15th Sep 2004, 13:02


How can I solve this lifters rattle at cold start? Do you have any solution to offer? It makes me worry about the life time of my engine. Thanks in advance.

L. J.


9th Dec 2004, 23:26

Hi L.J.

This is my car that started this article. It now has 38K miles on the odo. It has been a stone cold reliable vehicle thus far. As for the engine rattle at start up it is caused by lifters that loose pressure. Spoke with Suzuki of America and my local dealer about this issue. Suzuki claims it's just part of the engine design... and that most of the 1.8L engines will do it at start up. A co-worker has a 1999 Esteem with 77K miles on it and it does it too.

I have found that lite weight oil produces less noise. 5w-30 works better in the cold months. I use 5w-40 synthetic the summer because we see temps. of +100 deg.F.

This winter I plan on using 0w-30, I'll keep you posted.


16th Aug 2006, 22:02

An update on this car. It now has 54k miles, looks and runs good. The noisey lifters have not got any worse. I use Rotella Synthetic 5W-40 in the summer and Wal-Mart's full synthetic 5W-30 the rest of the year. I use a SuperTech oil filter. I have changed the gearbox oil three times and use mobil 1 75W-90.

Last year the engine started pinging on warm days at first then all the time. Pulled the EGR valve and removed the carbon to cure this issue. Also the idle became erratic, pulled the IAC valve cleaned and lubricated to cure the issue. Runs good now!

I have to admit that I wasn't crazy over this car back in 2001 but now I like it. What it lacks in refinement it makes up in dependability.

10th Nov 2006, 13:06

I have a Suzuki Esteem wagon 1.8l, 2002, which is now in the garage for the second time in a month with alternator problems. The first time the car died the garage concluded that it was the voltage regulator. This was replaced and every thing was dandy. The car really did feel more responsive. The alternator problem surprised even the parts dealer. It was not something they had seen with the Suzuki. Now just yesterday while driving, the battery light came on, the car began to hesitate on acceleration and just managed to make it to the garage before failing. The car is fully loaded electrically, windows, mirrors, locks, AC and so on, although most of these things are used sparingly.

6th Jan 2007, 11:38

I bought a Suzuki Esteem 2001 wagon 5 speed GL, new. It now has 130,000 km. I live in Montreal, family of 4, over the yrs, we have been around Gaspe (camping), Cape Briton (camping), down to Disney. Never had a problem with this vehicle. I bring it to dealer every 5,000 km.

Good points:

Good gas mileage, no problems with car.

Bad points:

Feels like your driving in a coke can. After 5 yrs, it stared to rattle... everywhere.


My wife drives the car most of the time & she likes it, I enjoy it also. Great car.


16th Jul 2007, 14:33

I have a 5 speed manual 2001 Suzuki Esteem station wagon. The clutch is slipping a lot when you give the car gas at any speed. I got into a fender bender about two months ago and the the clutch has been slipping since then. Do you think it is due to the wreck or maybe they messed with the hydraulic slave adjustment when it getting fixed in the shop? Is there an adjustment I could do until I can get it into a repair shop? Do you know if I can adjust the clutch through the computer? How do you adjust the clutch on the car so it doesn't slip? If you could help me out on this one I would be in debt to you. Getting married in August and don't have the funds to fix the car! Thank You, Robert in Salt Lake City, Utah.

17th Aug 2008, 21:43

How did anyone resolve the gas gauge issue? I'm experiencing this right now with my 2001 suzuki esteem GL sedan.

27th Aug 2008, 14:47

The dealer replaced the fuel gauge sender unit in the tank. This corrected the problem problem with my 2001 Esteem.

7th Oct 2008, 11:33

My clutch already gave out, what do I need to do to fix my clutch?

28th Jan 2009, 18:51

Anyone having trouble driving in the snow and ice? I am!!! Has no traction at all - even with new tires.

25th Mar 2009, 12:26

How can I get a diagram of my rear drum brakes on a 1999 SUZUKI Esteem?

25th Apr 2010, 22:48

Update on the this car... I have had this Esteem for almost nine years and 92000 miles. It has been stone cold reliable and a very easy car to maintain. Three sets of tires, a set of pads, plugs, filters and fluids, that's it. I wax it about every two years. Not bad for a off brand econobox.

27th Oct 2011, 16:35

Update on this vehicle. It now has 116000 miles on it, and is still going strong. CV joints and coil packs have been the only items to fail on the car. I change the oil every 5000 miles, air filter every 15000, and gear box oil every 30000. I wax it once a year, and the car still looks great inside and out. I plan to keep it until 200000 miles.

13th Sep 2015, 01:42

I just paid $300 for my 99. Needs a clutch (95$ eBay) and 2 hours. Nice to know!!!