2001 Suzuki Vitara 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 160000 miles
2001 Grand Vitara 6 Cylinder
Without any predictability after sitting overnight the engine will fail to start immediately.
This occurs randomly sometimes months between incidents or as little as two weeks between incidents. Over the past year there were seven incidents but the incidents have become more frequent with less time elapsed between them.
Extreme cold weather (10 degrees) increased the frequency of the problem, happened three times over a six week period. Once with a one week interval and then with a four week interval.
However the problem happened most recently in fifty degree weather after a three week interval.
99% of the time the engine fires and runs immediately with no pumping of the pedal, hesitation, or rough idle. 90 degree weather or 10 degree weather. Rain or Shine. The engine runs fine at all speeds after firing up.
When the engine fails to start:
1. There has been no starting problem at all for weeks or months.
2. A load test of the battery shows the battery fully charged.
3. Headlights, turn signals, fans etc, all fully functional
4. No check engine light
5. New Plugs
6. New Fuel Filter
7. No water in gas
8. Air filter new
9. New battery, Clean Lugs
10. No starter solenoid switch clicking or popping.
11. No fouled plugs
12. High Octane or Low Octane Gas
13. Sounds and feels exactly like a battery with low amps barely turning the engine over.
14. Or a starter motor making poor electrical contact or about to burn out.
15. Doesn't sound or feel like the engine is firing.
16. When it does fire the engine is sluggish and idles poorly. As if it is running on less than six cylinders.
17. Within five minutes of firing the engine idles normally, runs normally and if shut down starts normally.
To get the engine to start:
I let the starter turn the engine over constantly for twenty seconds, stop, wait five seconds, turn over twenty seconds, wait five seconds and keep doing the same procedure for ten to twenty minutes.
I keep a booster on the battery so the amps stay up.
During this procedure there is no sense the engine is firing at all. Then, without any sense it is about to run it will very weakly begin to idle as the starter continues to turn the engine over.
Suzuki Dealer mechanic had no solution as the problem did not happen when examined at the dealership.