Last post on Sep 02, 2013 at 2:31 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Tracker
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Chevrolet Tracker, Suzuki Sidekick, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Suzuki Vitara, SUV
#337 of 1845 Tracker tranny problems
May 31, 2001 (9:40 am)
I have a friend with a 1998 Tracker, and the shop just told him he needs a new transmission. They said they could put in a used one for $1700, which sounds awfully steep to me.
Anybody else had any problems with their Tracker trannies?
Here's a little history on his...around 28,000 miles, it started acting up. I forget what, exactly, but the dealership fixed it under warranty. Then, around the 50K mark or so, it had to go back, again fixed under warranty. This time they did what they called an "overhaul" which would have run about $750 if it had been out-of-pocket.
Now, it's got around 77K or so miles on it. Are these things that unreliable that they have to go in for repairs every 25K miles or so?
His warranty was up at 60K miles, and I'm also wondering if they just tried to nurse the tranny along so that it would get him through the warranty period. Since he's had problems since it was under warranty, and it was never really fixed (getting it to last another 25K miles before breaking again doesn't constitute "fixing" to me!), would he have any recourse with Chevrolet?
Last time I had to have a tranny rebuilt, it was a '79 Newport, and it was only $650! While that's nothing to reference against, how much more complicated could a Tracker tranny be? It's still a 3-speed automatic, and still RWD.
Thanks for any info
#338 of 1845 gas mileage
Jun 01, 2001 (5:37 pm)
Over the past two years I've averaged 25-26 mpg at 70-75 mph freeway speeds and 29-30mpg at 45-60 mph secondary highway speeds with my '99 Tracker 2.0 liter 4-door with manual transmission. I maintain tire pressure at 28 psi and utilize the cruise control as much as possible. Head winds hurt gas mileage a lot, and tail winds help a lot. Load doesn't seem to effect mpg that much. One slow 150 mile trip over a mountain pass in 4WD through a blizzard resulted in 32 mpg.
#339 of 1845 Tracker Oil & Filter Change/Mileage
Jun 03, 2001 (11:13 am)
Today I became "intimate" with my 2000 Tracker's 2 Liter engine for the first time-- deciding to do its fourth oil and filter change myself. Why? Well, first off, when I do it, I KNOW how it has been done. (When I removed the filter today, I was able to twist it off with my hand MUCH too easily-- a wonder I had not had a leak since the Chevy dealer's last effort.) Secondly, even though I saved only about $11 over having it done (and I have to take the used oil to the city's deposit center about three miles away), changing it myself is sort of a "guy thing" with me
Since I weigh 300 pounds, getting under and to the filter was a bit difficult, but not really a big deal. A 17mm socket removes the pan plug which is VERY easy to access, just behind the radiator. I did all this with all four wheels on the ground-- no lift or ramps.
One other thing-- I was told by the salesman when I bought my 4-Dr, 2 WD-- that my "mileage would improve" after the engine was broken in. Of course I didn't believe him-- but, I now wonder if he may have actually been right. Just got back from driving 453 miles using the AC, and I got 26.14 m.p.g. which is the best it has ever done for me. This is auto-transmission, driving the legal limit, and on 86/87 octane regular unleaded.
Now at just over 12,000 miles, no problems other than my squeaks, previously discussed and cured with spray lithium grease.
Jun 03, 2001 (7:32 pm)
My wife has a 1999 2.0 L 4-door Tracker.
Have any of you guys ever flushed the automatic transmission oil and radiator coolant yourselves? How easy or difficult are these procedures?
Jun 04, 2001 (5:53 am)
It is only 2 years old. You should check your dipstick and if it starts to look or smell burnt, then change it. Otherwise, this is not really a maintenance item I would think.
Heck, I had a 78 Dodge Magnum which I never replaced the transmission fluid on (well, maybe added a little). Never a problem, and this was in the bad old days, before low maintenance was even a buzzword.
#342 of 1845 flushing the tranny
Jun 04, 2001 (6:48 am)
I don't know about the newer Trackers, but my friend's '98 is very high maintenance, and they recommend changing the tranny fluid every 15,000 miles. This might have changed with the '99 models, as I believe they have 4-speed automatics.
My friend's Tracker is at the transmission shop right now, after having rescued it from All Tune. I test drove it the other day, and it does hold the gears too long before shifting, over-revving the engine a bit. Whenever one of my old clunkers did that, it meant it was time to add more transmission fluid. I checked his, though, and it had enough, was clean, and didn't smell burnt. When I described it to the guys at the tranny shop, they said it sounded like it just needed a sensor or something.
Sasquatch, depending on the engine, your '78 Magnum had either a Torqueflite 727, which is probably the sturdiest transmission ever built, or a 904 or one of its variants, which is the second strongest They were just sturdy and used heavy components, so they would last and could take the abuse. Also, the Torqueflite has been around since 1957, so they'd been building the things for years.
New transmissions are much more complicated though, and extrememly expensive to repair. The last time I had to have a Chrysler tranny rebuilt, it was $650, in a '79 Newport. Even though they SAY low maintenance nowadays, they don't always mean it. For instance, I think Chrysler recommends changing the tranny fluid in my Intrepid every 50K miles. It needed it at 30K though.
#343 of 1845 which just goes to show you...
Jun 04, 2001 (8:05 am)
"They don't build them like they used to."
(P.S. It had a 318. I bought it off my dad when I went to college. I wish he had gotten the T-roofs and Police Package, and I also wish I still had that car. The Lean Burn engine control and rusty rear quarters and trunk did that car in. Probably made 140 HP out of a 318 V8.)
#344 of 1845 Update on my friend's Tracker
Jun 04, 2001 (11:29 am)
My friend just called me, and said that the transmssion place fixed his Tracker, for $20.00. All Tune and Lube was ready to charge him $1700 to throw in a used tranny, but it turns out all it was was a problem with a linkage cable that needed to be adjusted.
Needless to say, he's not going back to All Tune any time soon!
(PS: Sasquatch...sounds like the same setup my Newport had...318 with 135 hp, Lean Burn. Tranny went out at around 230K miles.)
Jun 05, 2001 (4:54 pm)
Filled the tank today. 23.5 mpg. All in-town driving. '01 LT automatic 6cyl. 2100 miles on the odometer. Should get better with a couple thousand more miles on the odometer.
Jun 13, 2001 (12:15 am)
filled the tank again today. This time I only got 20.5 mpg. I drove it most of the week myself, so I figure my wife keeps her foot out of the throttle and gets better mpg than I do. Havent found anything to complain about yet. That black and silver is a sharp color combo, for sure. Cute little thing