said no way and bought the Kawasaki ZX14.
    I hope you find the right vehicle,norwoodsman. Let us know what you do.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Yo, bud! Thank you. I've always tried to tell it like it "was" re: my general experience(s) with Zukes. As mentioned way back when?, maybe take a little comfort knowing at some point "they", (all Suzukis?), seem to pass through "a teething period", then settle down to give a long reasonably reliable service life. At least that's my experience with prior models, though they were less complex than the current GV. Also find a mechanic at a dealership somewhere who knows ALL the idiosyncrasies of the beast, and put him on your Christmas card list.

    For additional relief, Rx: "Take dirt and call me in the morning". Seriously, I used 18 year old "Rusty" last week en route to tying into a four pound bow at a deep woods lake hereabouts. Just me and the Loons. A soft roader could have made it but probably would have suffered loose nuts by the end of the day. So use it well out there off the beaten track to help bring forgetfulness re: those on road issues.

    Additional since this am: Found another July post stating that in the home market in Japan the 3.2L, 230hp six, with improved mileage vs. the current 185hp 2.7L, is debuting under the hoods of "Escudos", (GV's), NOW. It is joined by a new 2.4L inline four that makes166hp. Again speculation is both of them will show up here for the '09 model year. Will they be more refined in other ways as well? Once again, only time will tell. Regards. Nwdsmn.
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    My dealer said the 4 cylinders should be available with a MT 5 speed or AT 4 speed, the V6 only with AT 5 speed. 16' wheels should be gone, only 17' and 18' available.

    You can watch their promotional video there:

    2009 video
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Thanks for that one. The new "Indy/Escudo promo" on the Suzuki Co. Japan website is worth a look too. The hill holder feature, (ala Subaru), will be a welcome addition along with those rear disc brakes. Paused the video to note specs for the two engines. The dohc 16 valve 166hp four achieves what I'm assuming is a combined city/highway average mileage figure of: manual 5 speed, 11km/L, and 10.6km/L with the slush box. The figure for the new automatic only 3.2L six, (is it 230 or 224hp?), is 9.2km/L. Have yet to do the math to mpg, but compare that to the reported, what?, a combined average of 19 or so US mpg's for the old 2.7L...
    Maybe Suzuki has listened to us after all? Looking forward to kicking the tires and perhaps parking a UTILITY oriented 4cyl here, IF I can convince my better half to reconsider buying what would be a fourth [purchased new] Zuke. Any word as to when they'll show up?
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    I've heard the 2009's will be in dealerships next month.

    When we criticize the GV's features, we should bear in mind that it was not designed primarily for the North American market. The 2.7 may already just be a sop to our associations between personal worth (etc.) and vehicle engine power.

    It will be interesting to see if the 2009 update revives sales. They've done some good things, such as the engine options and increased sound insulation. I can do without the rear disc brakes and side-mirror turn signal lights. How about the back seat center armrest for North America? Or the headlight washers? Or gimballed headlights?

    The XL7 is outselling the GV in the US, and Canadian sales of the GV are falling toward 200 per month. The 2009 updates are overdue. Had they made some of these changes when the shortcomings and errors were well known back before the 2007's came out, the GV may not have been relegated to the backburner after the initial burst of publicity about the 2006. And I think the inadequate response to both serious and minor problems reported by owners also drove sales to other cuv's. Those problems reinforced impressions of second-tier quality, and undermined any potential confidence suggested by the warranty. (Has anyone used the roadside assistance provision?)

    I'd still like to see an off-road version: diesel, manual, raised suspension and skidplates. Plus a Rav4-fighter: more sound insulation, 2wd/Awd, and softened suspension.

    Hopefully the "new" green color will be the one offered in other markets since 2006. It's a beautiful deep metallic forest green, like the older Rav4's had. Apparently there's also going to be a purple color. A what?! Rather have the bright blue metallic.

    If the new 3.2 improves mileage significantly, it contradicts my contention that the GV's mileage is easily explained by a busy 5th gear plus being in 4wd all the time. If the new version really does have better mileage despite those other two characteristics, then the new engine must be quite the gizmo.
  • bm000092bm000092 Posts: 70
    As you mentionned, it should be here in August.

    Regarding the fuel economy the new V6 should be rated at (in US measure) 21mpg versus 19mpg for the previous 2.7L. This may explain your contention about being busy in 5th gear, the new engine being more powerfull and having more torque will handle that gear better.

    Have you noticed the torque curve on the Japanese site ? Almost flat from 1000rpm to 6500 rpm (in between 177lbs/ft and 209.5lbs/ft), the max being at 3500rpm. This finally will be more adapted to a truck than a car.
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Great. Was not sure if we'd have to wait until January, or... With this latest generation of the breed about to debut, and what percentage of current owners having bought GV's, sans understanding of the root DNA of Suzuki SUV's, well, will those current owners still be around as repeat buyers for these new "improved" ones? Bud 3's response here may be illustrative of what to Suzuki oughta be, (and has been my worry all along), that Suzuki risked putting the cart before the horse by debuting the Le Grand prior to an exhaustive ironing out of "issues" beforehand, via extensive pre intro testing. Historically that's NEVER happened, (at least it seems so, intuitively, to me), with the Co.'s past new SUV product releases, so why start in '06? Because the clear marketing implication was, hey, we're finally/fully going mainstream, so forget yr. boring CRV's, RAV 4's, or whatever, join us and come along for the ride...

    Look at the delayed intro of the new Corolla. What took so long?, just precisely for that reason, so it would be absolutely as bug free as possible. Now Suzuki is left with no more "We sure wanna be mainstream, aspirations/wiggle room" in my opinion. They must significantly refine the GV so the whole book will prove be as just as good as it's attractive cover. As to the new models, I'd bet, (or at least hope), the new 4cyl will be offered in "decontented" form. It will probably be used as "a vehicle" to help empty the rear drums parts bins for a few years, plus I wouldn't expect it to be loaded with some of the other new bells and whistles. Bring on a 4cyl. "Vitara Classic" model with the skid plates that used to be std. equipment, etc. Go luxo boat for the highway with the new higher end sixes, then [hopefully] we can all live happily ever after.

    But Suzuki may not be out of the woods yet. What about all those XL-7's languishing on dealers lots, EVERYWHERE, the recalling of US boss "Rick" Suzuki to Japan, (for under performing?), and the perplexing intro shortly of a Suzuki re badged Nissan Frontier pickup, all before we even have the real Suzuki Swift, (the highly regarded one sold in the rest of the world), offered for sale here in North America. Then there's the new expensive super car due after that.
    I dunnoww....
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Just a quickie to say I agree completely re: yr. observation alluding to how "it just had to be a six under the hood there" for oft irrelevant reasons. Yes the Vitara BADLY needed one in order to become Grand in 1999, as the 4cyl version was actually LESS fun to drive than it's Sidekick predecessor! But that's ancient history with the intro of this up to date 4. Certainly the CRV has always done fine with it's sophisticated version, and may Suzuki's prove to be of similar quality. Subtract the weight of the new 4 vs that of the 6, (don't know the figures yet), and factor in the mileage advantage, and but for accelerating slower up the Coq. in the mtns. here, (and ya, having max torque and hp clock in at higher revs), the 166hp 4 with a five speed manual still ought to feel reasonably zippy. Surely so in everyday use applications. Plan to TD the first one on the lot here.

    For a final long view observation about the 2.7, it was an advantage to have experienced it in the previous generation XL-7. In two wheel drive mode sans other drive train factors, when accelerating a ways beyond half throttle the inefficiency of the design became quite apparent, both aurally and to the seat of the pants. Further lets hope the rest of the new GV's teething issues are now mostly behind us, concurrent with the intro of these updated models. It would be a great milestone for Suzuki if that proves to be the case.
  • xostnotxostnot Posts: 232
    Intereseting to speculate what Suzuki's up to. Again, their North American car operations probably aren't a major portion of their global car sales. So it's possible it's not worth "tuning" their handling of this market to perfection. Despite abysmal sales in Canada, the XL7 is selling in perplexingly good numbers in the US. As for a basic offroad model, they have the Jimny in their important markets. I doubt they'd sell many Jimny's here, and why make a basic version of the GV just for a few sales in one market?

    I was willing to buy our '06 GV after researching reliability of previous generations of Vitaras, and finding no higher problem rates for introduction-year models. The '06 is not bad for any vehicle, let alone a new model. Yes, it has/had issues, but no show stoppers for most buyers.

    As for the Suzuki pickup, planning for it likely was developed before the current fuel "crisis". Notwithstanding that, Nissan can stick some Suzuki trim on their Frontier, sell them to Suzuki for a small profit, and Suzuki takes whatever it can get for them from the consumers. Suzuki doesn't even necessarily have to even own them. The proceeds on sales could go to Nissan and Suzuki gets a cut. It's an organizational and marketing exercise as opposed to a technological one. It can't cost Suzuki sales of any other models. As for Nissan, it can only add to their total pickup sales. It remains to be seen if it was just a waste of time.

    Then there's the super car. Again, it seems to be based on a failure to recognize peak oil and the passing of automobile-worship. But Suzuki may be in a very good position otherwise. They have vast expertise at building small vehicles, and have a wide range of them. Not to mention brand engineering experience. As the Big 2.8 flounder trying to adjust to the new market, maybe Suzuki can provide models to them, or fill the vacuum themselves.

    It's becoming common to see tiny Suzuki Every and Carry utility vans and trucks (used right-hand drive vehicles imported from Japan) on the roads in southwestern BC.

    Suzuki also made the Mazda AZ-1 Autozam
  • norwoodsmnnorwoodsmn Posts: 168
    Agreed re: the suspension. I don't expect them to contract with Acura any time soon to copy their high end underpinnings. They are basic in feel and will probably remain so to keep the price/utility ratio intact. That's ok but doesn't mean there's no room for tweaking as you suggest. Especially increasing the ground clearance specs a bit. Maybe they have for '09?

    There has to be a 4cyl model with the basic goodies which attracted many former brand adherents in the first place. Suzuki owes us that one. Would it sell? Who would get overly crabby if Honda [ever] had offered it's CRV in base form with o/r capabilities similar to the GV? They would sell each and every one they could build. With the reality of ever escalating fuel prices evident to all, it will be more than interesting to see how the sales figures for the new 4 and 6 cylinder models stack up. Even with the evident high quality specs of this new 6. Suzuki may have a real coup on it's hands with the re intro of a 4 at this juncture.

    Yes re: small imports from Japan here. The rugged right hand drive Mitsubishi Delica 4wd Van is sure an interesting piece too. Had a chance to peruse one first hand curbside a few weeks back. Bring in a new LHD camper version for North America, and both of us might have to switch brands, eh?
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