20 Most Recent 1997 Suzuki Sidekick Questions & Answers

does the cooling cut on and off? if is running all the time then that may cause loss of heat, is there any coolant loss?

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Jan 16, 2019

welcome to USA
our cars are not your cars
but i can tell you this
in the USA in the magic year 1996, (huge changes by law)
the FP relay was moved from bottom of ECU, (green socket )
pink wires
to the right side of the heater box. dash HVAC heater
drop glove box to see it.

btw Sidekicks are not sold to Malaysia.
it be VITARA there. relay #5
is if really is a sidekick here is your relay
1995 here

1996+ here #5 too.


again the pink wires tell you its FP relay
some times they get moved 2 inches, (50mm) or so out of order
by others. fiddling about here.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Mar 13, 2017

J18 engine, the first J20 but under stroked, and share many parts.
you mean it wont crank, using a voltmeter would have saved all that expensive guessing (for sure)
its a very simple circuit, need the drawing, its best to work cars electrics, using this schematic,
or its just a "crapp shoot". easy fix, its dead in the parking lot
hard fails are always easy fixes, (intermittent not so, easy)

this is called key line failure.,
if you had , hot wire the solenoid, the engine would cranks
saving the new starter job, labor and costs....
that takes, 5min work. saving you $150 and labor.
here is a G16 sidekick starter page.

shows all tests, all ways.

lets do yours.
you have bad wiring it seems no?
but where, well use a magic tool called a voltmeter.
and this become easy of you know how to back probe connectors.
do you>?
photos posted here on fixya are sux status. horrid.
but I will try.
first off the 5speed stick box, clutch switch is bad, i bet
or just not adjusted by the BOOK,
on my G16, i carried a clutch bypass jumper for 3 years.
just in case that jam nut there failed again, and again,.,
when it dont crank push CLUTCH HARDER< even 25-50lbs of foot force, try that yet>?
wiggle key, in CRANK? while doing clutch>?
question 1, does it have a starter relay
answer NO !

cave man simple no>
the bottom right wire goes to that
tiny starter solenoid..
your car dont have a PRNDL switch, a/t box)
this is off offical book on J18 sport.

this post assumes (the starter hot wires perfectly)
proving BAD KEY LINE, as seen in above drawing
as you can see one of the most simple key lines on earth.
use the volt meter to find the breaking point
i bet 12vdc in to clutch switch 1 and no volts out.2
bingo> ?

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Mar 05, 2017

Why are you replacing it?? 99% of all powertrain control modules are not defective and are replaced in error to try and correct a problem.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Jun 05, 2016

The transfer case, 4L, N, 4H, 4L.(rear)
is backwards.
well you did it wrong.
all time first ever on this on any forum for sidekicks.

here it is.
the whole thing

the tip goes in to the slot on #5 end.
but , inserting the shifter in the wrong mode is a no no.
the two real rods must be setup first.
then install the stick.
or it will jam or mess up.

the 1996 FSM is free, and works the same, here.
see the 90degree step here? to align it.?

id put the rods in neutral first.
then insert the stick and make sure it can control both rails correctly.
same is true with the 5 speed, same deal.

my guess is the lever is now floating
and not really installed fully.
the top of the lever collar must be locked down to top of case port.
if not it floats and works backward,if at all.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Oct 02, 2015

Blue smoke is caused by engine oil entering the cylinder area and being burned along with the fuel air mixture. As with the white smoke, just a small drop of oil leaking into the cylinder can produce blue smoke out the tailpipe. Blue smoke is more likely in older or higher mileage vehicles than newer cars with fewer miles.

This could mean a cracked head or bad gasket....It costly

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Jun 12, 2015

where, ? you meant?
its in the right fender box. and there is more than one MAIN.
post symptoms help at like 10x.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Apr 13, 2015

wont crank or cranks fast but will not start???????????????
2door or 4 doors? (wired diffr they are)
its an old car, and most fail this old. "entropy"
first off, 3 things must be good on this old engine.
1: compression. at above 150 psi, 180 warm not 80.
if compression is low an all 4 cylinders (G16b engine) the cam belt slipped, do to owers not changing belt at 60,000 miles !
2: bad spark, test for spark at all 4 cylinder yet? if bad spark
use a scan tool and see why, cranking for 5 seconds. P03xx errors?
at this point the engine runs on test fuel. does it?

3: bad fueling , too much or too little or none)
is engine flooding, spark tips wet,
no dry, and test fuel runs car for 3 seconds.
ok that means the pump is dead, or weak
caused by (again a real 60k tuneup skipped, the filter)
replace filter. omg got 30psi pump pressure,
lets say pump pressure is still weak, lets say 15psi, (failed)
i check pump voltage cranking, omg, got 8v. the wires
behind left rear tail light (2door) pink wires or ground there bad.
ok got 12vdc to pump. but is weak
i then check FPR, fuel pump reg on fuel rail. i find it is stuck wide open, a new FPR gets pressure to 30 running and 40 not running.
no the FPR is ok, the pump is bad. (last, pumps is last in my book as the work is long and hard, and why do that if , its not bad. as most all seem to do on forums.)

no start has 50 causes.
see scotty do the TEST FUEL test.


we dont know what checked filter and pump means.
1: filter is there and looks pretty?
2: pump makes noise?
we use a fuel pressure gauge for 20 bucks.

all 9 pump tests are here, and the there tests for injector leakdown
and injector balance tests. all off one tool.
not starting can even be, leaking injector, folding 1 cylinder bad.


1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Mar 26, 2015

so how cold is it, KeyWest, 72F or -50F in Alaska.?
Intake Air temp sensor in air cleaner or it pipe.
infact the 1992 kick has no IAT,
it's not that, the IAT sensor has almost no effect on this engine.
(not true on 1995 8v engine, for those reading this)

The G16B engine, has MAF sensor, and it rules fueling, 99%
MAF is the Air meter.
there is an air temp correction sensor inside the MAF, but can not be replaced (decretely) and the MAF is $1000 at suzuki or $400 rebuilt by Cardone.
End guessing, start Diagnosis?
cold starts, (poor) can be lots of things. Ill list them but we do simple tests to find which one it is not guess and IAT is bad guess.

  1. never tuned up this decade. see first link below.
  2. bad fuel, old fuel (over 1year old, i have to ask)
  3. ECT water sensor reads too low, temp (rare) use scan tool.
  4. ISC valve stuck closed, starving engine of air , hard starts.
  5. IAC (ISC is electri) IAC is thermal only, not open on cold engine its bad. end story, it adds extra air cold, so if dead, engine WILL FLOOD. (cold starts floods) "too much fuel"
  6. low compression (cam belt slipped, and no longer 170PSI, makes hard starts. and loss of power. and overheating.
  7. vacuum tests show bouncing vacuum? oops. (ask)
  8. vacuum test show lazy vacuum (cat conv. melted?)

the official list is here.
cap, rotor , wireset, spark plugs. will give you GREAT spark
called tuneup (as will the 2 filters)


at the least, the spark plugs are bad, on most cars 90% owners ignore the key 60,000 mile tune up, and just as many run 19 year old cap/rotor wires sets, and fails. "do the service points"
Get some Bosch parts in there, (or NGK) mag wire sets.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Mar 07, 2015

I can't find the manual between my docks, but most ignition coils look like this and there are 2 pic's explaining how there work.
But don't start replacing things when you are not sure it is defect. You could try to clean all contacts. Remove all oxidation. (not with sharp tools, because the oxidation will run much faster then)



1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Feb 27, 2015

Hi Darrell. nice double post and this is a custom system
so if it breaks, you need to find the name of the black box.
model , # and the full set if documents.
take those to any auto repair or autoelectric and show them those docs and ask them to fix it.
but car dont drive>! (per last post)
so what are your choices, only 2.
  1. tow it to a shop (with docs)
  2. learn to fix it your self. (ask)
  3. remove this hacked up system from car return car to stock so any shop on earth can fix it and not cost a fortune figuring out the hacks. (and time getting documents to learn all that $$$ labor)

ive done #3 many a time, alarms (trash), and remote bs.
but its your call, your car and your cash.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Feb 17, 2015

It means that either you have no oil pressure or that the wire to the Oil Pressure sending unit came off or possibly the sending unit went out. Do not drive it until fixed!

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Feb 05, 2015

I don't know anything about these models, but my first guess would be to check the ECT(engine coolant temp) sensor and wiring. Sounds like the ECM thinks the engine is cold all the time. High resistance in the temp sensor circuit will cause a colder then normal reading at the ECM.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Feb 01, 2015

must bet the sport sidekick as all G16 engine sidekicks are cable.
the J18 engine, has hyd. clutch/
see here
remove them, , put in new,
bleed it. same as with simple brakes, no different.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Sep 26, 2014

The G16b.
so leaks after?
do a compression test, , warm , wide open throttle
spec is 180 PSI x4

white smoke (oil or steam)
or black smoke.
the color i bet is white and that be oil ,since it drops.
if all oil is gone that is the end. this must never be allowed happen.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Sep 23, 2014

above right knee.
on all usa cars, its within 1 meter of center of steering shaft.
EPA rules.
on this car it's like 10 inches.
in the uSA it a D shaped, 16 pin connector.
any scan tool works here.

use a flash light there, some times its moved. by PO, a tad
for connecting up ,scanguages, etc. but its right there , in the harness there. if in USA> (you never said where)

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Sep 10, 2014

thats so easy, we even have real photos
watch out for bad info , some books show GM photos that are lies.
Tracker data old, like haynes does.
some cars have them reversed (sloppy work) the pink wire wins.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Jul 20, 2014

not too cool kick
is check engine light on, at key on and goes out after running?

you forgot to say, does it restart instantly after it dies.
and does it stink of raw gas after or make black smoke.?

when it dies, can you keep it going with a fast right foot>
if it dont start , right after did you try the secret
unflood mode (wide open throttle)

if car wont start , try test fuel
best is instant start in a can (spray)

key test here is car flooding or is it starving for fuel.
those are the top Suzuki tricks.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on Jun 05, 2014

which side?
the car came with an operators guide.
if lost buy one,
its covers this.
so does the FSM. which is free online .

on my 97 ,
  1. open the rear door hatch. fully.
  2. you then look at the LENSE plastic red cover.
  3. on the inboard side see tiny screws, that are hidden hatch closed.
  4. you remove those....
  5. it comes off and the bulb sockets are twist locked in.
  6. you pull them. and the twist lock the bulbs out.
or the FSM
page 8B 4
100% free to look anytime.

all 89-98 are same way.

1997 Suzuki... | Answered on May 04, 2014

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