Eats up tires too fast and the death wobble? Sounds like a warped unibody. Hummed at highway speeds along with the wobble?
I would wonder if your Suzuki had been in a crash, fixed well enough to hide the damage, but not safe enough to drive, this would account for tyres and breaks wearing. Depending on how damage could have occurred, the engine and tranny could have been knocked out of alignment, list of parts to wear out in that situation are endless. Timing belt should not have cost much to replace, it's a fairly standard service item every 100k.
Bought one of these for my parents 2 years ago. 120Kms. Tires wore out fast and unevenly, despite several alignments. Rear suspension wore out within 6 months, even though it was replaced 2 years before I bought it. They had several oil leaks repaired on the engine (head, oil pan) and the rear end still leaks. It rattles and squeaks, and the doors are starting to fall off. I will never buy another Suzuki.
Wow, own a 2000 2 door 2L Vitara and a 2000 4 door 2L Tracker (same vehicle, one assembled in North America, the other Japanese assembled).
Only issues so far: Bad alignment of main harness above clutch/brake pedal on the Tracker caused a major short for headlights and heater blower motor. Easy fix, lazy assembly from Chevy!
And the Vitara's rear brake shoe clamps failed at 150,000 K and caused a jamming (intermittent) on one wheel.
Oil leaks from distributor at the back of the engine on 1.3/1.6 liter Sidekicks /Samurai and Trackers, but not had an issue with the Vitara (yet).
Pulsing headlights caused by alternator, never on the Vitara (200K now), but on the Tracker at 155K. Buy a new OEM Vitara (2 liter) alternator to replace the Chevy one. Never buy rebuilt!
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