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Suzuki/1996 vitara overheating


QUESTION: Hi our 1996 vitara is over heating on motorway runs it gets up to the red zone. Its does not over heat around town. I have checked the fan and it is coming on when the motor is hot.

ANSWER: I suspect that possibly the thermostat is not opening far enough to permit sufficient flow of coolant under the higher engine loads(and more generated heat) of higher speed driving.
Another possibility is that there is debris blocking the radiator and sufficient air is not flowing through the radiator to exchange the additional heat of higher engine speeds and loads.
One other thing that I occasionally see is that the cooling system had straight undiluted antifreeze in it.  Anti freeze carries much less heat than a water anti freeze mixture.

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QUESTION: i have flushed out the system and when doing so found that the fan surround was not secure at the base and had been rubbing on the belts etc. it is now secure would this had a effect at all? I have not been on a motorway run yet to check it out.

Thanks Again


It's possible that the surround was not pulling enough air through the radiator.
It's possible the belts are slipping.
It's also possible that the viscous fan clutch for the engine driven fan to have a problem and not be pulling enough air through the radiator.


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David Scott


Questions regarding the advisability of different kinds of modifications to Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker for various kinds of off-road usage. IF IT'S NOT A SAMURAI/SIDEKICK/TRACKER, I MAY ENTIRELY AT MY OPTION, MAKE A GENERALIZED STAB AT THE ANSWER, BUT WHEN YOU ASK NON-SAMURAI SORT OF STUFF, REMEMBER THAT i'M NO LONGER IN A FIELD I KNOW WELL, AND SOME OF MY RESPONSES WILL NOT NECESSARILY BE OTHER THAN GENERAL INFO. The last Suzuki motorcycle I've had any experience with is a 1966 X-6, when I owned it in 1967.


I've been a professional mechanic for over thirty five years, live in the center of the Rocky Mountains, and have been active in exploring the old mining/4wd roads for decades. I've specific experience with Samurai modification, because that's my personal vehicle.

Thirty five years of advanced, intensive classes for experienced professionals only. Manufacturer seminars and training classes averaging four to six weeks per year. I'm now a professional heavy duty fleet mechanic, and no longer deal with issues such as MIL (check engine) lights, and electronics issues on late Suzukis such as Vitara.

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