It looks like these clunkers may have helped kill off Suzuki in the U.S.
My girlfriend has had one of the 2006 Renos for 3 years and is throwing in the towel at only 86,000 miles. It wasn’t even paid for but the balance of the loan is being included in her new car payment. It has been nothing but problems from the get go. The dealer sold her the car for WAY more than it was worth and she bought it… With 4 bald tires that needed to be replaced in a month when one went flat… I wasn’t with her at this time and would have probably talked her out of this car or at least the terms the dealer offered her and insisted they replaced the tires with at least decent used ones.
Then the problems started. I don’t know where to start. Little nit picky things were always going out. I can remember changing the transmission range sensor and the EVAP system purge valve/cylinder but there were other sensors, valve cover gaskets, you name it. It was the champion of the check engine light. The struts were junk from day one. You hit the smallest of bumps and it felt like the world was going to end! Again, the dealer sold her this car with this wrong.
I replaced the timing belt not long after we started dating because she had no clue when it was last changed. I ordered a Gates kit with all the parts that touch the timing belt including the tensioner, idlers, and water pump. The old belt was hanging by a thread so I know that was a bullet dodged with these engines.
It had several recalls which involved both of us taking off work and driving 100 miles to the nearest service center. One of the recalls was botched and we had to go back to get it done correctly.
Then a rock hit the windshield. This wasn’t the car’s fault but just added to the list of problems.
We were just getting ready to order all new struts and get that taken care of. The car was due for inspection in a few months so the windshield was next on the list after the struts. This cost nearly $400 in parts/labor to get done as I don’t do glass work.
Then the car started to run a little hot (not in the red) when I was out of town. I told her to check the coolant level (it was low) and add some universal premix coolant from the parts store. It seemed to be running OK.
I decided to replace all the hoses, the thermostat, and flush the system to put her mind at ease. I open the coolant cap and exhaust gasses are bubbling out and the coolant smells like coolant mixed with exhaust gasses and DEATH! It was a HORRENDOUS smell! The coolant had been clean just a short while before but was turning to sludge from the exhaust contamination.
I did a check for exhaust gasses in the coolant just to verify what I already knew. The head gasket or something along those lines was bad. I don’t know if it was a cracked head, block, or head gasket, but I told her it was time for this car to go. The total of the repairs is well over the value of the car.
She didn’t hot rod the car and always got it serviced on time. I took over servicing it once we started dating. She got it used but only got 3 years out of it and it wasn’t even paid for when all this happened.
I would highly suggest AVOIDING these cars! This thing was a pile of junk money pit.
We might have gotten 25mpg out of this car on a good day. What was up with that on a smaller car like this? My V6 pickup truck gets this mileage.
On the other hand, I am a Suzuki Swift/Geo Metro guy and although those cars are cheap and basic, they just keep running as long as you take care of them. They are a real Suzuki and nothing like this. These Renos/Forenzas aren’t a real Suzuki but a Daewoo with a Suzuki name on them. AVOID! AVOID! AVOID!