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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Im new to this forum and would appreciate any sort of insight in regards to a suzuki grand Vitara, that seems to have difficulty shifting into gear while at a complete stop. Basically the car will not shift into any gear unless i first put it into 3rd gear. Once its in 3rd i can put it into 1st, although there are times where i cant even get it to shift into 1st from 3rd unless i turn the car off. This problem only seems to arise at a stop as i can shift fine while the vehicle is moving. Would appreciate any suggestions on what the probable cause is. The car has about 110k kms on it. Sorry for the long message but would really appreciate some help.

Cheers.
 

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Dragging clutch?
 

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I had a similar problem due to the clutch not fully disengaging when the pedal was fully pressed. This did correct itself which is just a well as there is no manual adjustment. Possibly a pston seal was temporarily allowing fluid to get past it. Check the fluid resevoir to make sure it is not low from leaking fluid. There may be water or air in the clutch hydraulics so may simply need bleeding. You may just wait to see if it corrects itself if driving is still not too difficult. If the clutch is not slipping there is no need for replacement.
 

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The clutch systems on these are problematic for air and other bleeding issues. I've had to wedge a bit of wood between the seat and the pedal and hold it depressed over night to get stubborn air bubbles to move. For reasons known only to the GM engineers that designed the slave cylinder, the bleed is lower than the fluid inlet. Bleeding it might help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Appreciate the comments, i sincerely hope its as simple as that @Platypup. Ive Checked the fluid levels at the master cylinder and showing its full. Also, if air did make its way into the system would that effect how the pedal feels? My pedal feels nice and firm and there doesnt seem to be any noticeable leakage from inside the foot well area.
 

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If you can select all the gears smoothly with the engine off but not with the engine on, the problem is going to be the clutch not disengaging completely, bleeding is the only thing you can do without dropping the transmission, by all means bleed it, but if/when that doesn't correct the problem (and I doubt that it will), you're going to have to drop the transmission, and at that point you might as well replace the clutch - clutch disc, pressure plate release bearing, and since that vehicle has a concentric clutch slave cylinder, I'd be replacing that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks @fordem i had a sneaking suspicion it was more than likely the clutch but not 100pct certain. I wanted to see if other people experienced this same issue and wether they managed to find a solution. Only thing i can do is hope that bleeding it will alleviate the problem otherwise it will be an expensive repair. Ill try and keep you fellas updated.

Cheers.
 

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Try bleeding it, don't let any air in while doing it. Its a silly design but my 2013 has done it a couple of times, pedal feels good but it drags just enough to be annoying. Quick double pump and it goes into gear. Flushed new fluid thru, and it came right. That ones at 160,000 kms and coming due for a clutch as it gets a hard life off road.

Its cheaper than doing a clutch, and if it doesn't fix it, all its cost you is a bottle of brake fluid sbd a bit of time.
 

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Have you attempted applying vacuum to the system..?
 

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Have you attempted applying vacuum to the system..?

Pressure or vacuum bleeding either reverse or normal flow direction makes no difference they are a pig to bleed. There's countless threads in here about the clutch issues. I hate the setup.
 

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I was referring to applying vacuum to remove any air in system before the bleed.. Air under vacuum becomes more dense/smaller...
 

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I know what you're suggesting, the seals only like pressure, even vacuum bleeding with a hand pump can draw air in thru the master cylinder shaft seal
 

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.... Also, if air did make its way into the system would that effect how the pedal feels? My pedal feels nice and firm ...
I know from experience bleeding my 2.4 clutch that shifting is still fine with enough air in the system to make the clutch pedal feel very soft. I can't see that you'll avoid a replacement clutch from your description, and that should include the slave cylinder.
 

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Have you considered the type and age of the transmission oil.. I once had a truck that was difficult to shift until I changed it over to ATF Synthetic.. then it shifted like butter...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@aquanaut20 that was the first thing i did when it became difficult to shift. I thought if i replaced the old trans oil with ATF synthetic it would help with shifting, but unfortunately it made no difference at all. Only option is to bleed it and hope it helps.
 

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For your interest if you go the full hog and replace the clutch I had mine done not that long ago at a Repco garage for just under $A1500 in case you want to start saving, That was in South Australia but as you are in Queensland I do not know what that would be in bananas and pineapples!
 

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For your interest if you go the full hog and replace the clutch I had mine done not that long ago at a Repco garage for just under $A1500 in case you want to start saving, That was in South Australia but as you are in Queensland I do not know what that would be in bananas and pineapples!
Don't forget the cane toad disposal fees too
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Platypup if i could pay in bananas or pineapples i would. Seeing $1500 hurts my eyes, im assuming that also covered the cost of a new slave cylinder? Unfortunately it seems like like ill have to bite the bullet, as bleeding the system hasn't changed my situation. I had no idea going into bleeding this thing would be such a pita, thank god for the online workshop manuals. Why they didnt decide to have an external slave cylinder baffles me.
 
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