Question about 1998 Suzuki Sidekick

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1989 Suzuki 4 wheel drive problem

I have a 1989 Sidekick, auto transmission with 4 wheel drive and manual locking hubs. This morning outside temp was 12 degrees and icy.
I locked in the hubs and placed the car in 4H, indicator light showed 4H and I drove approx 4 miles and found the front wheels were not pulling I moved the locks on the hubs in and out 4 or 5 times and shifted the lever from 2 wheel to 4H drive multiple times, when the car was in motion I also noticed as I attempted to go from 4H to 2H the shifter would grind and I would have to stop moving to make the shift. I replaced the 1/2 shafts and serviced the hubs about 10000 miles ago and the 4 wheel drive worked fine last winter and spring but it has not been this cold. I have not tried using the car since this morning because we are no warmer than earlier. Could this be because of the temperature? I also have not locked in the hubs for awhile (just been lazy I guess) Thank you for your advice. Hal Reese

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  • Anonymous Feb 08, 2009

    I have a vitara and the front wheels are receiving no drive, even though the 4wd light is on plus the hubs are locked, any idea's what the cause is or where I should look first?



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  • Suzuki Master
  • 20,706 Answers

Welcome to part time 4wd, its for ice and offroad ONLY.
rule #1 PT 4wd needs at least 1 tire on ice or say dirt.
if not it will WIND UP AND BIND UP and damage the transfer case chain. (i see you did that)!!!
also the locks love to fail, fixed many.
they need greasing every 15k miles, per the book .
its a constant service, and if water gets inside, AS ALL DO.
then more service. on the wheel locks.
if one fails the whole axle fails in 4wd.(slips but no grind/bind)

got one tire on ICE or now,????


the question is , as for ever 1944 jeeps to now, PT
is what if road is 1/2 ice,?
dry, then ice then dry then ice. dig?

answer, go to 2H and driver slower!!!
or sell car and get a 2004+ Vitara with full time 4wd
in USA suzuki is bugged out, sold all mine, they sux now.
never buy any suzuki in USA or CANADA
buy a real JEEP. (or Rav4 or >?) nor buy any ISUZU. here.

Posted on Mar 10, 2017


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SOURCE: auto transmission does not shift into 1st gear properly

Try some Seafoam brand trans tune it might help.
Even if it dosen't it's a cheap experment.

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SOURCE: '95 Suzuki Sidekick 4wheel drive problem

I maybe able to help. Did it make any noise when you tried (grinding or groan hum exe..) or just not work. If so the first thing I would do is to change the transfer case oil, check for metal in the oil, if there is that's really not good, take to shop. If no shinny metal replace with good quality oil, if it's red use atf if black or brown use 75W 90 and some. Auto trans fluid is recommended in cold climates or adding torque modifier check with parts store or dealer prefferably for what to use unless comfortable with choice then change front differentail fluid, with recommended fluid and torque modifier for limited slip differentails 2oz or alittle more. both holes fill till you can stick your finger in an just bairly bend it 1/8 or so inches and touch fluid. don't try to fill all the way if it comes out of the whole your filling clean up mess and allow as much to drain out as possible. If that happens you may have it vent through the vent and may see/ smell what every you put in it. If your comfortable with taking the diff cover off and replacing the gasket if needed (usually is) make sure its clean, don't use water or anything water based brake clean is good but check for metal and brownish or simial colored stuff in bottom of housing and of course metal. The teeth on the ring gear and pinion( ring gear is the small one in the back, ring gear is big and will be closest to you. if you have hunks of metal in there its smoked and replacement of ring gear and pinion is required (not cheap) there is alot more to look for but that should start you off in the right direction.

Posted on Dec 30, 2008

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SOURCE: 1988 chevy 4x4 actuator

The switch for the 4wd light is on top of the transfer case. It is probably sticking

Posted on Apr 07, 2009

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SOURCE: i have a 93 suburban deisel 4x4 when it is in 2h

Chances are you have either a worn "Range fork" of the nylon pads on the fork are worn. Either problem requires dis-assembling the transfer case to repair.

Posted on Jul 08, 2009

  • 20 Answers

SOURCE: 91 suzuki side kick 4x4

the hubs need servicing..the grease is dry inside the hubs..if u not sure how to open the hubs and need a cheap fix then go buy a service manual for it parts shop and it will show u how to remove and install them back..i had the same exact problem..and it just cost me 20 bucks to slove it..

Posted on Aug 26, 2009

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Stop the vehicle, engage the parking brake and if applicable, get out and turn the hubs on the front wheels from Free, to Lock.(You may not have these on a Suzuki, they may be auto-lockers)

Get back in the vehicle and put the transmission shift selector into Neutral.

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