Suzuki Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everybody! I just bought a 1999 Grand Vitara with 170k on it. I didn't expect to like it so much! (I need a 4x4 for my steep driveway and the snow in Yosemite where I live. I'll try to share something of what I learned in the past week or two with the car and ask questions where I haven't had success.

at first, the car wouldn't pass smog in California, a little high on the hydrocarbons, but a couple bottles of fuel injector cleaner solved that problem

I didn't like the daylight running lights (headlights) being on all the time. I found instructions on how to disable them as follows

Suzuki Vitara
1. Unplug the DRL module located under the dash to the right of the steeering column. It's a small silver box with a multi pin plug in its side, pretty obvious.
2. Lift the circular light sensor on the right side of the dash. Unplug it. Don't drop the plug into the dash. Retain it and be sure to secure it with a string attached to the sensor housing so it can be recovered if need be, and does not rattle
Easy as that!

The previous owner never used the 4x4. At first it made some big clunks, then that stopped, but it would take several attempts to get it into 4wd. It seems to be getting better with use although I see the sticky on it if it comes to having to fix it.

It's got a Factory CD Player in it with changer controls. I might see if I can find a cheap used changer but I'd rather use the changer input for IPod Input. I see there are dedicated adapters available but they only seem to work from 03 or 05 onwards Amazon.com: Koolerton Car Interface iPod iPhone input Adapter 14pin for SUZUKI Grand Vitara Swift SX4: MP3 Players & Accessories Anybody know of a solution for the 99?

It's got a dent in the rear door on the passenger side. Will try a partial cheap fix like trying to pull out the dent some and finding replacement molding in that color used.


Otherwise leaks oil which makes the engine smoke sometimes. A treatment of stop leak has improved the situation and I'm figuring how much money it's worth spending tracking down the oil problem in a 2.5 V8

Anybody have some hints or insights... welcome and thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Hey Karlb, nice looking ride minus the passenger side hiccup :p. The largest engine these vehicles came with was a 2.5L V6, not a V8........but boy would that be interesting :gunsmilie:. Are you sure you have an actual external oil leak? Does it mark it's territory with fresh drippings? When exactly does it smoke? If you read the first thread in this section, you will see how some oil burning is due to plugged drain back holes in the valve cover. When these plug, they allow oil to get sucked into the intake (via the PCV valve, and subsequently, into the engine) causing the engine to smoke a blueish white smoke on start-up and at times when under acceleration.

These are tough little trucks, but the V6 needs VERY TIMELY oil change intervals. With conventional oil, I would go NO MORE than 4,500 miles between changes. With synthetic, my max would be no more than 7,500. For whatever reason, these engines (and the plugging valve cover drains) are sensitive to oil changes. Mine had 5,000 to 7,000 mile changes documented to about 35,000 miles, then who knows what. I subsequently spent a couple of months figuring out my smoking tracker. Good luck with your "little truck that could".

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I'll give you my two cents, which is always worth what you paid for it...

In buying a used vehicle, I always change out all the fluids as soon as possible after I've got it in my driveway - coolant, engine oil, diff fluid, tranny, transfer case, etc., especially brake fluid. I also send an engine oil sample out for analysis (Welcome to Blackstone, I'd sample others if I had a specific concern of that component's operation). An extra $20 (each), but it tells you what may be going wrong, cheap insurance when you're just walking in the door of a new (to you) vehicle. And, in my years of being an auto enthusiast, I've talked to a number of lube engineers (tribologists, for those who care), and the only two "additives" they've recommended informally/personally have been Auto-RX and Seafoam. Others may have merits, but those are the only two that haven't raised eyebrows of some or all when their names come up. I've used AutoRX in one of my 'zuki's to, in my mind, remove potential varnish from the timing chain tensioner; the occasional tick on startup quickly went away and hasn't returned. Cleaned rings or valve guides will reduce or eliminate smoke from an engine's operation. I clean my engines by spraying a cold engine with Simple Green and hosing it down with medium/low pressure water. Built-up grease or oil will require multiple spray-downs. Then I spray all the plastics with Aerospace 303 protectorant; keeps them supple and lasting a lot longer than not using it. That grease/oil, in addition to smoking (if that's the real source), also insulates the block and makes it run hotter than design. Hope this helps you keep your 'zuki a long time without making too much work! Are you actually in Yosemite, or Mariposa, or ?? We'll be in the June Lake area in a couple weeks and really like that area. The back of the park is much less crowded with (to us), just as spectacular views!! btw, I am nothing but a retail customer of those items recommended...and I feel "regular" non-synthetic oil is fine for our cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. Yeah that was I typo about the V8, it's the V6 and I'm pleasantly surprised to get 23-24 MPG on the Hwy for a vehicle with decent power.

I asked to replace the diff/transfer/trans fluid when I got the brake done (happy new rotors only cost $35 each) but the mechanic told me if there's nothing wrong, it's inviting trouble to open it up and change anything. I went along with that since I wasn't excited to spend more money anyway.

It's definitely leaking oil as I pulled into my folk's cement driveway (not like my forest driveway in Yosemite) and fresh oil was dripping (couldn't see from where) Mostly smokes after stopping after a long drive, particularly uphill.

The other problem I'm having is a loud quickly repeating clicking noise (like cardboard in bike spokes) when the heater is in def/def-floor/floor mode, but not in vent mode or vent/floor mode. It doesn't matter if the fan is on high or off, it's the same speed. the vibration is coming out of the white case with levers that the ac/heating control panel attaches too. Looks discouraging to get to that box so I may just decide to live with it

I live inside the park in Wawona.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,087 Posts
The smoke is probably from the oil hitting the exhaust piping. Check the easy oil leak sources (oil filter and adjacent oil pressure sending unit). After that it could be leaking from any of several popular spots (timing chain cover, valve covers, maybe even the rear main seal).

On the fan noise...check your cabin filter cavity (behind the glove box) for trapped leaves / debris. Blow it out back toward the fan motor.

See...
http://www.suzuki-forums.com/1g-1999-2005-vitara-grand-vitara/120650-how-embarrassing.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like the Timing chain cover.

"Fan" noise is weird as it happens even with the fan off and only when the air is directed to certain vents. checked the cabin filters which needed changing but no big debris.

IN the meantime it overheated on my first big road trip and had to replace the radiator ($450) but is running great since then.

Decided it was cheaper just to replace the old factory cd player (in great shape) and sell it on ebay and buy a new unit compatible with my iPhone versus buying a cd changer adapter (if one even fits) which cost about the same anyway)

Thanks for advice so far
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,315 Posts
If you have the "push button" vent selection, the "fan noise" is probably the vent door actuator - remove the glove box and look to the left of the opening - follow the clicking and you should be able to find it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. it is the push button system and the actuator would make sense since the noise doesn't depend on the fan. I'll check it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My ex-girlfriend's new dude is a car whiz and offered to change out the timing chain seal for me. He's down for complex repairs and I thought of having him replace the chain tensioners when he's got it torn apart since so much of the work is already done. Then I ready how dicey that repair is. I think he's pretty competent but I only hear some occasional ticks from there so is it a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" or "since it's all open anyway, crazy not to fix something that so often a problem"?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,087 Posts
A thorough inspection of the chain related components for sure, and I'd at least replace the sometimes problematic #1 tensioner only. Maybe change out the water pump too. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I realized that the best way to get iPhone compatibility is to just buy a new stereo and sell the old one on ebay.

Got a new FOB on ebay so now keyless entry is back. Still have to try a few times back and forth to get into 4 Wheel Drive
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,315 Posts
With regard the "timing chain" seal - I assume you're referring to the front main or crank seal - the "tear down" to get to that is minimal as it can be replaced without removing the front covers.

You may need to pull the radiator to get an impact wrench on the crank bolt, but once you get the crank pulley off you can remove & replace the seal with no further teardown.

Open the hood & listen to the engine at a cold start - if you're not hearing a brief rattle at start-up, leave the chains alone - if you are hearing a rattle, you can then decide if to open it further, depending on how long you hear it for.

If you have only one~two seconds of rattle try changing to the correct grade of oil and a genuine Suzuki filter and see how it goes.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top