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Suzuki Grand Vitara (2005 and earlier)



  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    sometimes at the answers customers are fed by the dealer.
  • sol8airsol8air Posts: 1
    but I have some questions. I live near Seattle and it does snow here (not a lot but when it does it's pretty slick). I currently own a 1998 Forester, and even with really high-end all weather tires I put on last year, it didn't do too well in the snow storm we had a few months back. SCARY!! I will be purchasing automatic (I don't do manual). Has Suzuki improved the stock tires they put on or will I need to change them before next winter, and has anyone experience with these newer models?
    I also have concern about this timing chain vs timing belt thing. I am not a mechanic. I am not a guy. I am a single mom transporting a kid in a wheelchair and tired of driving farty monster "mom-mobiles". The Suzuki GV looks cool and youthful and great for my mid-life crisis <grin>. Other than the enormous turning circle (more than 38 feet) and lousy behaviour in snow, I have had no real problem with the Forester, but I like the look and feel of the Grand Vitara (drove one for the first time today). I like that it's small and compact, moves when I push the accelerator and stops when I touch the brake. The only service I have ever had to give the Forester has been routine oil changes at Jiffy Lube and brakes relined at Midas after like 60K (I have ~80K on it now). What is this "timing chain" thing on the GV that I read has to be periodically replaced, how often does that need done and how expensive it it? Any other routine maintainance that is different from other little trucks? I do not think I have ever had a car or light truck that had such a thing (if it did I was never made aware of it) and I have had Jeeps and little Ford trucks.

  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    If you plan to plow through the sand at Long Beach or climb the forest trails in the Cascades or Olympics, the GV will be a little better than your Forester. For driving in the RAIN, slush, ice, and wet snow that plague Seattle nine out of twelve months, the GV will be a LOT worse. 4 wheel drive, like the GV has, is designed for off-road. All wheel drive, like your Forester has, is designed for roads, good, bad, and very bad. A vehicle in 4 wheel drive HAS TO spin at least one tire when turning or the system binds up. Do you want at least one tire spinning when you are cornering on ice? If you don't believe me, drive over Snoqualmie Pass during a winter storm and count the 4 wheel drive pickups and SUVs in the snowbanks. Then count the Subarus and Audis in the snowbanks. I suggest you buy a set of four studless winter tires mounted on steel wheels and use them on your Forester from November thru February. I know that suggestion is ludicrous to west-siders, but us east-siders in WA know winter driving. I'd suggest Michelin Alpines for Seattle. I use Bridgestone Blizzaks in Yakima. I won't write what we say over here about Seattle drivers in the winter. Good luck.
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Posts: 1,031
    Good luck on your choice!
  • <<Then count the Subarus and Audis in the snowbanks. I suggest you buy a set of four studless winter tires mounted on steel wheels and use them on your Forester from November thru February.>>

    You ain't lying! I'd take my '95 Intrepid w/traction control and studless snows over pretty much any bona-fide 4WD in a snow/ice storm.

    Now, AWD, or as I like to call it, snow-wheel-drive, that's a different story. My wife's RX300 is truly amazing in ice, even on the horrible stock tires...which are, ironically, the same Bridgestone Duelers which are OEM on the GV. My '94 Grand Cherokee was similarly good, but still, I'd always pick the Intrepid if my wife would let me have it that day.

    Please, if you buy snow tires, do not use studded snows. These carve up the roads something fierce, making for not only horrible road noise, but interesting wet-weather driving.
  • I own a GV Limited 4x4 with the 2.5ltr DOHC engine. I had no problems out of it until 75000 miles. The rear main seal went out ($500) and now at 78000 the oil pump quit. The dealership to which I had it towed said that this was a common problem. They want $1300 to replace the pump, but I'm sure that the engine sustained damage as there is a lot of metal in the oil pan. I have talked with a local mechanic shop who says that he has seen three like mine in for the same problem in the last six months. Suzuki's corporate office claims no knowledge of any problem with the oil pump. I have records of all oil changes, which were performed every 3-5000 miles. Has anyone else experienced this problem? A used engine is probably my best bet, but will this happen again?
  • I am the original owner of a 2002 Grand Vitara Limited 4x4 automatic. I am nearing 30,500 miles and am getting close to warranty expiration (36,000 mi.). I have never taken her off road and am very good to my car (regular oil changes, etc.). The other day while driving I heard a sound that sounded like popcorn popping in the area near the gear shift (at least that sounded like the area). I was driving on a newer road at the time with no loose gravel, so I am confident that the noise was the car. I pulled over and stopped. The noise went on for about 20 seconds and then stopped and I haven't heard it again. I don't know if it's in my head, but now it seems as though the GV has shifting issues. It seems to take awhile to shift into one of the gears? Has anyone else had experience with this popping sound or shifting issues? Could this be a transmission issue? What could it be? I'd like to be a bit informed before going to the dealer since I've read here that they seem to deny a lot of issues. Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • kc5ytikc5yti Posts: 38
    When did you by your GV? If I am not mistaken, if you purchased it after August the first, you should have the newer 7year/100K mile warranty. If not, I would contact your dealer to have them look at any possible issues. Your issue could be a number of things. It could be a loose heat shield or gravel in the heat shield. It could also be something more serious.


  • Hi,
    I have a GV model 2000 full automatic 4 door 6cyl. I am very much happy with this vehicle till now no more major problems by the grace of god.

    Only problem what i experienced is, Once engine was switch off while warming up in the morning (I was giving little accelerator). It was once only so i didnt report to dealer. Is there anything to check? pls. advise..

    There is a small humming sound can hear while AC is on. Is it normal? Cooling capacity is very good.

    Have a nice day

  • I am from Kuwait. Mine is Grand Vitara, model 2000, full automatic, V6, 4 door type and with 4WD option, done 90000 Kilo meters already.

    I would like to know which is the suitable tyre for my GV. i mean which brand and any particular model for good road grip.

    Please advise..Thank you

  • My rear main seal on a 2000 GV LTD. also went out. A mechanic told me that Suzuki has posted a bulletin on this for technicians because consumers are running into this same problem with the GV. Does anyone have more details? Apparently, it's a faulty part. I'm out of warranty and want Suzuki to cover this repair. How many other people out there have had such problems?
  • pterpter Posts: 1
    That's te best site I've found with GV upgrades, etc.


  • johnsonsjohnsons Posts: 1
    Any ideas on where I start to remove the stereo on a 2002 GV? The one I purchased Feb 9, 2005 had the OEM wiring harness cut and I want to see if I can find one to match up. I called several Suzuki phone #s and dealers to get a harness but have just been given the run around. I really would like to listen to a radio once in a while, especially one that is in the vehicle already. Any hints would be welcome. Thanks in advance.
  • Is it worth buying a Grand vitara new or should i buy it second hand and save some money? Is the A/C really good or are u still going to sweat like hell after 15 minutes?? Reliability?? Noise????
    Any other comments welcome!

    Thanx a lot guys!!!!!!!
  • brisraybrisray Posts: 8
    I have 99 Grand Vitara V6 that sounds much like a diesel engine. The sound is all top end and I believe I need to adjust the valve lash. I am unable to find any specs reguarding the factory lash clearances. Does anyone have access to a service manual that could provide this information? Is the lash adjustable on this type of engine?

  • Dave
    I own a 2004 GV and have experienced the same problem. It is a very annoying buzzing in the transfer shifter and seems to be getting louder with age. I presently have about 28,000 miles in my GV and other than that I have experienced zero problems. I owned a 1999 GV and it did not have any problems. The dealer says it is an inherent problem with some of the 4WD GV's. This is unacceptable to me and I plan to persue this further. Anyone else having any luck I would appreciate their input.
  • brisraybrisray Posts: 8
    My V6 VT has around 68,000 miles. It's an ex-lease car, so it probably got thrashed a bit, hence my preious post about the engine valve lash specs.

    Apart from that it's still running very well, the only work its needed doing is the recall mods and changing two tail-light bulbs.

    The wind noise from the drivers side window is sometimes very loud. I thought it was just mine until I read some of the other posts. I found the best way to cure that was to drop the window all the way down then, whilst raising it, pull the front edge towards the rear.

  • I have experienced the same problem - but be firm with the dealership because they like to give the run around. I am the original owner of a 2000 GV 4x4 with manual Transmission - It took me almost a year to get them to fix it right - they had to replace it twice. Thank God for my extended warranty. The Valve Cover Gaskets, Rear Main Seal...They ended up replacing the whole transmission because it was still leaking oil.
    Now that my extended warranty is over - I am having probs w/ the AC - which I was told that Suzuki posted a bulletin about faulty hoses/clamps. I was quoted about $1000 for having it fixed. Does anyone have any info about the AC unit?
  • Just seen this... I have a 2001 GV V6 and probably have the same noise.Mine is very ticky, has been like 6 months in from when I bought it new and gradually got worse - most noticably when cold. well it's been a few years now and I got tired of the noise so attempted to investigate the problem. I came across the Suzuki technical bulletin in regards to faulty timing chain tensioners. This sounds about right so I have now taken the GV to my local garage who are going to replace the parts. went around last night and the front of the engine was all open and I must say it looked (from what I have seen of engines) very complicated and impressive. Very clean too. My mechanic showed me the parts and the faulty tensioners and I could see how it would make the engine noisy.....luckily I go there for work on my cars like once a month so he's only charging me £120 labour ($220) and parts are like £120 for all 3 tensioners. Even though the tech bulletin says only to replace the 1st tensioner I thought it would be better to just replace them all since the engine was open..... Should be getting the car back this week, possibly later today.
    Just hope the noise is gone.....when I first got the car the engine was silky smooth and quiet....still is silky smooth, just noisy like a lawnmower.
  • I just bought a GV 2000, manual and I really like it...but i noticed that the head lights go on even when the switch inside is turned off?? are the lights automatic or there's something wrong with my car?? Also, any tips about a cover or lid for the trunk ?? I need to leave some things in the trunk but would like to hide them from the "vandals"..
  • garrgarr Posts: 1
    I have a a GV 1.6 2003 from new. Had no probs with it until with 8000 miles on the clock sent it in for it's 1st service. Couple of days later the catalytic converter light came on. The guy at the garage told me to give it a good drive and it cleared it. Also a little while after getting it back, every couple of days when I start it from cold and drive approx. 1.5 to 2 miles, when I down gear to come to a stop the revs just keep on dropping and my GV will cut out. This will happen a couple of time, will always start after it cuts out, but again when revs shouldn't drop below 800rpm they'll just keep on sailing down to zero..... It's a serious problem when you're down gearing and turning as the power steering dies too. Suzuki are giving it loads of attention but am wondering if anyone has had a similar problem and how they dealt with it. Thanks in advance.
  • brisraybrisray Posts: 8
    How does your motor sound now?

    The noise is all top-end but listening to the engine for a while I could hear two seperate noises. One set is coming from the top valve covers (both sides) and the other is from the front of the engine.

    I started to take the engine apart Saturday and can't see anything obvious causing the top end noise but the front end noise looks like it may be timing chain related. This is apparently a well known fault -

    Anyone know...

    a) where I can get a workshop manual for the V6 engine? None of the local parts places around here (Terre Haute, Indiana) or even the nearest Suzuki main dealers (over an hours drive away) can get one for me.

    b) more specifically, anyone know if the crank pulley (harmonic balancer) bolt has a reverse thread? We've put over a 100 ftlb force on this thing and it ain't undoing. Snaping this bolt off is something I'd dread to do as it usually means a complete new engine.

  • brisraybrisray Posts: 8
    Here's what happened this evening...

    Despite being assured (this morning by phone) by my local Suzuki dealer that the bolt on the harmonic balancer was reverse threaded, it bloody isn't. It's a normally threaded bolt that has to be unscrewed counterclockwise. Taking the radiator out, there's just enough room to get a power tool on this bolt.

    If you're going to do this without removing the A/C condensor radiator? be very careful. As the bolt unscrews it's going to push the power tool against that componant and possible bust it. The power tool we used is rated at 350 ft lb and it took most of that to undo that bolt.

    Once the zillion bolts holding the chain cover on were removed the cause of most of the noise was obvious. One of the tensioner/tensioner tracks had disintegrated into about a dozen bits. Not only are the chains not being tensioned but it looks like the bits of the wrecked tensioner were being thrown all over the place.

    I'm glad I decided to investigate this noise when I did as I'm pretty sure I wasn't far from stripping the teeth off of some of the gearing - those chains really are that loose.

    Altogether, to replace the tensioners and tensioner tracks is going to cost around $350, plus another $240 for a set of engine seals.

    Good luck to anyone else trying to do this themselves, these engines are pretty difficult to get apart.

    As to my orginal post, the valve timings are non-adjustable - as far as I can tell.

  • brisraybrisray Posts: 8
    It's OK the lights are supposed to be on during the day. There's a "dusk" sensor that behaves a bit oddly. During the day, with the engine running but in neutral, like waiting at level crossings (there's a lot of those around here) the lights automatically go off, but turn back on when the car is in gear.

    Apparently there is a parcel shelf for the cargo area for when the back seats are up - and

    Like mine, I expect it got taken out at some time and not sold along with the car.

  • brisraybrisray Posts: 8
    Anyone interested in seeing what these chains look like can visit where I've got photos of the disassembled engine.

  • Help please for a new Suzuki GV owner. I need to remove the Pioneer dvd/radio as some bright spark has connected Left to Right and Right to Left on both stereo channels. How do I get the Pioneer out of there, it wont budge? Also, where can I find the Paint Codes for the vehicle which is Black and silver? Anticipating your help and thanking you in advance. If you kow why the front tyres sqeal on corners that would help a lot too.
  • brisraybrisray Posts: 8
    I don't know about the radio but take a look at for where the paint codes are located. Sorry I can't verify this on my own vehicle but it's still in a friend's garage awaiting bits.

  • Ray, Thanks man, cool! Found the paint code, now just need to sort the radio and the nosy tyres and I can pull the chicks (or not?) Thanks again Tony
  • aaikenaaiken Posts: 1
    I had the same evaluation given to me on my 2000 GV @ 65k miles. The Bridgestones we "lumpy" but, in my case the tire store said it was because the shocks were not good. He said that when the car went over a bump the motion would continue causing unever wear and tear on the tires. There was also a humming sort of sound that was comming from the rear tires. The new shocks helped that a little.
  • teslucktesluck Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem with my 2001 grand vitara. Just wondering where you picked up all the parts to change your chains and all that other stuff.
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