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Discussion Starter #1
Alright guys I have a few questions. my 2001 chevy tracker has some stupid mods from the previous owner, including bixenon lamps (with some goofy control module) the fog lamps or whatever make zero difference in visibility, i literally cannot tell when they are on, but if I run them the idle bogs down to 550 and rough. It's not dramatic, it took a couple weeks of driving it before I started noticing. It also struggles to run multiple accs. For example if I'm running the wildsheild washers and radio the belts will squeal when turn hard or brake. I drive at night almost daily, and havn't had any issues with the lights until the other day when they were flickering and stayed off for a few seconds. Pretty stressful because I was in the middle of nowhere at midnight. I was pretty scared they would die completely, but they didn't and the problem hasn't returned.

Second issue, the previous owner installed a stupid high flow air filter. It has decent low end power, I can climb hella steep hills just fine, but it dosn't feel like it wants to accelerate until I hit 3k rpms. If I really give it gas, it roars or some kindof noise a bit but dosn't accelerate. I'm thinking this is due to dirty MAF, totally detached and flopping around intake temp, and cheap air filter that isn't really filtering.

Any ideas?
 

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I'm thinking this is due to dirty MAF, totally detached and flopping around intake temp, and cheap air filter that isn't really filtering
That is probably the Air Inlet Temperature Sensor. You need to get that Temp Sensor contained back into the air inlet stream, first off.

As far as what sort of botched wiring you have, we can't even begin to guess what was done there. At a minimum you need to find and correct any undersize wiring installed, poor connections, breaks or chafing to ground issues. :huh:

An alternator output and battery performance TEST would be a good baseline procedure too.

A computer code scan as well.
 

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The squealing noise will be the alternator belt slipping under load. It's probably best to replace the belt and make sure the new one is tensioned tight enough.

I'd get rid of the HID light kit, they can be problematic (and I don't think there's anywhere in the world where they are actually legal.....) Hopefully it's a "plug and play" type with no permanent wiring changes done?
 

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PS: Perhaps try and get your hands on a 2nd hand air filter box and ditch the pod style filter. It could be affecting your idling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. I got my hands on an older suzuki air cleaner box that I'm sure will work same as stock. I still have to find time to do the swap and chase down these little issues. Would these HID lights be drawing way more power than normal lights?
 

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They should draw less continuous current- at least in theory. But if they're a cheap kit (and poorly installed) there's the possibility they could be causing other electrical problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just noticed the dash lights dimming, like flickering but never fully going out. Alternator? Still some wiring/grounding potential issue?
 

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One thing I just thought of - is that current filter an oiled cotton type? If it is, it's possible for the oil to contaminate the air flow sensor.

Given the electrical mods to your vehicle, it would pay to check the major wiring points for the alternator and battery. Pay particular attention to the battery terminal clamps and earth points for the battery/ body/ engine. If you've got a multimeter measure for voltage between the battery negative terminal and engine block (with the engine running)- ideally there should be zero volts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My headlights quit entirely, but came back on after sitting for an hour. And after checking out the wiring and taking some multimeter readings, I think my HID bulbs are just old. Wouldn't that explain it? They are drawing too much amperage and struggle to turn on when hot.
 

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HID's will have a high start up current. Perhaps the kit is broken, or you've got other electrical issues resulting in a low battery voltage and that's causing it?

I'd revert back to the stock H4 halogen..... Get rid of the non OEM bits that have the most potential to be behind the problems.

BTW, what was the battery voltage sitting at with the engine running? Did the earths check out okay?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
battery, car off: 12.82V
car on and warm, 800rmps: 14.36V
car on, all accessories on: 13.40V, dropped to 13.15V after a minute or two (AC compressor warming up?)

Headlight terminals right where the bulb connects, downstream of the ballasts and everything tested at 13.80V

0.000V between battery negative and engine block.

All my connections are rock solid and clean. If I'm honest, I haven't seen a wiring job this pretty before. I'm not sure if I might have had some belt squeal on the AC before the car warmed up during the day. Meaning, normally I only notice issues at night when my lights are on. But I think I might of had some slippage without the lights on and just assumed thats super normal for a cold engine and cold belts. Belt seems plenty tight, but I'm no professional.

Headlights will not come on at all now. Earlier today they would come on really dim, now they offer nothing. But it is even on both sides - each light has its own ballast, which would seem to implicate the point at which they connect, which is after the ballasts at the relay. But there is plenty of voltage and amperage at the bulbs. Two bulbs behaving identically simultaneously?

I'm gonna wire up some accessory lights for two reasons: I have to drive at night and need to see and be seen (here in Costa Rica there are no legal risks of running trail lights as headlights), and I want to see what happens if I draw another 10 amps off the system totally unrelated to the headlight wiring.
 

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Have you checked the alternator belt is tight?

It's hard to diagnose what the problem is with those HID head lights - is the OEM H4 bulb connector still there on the loom? If it is, perhaps try unplugging one of the HID kits and put a normal H4 halogen bulb in- see if that lights up.

Keep in mind the Suzuki headlight switch works by switching the head light earth - so you should have +12V permanently at the HID relay. The earth signal should "appear" when the headlights are switched on and activate the relay/s.
 
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