Question about Suzuki Grand Vitara

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Hi- I have had my Grand Vitara since almost new (it was a demonstrator for 4 months). It has been A1 until recently when it started to experience intermittent loss of acceleration, both from a standstill and when moving. Then, sudden acceleration will occur. It has been to the local Suzuki Main Dealer, where one of the mechanics drove the vehicle and actually experienced the problem himself. The car was tested with all the diagnostic equipment and no problem could be found. The only suggestion was to spend $20 on a diesel additive which has not cured the problem, and to be told by 'the expert' that of course intermittent problems are very difficult to diagnose and solve.....even life threatening ones when driving!! Please can you help? Thanks in anticipation, regards, Anna

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Hi. If you think a mechanic should be able to solve this problem after driving it and testing it, you may be right. But for us that cannot touch it or see it, it's really hard. That said, I do have an idea about what could be causing this. On the throttle body, you have a throttle position sensor that is attached to the throttle shaft. The computer uses data from that sensor to calculate the injector fuel charge. The sensor is a simple rheostat that changes resistance according to how far the throttle is open. Sometimes the little contacts in the rheostat get dirty or corroded and become intermittent. So if you push the pedal but the contacts don't touch, the computer does nothing to increase the fuel charge. If you then push further, the contacts may finally make contact, but by then the resistance is much lower at that point on the rheostat, so the computer thinks you really want to go. Or perhaps there is something loose inside such that the resistance might change randomly.
Now, these sensors can cost up to $200 depending on the car, and I don't have the year of your car or the engine size or I could be more precise. Therefore, I don't recommend going out a buying one unless we're sure that is the problem. So I recommend you test the sensor using an ohmmeter. Of course the thing is intermittent, so you will have to be patient. What you do is remove the connector from the sensor, hook the ohmmeter up to the sensor (there may be 3 terminals--use the 2 that show a change in resistance when the throtte is opened) and slowly move the throttle back and forth. The resistance should change uniformly as the throttle angle is changed. I would do this over and over to see if I could get it to act up and give the wrong reading or to change suddenly when it should change slowly.
Now I realize you may not have an ohmmeter or know where to find the throttle body on the car, but these barriers can be overcome. The throttle body is on top of the engine where the big rubber hose connects and the cable from the accelerator pedal connects. Again, I can be more specific if you tell me the year and engine size.
As for the ohmmeter, perhaps you know someone that has one and knows how to use it. It really isn't hard. Otherwise, you can go to a mechanic--but not the one you did before, as he should have known to do this. You need someone that knows how to test the sensors on the car and not just plug in a scanner.
OK Anna, what do you think?


Posted on Mar 15, 2011


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