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Discussion Starter #1
Posting this for my dad. Just picked up a 93' 4-door 16v sidekick to use as a backup car and camping rig.

Problems:

- Low power. Low idle. Motor dies and acts like it has no power. Sometimes It all of a sudden just acts like it's not getting any fuel and dies while driving at a decent rpm 2000-3500.

- Gas Leak that we can't track down somewhere around the gas tank. I dropped the tank awhile ago and despite the angle I held the tank at I couldn't get it to leak.

We replaced the fuel filter and fuel pump but it still doesn't run well.

Any ideas on what could be wrong? Do these things have a 2nd fuel filter? I'm up in Sandy UT and he's down in Las Vegas so I'm having to help them long distance. Any help is appreciated.
 

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Go to autozone and get an engine compression gauge from their loan-a-tool program..
then watch this video:


A compression test will tell you if your engine has good compression :D(duh). An engine is essentially a self-powered air pump, so it needs good compression to run efficiently, cleanly and to start easily.

As a rule, most engines should have 140 to 160 lbs. Don't freak out though if yours isn't quite up to 140lbs.. the main thing to worry about is the pressure difference between cylinders. they should have no more than about 15% difference in cranking compression.

Low compression in one cylinder usually indicates a bad exhaust valve. Low compression in two adjacent cylinders typically means you have a bad head gasket. Low compression in all cylinders would tell you the rings and cylinders are worn and the engine needs to be overhauled.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's on my list of things to do. I've put it off because honestly some of the symptoms seem to occur at random (like the sudden extreme lack of power and almost hickuping) while the general lack of power and not running well is constant.

Any other things to check in addition to the compression test?

Go to autozone and get an engine compression gauge from their loan-a-tool program..
then watch this video:

YouTube - ‪How To Check The Compression Of Your Engine‬‏

A compression test will tell you if your engine has good compression :D(duh). An engine is essentially a self-powered air pump, so it needs good compression to run efficiently, cleanly and to start easily.

As a rule, most engines should have 140 to 160 lbs. Don't freak out though if yours isn't quite up to 140lbs.. the main thing to worry about is the pressure difference between cylinders. they should have no more than about 15% difference in cranking compression.

Low compression in one cylinder usually indicates a bad exhaust valve. Low compression in two adjacent cylinders typically means you have a bad head gasket. Low compression in all cylinders would tell you the rings and cylinders are worn and the engine needs to be overhauled.
 

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sorry to differ,but. facts are facts.
great general advice sledge but is not correct for this car (is ok for Generall. rules but this is no General motor Car, LOL !!!)
it does 170psi hot min and 199 hot new. (Compression ratio's count !)
back to OP.
i sense car is a toy?, not a DD?, and is missing all the love and attention a serious car would get.?
eg; never ever tuned up , right?

and you expect it to run right with zero dollars or any real attention.
right?
if im wrong say so. ( this is what i call the classic post if true)

but your car and your goals and dreams all count in the equation.
exceptions. just what are they, ?

93 16v
4 injectors that leak or are clogged
tbelt long ago slipped
fouled sparks
bad wires, cap rotor and filtes packed with crap.
maf never cleaned.

low compression on all 4. (below 170 is bad, HOT)
due to timing belt IGNORED.
if all cylinders are low
the tbelt slipped , or that last trip to Suz mech, the idiot didnt check the TSB
that was written in 1996(retro active i might add) did not perform the steps
in such TSB ( yes, he is not a ASE pro, as that is JOB 1)
not opinion, that is FACT.

never work on any car with out reading (reviewing) the TSBs.
DAH!

for the guessers.
runs bad:?
bad motor.
bad spark
over or under-fueling
egr stuck open
CAT melted blocking exit of exh.
dead sensors causing ,over-under fueling
dead actuators causing same.
fuel pressure on the moon (or way too low), (bad actuators category)
Maf dead or dirty, bad actuators again.
gross induction air leaks.
hot motor fails, air leaks near the Front O2 oxy sensor ( yours only has 1)
complex.
no?
and guess what, we fix this by:
1; tuning up car.
2: checking motor (compression and leak down)
3: using a scan tool an see if sensors are good.
4: check pump pressures (5 tests) and leak down rates on the injector.
5: exh back pressure.
6: sensors. (scan tool)

that is my help, hope it gets you on track.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It has new wires, plugs, cap and rotor, oil, oil filter and air filter as well. Past that nothing has been done since purchase. We did all the general tune up stuff at purchase. Still runs poorly.

sorry to differ,but. facts are facts.
great general advice sledge but is not correct for this car (is ok for Generall. rules but this is no General motor Car, LOL !!!)
it does 170psi hot min and 199 hot new. (Compression ratio's count !)
back to OP.
i sense car is a toy?, not a DD?, and is missing all the love and attention a serious car would get.?
eg; never ever tuned up , right?

and you expect it to run right with zero dollars or any real attention.
right?
if im wrong say so. ( this is what i call the classic post if true)

but your car and your goals and dreams all count in the equation.
exceptions. just what are they, ?

93 16v
4 injectors that leak or are clogged
tbelt long ago slipped
fouled sparks
bad wires, cap rotor and filtes packed with crap.
maf never cleaned.

low compression on all 4. (below 170 is bad, HOT)
due to timing belt IGNORED.
if all cylinders are low
the tbelt slipped , or that last trip to Suz mech, the idiot didnt check the TSB
that was written in 1996(retro active i might add) did not perform the steps
in such TSB ( yes, he is not a ASE pro, as that is JOB 1)
not opinion, that is FACT.

never work on any car with out reading (reviewing) the TSBs.
DAH!

for the guessers.
runs bad:?
bad motor.
bad spark
over or under-fueling
egr stuck open
CAT melted blocking exit of exh.
dead sensors causing ,over-under fueling
dead actuators causing same.
fuel pressure on the moon (or way too low), (bad actuators category)
Maf dead or dirty, bad actuators again.
gross induction air leaks.
hot motor fails, air leaks near the Front O2 oxy sensor ( yours only has 1)
complex.
no?
and guess what, we fix this by:
1; tuning up car.
2: checking motor (compression and leak down)
3: using a scan tool an see if sensors are good.
4: check pump pressures (5 tests) and leak down rates on the injector.
5: exh back pressure.
6: sensors. (scan tool)

that is my help, hope it gets you on track.
 

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OK Ozzy,
Those part changes you mentioned was a good start.
Does Dear Old Dad (DOD) have any indication of when the Timing Belt TB was
last changed? It is a 60,000 mile replacement part, any mile beyond that is finger crossing. If the TB is older than that, it may have skipped a cog or two.
Also, DOD needs to find out if the crankshaft pulley is in the proper position and the Crankshaft pulley nut is properly torqued to 95 ft/lbs or something (check the Kick-Fix pages to be sure).

16 valve engines, are Interference engines. meaning if the valves and pistons get out of sync either by the timing belt slipping or breaking, or the crankshaft pulley slips (the loose pulley nut mentioned above), the valves and pistons may try to occupy the same places at the same time (not good!). If that happens, the worst case scenario is shattered valves and pistons and lots of pieces of metal flinging around the crankcase. If lucky, the camshaft may have end up in a neutral position with very little damage. somewhere in between some valves get bent no longer sealing the combustion chamber (loss of compression, loss of power).

As bog has said, these little beauties are not (Gas n' Go), they need regular scheduled maintenance, and with reasonable care could last 300 Kmiles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Zuk, I'm sure that he hasn't done the timing belt and doesn't have any info on when it was last done. At 130k on the odometer I'm assuming it's had at least one belt done but is probably due for another here. I'll tell him that's on the list of things to check. Is it a very difficult job? Are there any FSM's online or other service manuals online that I could look at to help walk him through?

Edit: What part of MN do you live in? I lived in MN and WI for two years and loved it!
OK Ozzy,
Those part changes you mentioned was a good start.
Does Dear Old Dad (DOD) have any indication of when the Timing Belt TB was
last changed? It is a 60,000 mile replacement part, any mile beyond that is finger crossing. If the TB is older than that, it may have skipped a cog or two.
Also, DOD needs to find out if the crankshaft pulley is in the proper position and the Crankshaft pulley nut is properly torqued to 95 ft/lbs or something (check the Kick-Fix pages to be sure).

16 valve engines, are Interference engines. meaning if the valves and pistons get out of sync either by the timing belt slipping or breaking, or the crankshaft pulley slips (the loose pulley nut mentioned above), the valves and pistons may try to occupy the same places at the same time (not good!). If that happens, the worst case scenario is shattered valves and pistons and lots of pieces of metal flinging around the crankcase. If lucky, the camshaft may have end up in a neutral position with very little damage. somewhere in between some valves get bent no longer sealing the combustion chamber (loss of compression, loss of power).

As bog has said, these little beauties are not (Gas n' Go), they need regular scheduled maintenance, and with reasonable care could last 300 Kmiles.
 

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Here is a great site with all the info you need for your car:
The KickFix Repair Pages, for Sidekicks and Trackers

Aside from bog's always very good advice, and zuke's info about the timing belt (extremely important on a 16v engine), you need to give some more info:
What kind of mileage are you getting? Does the car warm up to proper running temp (about 180F)? Is the check engine light on with the key in the on position, and then off when the car starts? Can you get a code 12 from the diagnostic jumper (instructions on how to get the codes here) -
Check Engine Lamp stuck ON?
When the car dies, have you pulled the spark plugs to see if they are dry or wet (lean or flooding)? Have you checked for vacuum leaks (the 16v will bog with vacuum leaks). Are spark plugs gapped to .028" (not out of the box which is wrong gap). When the car starts from cold, what is the rpm? What is the rpm with warm idle? Was car sitting for a long time with previous owner (old gas, no maintenance, etc.) Give more details!!
More info here:
why-power-loss-index
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From what I remember it seems like it ran a little on the cold side. Haven't had a chance to check what temp but I know if you're looking at the gauge it only pops up a little from cold, not even a 1/2 way to the middle (which I would assume is normal operating temp). I believe he put a new thermostat in it but if my memory serves me it didn't seem to make a difference.

That's about all the details I can give remotely. I wish I were down there to help him more but I'm not and with gas prices as high as they are I can't afford to drive down there at the moment.

Here is a great site with all the info you need for your car:
The KickFix Repair Pages, for Sidekicks and Trackers

Aside from bog's always very good advice, and zuke's info about the timing belt (extremely important on a 16v engine), you need to give some more info:
What kind of mileage are you getting? Does the car warm up to proper running temp (about 180F)? Is the check engine light on with the key in the on position, and then off when the car starts? Can you get a code 12 from the diagnostic jumper (instructions on how to get the codes here) -
Check Engine Lamp stuck ON?
When the car dies, have you pulled the spark plugs to see if they are dry or wet (lean or flooding)? Have you checked for vacuum leaks (the 16v will bog with vacuum leaks). Are spark plugs gapped to .028" (not out of the box which is wrong gap). When the car starts from cold, what is the rpm? What is the rpm with warm idle? Was car sitting for a long time with previous owner (old gas, no maintenance, etc.) Give more details!!
More info here:
why-power-loss-index
 

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the gauge is fisher price toy.
if you drove car for 1 year, and then one day it went higher, sure.
but is is not an instrument.

i pay no attention to them. i whip out the IR gun.
not to mention the POS is 20 year old toy, come on?

new thermostat.
195F, new in box ,with correct gasket, do not use the wrong gasket .
use rubber surround gasket for 4mm well pit rim.

get 1/2more mpg from better combustion.
bet better over heat resistance. ( efficiency boost)
get faster warm ups , more mpg on average. if you drive short trips.

i also never listen to rumors of this and that is new.
i hear, gee we just put in a new xxx
then find out new means in last decade.
bah.
look , test and do you own assessments.

id never run someone elses.
Tbelt
or Tstat.
or tuneup.
i just hate to walk.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Not to be rude but is English your 2nd language? Maybe I'm not being clear. After purchase we did a tune up on it, put in a new thermostat and that it most likely needs a new timing belt. :) I really do appreciate the help though since you are obviously knowledgable when it comes to Suzuki's.

Good to know that the gauge on these things isn't exactly accurate, I'll have to check the actual temp when I get down there one of these days. I'll also make sure he's running a 195F thermostat while I'm at it.

So next time I'm down I have the following to check on.

1) New timing belt
2) Check thermostat and verify 195F
3) Check crankshaft pully
4) Check actual coolant temp
5) Check sparkplug gap (may just put new ones in and gap them at that time. any suggestions on brand/part#)
6) Figure out how to test TPS and MAF
7) Check EGR valve and intake for carbon build up?
8) Any other suggestions?
the gauge is fisher price toy.
if you drove car for 1 year, and then one day it went higher, sure.
but is is not an instrument.

i pay no attention to them. i whip out the IR gun.
not to mention the POS is 20 year old toy, come on?

new thermostat.
195F, new in box ,with correct gasket, do not use the wrong gasket .
use rubber surround gasket for 4mm well pit rim.

get 1/2more mpg from better combustion.
bet better over heat resistance. ( efficiency boost)
get faster warm ups , more mpg on average. if you drive short trips.

i also never listen to rumors of this and that is new.
i hear, gee we just put in a new xxx
then find out new means in last decade.
bah.
look , test and do you own assessments.

id never run someone elses.
Tbelt
or Tstat.
or tuneup.
i just hate to walk.
 

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Zuk, I'm sure that he hasn't done the timing belt and doesn't have any info on when it was last done. At 130k on the odometer I'm assuming it's had at least one belt done but is probably due for another here. I'll tell him that's on the list of things to check. Is it a very difficult job? Are there any FSM's online or other service manuals online that I could look at to help walk him through?

Edit: What part of MN do you live in? I lived in MN and WI for two years and loved it!
Do Not Buy the Cheap Chinese Commie Crap (C^4) parts offered on That Auction Site (i.e. TAS or *bay) or anywhere else! I bought a TB belt there and it broke in 20 Kmiles (the water pump that I also bought was starting to leak too!)!

The kick-fix site has a lot of good info about changing the TB on the 16 valve, it just might be spread over several web pages. I've replaced the TB (along with the water pump, tension idler pulley, belts) a couple of times, it gets easier. Metric wrenches and sockets needed, beam type torque wrench (not click type), pan to collect coolant.

Print out the procedure (from the Kick-Fix pages and FSM) and make check marks by each completed step. DAMHIKT! (Don't Ask Me How I Know That)

I also use a small 12 drawer parts cabinet for the screws and bolts, moving to the next drawer when moving to the next part and reverse order for re-assembling. I make a "map" of what is in each drawer. An egg-carton would work too, if you don't accidentally spill it.

I find it helpful to remove the radiator (but not the A/C condenser) just not a lot of room between the fan and the shroud and radiator for my fat fingers. It takes a little bit of jiggling/juggling to get the shroud on/off.

A couple of the bolts on the TB cover are longer than the others, remember which holes they came out of.

Get a mechanics mirror, it will help in checking the crankshaft pulley to see if the key has slipped (therefore the pulley), and it helps when putting the pulley and its bolts back into place.

The tension idler arm has a "pawl" that goes into a hole in the back of the tension idler pulley, it has a macabre sense of humor and will unseat itself just as you think it is okay to tighten the tension idler pulley bolt. You won't notice it is out of place until everything is back together and you hear a new noise from the engine (the TB has drifted to one side or the other and rubs against something or the TB jumps a few cogs).

Save the studs from the old water pump, you may need them for the new.

Before buttoning everything up, check the valve lash, the bent style of feeler gauge works nice there. but you'll have to remove some stuff off the top of the engine to get the valve cover off (replace its gaskets).

Again, check bog's Kick-Fix pages, don't trust Chilton or Haynes, get Factory Service Manual (FSM) instead (*bay).

These little beauties have lots of quirks, but stick around this site, read other postings, search the forum, and you'll get a feel for them, and maybe even want to buy one (or fourteen) for yourself.

P.S. I live near Rochester MN.
 

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Not to be rude but is English your 2nd language? Maybe I'm not being clear. After purchase we did a tune up on it, put in a new thermostat and that it most likely needs a new timing belt.
bog is Red, White and Blue, sometimes he typos, but he is a GREAT authority on these relics.

I'm sure he brought the T-stat up again, because it is important that the proper (there are 3 different models of ) T-stat, some (as he mentioned) use a gasket, others not. The factory may have installed the wrong T-stat!
You or DOD need to find out which one is the right one for the car (Kick-Fix pages, again) and see that it is properly installed!

A cowboy don't like to repeat himself, if he does, you know you'd better take heed to what he said. :innocent:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
bog is Red, White and Blue, sometimes he typos, but he is a GREAT authority on these relics.
:) I wasn't trying to be rude, just didn't know since a lot of these sites have people from all over the world. I really do appreciate all the help you've both given me so far. I'm decent with working on toyota trucks but I have the FSM for mine in addition to a few other manuals, plus there's a TON of info on the web for Toy's vs the suzuki stuff.

I'd really like to get this zuk working well for him. I think they're a lot of fun to take off road and they seem to be built fairly well.
 

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sorry i didnt take the time to make it, Mark Twain like. GRIN.
i was speaking in the most general terms, not your case,
id have to ask 100 questions, to do yours.
ill stop now, before im obligated to dot eyes and cross Tee's.
I can speak really well, and can read even better, (why do you think i retired early, wink?)
in fact to my left are 10 new economics books. some 3 times read.

but on the forum im lazy, kinda like a CB radio , remember those....

to heck with this... , ill go back to the VW forum when people can hack away.
(we only have one literary snob there, and we ignore him)
cheers.
 

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to heck with this... , ill go back to the VW forum when people can hack away..
Ooh, I loved rec.autos.vw even after it split into aircooled and whatever!
Lot a friendly folks there...


(we only have one literary snob there, and we ignore him)
cheers.
Hey! I resemble that statement!:)
 

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Runs rough no power fix

My sidekick was doing alot of the same things after changing all sensors, ecm, plugs wires, and everything else I have read in these multiple posts regarding sidekicks running rough I unplugged MAss Air Sensor and like magic (1000 dollars later) the sidekick runs like new. Yes I have tried 4 different MAS on it that work just fine on other sidekicks and whenever you plug one in it dies or has no power. Explain that one.
 

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Might be easier to explain if we knew what you were driving....car, engine, tranny, mods, maintenance, please.
And a blind stab at your dilemma - MAF working on other cars but not yours....ah, wiring, connectors, grounds, ECU.....to start1
 

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gee dude, (AND A PIGGYBACK HIGH JACK TOO) THIS IS ozzy POST.
Kotch where is your car spec, you expect us to guess?
first post ever and is a hijack, way to go. so i guess and guess wrong,
that what you want?

NON SPECIFIC stated, EFI on all CARS made.::::::::::::::
your EFI is running lean.
the reason you didnt find out why is you never found that to be true nor did tests
to find out why.
and gee all kicks running lean go to gas suck mode "limphome" with maf pulled.

yes i can Explain this. so easy.

1: the ECU has Bad inputs. ( sure does ) (O2 showing rich all the time?)
all ecu, and all computers , garbage in , nets garbage out, called GIGO, rule 1.
or
2: the injectors are clogged, (limphome x2 the injectons and hides this)
This is bad ECU Actuators, by the book ,a classic failure.

3; MASSIVE AIR LEAKS, if car is hot, and is 16v (is it) and is lean (it is) and you have
any air leaks (illegal air causes LEAN) it also may cause of closed loop at idle and cruise.
does it?

i see you thru tons of parts, and not one test done.
do you fear tests?
spec car
and give history best is to start your own post. its no hard.
 
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