Suzuki Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey team,
Recently purchased a 2001 XL7 of a used car dealership in Melbourne, with 235.000kms on the clock, to use as a daily driver and the occasional off-road camping trip, once a month or two.

Upon doing the pre-purchase routine inspection by myself, I didn't notice any suspucious signs (probably dealerships cleaner oil and coolant etc.) and due to Covid restrictions, the test drive was done in a very weird manner. After picking up the car and driving for 3 days, I noticed white smoke coming from the exhaust, more on startup but also after the car has been running for few minutes aswell as a smell of burnt oil. When I opened the hood the coolant reservoir was totally empty and level of coolant inside the radiator had gone down too.
The car does not overheat, and I can't see any signs of coolant in the oil tank or vice versa.

These two signs (white smoke , low coolant level) make me suspect a blown Head Gasket.
I'm getting it into a mechanic under car warranty to have it checked.

My question is what preventative work can be done if the mechanic goes on with a head gasket change, while he is in there? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also sorry, I'm pretty sure this has been asked a thousand times, but I couldn't find a clear answer, what size All Terrain Tires should I use, looking good and increasing off road capability, without sacrificing much on road performance as it is my daily driver? No going to lift it up until in a few months or a year.

Cheers.


Pic of my XL7
100053
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,399 Posts
I really don't see the mechanic engaging in any preventative maintenance tasks whilst performing warranty head gasket work. It would make sense to replace the water pump, along with the timing chains, adjusters & tensioners whilst he is in there, he does have to take it all off (with the exception of the pump), but it's going to mean getting into a discussion on who is paying to have what done.

Regarding the tire size - OEM is 235/60R16, and you can get AT tread patterns in that size, 225/70R16 will probably work without a lift, at least they do on a GV.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ngrome and Alex7782

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really don't see the mechanic engaging in any preventative maintenance tasks whilst performing warranty head gasket work. It would make sense to replace the water pump, along with the timing chains, adjusters & tensioners whilst he is in there, he does have to take it all off (with the exception of the pump), but it's going to mean getting into a discussion on who is paying to have what done.

Regarding the tire size - OEM is 235/60R16, and you can get AT tread patterns in that size, 225/70R16 will probably work without a lift, at least they do on a GV.
Thanks mate appreciate your reply. Let's see how this all goes as the dealership offered me to bring them the car back (an hour drive away) to take it to their mechanic to fix the issue. Am I supposed to trust them with their mechanic - the same mechanic that gave a roadworthy certificate to a vehicle with major failure , haha. I refused and I'm taking it to my own mechanic. Let's see how this all goes.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,399 Posts
First - using your own mechanic might enable you to make certain requests, like changing out the timing components during the head gasket replacement - but - it brings with it the potential for even more wrangling as to what the dealer will pay for under the warranty.

Second - Guyana, where I am, requires vehicles to be inspected annually for what is known as a "certificate of fitness", which I believe would be equivalent to your RWC - it's an examination, in our case, done by a trained "certifying officer" of the local police force, to ensure the vehicle is safe to operate and complaint with local laws - a leaking head gasket, which may or may not be your issue, would not cause a failure, the vehicle might not be as reliable as it could be, but it is certainly not "unsafe" to operate. You have a vehicle with what can be described as a cooling system problem, which is not exactly a major failure.

Last, but by no means least - in refusing the selling dealership the opportunity to have the vehicle evaluated by the mechanic of their choice, you may have opened yourself to additional cost & liability.

Good luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alex7782

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
May I ask you how much you paid for it? If you want to privately message me the answer please feel free to do so. I'm preparing to sell my XL7 and it's exhibiting pretty much the same symptoms you describe, so I want to sell it for a fair price. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
May I ask you how much you paid for it? If you want to privately message me the answer please feel free to do so. I'm preparing to sell my XL7 and it's exhibiting pretty much the same symptoms you describe, so I want to sell it for a fair price. Thanks.
I bought it for A$6.400, which includes few months registration, a Roadworthy Certificate and a years' Integrity Warranty.
The price is too expensive for the cars' age and it's high kms on the engine, however I went on with buying it as I Needed a car asap, I love the XL7s and furthermore I was aware of the so called Covid-Tax. To explain this very roughly, prices on 4x4s and Vans in Australia have gone up during covid, because of border closures and people travelling inevitably only around their state or other states in Australia, which has pumped prices of used vehicles nearly 30% or more. A bit more than a year ago I could buy the same car same with less kms and better maintained for almost half the price basically.

If I knew of these problems I would obviously never have bought it, and although I could now, I feel it's a mean move to move it onto someone else, without letting them know about the issues. So I decided to fix it and keep it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
I bought it for A$6.400, which includes few months registration, a Roadworthy Certificate and a years' Integrity Warranty.
The price is too expensive for the cars' age and it's high kms on the engine, however I went on with buying it as I Needed a car asap, I love the XL7s and furthermore I was aware of the so called Covid-Tax. To explain this very roughly, prices on 4x4s and Vans in Australia have gone up during covid, because of border closures and people travelling inevitably only around their state or other states in Australia, which has pumped prices of used vehicles nearly 30% or more. A bit more than a year ago I could buy the same car same with less kms and better maintained for almost half the price basically.

If I knew of these problems I would obviously never have bought it, and although I could now, I feel it's a mean move to move it onto someone else, without letting them know about the issues. So I decided to fix it and keep it.
Wow, that is the price expected to pay at a dealership. My 2004 XL7 with 280,000 miles is leaking oil at top valve covers and bottom oil pan, losing coolant like yours, and is leaking water or coolant at the heater core into the cabin, i can actually bypass the heat later as its getting warmer, amongst other problems like an exhaust leak and pulling a P0133 code, bad 02 sensor. I plan on asking $800 USD and will probably let it go for $600. If someone invests the $2400 to $4000 it needs to fix all these issues, they will have a very good car for years to come. But I bought a 2004 GV with half the mileage, no oil or coolant leaks, and also bad 02 sensor and need to charge the AC. I just prefer keeping the shorter GV now for the long term but I'm taking my time letting the XL7 go while i get the best parts from her including the wheels and tires to put in the GV.

If you get yours fixed and you love it, it will pay for itself over time. Still looks like a beautiful vehicle and hang with us, this is a very helpful group if which I've been a part of since 2009 when i paid off my XL7 which i am now selling.
100071


Here's the GV I just bought to replace the XL7, almost identical in every option including the moonroof but just shorter.
100072
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First - using your own mechanic might enable you to make certain requests, like changing out the timing components during the head gasket replacement - but - it brings with it the potential for even more wrangling as to what the dealer will pay for under the warranty.

Second - Guyana, where I am, requires vehicles to be inspected annually for what is known as a "certificate of fitness", which I believe would be equivalent to your RWC - it's an examination, in our case, done by a trained "certifying officer" of the local police force, to ensure the vehicle is safe to operate and complaint with local laws - a leaking head gasket, which may or may not be your issue, would not cause a failure, the vehicle might not be as reliable as it could be, but it is certainly not "unsafe" to operate. You have a vehicle with what can be described as a cooling system problem, which is not exactly a major failure.

Last, but by no means least - in refusing the selling dealership the opportunity to have the vehicle evaluated by the mechanic of their choice, you may have opened yourself to additional cost & liability.

Good luck.
I ended up getting it checked from two different mechanics, my own one and then sent it off to the mechanics the car yard provide me with no cost to fix the issues. According to them the issue is water leaking from bypass hose under thermostat housing onto cylinder head. The white smoke at the exhaust is a combination of condensation and oil (because the car had been sitting for a while, therefore there's a condensation build up which will go away after a long drive - according to them) . I still have doubts that the smoke is due to condentation, but time will tell, after I receive the car I'll hopefully go for a long day trip :)

They also mentioned something about a formation of rust at that spot, which I haven't checked myself yet as the car is still in that garage, but I hope it is something easily fixable!

Thanks for your guys contributation and advice, it's really helpful.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,399 Posts
What's the weather like in your corner of the world - I'm thinking you're just getting out of summer into fall, so not too cold yet - condensation doesn't really show unless the air is cool. Oil smoke tends to be bluish, but it depends on how much oil is being burned.

It's a good sign that neither mechanic thinks it's a head gasket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey man, yes it's surely a big relief to hear that it does not seem like a head gasket, I always keep my reservations for the worst though haha.

I'm in Melbourne, where indeed like you said , we just got out of summer and entered autumn. However Melbourne is specially unique for it's weather as it can flactuate from like 4 degrees in early morning and up until 35 degrees Celcius, in the same day - even in autumn. But in average I'd say it is between between 15 and 20 degrees most of the time.
The last few days I was running the car temperatures where between 9 and 23 degrees celcius, I guess that'd be cool enough to build up condensation during the early hours.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,399 Posts
First - yes - I think at 9*C condensation would be apparent - but - I don't see it as a "building up" process. The water vapor is in the exhaust gas, it's a normal byproduct of combustion, at higher temperatures it's not visible, but when the air is cold enough it will condense and become visible as tiny airborne droplets.

Where "buildup" can become a problem is in the lubricating oil - a vehicle used for frequent short drives in cold weather will accumulate gradually moisture in the engine oil if the engine is not operated for long enough periods for it to reach full operating temperature, once it does, the moisture will literally "boil" out of the oil - for this reason, vehicle manufacturers recommend more frequent oil changes for what is termed operation in severe conditions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alex7782

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
Did you notice any water out of your exhaust pipe dripping to the ground?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Did you notice any water out of your exhaust pipe dripping to the ground?
Yes! At some point, after doing a long drive, brought it back home and noticed a small pool of water out of the exhaust after it had been sitting for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First - yes - I think at 9*C condensation would be apparent - but - I don't see it as a "building up" process. The water vapor is in the exhaust gas, it's a normal byproduct of combustion, at higher temperatures it's not visible, but when the air is cold enough it will condense and become visible as tiny airborne droplets.

Where "buildup" can become a problem is in the lubricating oil - a vehicle used for frequent short drives in cold weather will accumulate gradually moisture in the engine oil if the engine is not operated for long enough periods for it to reach full operating temperature, once it does, the moisture will literally "boil" out of the oil - for this reason, vehicle manufacturers recommend more frequent oil changes for what is termed operation in severe conditions.
I did an engine oil & filter change, still have a good cloud of smoke with a smell of oil, when starting the car, however it goes away after idling for a minute or two. Temperature still is between 10-24 degrees here atm.

And not much oil leaking anymore, however the coolant level has gone down a tiny bit. I just keep topping it up and monitoring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
Sounds all normal, the water out of pipe after sitting awhile and topping off fluids, given the condition and mileage of the vehicle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alex7782

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sounds all normal, the water out of pipe after sitting awhile and topping off fluids, given the condition and mileage of the vehicle.
After a few weeks using the car now, the white smoke has reduced to near nothing , even when starting up the car. And the coolant level has been stady for a a few days now, which means tha the issue was indeed water leaking from bypass hose under thermostat housing onto cylinder head. Very happy that all turns out good. Now can't wait to lift and put some decent tires, because the ones now arent that great, the other day I was chasing my tail at a roundabout, doing only like 45km/hour while turning, however it was a very wet day and it was probably due to aquaplaning.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top