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AMD
AMD, Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2725
Experience:  L1 Advanced Level Diagnostics Specialist
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Suzuki Vitara: Hello, Im Joan In Ca. and I own a 2003 Suzuki

Customer Question

Hello, Im Joan In Ca. and I own a 2003 Suzuki Vitara, four door. I have been changing timing belts for the last ten years off and on. I have 84,000 on my car, and when I took it to Auto Oil changers today to change out the oil he thought my car might need a new timing chain. I cant find my owners manual. Do I need to replace the timing chain? Pulley? New Used Car?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  AMD replied 1 year ago.

AMD :

Hello and thank you for trusting us with your Car question, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you today.

AMD :

Are you available to discuss your question at this time?

Customer:

Hello

AMD :

Hello! how are you doing today?

Customer:

Good thank You....

AMD :

If I may ask, Is the vehicle making an abnormal noise by any chance?

Customer:

So, I own a Suzuki Vitara and yes it is making weird sounds like its off balance.

AMD :

OK I See. Are there any warning lights that are on?

Customer:

no, but I got a oil change today and the mechanic thought I might need a new timing change.

AMD :

OK let me go into this in a little bit more details.

Customer:

Sorry, how would I know if I need a new timing chain.

Customer:

ok

AMD :

First your vehicle does have a timing chain not a timing belt. Unlike a timing belt, chains don't really have a specific time where you need to replace them as a maintenance requirement. The only time you replace a chain is if there's an issue with it. Typically chains have 2 kinds of problems, Before I go into those any questions so far?

Customer:

Not yet

Customer:

go ahead please

AMD :

OK. Chains can stretch and become loose or they also call them slapping chains. When the chain becomes longer than it's supposed to it will be loose and slap against the internal body of the engine. typically this noise will be more apparent when the engine is idling more than when it's at higher rpm.

AMD :

The noise for a stretched chain will be a like a metallic slapping noise.

AMD :

the other issue that chains have is guide wear. A guide is basically a piece that guides the chain and is in constant contact with the chain, when this guide wears the plastic material that it has that muffles the contact with the chain wears off so now the chain is contacting a straight metal surface which would also cause a very loud noise which goes up and down with the engine speed and this one unlike the loose chain situation is constant and doesn't get less.

AMD :

Typically chains are designed to last the life of the engine by design, however some cars have chain issues where they stretch and your car is one of them.

Customer:

That is it. oh no...yes when I start it and it is idling it is rough. Terrible sound..how much to get it checked out and labor...ugggh.

AMD :

I cannot really hear the noise it's making, however it's a very familiar noise to any good mechanic just by hearing it and a simple diagnosis and they'll be able to tell if it's a chain making the noise or something else.

AMD :

Let me give you some prices and labor charges.

Customer:

Thanks

AMD :

OK the labor is around 7 hours total. Each labor hour is on average 70-90 dollars.

AMD :

Your car has 2 chains, if you are spending the labor might as well replace both, you are looking at 88 for one chain and 50 for the other.

AMD :

Every time you replace the chain you replace the guides as well, let me get you prices on those as well.

AMD :

the guides which are 3 total are around 150 dollars for all three.

AMD :

Just to make sure it's not a grand vitara, Your engine is a 4 cylinder 2.0L correct?

Customer:

Yes, not a Grand Vitara...2.OL.

AMD :

OK Then we are on the right track because the grand vitara is a different story.

AMD :

Make sure you have a mechanic that you trust listen to the noise and verify that the noise is indeed from the chain.

AMD :

And regarding the option of a new used car, That is something that depends on the condition of the car and your budget.

AMD :

If the car has been good to you then it's worth fixing, if you are tired of the car and it has costed you a lot of money then it's time for a new used car.

AMD :

Did you have any other questions for me today?

Customer:

I will, should I take it to a Suzuki Dealership? I have new tires, and the car is in great condition but 1000.00 worth of repairs including labor...should I trade it in with 84,000 miles on it?

Customer:

I like a small 4 cylinder utility vehicle look...any good ideas on great buys right now for a used car ..../

AMD :

Consider both options. I think a dealership is more capable and knowledgeable in your car, but their prices are also up there. So I would go to the dealership, get a diagnosis and a complete estimate of repair. Then see how much would the car be worth trading in as is. then do a quick market look around and see if there are any cars in your budget that might interest you. If you can't find something suitable then fixing your car would be the better option here.

AMD :

For great buys it all depends on your budget. Any idea of how much you can spend on a used car?

Customer:

Ok, thank you soooo much, you have been very helpful. Trade in, with nothing down.of of course....thanks..

AMD :

OK Would you consider buying a new car for example? or would be interested in a used newer car? 2010+?

Customer:

Newer Used car 2010 or better thanks.

Customer:

Any American Made Ideas?

AMD :

Even though I am an import specialist but I will recommend a few american made ideas. We are still sticking with a 4 cylidner small SUV or crossover correct?

Customer:

Yes

AMD :

OK For non american options you have the 2010 and up Toyota rav4, 4 cylinder very good car over all and high resale value and very reliable, available in both 2wd and awd models. 2010 and up honda crv is an excellent choice as well and same options as the rav4. really those 2 cars are the same, just a matter of taste and brand preference.

AMD :

For american cars you can get a ford escape, I hear good things about them.

Customer:

Thank you sooo much you have been the greatest. Thanks.

AMD :

You're welcome! Did you have any other questions for me today?

Customer:

I will do my homework. Thanks.

AMD :

You're welcome! I'm glad I could help. A positive rating for my input would be greatly appreciated.

Customer:

No AMD...Thank you

AMD :

Thank you for choosing justanswer.com. I wish you the best.

AMD, Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2725
Experience: L1 Advanced Level Diagnostics Specialist
AMD and 19 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

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