Last post on Jan 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM
You are in the Suzuki Grand Vitara/Vitara
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Suzuki Grand Vitara, SUV
#999 of 1048 Excessive tire wear, alignment problems
Sep 04, 2009 (6:09 pm)
I have been reading many of the comments left about excessive tire wear and alignment problems on the GV from different years. Since buying my 2008 GV new, I myself have experience excessive tire wear and alignment problems. After purchasing my 2008 GV new, within 3 months and only 3,000 miles, began to notice excessive tire wear on my rear tires, a constant skidding of tires whenever I turned a corner and a loss of control in the rear end while driving the GV in wet weather. I took my Suzuki into a Suzuki dealership because of the tire wear and handling problem. Upon inspection, was told by the service technician that the tires had been over inflated and was the reason for the excessive wear and instability. As soon as I was told that, I asked for a tire gauge from the technician, checked the tire pressure in all 4 tires while the technician was standing there just to prove to him that the tires were not over or under inflated. I told him that it might benefit him to do the proper diagnostic tests needed to see if my GV was out of alignment. Keep in mind that this is the dealership that I purchased my GV from that was suppose to put my Suzuki through PDI when it was taken off the truck and before allowing me to drive it off the lot. When we walked back into the office, the technician tried to located my records from when my Suzuki went through PDI to see if the alignment was checked at that time. Come to find out, the records could not be located because my Suzuki never went through PDI which, was a shock to all.
Once the technician put my GV on the machine to check the alignment and specs, he quickly found out that it was out of alignment and spec. So, he did an alignment on it and I was assured that that the tire wear would stop. I continued to drive my Suzuki only to notice that within 1 month, the tire wear had gotten worse. I took my Suzuki to NTB to have the alignment checked and come to find out it was out alignment and spec. I took it back to a Suzuki dealership along with the spec sheet from NTB to show them that the alignment did not hold, the tire wear was worse and the my Suzuki was out of spec again. They aligned it again and told me that they were able to get it aligned properly and into spec. So, I had the tires replaced. My tires have been on my Suzuki for 2 months as of date and are completely worn bald, handling of my GV is very difficult because it does what mechanics call "walking" which is dangerous because the driver has no control at the steering wheel when this happens. Stability is very difficult in dry and wet weather.
I took my GV back to NTB just yesterday to have the alignment checked again. Come to find out my Suzuki is so badly out of alignment and spec, worse than before, that the service technician was not able to bring it into spec for a proper alignment. The eccentrics had been adjusted as much as possible and could not be adjusted any more. Upon further inspection by the service manager of parts, bushings, rear suspension,cradle, frame, etc., everything seemed to be ok. So, the news that I got from the service manager and service technician about my GV not being able to be aligned properly was not good at all.
Needless to say, I started doing research and came across this site among others. I was really amazed at how many stories were posted about the same problems I am having with my GV. So, I decided to hired an attorney to get to the bottom of the ongoing tire wear and alignment problem I among other GV owners, are experiencing.
If anyone else has had to hire an attorney, I would be interested in knowing how your cases have turned out. It seems that Suzuki has been aware of the problem for years but as of date, but still has not done anything to correct it.
#1000 of 1048 Re: Excessive tire wear, alignment problems [dlcorbin]
Sep 04, 2009 (6:40 pm)
Sorry to hear of your problems. I'm one of the past zuke owners that will bad mouth the GV till the end. Others have had great "luck".
I didn't hire an attorney. Should have. I had my GV in for at least 3 alignments. They said i wasn't rotating my tires enough. Geez, what was i supposed to do, bring my floor jack with me and rotate tires every week? Who replaces tires at 16,000 miles in the first year and for 17" wheels it was almost $600. Suzuki flat out denied my claim. Said it was normal.
You're better off buying real estate in Vegas and taking the loss. At least you'll have a place to stay.
Sep 05, 2009 (7:52 am)
Ah yes, brings back painful memories - my "new" vehicle with bald tires at 22,000 km. Both the dealer and a Kal Tire claimed that it was typical for OEM tires (Geolander) to wear quickly (soft rubber, better ride, and less money for the manufacturer who is buying these tires in bulk). Reluctantly, I bought new rubber (Toyo H/T Open Country) and at around 60,000 km, they are holding up well.
Sounds like dlcorbin may have an incompetent dealer on his hands, or at least a suspect alignment machine at the dealership. Getting a second opinion was smart. I'm one of the fortunate ones ... even after being rear ended big time 2 years ago, alignment issues haven't plagued my GV, nor any other satisfied owners of GV's I know locally.
Then... there's that "characteristic" (as my dealer says) hummmm at about 110 km/h under slight load. No vibration on the steering wheel, but you can hear it and sense it in your seat. Transmission, transfer case? I don't commute, and I rarely go that fast anyway ! If I did a lot of freeway driving, I think this would start to get annoying. I was able to purchase a 3 year extension on the manufacturer's original 3 year warranty just in case it gets worse, or something snaps !!
#1002 of 1048 Re: Excessive tire wear, alignment problems [budman3]
Sep 05, 2009 (10:56 am)
How funny! I guess I would be better off buying real estate and possibly buying a scooter as well.
From what I have been told, if you put a 50,000, 25,000, etc., mile tire on a vehicle, the tires under normal driving conditions specified for that tire by the manufacture, should last up to the 50,000, 25,000, etc. limit. Rotating my tires was not an option for me because the wear had begun way before my tires were do for rotating. So, I had to have new ones put on.
It has been only 2 months since the new ones were put on and now they are completely bald. Still way before recommended rotation. I don't even get a chance to rotate. Now, it is really scary to find out that my GV can not be brought back into spec or properly alignment at all. NTB tried however, after they tried to align my GV, did another spec report and showed me were they were not able to bring it back into spec. So, my tires will always wear at a very fast rate, I will always have stability and handling problems.
After speaking with my attorney, it was indicated to me that there are more cases like mine that have been filed against Suzuki. Gosh, one would think that Suzuki would recall the SUV.
#1003 of 1048 Here we go again. Wake Up, Suzuki
Sep 05, 2009 (8:01 pm)
This problem was mostly reported for 2006 GV's, and it may be the first 2008 I've heard of with the problem. I've heard that Suzuki very quietly bought back some of the earlier ones with this problem, which would suggest they had something wrong with them that Suzuki could not fix. I have not heard what happened to the buybacks, and suspect they may have ended up back on the market.
Anyway, this is not just a costly hassle and a ripoff. It's a serious safety hazard. GV's with fast treadwear means they are always in a bit of a skid. It means you will cross the threshold into loss of control very easily. Cases of this should therefore be reported to the NHTSA/carsafe website. And I would drive the thing only very cautiously until it's sorted out. Or not at all if you can afford it.
You might try sending a registered letter to Suzuki America about it as a last resort before calling in the lawyers.
Our '06GV has 40,000km on it. The original Geolander tires have 35,000km on them, and are less than half worn out. Tracking and stability are perfect. Only Suzuki knows for sure how common this problem was, but it's ridiculous that so many people who ran into it had bad customer treatment added to the harm they already suffered. I'd estimate that half the people with the defect could not get Suzuki to fix it. And obviously they were never compensated for the effort they put into it.
Enough reports on the NHTSA site should eventually trigger a recall. Good luck with it.
#1004 of 1048 2008 Grand Vitara - Immobilizer?
Sep 21, 2009 (10:41 am)
Looking to import a 2008 Grand Vitara in to Canada from the USA. Does anyone know if the 2008 Grand Vitara is fitted standard with an immobilizer in the USA?
#1005 of 1048 Re: Excessive tire wear, alignment problems [dlcorbin]
Oct 09, 2009 (10:26 am)
My 2006 GV is a tire eating machine. It has been a excellent vehicle. I have 53,000 miles with absolutely no problems but I have to count on replacing the tires every 25,000.
#1006 of 1048 Re: Excessive tire wear, alignment problems [fishwar]
Oct 11, 2009 (10:29 pm)
If you're rotating the tires regularly, 25,000 miles is on the low side. Some people have done far worse, of course. 25,000 miles would be doing well if you don't rotate them.
We have about 35,000km on our original tires, and they have about half the original tread depth.
It seems most of the GV's didn't have this tire wear/alignment problem. Of the ones that did, some were fixed on the first try, some took many efforts, and some were never fixed no matter how hard the owners tried.
#1007 of 1048 Re: Excessive tire wear, alignment problems [dlcorbin]
Jan 04, 2010 (7:02 pm)
I feel your pain...I own a 2007 Grand Vitara and whenever the roads are wet or worse yet, icy, you risk your life driving the thing. It "wanders" so bad, you have absolutley no control over the vehicle. My Geolander tires were bald at 28000km. My local Suzuki dealer up here in Canada will not acknowledge that this is a factory defect, neither will the Suzuki customer non-service people I was adviced to call. They just tell you that warranty covers alignments to 20000km. That's it. My truck is booked in with an independent garage this week, to get this alignment done. Ironically, my mechanic has the the same Grand Vitara, only a 2008 model, with the same problem. He said the problem is with the rear wheels. He aligned it once using factory specs, with no improvement. The second alignment he did using specs he got after talking to several Suzuki techs fixed the problem for the most part. Shame on you Suzuki for not addressing this serious safety issue!
#1008 of 1048 Re: Excessive tire wear, alignment problems [canwest]
Jan 04, 2010 (7:32 pm)
To start on a happy note, Happy New Year to all. Hope everyone is surviving the great white north.
canwest, I had the same issues on my 2006. Multiple visits to the dealer and at least 3 alingements and Suzuki wouldn't pay for more than 1 during the warranty. Constant tire rotation (3000 miles). Didn't help. Geolanders were rated for 22,000 miles but mine needed replacing at 16,000. Try and find a good deal on 17" tires. $600+ and Suzuki didn't help a bit. They didn't care, said it was normal. I don't know about you, but replacing tires yearly doesn't seem normal to me.
I also had a hard time keeping the GV in a straight line. it was always an effort. Almost like driving on ice all the time.
I won't even go into all the other visits to the dealer. Not surprised the dealer is now out of business in our town.
Hope norwoodsman is having good luck with his Honda. I just took a quick look at my maintenance chart for our Honda's/Acura, 94,500 miles accumulated and not one visit to the dealer and only the Accord with 52,000 miles is ready for new tires.
Suzuki, are you listening?