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Common problems with the Suzuki Vitara

Charlotte Phillips, 2 months ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • Repair
Suzuki Vitara

WhoCanFixMyCar uncovers some of the common problems drivers have reported with the Suzuki Vitara, and how much you might expect to pay on average to get them repaired.

First making its global debut in 1988 and having five generations of the model launched since then, the Suzuki Vitara is a series of SUVs produced by the Japanese automaker. First manufactured as a mini SUV, the Vitara has since evolved into a compact SUV, and most recently a subcompact crossover SUV, and has proven to be a popular model with drivers over the years.

However, drivers have also noted some problems with the Suzuki Vitara for various different reasons. Some common problems with the Vitara include: 

Some of these faults have resulted in Suzuki announcing recalls on affected Vitara models, which you can read about in the table below.

Suzuki Vitara recent recalls

Suzuki Vitara DPF problems

Suzuki Vitara clutch problems

Suzuki Vitara air conditioning problems

Suzuki Vitara timing chain problems

Suzuki Vitara engine problems

How reliable is the Suzuki Vitara?


Suzuki Vitara recent recalls

Affected model datesIssue
07/02/2015 – 23/09/2016Vehicle emission outputs may be incorrect
07/01/2015 – 06/05/2015Due to an error in programming during production, the Radar Brake Support System may cause unintended vehicle braking whilst driving
22/09/2000 – 25/02/2004Risk of fire between cable connections and glow plugs
06/10/1998 – 05/10/2003The fuel pressure regulator may freeze and cause leaking under extremely low temperatures
01/12/1997 – 31/01/1998The drivers side airbag may deploy with greater force than originally designed

Suzuki Vitara DPF problems

A known issue with the Suzuki Vitara is that with the model’s diesel particulate filter (DPF). Due to the model needing regular clean oil changes, the Vitara is known to be prone to developing DPF problems as a result of the diesel particulate filter becoming clogged up with soot.

You might notice DPF problems in your own vehicle with symptoms such as the Check Engine Light illuminating, a loss in engine performance, and a decrease in fuel efficiency. Similarly, thicker and darker exhaust smoke coming from your exhaust pipe is a good indication of a clogged DPF.

Your diesel particulate filter is designed to remove the fumes from your engine, so when it becomes blocked, your engine is unable to work to its full capacity. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in your own car, it could be a sign that your DPF needs to be checked out by a mechanic. The average quote for a diesel particulate filter clean on a Suzuki is £129.62 when booked with WhoCanFixMyCar.


Suzuki Vitara clutch problems

There is a reported problem with the clutch on some Suzuki Vitara models. Some drivers have reported that the clutch has dropped in their Vitara, making it feel stiff and difficult to press down. When pressing your clutch pedal, you should notice that it feels firm as well as feeling some resistance, which would indicate that it is working in the correct way. When your clutch drops, it will feel closer to the flooring of your vehicle and you might also struggle to change gears.

If you’re having clutch problems, you can find a number of garages and mechanics in our network to take a look at the problem for you. The average quote for clutch repairs on a Suzuki is £427.31 when booked with WhoCanFixMyCar.


Suzuki Vitara air conditioning problems

Another problem drivers have found with the Suzuki Vitara is with there being no cold air blowing from the aircon. It’s reported that the condenser fan motor is highly susceptible to failure on the Vitara, making it difficult for cool air to blow through the system.

Fortunately, this is a fairly simple issue to fix, and aircon problems are relatively inexpensive to repair. The average quote for an air conditioning service on a Suzuki is £69.33 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara timing chain problems

Drivers have also reported a rattling noise coming from the engine of the Vitara. Whilst a rattling noise could be pinpointed to several things initially, the most likely cause when noticing this sound coming from your engine is problems with your timing chain.

When the tensioners in your timing chain fail, you will begin to notice this rattling noise, which would indicate that you may need to replace the tensioners, if not the entire timing chain if that has become damaged.

The average quote for a timing chain replacement on a Suzuki when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar is £607.35.


Suzuki Vitara engine problems

Another issue drivers have reported with the Suzuki Vitara is with a loss in engine power and rough engine idling. You might notice this problem in your vehicle when pressing down on the accelerator pedal, and your vehicle lacks the engine power that it used to have. Similarly, rough idling can indicate that your car is having some engine problems, with symptoms of this including shaking, vibrating and/or rattling sounds when sitting idle.

Both of these problems can be attributed to the EGR valve in your car becoming clogged-up with carbon, which the Vitara is unfortunately known for. If you think you’re having problems with your EGR valve, you can get a replacement through one of the garages in our network. The average quote for an EGR valve replacement on a Suzuki is £358.19 when booked with WhoCanFixMyCar.


Is the Suzuki Vitara reliable?

The Suzuki Vitara is certainly an eye-catching model, and Suzuki have a firm reputation for building sturdy off-road vehicles. Despite this however, the Suzuki Vitara faired relatively below par in the CarBuyer 2022 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, placing 52nd out of 75 possible cars.

Similarly, Suzuki placed in a slightly disappointing 21st place out of 29 possible cars in their manufacturer poll, which would suggest there is still some room for improvement when it comes to the overall reliability of the carmaker.

Despite this however, when crash testing the vehicle, the safety experts Euro NCAP awarded the Suzuki Vitara a glowing five star score, securing an excellent 89% and 85% rating for adult and child occupant protection respectively.


Having problems with your Suzuki Vitara? Here at WhoCanFixMyCar, we can help you find a trusted mechanic in your area for the best price.